POLIKARPOV I-16 TIMELINE
TskBK-12 (I-16 1st prototype)
Summer 1932: N.N. Polikarpov had made some modern fighter drawings. A mock-up was made from those
drawings and tested in a wind tunnel. After several structural improvements construction on the TskBK-12
30 December 1933: 1st flight at 2,894 lbs. (1,312 kg.) [no armament]
Engine: Licence-built Jupiter M-22: 480 hp.
Propeller: 2-meter long, 2-blade, fixed-pitch.
Forward sliding canopy.
The rudder area was increased.
Hand operated (organ grinder style) landing gear taking 44 extremely hard revelutions to retract and constructed
Wing Area: 156.1 sq. ft. [14.5 sq. m.]
Armament: 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS/900 rpg. in wings.
Maximum Speed [Skis]: 223  mph. (359  km/h)@S.L., 201  mph. (323  km/h) @ 16,404 ft.
[5,000 m.], 202 mph./9,842 ft. [325 km/h @ 3,000 m.]
Climb: 16,404 ft. [5,000m.]/9.4 minutes.
Turn time: 14.3 seconds.
1934: The TskBK-12 was put into production. A few hundred were manufactured. Loaded weight was 2,965 lbs.
[1,345 kg.]. Wing spars were made of chrome-molibdenium steel alloy duralumin ribs and a mixed DI aluminum
alloy/fabric skin. The Fuselage was constructed of pine spars and pine frame and covered with birch cross-gain
glued strips. The tail plane and ailerons had duralumin frame and fabric cover.
Note: Control response was immediate & extremely sensitive. Delightful for the experianced pilots, challenging
for the novice pilots.
Note: Flight testing was conducted from 30 Dec. 1933 into the Spring of 1934. Test pilots V.F. Chkalov, V.K. Kokkinaki
and V.A. Stepanchenok all agreed that this was an aircraft for skilled pilots only.
TsBK-12 bis (I-16 2nd prototype)
18 February 1934: 1st flight at 3,130 lbs. [1420 kg.] piloted by V.P. Chkalov.
Engine: Wright Cyclone SRG 1820-F-2: 600 hp.
Propeller: Hamilton Standard 2.8 meters long, 3-blade.
Handling was mostly unchanged.
Maximum Speed with fixed skis: 218 mph./S.L., 195 mph./9,840 ft.
with retracted skis: 237 mph. [382 km/h] / S.L., 271.5 mph. [437 km/h] / 3,000 m. 257 mph. [413 km/h] / 5,000 m.
Climb: 2,790 fpm./S.L.
Landing Speed: 62 mph.
September-October 1934: NII VVS tested the 2nd prototype with a Wright Cyclone SRG 1820-F-3 engine: 640 hp.
All wing upper surface was duralumin sheet.
Landing gear was strengthened & retraction/extension mechanism improved.
This aircraft was carefully polished for the tests.
Nine exhaust stacks and a propeller spinner added.
Maximum Speed: [fixed skis:] 224 mph./S.L., [retracted skis]:237 mph./S.L., 271.5 mph./9,840 ft.,
257 mph./16,400 ft.
Landing Speed: 69 mph. (considered very high for the time).
Climb: 16,400 ft./6.2 minutes. (6.8 minutes at 3,131 lbs.).
Service Ceiling: 28,870 ft. (27,200 ft. at 3,131 lbs.).
1934: Plant 39 at Moscow produces first 50 aircraft known as I-16 No.123901-123950. (12) for TsBK-12, (39)
for Plant 39.
M-22 powered with performance similar to the No.1 pototype.
No armor or self-sealing fuel tanks.
These aircraft were built for fmiliarization purposes.
September 1934: The I-16 began to reach service regiments. Pilots noted the following:
Controls were crisp and light.
The visibility forward was poor.
It was difficult to hold the nose down in a dive.
The landing behavior was vicious.
1935: Eight more aircraft built, No.123951-123958.
March 1935: For the last 6 months the landing behavior of the I-16 had caused several injuries from crashes. The
situation was now out of control as VVS
pilots almost unanimously condemed this radical machine.
I-16 Type 4 (TsBK-12 bis)
June 1934: The Series production of the I-16 Type 4s began at Plant 21 in Gorkii along side the I-5, I-14 & KhAI-1.
Type 4 came from the 4th produced at Plant 21. M-22 powered but with many improvements. 480 hp.
Combat Weight: 2,979 lbs.
Maximum Speed: 223.mph./S.L., 214 mph./9,840 ft.
Climb: 1,300 fpm./S.L., 16,400 ft./9.9 minutes.
Service Ceiling: 24,400 ft.
Armament: 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS in the wings.
Wing Loading: 19.035 lbs./sq.ft.
Power Loading: 6.206+lbs./hp.
Turn Time Left-Right: 12-14 seconds
About 400 were built
Special lightened I-16 with R-1820F-3 engines.
June 1935: In hopes of changing the perception of the I-16 in the minds of service pilots, five of the most
experienced test pilots in the NII VVS were assembled to demonstrate the qualities of the I-16. Kokkinak,
Shevchenko, Soooproon (Sprun), Yevseyev (Evseev) & Preman toured the front line units puting on a
display that demonstrated the I-16's maneuverability. They flew in formation demonstrating the following:
Superb roll rate and unmatched zoom climb capabilities.
Excellent high speed characteristics.
Page 1 of 4, Jeff
Edited by CORSNING, 23 April 2017 - 08:34 PM.