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Polikarpov I-16

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Polikarpov I-16

The Polikarpov fighters were one of the features of this years show. These stumpy little machines were great to watch in the sky and even more fun to watch landing! Landing them seemed to be the only thing that created a bit of a challenge for some of the pilots!

The Russian Polikarpov I-16 First saw combat In 1935-1939 Spanish Civil War, the 1937 Sino-Japanese war, the 1938 Mongolian Incident, the 1939-1940 Russo-Finnish war and the beginning of the German Invasion In World War 2. The Russians used this aircraft for early experiments in mid-air re-fuelling and air to air missiles.

More Pictures

Polikarpov I-16  

A Polikarpov I-16 parked before being flown in the display. The aircraft were painted in several different color shemes, but I think this one was the best.

The parking area was close to the runway and while it was fenced off the aircraft were within touching distance and the pilots within listening distance.

Polikarpov I-153  

A Polikarpov I-153 bi-plane in the parking area photographed before the show. This aircraft wasn't flown because it suffered some damage during landing before the actual show.

The I-153 was first produced in 1939 and was flown in Spain, the Far East and Mongolia as well as in World War 2. These were the fastest bi-planes to be used in the war, and this plus their maneuvorability made them an effective fighter. They are capable of 440 kph (280 mph).

Polikarpov Formation  

Some Polikarpovs flying in formation. Use the controller below to listen to the distinctive sound of their radial engines (this requires Quicktime).

Polikarpov Close-up  

A Polikarpov makes a low level flight down the runway past the crowd.

The Polikarpov I-16 was known by many names but the best was possibly "Ishak", or "little donkey", because of the way it accepted the burden of defending Russia during the early period of the German invasion in World War II before newer fighters could be developed and produced.


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