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The Polikarpov I-16 is a Soviet, single-engine low-wing fighter in a mixed design with a classic tail. The prototype's flight took place in 1933. The I-16 turned out to be one of the most modern fighters of that period. It had retractable wheels, modern wing geometry and the ability to change the "turn" of the propeller. At the same time, however, due to its short hull, it was very difficult to pilot and required a lot of attention from the pilot. I-16 had its baptism of fire during the Spanish Civil War, where about 500 units were delivered to the republican troops. The plane surprised the Frankists with its incredible maneuverability, firepower and speed of climb. In 1939, the I-16s was sent to China, which was fighting against Japan, and there it surprised its opponents again. Initially, the M-22 engine was used as a power unit, but on subsequent versions it was replaced with other power units, min. M-25 or M-63. The I-16 remained in the line on the Eastern Front until 1942, serving as not only a fighter, but also an attack aircraft. Technical data (version I-16 Type 24): length: 6.13m, wingspan: 9m, height: 3.25m, maximum speed: 525km / h, rate of climb: 14.7m / s, practical ceiling: 9700m, range maximum: 700km, armament: fixed - two 7.62mm SzKAS machine guns and two 20mm ShWAK cannons, suspended - up to 500 kg of bombs.
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