Lisunov Li-2/ PS-84

The Lisunov Li-2 was a version of the Douglas DC-3 produced under licence in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union purchased 22 DC-3s and manufacturing rights through Amtorg, its commercial arm in the United States. Boris P. Lisunov was sent to Douglas’s Santa Monica plant in 1938, and spent the next two years studying their manufacturing techniques.

Production began at State Aircraft Plant No.84, in Moscow, before the German invasion forced production to move to Tashket. The aircraft was designated the PS-84 until 17 September 1942, and then became the Lisunov Li-2.

The cargo door on the Li-2 was moved forward, placing it just behind the wing trailing edge, and was a different shape to the standard C-47 door. Passenger transports had their door on the starboard side.

Early aircraft were powered by the 900hp Shvetsov M-62 radial engine, a Soviet development of the Shvetsov M-24, itself a licence-built version of the Wright R-1820 Cyclone. Later aircraft received the 1,200hp ASh-62. The engine cowlings were modified to take these engines.

A number of Li-2s were armed with up to three machine guns, one in a manually powered dorsal turret that could be armed with either a 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun, while two more guns could be mounted in windows positioned behind the cargo door. The armed version of the Li-2 was sometimes used as a night bomber, carrying 4,000lb of bombs below the wing centre section or rockets under the outer wings.

Nearly 3,000 Li-2s were constructed during the Second World War, and production continued for some time after the war. The Li-2 remained in use in the Soviet Union until the 1970s, and was also used in large numbers by Eastern Bloc countries.

Engines: Shvetsov M-62 x2
Power: 900hp
Wing span: 94ft 10 3/16in
Length: 64ft 5 5/8in
Empty weight: 16,976lb
Loaded weight: 23,589lb
Maximum weight: 24,868lb
Maximum speed: 174mph
Cruising speed: 137mph
Service ceiling: 18,375ft

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2008), Lisunov Li-2/ PS-84 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lisunov_li-2.html

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