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New 1940 document about the I-16 and a few questions
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Author Topic: New 1940 document about the I-16 and a few questions  (Read 2405 times)
Full Member
Posts: 100

« on: April 20, 2021, 02:45:21 PM »

Dear friends,
   Following a suggestion by a Russian friend, I have found an online version of the 1940 report of Zavod 21.
   It is not a new finding, in 1997 Mr. Maslov had this report among his sources, even if not coming from the Nizhny Novgorod archive, but from the Russian State archive of Economics.
   As long as I know, it is the first time that it is translated in English.
Results of the plant's operation [No. 21] in 1940
1.   Execution of a production program.
   a) The production plan for 1940 approved by the government was fulfilled by the plant for the delivery of aircraft to the customer on December 28, exceeding it by January 1, 1941 by 3.6%, or 77 aircraft.
Delivery by type: (P. 2)
Plan   Execution   % of execution
2,131 machines   2,208 machines   103.6%
1.   I-16 aircraft with M-62 and M-63 machine gun armament, type 24,   760 units
2.   I-16 aircraft with machine gun-cannon armament, type 28,   277 units
3.   I-16 aircraft with a large-caliber Berezina machine gun, type 29,   570 units
4.   I-188 M-88 aircraft, type 25   1
Total   . combat   1608 units
5.   Training fighters UTI-4, type 15   600 units
(P. 3) b) a large list of urgent and important tasks of the Government and the People's Commissar to provide the Red Army with loose parts has been completed:
1. The details were delivered on time for the special order of the KO SNK USSR from 5/1-40 to the Finnish front for the amount of 1.735 thousand rubles.
2. The task of the People's Commissar for the urgent supply of parts for the Air Force for equipment on aircraft radio installations RSI-3 for 165 cars on an urgent schedule in the amount of 49 thousand rubles.
3. An urgent task of the Defense Committee for the development of suspended tanks in the production has been completed. The delivery plan was over fulfilled, with a target of 5,500 pieces, 7,596 pieces were delivered, or 138%. The timely supply of the Air Force tanks greatly facilitated the solution of the combat missions of fighter aircraft in Finland and Mongolia.
4. By order of the People's Commissar No. 255 on the conversion of type 10 machines into type 18 in parts, a lot of work has been done, both in the supply of parts and in the organization of the work itself in the units by sending special teams. 294 sets of 293 parts were supplied for the amount of 1470 thousand rubles.
5. The task of the People's Commissar for the supply of parts to eliminate the hypothermia of the motor was completed.
6. The task of supplying the wings of the exchange fund was over fulfilled, which finally solved the problem of replacing the old structurally unfinished wings in the Air Force units.
7. An urgent order of the PGU1 and GU VVS KA was fulfilled to supply 150 sets of furnaces for heating motors in the amount of 69 thousand rubles, etc.
The volume of all work on the supply of spare parts amounted to 32% of the main serial program. The urgency of the emerging requirements often disrupted the course of serial production; their fulfillment required a lot of stress from the shops, violating the completeness of the supply under contractual obligations.
(P. 4) c) A lot of work has been done to improve the design of the vehicle and increase its firepower and tactical flight qualities. In total, 1724 design changes were made with their development and testing.
The largest modifications are as follows:
1.  The transition from the M-25 and M-62 motors to the more powerful [motor] M-63 has been completed, with the development of the entire propeller group. The switch to a new motor forced the redesign of a number of mating elements of the machine, the deletion of 980 parts and the reintroduction of 1,362 parts, not counting the current changes caused by the incompleteness of the motor by the supplier.
When mastering it, difficulties emerged and were overcome:
unwinding the screw
installation and adjustment of units "AK-63", RPD-1 ", stop valve," R-2 ", screw AV-1, etc.
The structural imperfection of the new motor and its units had an extremely unfavorable effect on production, leading to alterations, dismantling, and at times to a complete stop of production and delivery [of products].
2. Crutch with oil-pneumatic shock absorber and crutch wheel, instead of the old one with soft and rubber shock absorption.
3.  Installation of labor-intensive beams for rocket shells and suspended gas tanks on planes. In the second half of 1940, a combined plane was developed and fully implemented with the simultaneous installation of both systems of beams on each plane, so that, along with enhancing the combat qualities of the aircraft, at the same time, its radius of action would also be increased (type 29 with BS).
4.  Shortened slotted chassis instead of slotted chassis.
5.  Installation of receiving radio stations and receiving-transmitting RSI-3 and RSI-4 with the device of the entire wiring and fastening system.
6.  Installation of a heavy machine gun Berezin on machines produced in the 2nd half of the year.
(P. 5) 7. Installation of pneumatic release.
8.  Reinforced engine frame on training aircraft.
9.  Reinforced fifth point of attachment of the moto[r] frame with replacement of old points on machines in parts by the plant.
10.  An elastic mount of the motor mount has been introduced.
11.  The AV-1 screw is installed.
12.  Protection of the machine is mastered.
13.  The wing has been converted to a standard gas tank.
14.  Installation manual start.
15.  Electrical equipment switched to 24 volts.
16.  The design of the fuel line has been developed, which gives a uniform fuel consumption from the suspended tanks.
17.  The design of the additional oil tank has been changed with the replacement of old tanks in parts.

1 First Main Directorate of the People's Commissariat of the Aviation Industry of the USSR

TSANO. F. 2066. Op. 6. D. 433. Original version: Typescript. <43 Pages>"

Notes: these are the first five pages, the most interesting regarding the I-16.
I-188 is obviously a misprint for I-180.
   It is interesting for me that a sufficient number of kits was produced, to modify about one third of the Type 10 planes to Type 18 standard.
   It would be very interesting to know the aspect and the composition of these kits, and how many were used before Barbarossa.
   Another very interesting point is the number of spare wings produced, up to 1940.
   It would be very interesting to know if they were different in structure, or simply of higher quality when compared with the wings produced in previous years.
   I am confident that in some Russian archive sooner or later we will find the answer to these questions.

Massimo Tessitori
Hero Member
Posts: 6528

« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 07:51:19 PM »

Hi Daniele,
you are doing an excellent research work.
What could
4.  Shortened slotted chassis instead of slotted chassis.
John Thompson
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 1696

« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 09:21:24 PM »

It's very interesting! Thank you, Daniele!

4.  Shortened slotted chassis instead of slotted chassis
Is this a reference to the shortened landing gear (-38 mm) of the type 29?

Is this table of I-16 production numbers of any interest?

« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 09:24:20 PM by John Thompson » Logged
Massimo Tessitori
Hero Member
Posts: 6528

« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 10:10:40 AM »

Hi John, these tables look very interesting even if they are not fully consistant; for example, the first one gives a production of 50 planes in 1934, the second one of 41; here, it could be that the second table excludes some prototypes, but both the prototypes and the pre-production Type 4 made in factory 39 should be called TsKB-12.

Full Member
Posts: 100

« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 07:30:17 AM »

   I believe that, as Jason says, it is a reference to the shortened landing gear of the type 29, but in the document, there is no other information about this point.
   Your table is fundamental, and is the result of the work of Mr. Maslov, who published it in a different format, in his Armada book about the I-16, and in his successive works.
   The numbers are the same as in the document I translated, and I think that notes 5 and 6 are particularly interesting.
   In the document we have reference to the Type 24 and 28 only, but Mr. Maslov says:
"5. In 1940, the production of the I-16 type 18 was combined with the type 24.
6. In 1940, the production of the I-16 type 27 was combined with the type 28."
   The serial numbers of the I-16 work out like this: Type - Zavod - Series if any + number in the series, so 521A39 was a Type 5 produced in Zavod N. 21, belonging to series A, number 39 of this series, (produced in 1937, shot down on 17/03/43 while serving in the 84th IAP).
   About 1000 serials of the I-16 have been published, and we have many Type 18, mainly from the series K, L and M of 1939, but we have a few examples of double numbers, like:
- 181021532   Type 10/18 M-62 prototype Type 18 test 1939
- 181021539   Type 10/18 M-62 prototype Type 18 test 1939
- 181021153   Type 10/18, Air Force Research Institute, test redone Type 18 1940
- 181021134   Type 10/18, 177th IAP shot down 12/01/42
- 181021139   Type 10/18, 71st IAP KBF collision with 2921758 lost 03/09/42
- 181021162   Type 10/18, 34th IAP Lost on 25/07/41
   So it seems that at least some airplanes got a double type serial.
   I can find only one serial of Type 18 in a series typical of the Type 24, series Z:
- 1821Z17 Type 18, 1940, 178th IAP shot down 1942.
   About Type 28, I have 8 serials, in series typical for Type 24 and 29.
   And about Type 27, I have 27 (sic!) serials, all of them in the G and D series of 1939, typical of Type 24 too.
   Unluckily, as the numbers of serials we have is not proportional to the number of airplanes produced, we cannot derive any serious conclusion.
   We still have many things to discover, and I hope that our Russian friends that can study in the archives will give us some interesting news.

Full Member
Posts: 140

« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 08:26:38 AM »

OMG! You rejoice at these snippets, it is a shame.
Here, download, translate, use. All Russian A/C historians are sitting on this resource.
Full Member
Posts: 100

« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 04:50:01 PM »

Dear Psy,
   Thank you very much for the source you suggest.
   Luckily, I have downloaded and translated, but alas not studied, all the chronology from 1916 to 1946.
   For those that do not know it, it is a unique and almost superhuman work of twenty years, from Prof. Ivan Rodionov, that contains an incredible amount of information and is extremely large: the three documents for 1940 are about 3000 pages long in English.
   It is so big that it is more of a Gold Mine than a resource.
   To give an idea of the amount of data it contains, here is a very small piece about the painting process (of the SB) in Zavod 125 at Irkutsk in 1940: The technological process of painting the wings and other parts of the aircraft (center section, fuselage, empennage) is carried out in the following sequence: the finished frames are sprayed with A-14 paint, after which they are dried for 6-7 hours at 15-29. Sheets are primed with AM G-1 or AL G-1 paint and one side is covered with A-14 paint again.   The doused wing goes to the paint shop, where it is degreased, cleaned with canvas No. 00, and degreased again with gasoline. After that, it is wiped off the bypass and sprayed with aluminum powder over the surface and the connector.   The doused wing goes through the entire painting process in 24 hours.
   I would say that it fits nicely with the findings of your very interesting posts about the SB colors, adding the information that SB exterior in 1940 in Zavod 125 were painted silver.
   Being an human work, it cannot contain everything: up to now I have not found the Zavod 21 report for 1940, even if I would not be surprised if it will appear in the next, 14th release.
   You can find the STATE DEFENSE COMMITTEE REGULATIONS No. 3576s dated June 15, 1943 About aviation paints and varnishes and it is a breeze to translate it, but the annexes of the document are not present.
   But you are absolutely right, that you could do several historical works using this resource alone.
   There are no photos, but for those you can use a resource that I regularly visit, a facebook account, at, were a certain Mr. Linevitch presents historical photos and documents, recently a magnificent photo of the experimental long-range bomber Ilyushin TsKB-30, September 1936. Wink

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