Renowned as one of the best ground attack aircraft to come out of WW2, the IL-2 Shturmovik lives on in WT and many other games as well. But we're only talking about WT, so forget the other games. Known as the "flying tank" and the "flying infantryman" the IL-2 was by all means, a ground pounder. But in video games, you can usually find unusual uses for different vehicles, and if it works, good, if not, well.... I don't know try something else, you don't have anything that valuable to lose.
Anyways, so the unusual use I found is employing the Shturmovik as a general aircraft destroyer. Most planes are only armed with 20mm cannons at best or 12.7s or those dumb rifle caliber guns. The IL-2 is armed (I'm talking about the 1941 and 42 versions) with two 23mm cannons and, (I think) two 12.7mm MGs. These make fighters easy meat and can take down bombers easily which are usually difficult to destroy with less firepower simply because of their sheer size. The IL-2 is not fast, maneuverability is so-so, in a 1-on-1 dogfight the IL-2 is a dead man's plane. But in a ripping, roaring, dogfight you'll find quite a few unfortunate planes in your sights, and the 23s make extremely quick work of them. It's armor lets it survive for quite a long time as well, but no plane is indestructible, (even if there was it wouldn't be in this game). So under determined attack the IL-2 will inevitably succumb. But I have found it quite effective and can be used to rack up lots of kills and a high score, so try it out and see if it's just me or if it actually works.-Andrew