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The Sikorsky Ilya Muromets (Russian: Сикорский Илья Муромец) is a class of Russian pre–World War I large four-engine commercial airliners and heavy military bombers used during World War I by the Russian Empire. The aircraft series was named after Ilya Muromets, a hero from Slavic mythology. The series was based on the Russky Vityaz or Le Grand, the world's first four-engined aircraft, designed by Igor Sikorsky. The Ilya Muromets aircraft as it appeared in 1913 was a revolutionary design, intended for commercial service with its spacious fuselage incorporating a passenger saloon and washroom on board. During World War I, it became the first four-engine bomber to equip a dedicated strategic bombing unit. This heavy bomber was unrivaled in the early stages of the war, as the Central Powers had no aircraft capable enough to rival it until much later.
— In-game description
The Ilya-Muromets (simply referred to as the Heavy Bomber) is a vehicle featured in the In the Name of the Tsar expansion. As a heavy bomber, it differs from the other available bombers (the Caproni Ca.5, Gotha G.IV, Airco DH.10 and Hansa-Brandenburg G.I).
It carries a pilot and two gunners. The rear gunner (2P) is equipped with a 20mm Autocannon, while the front gunner (3P) uses a Lewis Gun. A teammate can spawn in a holding area for paradrop (4P), and can also use their own equipment (including the Repair Tool).
Three vehicle packages are available:
- Strategic Bomber Package
- Armed with anti-personnel bombs and a forward firing twin HE Autocannon to combat enemy infantry.
- Demolition Bomber Package
- Equipped with HE and demolition bombs to defeat vehicles and structures.
- Support Bomber Package
- Provides assistance and area control to ground units.
The Ilya-Muromets is a large, slow but tough bomber that can be trickier to operate than its contemporaries because of its lower manoeuvrability. Its main advantage is its larger health pool and carried payload, allowing it to soak up a greater volume of enemy anti-aircraft fire during bombing runs that are far more deadly than that of standard bombers. Its survivability is further increased with a Support player occupying the fourth seat to constantly repair the aircraft. Players occupying this seat will also have their ammunition and gadgets automatically replenished, regardless of class.
These favorable characteristics come at the cost of cumbersome flight mechanics. While more or less equivalent in speed and acceleration to smaller bombers, the aircraft has a large turning circle that effectively reduces the time pilots can safely spend in the out of bounds area, such that it is usually necessary to start turning back immediately. The Muromets' lower responsiveness is also hazardous when flying low, as it may not be nimble enough to avoid tall obstacles like windmills, trees or terrain features in an emergency. Furthermore, in spite of its high health, the Heavy Bomber can still be destroyed with a single tank shell. It is thus advisable to stay at a high altitude.