Technical data
Type I-16 Type 4
Function Fighter
Year 1934
Crew 1
Engines 1*700hp M-25
Length 5.9m
Wingspan 9.0m
Wing area 14.5m2
Loaded weight 1420kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 97.9
Power load (kg/hp) 2.03
Speed at 0m 395km/h
Speed at 4000m 455km/h
Landing Speed 100km/h
Landing Roll 250m
Takeoff Roll 230m
Turn time 15.0sec
Range 820km
Ceiling 9280m
5000m 6.2min
Guns 2*7.62mm PV-1 900rpg

I-16 Type 4 by N.N.Polikarpov

Series version of the TsKB-12bis with Wright-Cyclone SGR 1820-F-3 and later with M-25. Many improvements were introduced:

Flight tested by V.P.Chkalov on February 18, 1934, right after TsKB-12bis.

On May 1, 1935 I-16 Type 4 was presented to the public flying over the Red Square during the International Labour Day Celebration.

Despite being the best performing series fighter of its time, Type 4 meet somewhat cold reception by pilots. Accustomed to open cockpits, they argued against sliding canopy. Wide spread opinion was that it restricts view and head movement or even may trap pilot in case of emergency etc.

High speed of new fighter (compared with all biplanes and the contemporary I-14) was another concern. Indeed, handling of the M-25 powered aircraft required much concentration, and the I-16 with M-22 now appeared easy and fun to fly.

Increased takeoff and Landing Rolls made most of old airfields too short, and large scale construction works became a necessity with introduction of I-16 Type 4.

400 built. Aircraft was used in Zveno experiments, remained an intermediate design predecessing the I-16 Type 5.


TsKB-12 I-16-M-22
(Type 14)
I-16 Type 5

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.494;
  • 'Polikarpov Fighters in action, Part 2' by Hans-Herri Stapfer.
  • See the I-16 Links Page

  • Created March 03, 1998 Back to
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