Ilyushin ground attack aircraft that was crashed and sank in the Sea of Japan during World War II will be retrieved as part of the May 9 celebrations marking Victory Day, according to The Moscow Times.
The Ilyushin Il-2 'Sturmovik' was the single most produced military aircraft design in aviation history, as well as one of the most produced piloted aircraft in history.
Divers from Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok will be the team responsible for developing this mission. They are members of the university's diving club and they plan to retrieve the airplane on the eve of Russia's May 9 celebrations marking the allied victory in World War II
Il-2 Sturmovik aircraft's remains are lying at a depth of 17 meters near Russky Island, where it went missing on July 21, 1944, as reported by Vladivostok-based Far Eastern Federal University.
According to archives, the plane, with two people aboard, was on a mission guiding artillery fire when it flew into fog and continued its flight at an altitude of 40-50 meters along the eastern coast of Russky Island. The plane went into a nosedive and crashed into the ocean with its engine still running, the university said in its statement.
After decades trying their finding, during and after the war, the wreckage have been found finally. In 2014, a local diver spotted it and reported the find to the university, according to Sergei Teslenko's report, the club's leader and diving instructor.
Teslenko reported that fragments of the plane are scattered over an area with a radius of 20-30 meters and “search is complicated by debris that has accumulated on the sea floor” and “nonetheless, [divers] have been able to find such representative parts of the craft as its engine, gun and propeller, which we intend to raise to the surface soonest".
An important event will be celebrated. In addition to retrieving parts of the plane, the university plans to hold an exhibit on its Russky Island campus to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. The exhibition will feature archival documents, underwater photographs and video footage as well as fragments of the airplane to commemorate the perished airmen, identified as pilot Gavriil Maryshev and navigator Fyodor Lopoukhov, the statement said.