I-16P, N.N.Polikarpov

he first attempt to install rapid-fire 20mm cannon on the Soviet fighter. 'P' stays for 'Pushechnyj', the cannon armed one.
It was a version of the I-16 Type 5 with imported 1*710hp Wright-Cyclone F-3 engine. Two ShVAK 20mm synchronized cannons (150 rounds/cannon) were installed in wings close to the fuselage. Also carried six Der-31 bomb containers under the wings.
According to V.B.Shavrov, pair of synchronized ShKAS machineguns were installed on the I-16P on the top of fuselage and fired through the propeller. Photo of cannon-armed I-16P at 'Polikarpov Fighters in action, Part 2' clearly shows the ShKAS on the same place as on 'normal' Type 5. So comes a puzzle.
Two built, on with fixed and another with retractable landing gear. Flying characteristics where about the same as series production I-16 I-16 Type 5. Despite results of flight tests and firing trials were successful, it took two more years to put cannon armed fighter into series production as I-16 Type 17.

I-16 Type 5

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p495;
  • 'Polikarpov Fighters in action, Part 2' by Hans-Herri Stapfer, p15
  • See the I-16 Links Page
  • Technical data
    Type I-16P
    Function Fighter
    Year 1936
    Crew 1
    Engines 1*712hp Wright-Cyclone F-3
    Length 6.07m
    Wingspan 9.0m
    Wing area 14.5m2
    Loaded weight 1640kg
    Wing load 113.1kg/m2
    Power load 2.30kg/hp
    Speed at 0m 390km/h
    Speed at 3000m 444km/h
    Flight Endurance 2h
    Ceiling 8250m
    5000m 7.4min
    Guns 2*mg 7.62mm ShKAS
    2*cannon 20mm ShVAK 150rounds/gun
    Bombs 6 bomb racks DER-31
    Created August 8, 1996
    Modified March 4, 1998
    by Alexandre Savine
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