Series version of the TsKB-12bis with
Wright-Cyclone SGR 1820-F-3 and later with
M-25. Many improvements were introduced:
Flight tested by V.P.Chkalov on February 18, 1934, right after
On May 1, 1935 I-16 Type 4 was presented to the public flying over the Red
Square during the International Labour Day Celebration.
Despite being the best performing series fighter of its time, Type 4 meet somewhat cold reception by pilots. Accustomed to
open cockpits, they argued against sliding canopy. Wide spread opinion was that it restricts view and head movement or even may
trap pilot in case of emergency etc.
High speed of new fighter (compared with all biplanes and the contemporary
I-14) was another concern. Indeed, handling of the
M-25 powered aircraft required much concentration, and
the I-16 with M-22 now appeared easy and fun to fly.
Increased takeoff and Landing Rolls made most of old airfields too short, and large scale construction works
became a necessity with introduction of I-16 Type 4.
400 built. Aircraft was used in Zveno experiments, remained an
intermediate design predecessing the I-16 Type 5.
- larger tapered engine cowling;
- additional air intakes on the top of the cowling;
- improved, more reliable landing gear retraction mechanism;
- wheel cover, so both wheels and struts were completely covered in flight;
- re-designed pilot tube;
- 8mm armour plate behind the pilot's seat (first case in Soviet aircraft industry);