Aviation of World War II

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I-15 VVS Franko

I-15 one of the best in world practice of aircraft construction of samples of a fighter - biplane - has been developed in 1933 in Polikarpov design bureau. Under the scheme and design I-15 represented the further development of fighter I-5, but had more perfect aerodynamics and much more high-power motor of air cooling M-25 (license reproduction American Right "Cyclone" F-3). Prominent feature I-15 consist in the peculiar form of the upper wing having the scheme "seagull" that promoted aerodynamic-drag reduction and gave the best forward view upwards.

Flight tests I-15 have begun in December, 1933. The fighter on all performances has surpassed I-5. In 1934 I-15 has been mass-produced. Steady, manageable, with high flight performances, an exclusive manoeuvrability and excellent take-off and landing characteristics, this fighter used the deserved love of pilots.

1933-1939 Fighters
I-15 I-15 bis I-153 Chaika
Crew 1 1 1
Year of issue 1934 1937 1939
Length, m 6.1 6.27 6.17
Wing span, m 9.75 10.2 10.0
Wing area, m² 23.55 22.5 22.14
Weight, kg:
Loaded weight 1390 1700 1765
Engine М-25 М-25V М-62
Power, hp 640 775 1000
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 315 327 364
at altitude 367 379 424
m 3000 3500 5000
Time to 5000 m, min 6.2 6.6 5.7
Time of turn, sec 9.0 10.5 13-13.5
Service ceiling, m 9800 9300 10700
Service range, km 550 520 560
Machine guns 2 4 4

I-15 began one of the first domestic warplanes on whom the Soviet pilots - volunteers have entered struggle against fascists. It has taken place in the autumn of 1938 in Spain, and one year later in China, our pilots on this fighter have met in fight the Japanese aggressors. Air war in the sky of Spain has shown full superiority I-15 over the main and best fighters of Germany - Heinkel He - 51-A-1 and Italian Fiat CR.32. On flight performances I-15 surpassed Japanese fighter - biplane Ki.10.

Due to high fighting qualities I-15 has got reputation of the strongest manoeuvrable fighter. It is paradoxical, the recognition to I-15 has come already after ending of it production. In total were built 384 airplanes I-15 (1934-1936).

Photo Description
Drawing I-15

Drawing I-15



I-15 Fighter in the Spain

I-15 Fighter in the Spain.


  • "History of aircraft in the USSR before 1938" /Shavrov V.B./
  • "Planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • "The Soviet planes" /Alexander Yakovlev/