YouTube – Polikarpov I-16
Shvetsov M-62 radial
4- 7.62 mm
19 ft. 10 in.
29 ft. 2 in.
Polikarpov I-16 aircraft were the most innovative Soviet fighters of the time. Resembling a racer, they featured such innovations as being the first widely used aircraft in the world with retractable landing gear in a wing with no external bracing.
They flew for the first time in 1933. With a maximum speed of over 300 mph, they were among the fastest fighter aircraft of their time. They were also highly maneuverable.
We received the following email from Francisco Jose Cueto Jimenez:
“I have information for you related to Polikarpov I-16.
The Spanish civil war began in April 1936. The Polikarpov I-16 arrived in Spain in October of 1936. Russian pilots fought alongside the Republic against the fascists of General Franco.
After the Spanish Civil War, a few captured Polikarpov I-16 aircraft served in the Spanish Air Force through 1953. They were modified with a number of improvements, the most noticeable of which was a higher dorsal extending from the rear of the canopy to the front of the vertical stabilizer. The original round forward canopy of the I-16 was replaced by four glass panels made from bullet resistant glass. This enabled better distortion free forward vision for pilots.”
Thank you very much for the information, Francisco.
In 1937, Polikarpov I-16 aircraft saw action for China against the Japanese, especially in Manchuria. During the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in 1939 and 1940, the aircraft again saw action.
By the time Germany invaded Russia during World War II, the aircraft were outclassed by Axis fighters. However, they continued in front line service until late in 1943.
A total of 9,640 Polikarpov I-16 aircraft of all types were produced.
RC Polikarpov I-16
Pictured above is the RC Polikarpov I-16 for sale from TDM Models. It is available as a short kit or just plans. Wing span is 31 in. Length is 24 in. Recommended motors are either an AXI 2212/20 or Mega 16/15/6. All up weight is between 20 and 22 oz.
Carl Dombrowsky emailed us – “Your readers may be interested in my experience with the RC Polikarpov I-16 from TDM Models. I highly like the airplane. It is easy to handle, and goes where it is pointed. It handles cross winds with ease. Landings are easy, too. It slows quickly and needs just a touch of throttle for good landings.” Thank you Carl, for your information.
Cleveland Models has plans for the RC Polikarpov I-16 in a number of sizes. Wingspans of the are 11, 15, 22, 29 1/2, 44, 59, and 88 inches.
The RC Polikarpov I-16 ARF for sale from Global Anthem has a wingspan of 30 3/4 in. and a length of 22 in. A fiberglass fuse and foam wings are the construction materials used. You can power it with .15 to .25 two stroke engines or Speed 600 size motors.
There are Modellsport Verlag seimscale plans for the RC Pololarpov I-16. Wingspan is 80 in. and length is 53 in. The recommended engine is 30 ccm. All up weight should be around 20 lbs.
Manzano Laser Works has a RC Polikarpov I-16 short kit. It is designed by Derek Micko. Wingspan is 30 in. and weight is about 10 1/2 oz. Power comes from a Feigao geared motor.
The RC Polikarpov I-16 from Massimo Zuffi plans has a wingspan of 118 in. Recommended power is by a 3W120 engine. Weight is around 45 lbs.