I-16 Type 10 by N.N.Polikarpov

24k b/w from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p.493
47k replica at Moscow Victory Park, by Paul Nann

Experience of combat acquired in Spain and China with I-16 Type 5 and Type 6 made clear that pair of 7.62mm is inadequate for modern air combat.
Conversion to more powerful aircraft was an obvious necessity, and on December 25, 1937 K.E.Voroshilov urged (by letter) the Director of GAZ-21 Y.M.Miroshnikov to switch production to new type as soon as possible. Miroshnikov replied that the conversion is planned within a year. Voroshilov send a deadline... for two days! This was not a right time to disobey orders of this kind, and on the New Year Eve of 1938 static firing of guns on the new aircraft was performed, and on January 11 it was flown by S.Suprun. By March of 1938 first batch of 31 I-16 Type 10 were shipped to Spain.
The most built I-16 Type 10 had doubled firepower. Two more synchronized "ShKAS" machineguns were installed on the upper nose. Two muzzles and fairings on upper nose are well visible, becoming distinctive feature of all following combat I-16. Aircraft structure was strengthened following heavier engine and increased armament load.
Early Type 10 had same M-25A engine as the Type 6. Soon improved M-25V became available, adding some power (140hp extra on takeoff), some weight (24kg) and distinctive T-shaped air intake on the 'chin' of engine cowling. Exhaust stacks became larger and more rounded.
12k in Spanish colors;
12k Type 10 ruined, June 1941.

Twelve of Spanish I-16 Type 10 were field-equipped with smuggled USA-built Wright-Cyclone SGR-1820-F-54 engines, allowing to operate up to 8000m. Those aircraft had special heating system (using engine exhaust), heating gun boxes at high altitude to prevent freezing.
Most of ~200 I-16s supplied to China (since 1937) were Type 10. They were fighting until August 1941, when Chinese airforce ceased to exist, being outnumbered and outgunned by better trained Japanese aggressors. German invasion did not allow the USSR to proceed with supply of more advanced fighters to other countries.
Armour was increased by adding 8mm plate behind pilot's headrest. It was sufficient to stop 12.7mm shells. For winter service I-16 Type 10 was equipped with retractable skis, which did not harm fighter performance. For winter operation retractable skis were provided, which did not harm aircraft performance.
Type 10 were still in service as late as in 1944, relocated to liaison duties. Some had field-installed camera on the starboard wingtip, and served as a high-speed reconnaissaters (same was done also with number of following Type 18, 24, 28).
Technical data
Type I-16 Type 10
Function Fighter
Year 1938
Crew 1
Engines 1*750/775hp M-25V
Length 6.07m
Wingspan 9.0m
Wing area 14.5m2
Loaded weight 1715kg
Wing load 118.3kg/m2
Power load 2.29kg/hp
Maximum Speed (ground) 389km/h
Maximum Speed at 3000m 440km/h
Landing Speed 115km/h
Turn time 16.5sec
Takeoff roll 260m
Landing Roll 280m
Range 800km
Ceiling 8270m
5000m 6.9min
Guns 2*mg (wing) 7.62mm ShKAS 900rpg
2*mg (nose) 7.62mm ShKAS 650rpg
Bombs 200kg
Rockets 4 or 6 RS-82
Created March 09, 1998
by Alexandre Savine
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