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Polikarpov I-153

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Polikarpov I-153

The Russian Polikarpov I-153 biplane (known as the Chiaka or seagull) was first produced in early 1939 and continued until the end of 1940. Initially the I-153 was very successful, especially against Japanese fighters such as the Nakajima Ki-27 but when the Germans invaded large numbers were lost.

The 1000 hp radial engine gives an impressive top speed (for a biplane) of 250 kph. The retractable landing gear requires the pilot to furiously crank after take-off and before landing. Construction is of wood covered with both metal and fabric.

The two I-153s flown at this show are the only airworthy examples left in the world.

Polikarpov Movie

Try this movie above to watch the Polikarpov I-153s flying their display. Listen for the distinctive note of the radial engines - often described as a "Harley on Steroids!".

I-153 Movie



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