I-16 Type 17 by N.N.Polikarpov

of lightly armed I-16 Type 5, 6 and 10 against ground targets during the Spanish Civil War clearly shown ineffectiveness of 7.62mm guns. More powerful weapon was needed to destroy armored vehicles and protected targets.
At the same time experiments with I-16P and TsKB-12P provided necessary experience in use of high-rate cannons on light fighters. It did not took long time for N.N.Polikarpov to put new attack aircraft into mass production.
Two 20mm ShVAK cannons with 150 rounds each replaced the wing-mounted pair of 7.62mm ShKAS. Ammo for the ShVAK could consist of explosive or armour piercing shells - or mixture of both, depending on mission objectives. Long barrels of new cannons with gas pressure cylinders were a distinctive feature of new I-16 Type 17 attacker.
To accommodate increased weight of the weapons, number of internal changes were introduced. Gross weight of the aircraft compared with original I-16 Type 10 was increased by 84-90kg. This did not affect the horizontal speed that much, but rate of climb turned to be much worser.
Type 17 was never exported. It was used in 1939 clashes with Japanese on Mongolia-Manchuria border. When the Great Patriotic War broke out, I-16 Type 17 (and its cannon-armed successor Type 27) performed well in the ground support role, strifing concentrations of advancing troops and armored vehicles on many battle fronts, until much more effective Il-2 became available in quantity. Then I-16 attackers were reassigned to minor theaters of operation such as the Baltic and the Black Sea district.

I-16 Type 10
I-16 Type 27

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p.496;
  • 'Polikarpov Fighters in action, Part 2' by Hans-Herri Stapfer.
  • See the I-16 Links Page
  • Technical data
    Type I-16 Type 17
    Function Attack
    Year 1938
    Crew 1
    Engines 1*750/775hp M-25V
    Length 6.07m
    Wingspan 9.0m
    Wing area 14.5m2
    Loaded weight 1810kg
    Wing load 124.8kg/m2
    Power load 2.42kg/hp
    Maximum Speed (ground) 385km/h
    Maximum Speed at 5000m 425km/h
    Turn time 18.0sec
    Takeoff roll 280m
    Landing Roll 400m
    5000m 8.9min
    Guns 2*cannon (wing) 20mm ShVAK 150rpg
    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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