Salvaging The Il-2

Fighter Il2 1

This time we’re going to show you how they salvaged the Il-2 which was shot down in 1942 near Demyansk.

The plane is located in a wetland with no roads around. Moreover, the access to the crater with the plane is blocked by the river. To get to the plane one can either by foot or on a swampmobile.
Fighter Il2 2

Fighter Il2 3

Fighter Il2 4

Fighter Il2 5

Fighter Il2 6

Fighter Il2 7

Fighter Il2 8

Fighter Il2 9

Fighter Il2 10

The plane is lying deep underground and naturally, the crater is filled with water. That’s why they decide to apply two pumps. Since the Honda pump turns out to be not powerful enough, they use it for pumping water into a fire hose to wash away the ground. The other pump, Soviet, made in 1989, is more powerful that is why it is going to pump out water and dirt to the surface.

Fighter Il2 11

Fighter Il2 12

Fighter Il2 13

Fighter Il2 14

Struggling with the made-in-the-Soviet-Union pump.

Fighter Il2 15

Fighter Il2 16

The magnetometer has indicated magnetic radiation in two places. Picking at one of them resulted in the appearance of an oil spot. Probably, it was a plane engine or an oil box there. Finally, they found some pieces of armoured body, veneer pieces, cartridge cases and some other things. Before that, at this very place, they had found an arm… It must have belonged to the pilot.

Fighter Il2 17

The plane could have been blown up by someone who wanted to sell ferrous and nonferrous metal. Maybe, the explosion was caused by bombs which had remained in the plane…

Fighter Il2 18

Fighter Il2 19

Fighter Il2 20

Fighter Il2 21

It is usually impossible to stay on the crater with no support. In this case, they use such hand-made ladders made of improvised materials.

Fighter Il2 22

Fighter Il2 23

Fighter Il2 24

Fighter Il2 25

Finally, they’ve managed to start up the pump!

Fighter Il2 26

Fighter Il2 27

Fighter Il2 28

Fighter Il2 29

Fighter Il2 30

Fighter Il2 31

These two guys are Ok working together. One of them is washing the ground away and the other is pumping the water out. They’ve pumped out two meters of water already, but the Il is lying much deeper. The pump keeps becoming clogged up with sticks and dirt so they have to clean it up from time to time.

Fighter Il2 32

They’ve pumped out several hundred more liters of water when the clamp broke loose. They had to take a break until the morning.

On November, 16th, they discovered an engine which had been lying 7 meters underground. Maybe, by its number they’ll manage to determine the names of the pilots. We do hope so.

Location: Demyansk Region

via onepamop

1 thought on “Salvaging The Il-2”

  1. Looking forward to follow this!

    Here where i liwe, however very rare (since we where not actually in war (at leat not officially)), there must be some planes burried in the ground too, i even found one once but lack of founds for preserving those artifacts properly in a museum when i asked a local museum if they where interesting in digging. I salvaged a big part of the tailfin (hope it will going to a local museum in a vetern club) and some smaller parts, but i hope those pices of history will be saved in the future here too.


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