I-3, N.N.Polikarpov

20k views of 1/72 Encore model of the I-3, by A.Savine

ntroduction of the I-3 was preceded by heated debates about general fighter concept. Should fighter aircraft be built with accent on speed or maneuverability? Or there should be a compromise? Fast fighters could be fitted by heavier but more powerful V-engines with water cooling. For maneuverable fighters lighter (and generally less powerful) radial air cooled engines made better fit. None concept prevailed, and decision was made to built both types of fighters...
I-3 mock-up was approved on May 17, 1927. Year later first aircraft was ready, followed by the second during Summer 1928. I-3 was build under heavy impression of the DI-1 crash. As a result it was obviously overweight and somewhat crude, but structural strength was above any doubt. Monocoque fuselage had wall thickness 3-5mm. Nose section - aluminum plates. Wing had wooden frame, ailerons frame - aluminum, both covered with fabric.
Another (28k) of 1/72 Encore model of the I-3, by A.Savine
Tailplane position could be adjusted in flight. Aircraft could be used on standard skis from the R-1. Some were built with special high speed propeller, allowing to gain extra 5km/h on the ground level.
The N.N.Polikarpov I-3 became the standard Soviet Air Force fighter aircraft during the late 20's and into early 30's, with some four hundred being produced. The I-3 was powered by an imported (copied?) BMW liquid cooled engine and armed with two synchronized 7.62mm machine guns.
Pilots reported it to be a good fighter with fair maneuverability, but a long Takeoff Roll.
16k b/w drawing from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p.384
Technical data
Type I-3
Function Fighter
Year 1928
Crew 1
Engines 1*500/730hp M-17
Length 8.08m
Wingspan 11.0m
Wing area 27.85m2
Empty weight 1400kg
Loaded weight 1846kg
Wing load 67.4kg/m2
Power load 2.5kg/hp
Speed at 0m 278km/h
Speed at 5000m 252km/h
Landing Speed 100km/h
Landing Roll 250m
Takeoff Roll 150m
Turn time 14sec
Range 585km
Fuel consumption 142l/hour
Flight Endurance 2h00min
Ceiling 7200m
1000m 1.8min
2000m 3.7min
3000m 6.0min
5000m 12.6min
Guns 2*7.62mm PV-1
or "Vickers" (rare)
Modified July 27, 1998
by Alexandre Savine;
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