Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
How plane's windshield protected pilots
Like everything else around the cockpit of the FHC’s Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, the plane’s canopy is heavy and armored. Reports mention that direct strikes from German 20 mm cannon failed to penetrate the over 2 inches of bullet-proof glass sandwiched between Plexiglas. The plane’s glass is faceted; when one pane was crazed by damage, the others remained unharmed, allowing the pilot to continue to fly and fight. The diamond shape in the center of the windscreen left a clear view through the gunsight and served as reference lines for dive-bombing attacks.