Polikarpov I-15

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The Polikarpov I-15 

The Polikarpov I-15 (Russian: И-15), is a Soviet biplane fighter of the 1930s Nicknamed Chaika), due to its upper wing mouette2,3, it was widely used by the army of the Soviet air. With the monoplane fighter Polikarpov I-16, it was one of the standard fighter of the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, during which he was nicknamed Chato4 by the Republican air force, or Curtiss (because of its resemblance to the Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk) by the Nationalists.

Design and development : 

The design of the 14th fighter VVS, the I-14, began by making a monoplane advanced for its time, under the direction of Andrei Tupolev. This project matures knowing that the design does not have expired, and VVS ordered two biplanes "rescue", the I-14A and B. Nikolai Polikarpov had just been released from prison in August 1932, and the project I-14A was entrusted. When the I-14 and I-14A were ready for production, the model Polikarpov, an evolution of the I-5 fighter, became famous I-15.

The first flight took place in October 1933 with V.P. Chkalov to the controls, with an engine Wright R-1820 Cyclone import. The I-15, also known by its development name, TsKB-3, was a biplane fighter upper wing-shaped gull. The wings were made of wood, the body was composed of an alloy of steel and duralumin, and the rear fuselage was tissu3.

Production began in 1934, originally powered with an M-22, a star in Bristol Jupiter engine version built under license. Although less powerful than Cyclone aircraft with the M-22 remained above the I-5 they replaced, showing excellent maneuverability. From 1936 he was equipped with an M-25 engine (licensed production of the Cyclone) 515 kW (700 hp). A total of 671 I-15 were built in the Soviet Union 284, and 287 others under license by CASA in Spain.

The upper wing-like gullwing I-15 remained unpopular among some drivers because it reduced visibility. Therefore, the Polikarpov design bureau produced a modified version, always driven by the M-25, but with a straight upper wing and longer. This version, called I-15bis, was put into production in 19377, for a total of 2408 I-15bis delivered in total, in 1940

History and Operation : 

The I-15 was widely used in combat by the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War and proved as one of the best fighter biplanes of his time. The I-15bis also had its moment of glory in Manchuria and in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, during numerous border clashes between Russians and Japanese. In 1937, the I-15 of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force (en) fought the Japanese invaders, and showed their limits in response to recent and rapid Japanese fighter monoplanes. More than 1 000 I-15bis fighters were still in service during the German invasion, and were employed in ground attack missions. Towards the late 1942, all of I-15 and I-15bis were relegated to secondary roles.

Specifications : 

General Designation :
Crew: 1
Length: 6.10 m (20 ft)
Wingspan: 9.75 m (32 ft)
Height: 2.20 m (7 ft 3 in)
Wing area: 21.9 m² (236 ft²)
Empty Weight: 1012 kg (2231 lb)
Loaded weight: 1415 kg (3120 lb)
Engine: Engine 1 star M-22 353 kW (473 hp)

Maximum speed: 350 km / h (220 mph)
Rnge: 500 km (310 mi)
Ceiling 7250 m (23,800 ft)
Rate of climb: 7.6 m / s (1490 ft / min)
Wing loading: 65 kg / m² (13 lb / ft²)
Power to weight ratio 0.25 kW / kg (0.15 hp / lb)

PV-1 4 × 7.62mm machine guns fixed forward firing or
2 × machine guns Berezin BS 12.7 mm pulling forward
Up to 100 kg (220 lb) bombs or
6 × RS-82 rocket (en)

Operators :
Republic of China 
Nazi Germany
Mongolia Mongolia
Soviet Union

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