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Polikarpov I-15

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Type Fighter
Manufacturer Polikarpov
Maiden flight October 1933
Primary user Soviet Air Force
Number built 3313
Developed from Polikarpov I-5
Variants Polikarpov I-153

The Russian Polikarpov I-15 "Seagull" (Template:Lang-ru) was a Soviet biplane fighter aircraft.

Design and development

The design for the 14th fighter for the VVS, the I-14, started as an advanced (for the era) monoplane under the direction of Andrei Tupolev. He grew concerned that the design would not mature, and ordered two backup biplane designs as the I-14A and B just to be safe. Polikarpov had just been released from prison in August 1932, and was handed the I-14A project. When both the I-14 and I-14A were ordered into production, Polikarpov's design became the famous I-15.

The first flight was made in October 1933 with V.P. Chkalov at the controls. I-15, also known by its development name TsKB-3, a small biplane fighter with a gulled upper wing. It was a development of the I-5 fighter. It was equipped with one 700 PS (515 kW) M-25 engine. Total 674 were built.

Operational history

The I-15 was used in combat extensively by the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and proved to be one of the best fighter biplanes of its time. The I-15bis also saw a great amount of action in Manchuria in the various border clashes between the Russians and the Japanese. In 1937 I-15s in the hands of the Chinese air force, fought against invading Japanese where the tough biplane began to meet its match in some of the newer, faster Japanese monoplanes. More than 1,000 I-15bis fighters were still in use during the German invasion when the biplane was employed in the ground attack role. By late 1942 all I-15 and I-15 bis were relegated to second line duties.


File:Polikarpov I-15.jpg
I-15. Note the "gull" upper wing typical of early aircraft.
I-15bis flying replica, Monino, 2004. Note the straight upper wing typical of the I-15bis.
Prototype fitted with the more powerful M-25V radial piston engine.
First production series.
I-15bis (I-152)
Single-seat fighter biplane, armed with four 7.62-mm (0.30-inch)PV-1 or ShKAS machine-guns, plus up to 150 kg (330 lb) of bombs. The I-15bis was powered by the more powerful 570 kW (775 PS) Shvetsov M-25V radial piston engine. It had a straight upper wing. 2,408 machines were built.
One aircraft fitted with a pressure cabin.
One aircraft fitted with two turbochargers.
I-15ter (I-153)
Development of the I-15 with retractable landing gear, see Polikarpov I-153.


Template:China as ROC
Template:Country data Germany
Template:Country data Spain Spanish Republic

Specifications (I-15 M-22)

Polikarpov I-15 in flight

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 6.10 m (20 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.75 m (32 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 2.20 m (7 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 21.9 m² (236 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,012 kg (2,226 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 1,415 kg (3,113 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: kg (lb)
  • Powerplant:M-22 radial engine, 353 kW (473 hp)[1]



See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence
I-10 - I-12 - I-14 - I-15 - I-16 - I-17 - I-20



  1. Originally measured as 480 PS


  • Abanshin, Michael E. and Gut, Nina. Fighting Polikarpov, Eagles of the East No. 2. Lynnwood, WA: Aviation International, 1994. ISBN 1-884909-01-9.
  • Gordon, Yefim and Dexter, Keith. Polikarpov's Biplane Fighters (Red Star, vol.6). Earl Shilton, Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-85780-141-5.
  • Gordon, Yefim and Khazanov, Dmitri. Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War, Volume One: Single-Engined Fighters. Earl Shilton, Leicester, UK: Midland Publishing Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-85780-083-4.
  • Green, William. Warplanes of the Second World War, Volume Three: Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1961 (seventh impression 1973). ISBN 0-356-01447-9.
  • Léonard, Herbert. Les avions de chasse Polikarpov (in French). Rennes, France: Editions Ouest-France, 1981. ISBN 2-85882-322-7.
  • Léonard, Herbert. Les chasseurs Polikarpov (in French). Clichy, France: Éditions Larivière, 2004. ISBN 2-914205-07-4.
  • Maslov, Mikhail A. Polikarpov I-15bis (Wydawnictwo Militaria 199) (in Polish). Warsawa, Poland: Wydawnictwo Militaria, 2004. ISBN 83-7219-178-6.
  • Stapfer, Hans-Heiri. Polikarpov Fighters in Action, Part 1 (Aircraft in Action number 157). Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1995. ISBN 0-89747-343-4.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Template:Polikarpov aircraft

cs:Polikarpov I-15 de:Polikarpow I-15 es:Polikarpov I-15 eo:Polikarpov I-15 fr:Polikarpov I-15 it:Polikarpov I-15 nl:Polikarpov I-15 pl:I-15 ru:Поликарпов И-15 sk:Polikarpov I-15 sl:Polikarpov I-15 sr:Поликарпов И-15 fi:Polikarpov I-15 sv:Polikarpov I-15

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Polikarpov I-15".