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POLIKARPOV I-16 PERFORMANCE / TIMELINE


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#11 CORSNING

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 01:12 PM

                                                               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

     began.

 

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

          with cables.

    Wing Area: 156.1 sq. ft. [14.5 sq. m.]

     Armament: 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS/900 rpg. in wings.

     Maximum Speed [Skis]: 223 [190] mph. (359 [306] km/h)@S.L.,   201 [175] mph. (323 [282] 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.).

 

                                                                                I-16

 

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.


#12 CORSNING

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 04:07 PM

                                                                           I-16 Type 5

 

March 1935: I-16 No.123954 becomes the prototype for the Type 5.

     *Licenced built Wright Cyclone M-25: 700 hp.

     *New cowling tapered towards the trailing edge, better cooling of the engine.

     *Eight individual exhaust stack cutouts replaced the collector ring.

     *Forward visibility was improved.

     *Headrest armor was increased to 9mm.

     *Landing gear tires were increased from 750 x 100mm to 750 x 150mm giving better ground handling.

     *A starter and oxgen system were installed.

 

January 1936: Type 5 production begins at Plant 39 in Moscow.

     *Engine: Wright Cyclone M-25A: 725 hp.

     *Combat Weight: 3,373 lbs. (Palowskii).,   3,333 lbs. (Gordon & Dexter).

     *Maximum Speed: 242 mph./S.L.,   276.5 mph./9,840 ft.

     *Climb: 2,350 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./7.8 minutes.

     *Service Ceiling: 27,250 ft.

     *Armament: 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS/600 rpg.

     *Wing Loading: 21.3-21.55 lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 4.597-4.652 lbs./hp.

     *Turn Time Left/Right: 14/15 seconds.

 

Note: When the I-16 Type 5 entered service U.S.'s best front line fighter was the P-26C. The Type 5 could

    out climb, out maneuver and out run the P-26C by as much as 42 mph.

 

October 1936: 2 squadrons consisting of 31 aircraft are delivered to the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War.

 

9 November 1936: 1st combat.

 

15 November 1936: Combat notes:

     *No radios.

     *Poorly designed engine mounts caused heavy vibration at high speeds throwing off gunnery aim.

     *Soviet made Perspex canopys in were of mixed quality. Some opaque & optically distorted.

     *Squadrons fixed canopys in open position or removed.

     *Torsionl stiffness of the wings outer section was insufficient causing warping.

 

Vs. Fiat Cr 32 & Heinkel He 51: The byplanes were more maneuverable. The I-16 Type 5 was superior in level speed,

      climb and dive. The Type 5 could attack and break off combat at will.

 

New Wing: The number of stringers in the outer wing section were doubled and the leading edge sheet of duralumin

       was increased in depth. This much improved high speed stiffness and eliminated the wing warping problems.

       Several of these Type 5s went to Spain.

 

Wind Screen: Some of the later Type 5s had an all-glass windscreen replacing the sliding canopy.

 

December 1937: Two groups were working up to operational status in Nanking and Hangkow in the Far East.

 

Note: Later production Type 5s were highly prized for their handling, and were widely regarded as the most

      maneuverable & well behaved of all the versions of the I-16 fighters.

     

                                                                   I-16 Type 6 Spanish Models.

 

Late 1936 Plant 21: About 30 Type 5 aircraft were modified especially for Spain with an additional 7.62mm

     ShKAS in the lower engine cowling. It also had a single fixed piece windscreen and an improved M-25A

     engine capable of 650 hp. continuous and 730 hp. for short periods. 

     Combat Weight: 3,660 lbs.

     Maximum Speed: 243 mph.(390km./h)/SL.   274 mph.(440km./h)/9,842.5 ft.(3,000 m.)

     Climb: 16,404 ft.(5,000 m.)/6.3 minutes.

     Service Ceiling: 29,855 ft. (9,100 m.)

     Armament: 3 x 7.62 mm. ShKAS  machine guns/900 rpg. + 200 kg. bombs. or up to 6 RS-82 rockets.

     Wing Area: 156.1 sq. ft. (14.5 sq. m.)

     Wing Loading: 23.45 lbs./sq. ft.

     Power Loading: 5.014 lbs./hp.

     Turn Time: 15.5 seconds.

 

21 May 1937: I-16 Type 6 first deliveries to the Spanish Republican airforce.

 

                                                                               I-16 Type 10

 

March 1938: The Type 10 joins the Tyoe 5 on the production lines at Plant 21.

     *M-25V: 750 hp. with new engine mounts greatly reducing high speed vibration.

     *Cockpit instrumentation and outfit were improved.

     *There was provisions for a three-channel RSJ-1 radio.

     *Sliding canopy replaced with an all-glass windscreen.

     *A PAK-1 reflector mechanism replaced the Aldus type OP-1 telescopic sight.

     *Wings were modified with the installation of shorter ailerons.

     *A set of landing flaps were installed underneath the inner wing section span & fuselage bottom

      reducing landing speed.

     *The fuel tank was decreased slightly to accomodate the two cowl guns.

     *Armament: 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS/650 rpg. in the wings + 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS/450 rpg. in the upper cowl.

     *Combat Weight: 3,805 lbs.

     *Maximum Speed: 247 mph./S.L.,   278 mph./16,400 ft.

     *Climb: 2,100 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./8.2 minutes.

     *Service Ceiling: 27,000 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 24.31+lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 5.073+lbs./hp.

     *Turn Time: Left/Right: 16/18 seconds.

 

18 March 1938: The Type 10 reaches the Republican forces and is dubbed Super-Mosca.

 

September 1938: 24 Wright Cyclone R-1820F-24 engines smuggled out of the USA had been fitted to I-16 Type 10

      'Super-Moscas'. These could match the Bf 109's high altitude (over 20,000 ft.) performance.

 

Vs. Fiat G.50: Their turning circles were equal. The Fiat possessed slightly greater power & speed. The I-16 was more

       rugged, more heavily armed and far more responsive in handling.

 

Vs. Me 109B & C: Much the same as the Fiat G.50. The I-16 Type 10 was about equal.

 

September 1938: The Type 10 joins the Type 5s in the Far East.

 

Vs. Nakajima Type 97, Ki 27: The Ki 27 was even more maneuverable & faster at some altitudes. Unlike the I-16

      it was stable & could be flown by less experienced pilots. The I-16 had a stronger structure, was more heavily

      armed, a little faster at most altitudes & could outclimb the Ki 27.

 

Page 2 of 4, Jeff


Edited by CORSNING, 23 April 2017 - 07:56 PM.


#13 CORSNING

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 09:57 PM

                                                                      I-16 Type 12

 

January 1937: 23 Type 5s had there wing guns replaced by 2 x 20mm ShVAK cannons.

     *Combat Weight: 3,738 lbs.

     *Maximum Speed: 244 mph./S.L.,   268 mph./8,000 ft.

     *Climb: 2,045 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./8.3 minutes

     *Service Ceiling: 27,400 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 23.88+lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 5.156-lbs./hp.

 

January 1938: 12 more Type 12 were manufactured and sent to Spain.

 

                                                              I-16 Type 14 Trainer

 

                                                                     I-16 Type 17

 

October 1938: Production of the Type 17 Based on the Type 10 began at Plant 21 along side Type 5 & 10s.

     *Improved cannon mounting braces were installed in the wings.

     *Exhaust stack were rearranged to exit through 6 openings in the cowling instead of 8, reducing drag. 

     *Turning circle was 10% larger than the Type 10.

     *Engine: M-25V: 750 hp.

     *Armament: 2 x 20mm ShVAK + 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS/650 rpg.

     *Combat Weight: 3,990 lbs.

     *Maximum Speed: 239 mph./S.L.,   264 mph./9,000 ft.

     *Climb: 1,800 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./9.0 minutes.

     *Service Ceiling: 27,000 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 25.53-lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 5.32 lbs./hp.

     *Turn Time (left/right): 17/18 seconds.

 

Manchuria 1939: The 1st operational use of this Type was in the Khalkin-Gol conflict

 

                                                              I-16 Type 18

 

September/October 1938: NII VVS tested the Type 18 at 4,069 lbs.

     *Engine: Shvetsov M-62 / 86 octane fuel: 920 hp./T.O. & Emergency/1st stage supercharger.  800

      hp./13,800 ft./2nd stage.

     *Increase in wing loading caused the turn circle to suffer & landing speed rose to 81 mph.

     *Heavier engine mounts accommodated the increased power.

     *Self-sealing fuel cell material was installed.

     *New intake scoop on the top forward edge of the cowling was added.

     *Larger propeller spinner was used.

     *Maximum Speed: 255 mph./S.L.,   285 mph./10,500 ft.,   288 mph./14,500 ft.

     *Climb: 3,400 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft../5.2 minutes.

     *Service Ceiling: 31,000 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 26 lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 4.423-lbs./hp.

     *Turn Time (left/right): 17/18.5 seconds.

 

January 1939: Type 18 production began at Plant 21 in Gorkii.

    *The 1st batch used VFSh fixed-pitch propeller, later replaced by VISh-6A propeller. The last batch

      used the AV-1 variable pitch propeller.

 

                                                                   I-16 Type 27

 

Summer 1939: Based on the Type 18, Type 27 production began at Plant 21, 59 were built.

     *Armament: 2 x 20mm ShVAK + 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS

     *Combat Weight: 4,305 lbs.

     *Maximum Speed: 251 mph./S.L.,   272 mph./10,500 ft.

     *Climb: 3,000 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./6.9 minutes.

     *Service Ceiling: 29,520 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 27.51-lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 4.677+lbs./hp.

    

                                                              I-16 Type 19 (I-16SN)

 

15-26 March 1939: A few examples of the Type 10 were built with new wing guns capable of firing

      2,800-3,000 rpm compared with 1,800 for the ShKAS. Few more with Ultra ShVAKs in the nose

      for the Winter War 1939-40 with Findland.

 

Page 3 of 4, Jeff


Edited by CORSNING, 23 April 2017 - 08:30 PM.


#14 CORSNING

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 08:24 PM

                                                             I-16 Type 24

 

October 1939: Production began.

     *Engine: Shvetsov M-63: 1,100 hp./T.O. & emergency/1st stage supercharger.,   930 hp./military

      900 hp./ 14,000 ft./2,300 rpm. This engine was designed for 94 octane fuel and had a 7.2:1

      compression ratio.

     *Propeller: ViSH AV-1 driven by a R-2 constant speed regulator. 

     *A PAU-22 gun camera mounts were installed just behind the cockpit on top of the fuselage.

     *A castering tail wheel replaced the skid.

     *Starboard Cockpit & radio doors were added.

     *An internal R I inertia-type starter was installed.

     *Thicker wing leading edge skinning was applied.

     *Handling & maneuverability were identical to the Type 18.

     *The surface finish was improved.

     *Armament: 4 x 7.62mm ShKAS + 6 x RS-82 rockets.

     *Combat Weight: 4,140 lbs.

     *Maximum Speed: 273 mph./S.L.,   303.6 mph./15,750 ft.

     *Climb: 3,250 fpm./S.L.,    16,400 ft./5.2-6.0

     *Service Ceiling: 35,500 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 26.45+lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 3.764-lbs./hp./emergency. 4.452-lbs./hp./military

     *Turn Time (left/right): 17-18/18.5-20 seconds.

 

                                                              I-16 Type 28

 

December 1939: Production began. The Type 28 was a re-engined Type 27.

     *Many Type 28s were manufactured using components from incomplete Type 24s.

     *Engine: Shvetsov M-63.

     *Armament: 2 x 20mm ShVAK + 2 X 7.62mm ShKAS + 6 x RS-82 rockets. 

     *Combat Weight: 4,588 lbs.

     *Maximum Speed: 265 mph./S.L.,  287 mph./6,560 ft.

     *Climb: 2,520 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./7.3 minutes.

     *Service Ceiling: 30,500 ft.

     *Wing Loading: 29.32-lbs./sq.ft. 

     *Power Loading: 4.171-lbs./hp.

    

                                                        I-16 Type 29 (Early)

 

July 1940: Production began.

     *RSI-3 single-channel radio with starboard side aerial mast was installed.

     *Oil cooler intake was moved to port with an improved shape.

     *The wheelbase was widened from 380mm to 421mm and the oleo stroke reduced by 32mm.

     *Two attachment points were added under the wings for 100 liter fuel tanks.,

     *Armament: 1 x 12.7mm UBS + 2 x 7.62mm ShKAS + 6 x RS-82 unguided rockets.

     *Engine: Shvetsov M-63.

     *Maximum Speed: 259 mph./S.L.,   290-292 mph./14,695 ft.,  ( 266 mph./13,600 ft. with rockets).

     *Climb: 3,425 fpm./S.L.,   16,400 ft./5.8 minutes (7.25 minutes with rockets).

     *Service Ceiling: 32,000 ft,

     *Maximum: Range: 434 mls.

     *Wing Loading: 26.9 lbs./sq.ft.

     *Power Loading: 3.827+lbs./hp.

     *Turn Time (left/right): 16-17/19 seconds.

 

                                                         I-16 Type 29 (Late)

 

The oil cooler intake was omitted and ducting was re-routed through the engine bay through cooling

louvers on the cowing face. The only notes on performance that I have read is that it was improved.

 

Note: Russian pilots considered the M-62 and M-63 models of the I-16 not inferior to their Luftwaffe

     rivals (Bf 109E) in vertical capabilities nor rate of climb and exceeded them in horizontal

     maneuverability and turn circle.

 

Page 4 of 4, Jeff


Edited by CORSNING, 09 July 2015 - 06:08 PM.


#15 CORSNING

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:16 PM

References for the Polikarpov I-16 & Timeline are:

 

History of Aircraft Construction in the USSR Vol.1 by Vadim B. Shavrov

Soviet Air Force Fighter Colours 1941-1945 by Erik Pilawskii

Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Vol.1 Single-Engined Fighters

     by Yefim Gordon and Dmitri Kazanov

Duels in the Sky by Captain Eric M.Brown, RN


Edited by CORSNING, 13 January 2018 - 07:41 PM.


#16 CORSNING

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:10 PM

I-16 Rata (Type 10?) by Captain Eric M. Brown

 

     " The version I flew had graduated to a 750 hp M-25V engine. Its appearance reminded me

vividly of the Granville Gee Bee, an American racing plane of the 1930s,... On walking around

it, I realized that none of the control surfaces were balanced and that the tailplane could be

adjusted on the ground. The original sliding canopy had been replaced by a small, fixed wind-

screen. The telescopic gun sight that had pierced the original windscreen had been replaced

by a rudimentary reflector sight.

     " Once I was in the cockpit it became doubly clear why the canopy had been dispensed

with--the view ahead was terrible. The cockpit was narrow and uncomfortable despite the

tubby fuselage. The instruments were basic--there was no fuel gauge or radio-- and chaotically

arranged. Light armor had been installed in the back of the pilot's seat.

     The engine, based on the American Wright Cyclone, used a Hucks-type starter connected

to the propeller boss, but unlike the Cyclone it had a rather unsteady note when running, which

belied the sturdiness and reliability it displayed in service. The Russians have always believed

that military engines are short-lived, and with their cheap labor it is more cost effective to

replace than to repair.

     Takeoff on grass was rough and took longer than expected, possibly owing to the drag of

the tail skid. On a hot day unstick (lift-off) did not occur until 125 mph had been reached.

During takeoff directional control was poor. Once the Rata was airborne, landing gear had

to be wound up manually with eighteen or twenty turns of a handcrank located under the

throttle; the result was a wobbly climb. With the gear up, all buffet smoothed out and the

aircraft climbed nicely at 3,000 ft/min.

     Cruising at 225 mph, the Rata had marginal longitudinal but neutral and directional

stability. The controls were all sensitive, and its featherlight ailerons gave a high rate of roll.

The Rata was agile and had outstanding zoom-climb capability. Top speed was 283 mph

at 10,000 ft, but acceleration was surprisingly poor in the dive, when the nose showed a

tendency to rise and a rigidly mounted engine caused the airplane to shake and rattle

through the whole flight envelope. This made the Rata a poor gun platform.

     The Rata was not easy to land, because once the landing gear was down--and one

never knew if it was --the aircraft became sluggish and buffeted. When the long-span,

split-type ailerons drooped 15 degrees to serve as flaps, the nose jerked up and one had

to react smartly; there was a marked tendency to drop a wing if power was not kept on

and speed was allowed to fall below 110 mph.

     It was difficult to achieve a three-point touchdown, for with rigid shock absorbers fitted

to the landing gear the airplane bounced dangerously nose up. The brakes, the worst I

have ever encountered in an aircraft, were virtually useless.

     The original armament of two 7.62 mm wing Shpitalny-Komaritsky machine guns,

each with 900 round, was increased by the addition of two similar guns, each with 650

round, mounted on the forward fuselage decking and synchronized to fire through the

airscrew disc. These were highly accurate weapons with a rate of fire amounting to

1,800 rounds per minute. They had a tendency to jam but could be cleared by using the

gun-charging handles in the cockpit.

     With 93.4 imperial gals. (112 U.S.) of fuel in a tank located ahead of the pilot, the

range was 500 miles and the duration 1.9 hours.

     Its biggest shortcomings were the engine vibration, which made it a poor gun plat-

form, and its fragility against gunfire of even the lightest-caliber weapons."

 

vs. A5M

     " Although it had fixed landing gear (A5M) and was 10 mph slower in level-flight top

speed, the Claude was more maneuverable and climbed faster than the Rata. The air

superiority that the Claude restored to the Japanese was still a fact in 1939, when they

had six aircraft carriers in service."






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