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5 September 2016
Su-6 - Chasing the Leader
The advanced Soviet Su-6 attack plane, found itself in the shadow of its world-famous colleague, the Il-2. Nonetheless, it was an excellent assault aircraft that we are pleased
to present in War Thunder update 1.63 "Desert Hunters".
At the end of the 30s, a true race began between designers in the Soviet Union. Their aim was to create the best attack plane the Red Army had ever seen. The country's leaders, designers and engineers were well aware that soon, the Soviet people would have to withstand an assault from the strongest army in the world – that of Hitler's Germany. This attack plane couldn't just be good – it had to be the best! The competition between the design bureaus was dramatic, full of emotion, victories, and alas, defeats. In the end, the Ilyushin Design Bureau’s Il-2 rightfully took the garland of victory owing to its numerous advantages. But was it an easy victory? Not by any means!
The best minds in the aviation industry competed in the race to design an attack plane for the looming war. Pavel Osipovich Sukhoi was one of them. His attack aircraft, the Su-6, demonstrated complete superiority over the Il-2 in terms of its flight characteristics during testing. The Su-6's armour also surpassed that of Ilyushin's creation. Its shortcoming was in its armament – Sukhoi did not plan for the mounting of rockets, the aircraft's usable bomb load amounted to a mere 120kg, and it had no cannons. The criticisms of the expert committee were taken into account and the aircraft was equipped with VYa-23 cannons. The bomb capacity was increased and the attack plane was given the ability to carry 10 RS-82 or RS-132 rockets. However, testing was never fully finished with the new armaments – the only available specimen of the M-71 engine broke down.
Time marched on and the war began, but Sukhoi was unrelenting. A program was launched to re-equip the Su-6 with the less powerful, but more easily obtainable AM-42 engines. But these engines also broke down during testing. This course of lamentable failures ended in 1944, when the collective of 'Ilyushinners' proposed a new version of their own attack plane – the Il-10. This successor to the Il-2 was superior to the Su-6 in all regards, and the Su-6 project was finally shut down.
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In War Thunder, we present the late prototype version of the Su-6 with an M-71F engine and a seat for a gunner/radio operator. The Su-6 will fly much like the Il-2, but has a higher speed and maneuverability, better armour and a more powerful rocket load. The aircraft's speed at low altitude exceeds 480 km/h, and at high altitude it can reach 510 km/h – a true sky racer compared to the slow and clumsy Il-2.
This version's frontal armament consists of two ShKAS machine guns and two NS-37 cannons. It's an important fact that in contrast to the Il-2, this aircraft has 37 mm automatic cannons in the wings close to the center of the fuselage. This provides significantly superior accuracy in battle. The waist gunner, who was also a radio operator, could fire on any pursuing aircraft with a 12.7 mm UBT machine gun in a blister mount behind the pilot's seat. The Su-6 has excellent armour – an armoured capsule protects the pilot and gunner's seats and covers the engine, fuel and oil tanks. The armour thickness ranges from 4 to 13.5 mm. The armoured glass protecting the pilot and gunner is 65 mm thick.
The new Soviet Su-6 assault aircraft will come to War Thunder with update 1.63 "Desert Hunters"
We'll see how it does in battle!
The War Thunder Team!
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