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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.2

The I-153 was nicknamed the Chaika ("gull").2

Undercarriage

The undercarriage could use retractable wheels or skis.2

Engines

The early production models were powered by the M-25V but these were soon replaced in the production lines with the M-62.2

Prototype

The I-153 first flew in mid 1938.2

Production

Deliveries of the I-153 began May 1939.2 Production stopped in 1940.2

  • Total: 3,4372

Variants

  • I-153:
  • I-153P: Had two 20 mm cannons.2
  • I-153TGK: Pressurized cabin.2
  • I-153V: Pressurized cabin.2
  • I-153DM -or- I-153/DM-4: Had a ramjet and reached 274 mph / 440 kph in test flights in October 1940.1

Usage

China, Finland, and the Soviet Union used the I-153.2

Manchurian Border Clashes

The I-153s were used for the first time against the Japanese during the 1939 Nomonhan Incident along the Manchurian border.2

Russian Aces

Alexander Klubov and Grigory Rechkalov flew I-153s before switching to MiG-3s.1

Chinese Use

The Chinese received 93 I-153s in 1940 and these were used against the Japanese.2

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.2

Specifications

  Polikarpov I-1531
Type Fighter bomber2
Crew 12
Engine (Type) Shvetsov M-25V (Wright R-1820 Cyclone)2
OR Shvetsov M-62R
Cylinders 25V: Radial 92
62R: Radial 92
Cooling  
HP 25V: 7752
62R: 1,0002
Propeller blades 22
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 32' 9.75"2
10 m2
Length 20' 3"2
6.17 m2
Height 9' 2.25"2
2.8 m2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 3,200 lb2
1,452 kg2
Loaded 4,652 lb2
2,110 kg2
Performance  
Speed at sea level 227 mph2
365 kph2
Speed @ 15,090' /
4,600 m
280 mph2
450 kph2
Cruising speed  
Climb to 9,840' /
3,000 m
3 minutes2
Service ceiling 35,105'2
10,700 m2
Range 292 miles2
470 km2
Armament  
Nose 4: 7.62 mm MG2
OR 4: 12.7 mm MG2
Bombs 441 lb2
200 kg2
OR  
Rockets 6: 82 mm2
6: RS-821

Sources:

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