is the Polikarpov I-16 Type 24 Ishak (N30425). This one was built in
1939, as are most of the ones that are still flying. They performed
well during the Spanish Civil War and in Manchuria however, they were
obsolete by the time the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.
Despite this, they continued to fight with the VVS (Soviet Air Force)
until 1943. Small and nimble, the I-16 was a durable fighter that could
take substantial punishment and was even used to ram enemy aircraft
when ammunition was exhausted! Because of its small size, it has its
share of challenges for pilots. The longitudinal stability is lacking
and it can stall in a glide. Turning too fast can put the airplane into
a spin. There are pilots that state "If you can fly the I-16, you can
Over 7,000 were built. About 6 are airworthy today.
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