Aviation of World War II

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Polikarpov I-190

The I-190 is the last one and half-plane fighter, repeating the I-153 "Chaika", but with the M-88 engine and with a number of design improvements. The aircraft was intended for air combat with high maneuverability in group combat in combination with high-speed fighters. According to the theory then in force, high-speed fighters - monoplanes were supposed to overtake the enemy and tie them up in battle. Fighters arrived in time - biplanes in a maneuverable battle were called upon to destroy the enemy.

It was supposed to use the I-190 as an attack aircraft, and when using external tanks - as an escort fighter.

The design repeats that of the I-153, with reinforcements in the nodes. The fuselage is a truss made of chromansile pipes, with a duralumin shaping frame. Sheathing to the cockpit of duralumin sheets, then to the tail of the canvas.

M-88 engine, 14-cylinder two-row star with a diameter of 1296 mm. Engine hood with adjustable rear slot - “skirt”, exhaust gas collector consists of two halves, exhaust pipes one from each side. An oil cooler is installed on the right side of the fuselage behind the engine hood, there is also an outlet for cooling air.

The biplane wing box is connected by I-shaped struts and braced by four double carriers and two double supporting braces. The upper and lower wings are equipped with ailerons. Profile of both wings Clark-YH 10%. The wings are two-spar, solid wood, sheathed with plywood 1.5 mm thick. From above, the entire surface of the wings was glued with canvas (marquisette) on enamel, after which it was covered with several layers of dope and polished.

Although the tail unit was cantilever, it was possible to install braces between the keel and the stabilizer - there were appropriate nodes for this.

The main chassis, equipped with 700 x 150 mm wheels, almost completely corresponded to the I-153 chassis. The tail spike is retractable, with a molded rubber wheel 150 x 90 mm.

Small arms consist of four ShKAS 7.62 mm synchronous machine guns. Later, the installation of two 12.7 mm BS synchronous machine guns was envisaged.

The maximum bomb load of the I-190 is 200 kg. For hanging bombs under the lower wing of the I-153 type, built-in bomb racks were installed.

For a number of reasons, work on the I-190 began only in the spring of 1939. In the fall of 1939, about a dozen design teams were expecting the M-88, but they never did. M-88 was naughty, drove shavings, lacked power, refused at the wrong time. Under such conditions, on November 23, 1939, the I-190 mounted on skis was rolled out to the Central Moscow airfield. The plane was delivered to the flight station of plant No. 1, where it was painted, polished, if possible, all surfaces, and subjected to careful weighing. The takeoff weight was 2290 kg, 184 kg more than the calculated one. In the first days of December, the engine was started to run. On December 15, 1939, the oldest test pilot of Khodynka, Alexander Zhukov, began to taxi on a new plane and even managed to make two small flights that day. The first flight of Zhukov took place on December 30, 1939, the pilot did not notice anything unusual in the behavior of the aircraft. All subsequent rises into the air were quite episodic and were accompanied by numerous design improvements and fuss with the engine. On February 8, 1940, the pilot Ulyakhin joined the tests of the I-190, a little later Davydov. On April 1, 1940, Davydov's right landing gear did not completely go out in the air; the plane received minor damage during landing.

Two weeks later, the I-190 was repaired and flights continued, which, being counted as factory tests, continued until June 6, 1940 (another accident was noted - part of the upper wing skin was torn off in flight). During the testing period, three types of propellers AV-2L-1 with a diameter of 2.75 m, AV-2L-2 with a diameter of 2.65 m, AV-2L-3 with a diameter of 2.65 were tested. was 375 km / h, and at an altitude of 5000 meters 410 km / h. The data obtained were assessed as unsatisfactory, but they hoped to obtain the desired characteristics with the new M-88R geared engine. The power plant of this engine, along with a new, elongated and redesigned hood, was largely borrowed from the I-180 fighter. In this form, the I-190 performed a number of flights until the onset of a new one, in 1941. The expected maximum speed of 500 km / h was never reached, work on fine-tuning the machine was done occasionally. The latter was connected not only with the general fading of interest in biplane fighters, but also with the situation developing around Nikolai Polikarpov. Several accidents and disasters (this was especially true of the I-180 fighter) significantly undermined the interest in its activities on the part of the governing bodies.

I-190 fighter crash The maximum that was achieved on the I-190 until February 1941 was a speed of 488 km / h at a five-kilometer altitude. On February 13, 1941, during a planned flight, the M-88R engine failed. Pilot Ulyakhin planned for the Tushino airfield, but that winter there was very deep snow and the machine, put on wheels, slipped when landing. Ulyakhin was not injured, the plane received significant damage. They did not attach much importance to the event and soon forgot about it. The emergency I-190 was not restored.

A second copy of the aircraft was under construction, which was supposed to be equipped with a soft hermetic cabin, and a turbocharger was installed on the M-88 engine, but after the accident on February 13, work on the construction of the I-190 was stopped.

The I-190 was the last one and half-plane fighter, brought to its possible perfection, but already hopelessly outdated and unable to compete with the monoplane fighter.

1933-1939 Biplane Fighters
DI-6 I-15 I-15 bis I-153 Chaika I-190
Crew 2 1 1 1 1
Year of issue 1937 1934 1937 1939 1940
Length, m 7.0 6.1 6.27 6.17 6.48
Wing span, m 10.0 9.75 10.2 10.0 10.20
Wing area, m² 25.2 23.55 22.5 22.14 24.83
Weight, kg:
Loaded weight 2038 1390 1700 1765 2320
Engine M-25B M-25 M-25B M-62 M-88
Power, hp 775 640 775 1000 900/1100
Maximum speed, km/h near the ground 334 315 327 364 375
at altitude 382 367 379 424 488
m 3000 3000 3500 5000 5000
Time to 5000 m, min 9.2 6.2 6.6 5.7 5.9
Time of turn, sec 11-12 9.0 10.5 13-13.5 -
Service ceiling, m 8300 9800 9300 10700 12400
Service range, km - 550 520 560 450/720
Machine guns 3 2 4 4 4
Photo Description
Drawing I-190

Drawing I-190

I-190 Fighter

I-190 Fighter


  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/
  • "Planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/