No. 5471. Polikarpov I-15bis (FLARF-02089)
Photographed at Duxford, UK, October 23, 2004, by Philo Lund

Polikarpov I-15bis

03/31/2013. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Criticism of the "gulled" upper wing centre section of the I-15, which restricted the pilot's view for take-off and landing, led indirectly to major redesign of the fighter as the I-15bis (also referred to as I-152). The structure was restressed and extensively revised, a new Clark YH aerofoil was adopted, the span and area of the upper wing were increased, the wing center section was carried above the fuselage by a cabane of splayed N-struts, and the 775 hp M-25V engine was enclosed by a long-chord cowling. Fuel capacity was increased, but armament remained four 0.30 in (7.62 mm) guns.

The I-15bis was first flown early in 1937, production deliveries commencing mid-year. One of the first recipients of the I-15bis was the Chinese Central Government, which was assigned 186 aircraft from late 1937 through early 1938 (an additional 86 being supplied later), and 31 reached the Republicans in Spain in January 1939, being dubbed Chato (flat-nosed) by the Nationalists. A further 62 being held at the French frontier, of which 20 were subsequently released to the new Nationalist government.

One example was fitted with two TK-3 turbo-superchargers as the I-152TK, one was equipped with a pressure cabin as the I-152GK (Germeticheskaya Kabina, hermetic cabin), and another was tested with DM-2 ramjets as the I-152DM. Production of the I-15bis was phased out early in 1939, having totaled 2,408 examples, 60 eskadrilii (squadrons) being equipped with this type during 1939.

The pictured aircraft is reportedly a replica."

Created July 15, 2006