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Glossary USSR Polikarpov I-5 R-5 Po-2 I-15 I-15bis I-153 I-16 I-16 type 5 I-16 type 10 I-17 I-180 I-185 I-190 VIT-2 TIS-A (MA) NB (T) Photos & Drawings

I-16

Fighter

Polikarpov

Polikarpov I-16 type 29 © Michael Bykov

Polikarpov I-16 type 29

The I-16 was developed in Polikarpov design bureau in 1932 and after 1934 it was build in increasing numbers on 39-th production plant in Moscow and later on 21-st plant in Nizhny Novgorod. The serial production continued until 1941.

Highly rear balanced (more than 30%) the I-16 was unstable in flight which at this time was considered normal and even desirable for better maneu-verability. This made pilot training rather difficult, however those who could fly the I-16 easily converted to other types.

The 1-16 became the world's first mass-produced fighter — 10292 were built, including the UTI-4, advanced trainer two-seat aircraft. A genius combination of production sim­plicity and good performance allowed it to remain in service for almost 10 years. The I-16 took part in several wars — in Spain, China, Mongolia, Finland. During the WW II it was employed on Eastern front until 1942 and remained in service with some units until 1945.

1933-1939 Fighters
DI-6 I-15 I-15 bis I-153 Chaika I-16 type 5 I-16 type 24
Crew 2 1 1 1 1 1
Year of issue 1937 1934 1937 1939 1936 1940
Dimensions
Length, m 7.0 6.1 6.27 6.17 6.07 6.13
Wing span, m 10.0 9.75 10.2 10.0 9.0 9.0
Wing area, m² 25.2 23.55 22.5 22.14 14.54 14.54
Weight, kg:
Loaded weight 2038 1390 1700 1765 1590 1882
Powerplant
Engine M-25V M-25 M-25V M-62 M-25A M-63
Power, hp 775 640 775 1000 715 1100
Performance
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 334 315 327 364 390 415
at altitude 382 367 379 424 445 470
m 3000 3000 3500 5000 2700 4800
Time to 5000 m, min 9.2 6.2 6.6 5.7 7.4 5.8
Time of turn, sec 11-12 9.0 10.5 13-13.5 14-15 17-18
Service ceiling, m 8300 9800 9300 10700 9100 9900
Service range, km - 550 520 560 540 440
Armament
Machine guns 3 2 4 4 2 4
Photo Discription

The "Red Five" demonstration team leading by M.Yakushin (extreme right).

Starting up the 1-16 type 17 engine.

Mission discussion in 13th fighter squadron of Baltic Fleet in 1940. Note the 1-16 type 10.

Pilots near the 1-16 type 5 in the late thirties.

13-en Special Squadron of Baltic Fleet. 1940.

Camouflaged I-16's (type 28 on foreground). Summer 1941

Dull silver I-16 type 24.

1st leutenant G.S. Zhuikov with his 1-16 type 17. Leningrad front, summer 1941.

I-16 type 27 at taxiing area.

The UTI-4 (I-16 type 15), October 1942.

One of the last operational I-16 — UTI-4 advanced trainer at the airfield prior to Victory day parade in August 1945.

References

  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/
  • "The planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • "Fighter I-16" /Mikhail Maslov/
  • "The Soviet planes" /Alexander Yakovlev/

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