Polikarpov I-16 Ishak

This 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 fly anything". Over 7,000 were built. About 6 are airworthy today.

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