Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: Lisunov Li-2 (licenced DC-3, NATO: Cab)

Lisunov Li-2 (licenced DC-3, NATO: Cab)
USA / USSR
transport plane
1943



  • Technical data


Span 28.8 m
Length 19.0 m
Take-off weight 11,500 kg
Maximum speed 280 km/h
Ceiling 5600 m
Range 2400 km
Armament
Powerplant :
2 x 9-cylinder radial ASh-62, 1000 hp (736 kW) each

 

The development of civil airlines and the big commercial success that the Douglas company achieved producing the DC-2 for the American Airlines, became a reason of developing a new machine. The twin engine Douglas Commercial DC-3 of all metal, semi-monocoque structure, with a low wing, became the most popular transport aircraft of the 1930's. In the beginning of 1938, the Soviet Union bought from the USA the licence for the DC-3. The airframe, however didn't answer service requirements.

The construction team, led by Boris Lisunov introduced some changes. The structure was reinforced, the position of the exit doors changed and the engines were changed also. Mass production of the PS-84 started by the end of 1939. At the beginning of 1940, the machines came in service with Aeroflot airlines and the military units. In 1941 the aircraft's designation was changed to the Li-2.

The Li-2 were produced in several versions: transport, passenger, long range, bomber, photogrametric and increased altitude version. Depending on the version, the appropriate equipment was utilised. Equipped with the de-icing installation, the LI-2 could operate even in very severe weather conditions.

During the war, the Li-2 aircraft flew the frontal missions, supplied the besieged Leningrad and in August 1945, were used in the airborne descent on Mukden, Port Arthur and Dairen. On Polish territory, most of the supply missions drops from the east side was delivered by the Li-2. In 1943 - 1944 they were used by the Polish Independent Special Battalion. In Poland after the war, the gunners post were disassembled, and the machines came to the units of transport aviation. Some examples were in service with the Officers Flying School. On 13th May 1974, the last flight of the LI-2T took place on the Dęblin - Krakow airway.

The example on display comes from the 1943 production batch. In 1943-1945 it was used by the Soviet Air Force. After the war, the aircraft was handed over to the Poles and between 1950-1974 was in service with the Officers Flying School in Dęblin. It then flew to Krakow-Balice airfield and subsequently was transferred to the Museum.

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