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Soviet Polikarpov I-153 fighter

Design

The Polikarpov I-153 was based on the I-15 series and designed by Nikolai Polikarpov.

The I-153 was nicknamed the Chaika ("gull").

Undercarriage

The undercarriage could use retractable wheels or skis.

Engines

The early production models were powered by the M-25V but these were soon replaced in the production lines with the M-62.

Prototype

The I-153 first flew in mid 1938.

Production

Deliveries of the I-153 began May 1939. Production stopped in 1940.

  • Total: 3,437

Variants

  • I-153:
  • I-153P: Had two 20 mm cannons.
  • I-153TGK: Pressurized cabin.
  • I-153V: Pressurized cabin.
  • I-153DM -or- I-153/DM-4: Had a ramjet and reached 274 mph / 440 kph in test flights in October 1940.

Usage

China, Finland, and the Soviet Union used the I-153.

Manchurian Border Clashes

The I-153s were used for the first time against the Japanese during the 1939 Nomonhan Incident along the Manchurian border.

Russian Aces

Alexander Klubov and Grigory Rechkalov flew I-153s before switching to MiG-3s.

Chinese Use

The Chinese received 93 I-153s in 1940 and these were used against the Japanese.

Finland's Use

Finland was able to capture 11 of the I-153s and purchased 11 from I-153s that were captured by the Germans.

Specifications

  Polikarpov I-153
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Shvetsov M-25V (Wright R-1820 Cyclone)
OR Shvetsov M-62R
Cylinders 25V: Radial 9
62R: Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 25V: 775
62R: 1,000
Propeller blades 2
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 32' 9.75"
10 m
Length 20' 3"
6.17 m
Height 9' 2.25"
2.8 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 3,200 lb
1,452 kg
Loaded 4,652 lb
2,110 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 227 mph
365 kph
Speed @ 15,090' /
4,600 m
280 mph
450 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb to 9,840' /
3,000 m
3 minutes
Service ceiling 35,105'
10,700 m
Range 292 miles
470 km
Armament  
Nose 4: 7.62 mm MG
OR 4: 12.7 mm MG
Bombs 441 lb
200 kg
OR  
Rockets 6: 82 mm
6: RS-82

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site