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Polikarpov I-16 cockpit
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Author Topic: Polikarpov I-16 cockpit  (Read 2285 times)
righidan
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« on: January 06, 2022, 10:26:07 AM »

Dear Friends,
   Among the many interesting things you find in Russian historians' facebook accounts, recently Mr. Linevich published images of his study of the left cockpit side of the late Polikarpov I-16.
   Considering how often you find photographs of experimental models, with quite unique cockpit arrangements, this time I was able to understand the differences among the many combinations of armament and accessories for the production models.
   My translation of his work, with some little modifications, can be found at the address: http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/pages/translations/translations.html
   I hope that it can be useful, and I thank Massimo and Mr. Linevich for their work.
Regards
Daniele Righi
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Daniele
warhawk
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2022, 11:13:09 AM »

Thanks for the effort.
I appreciate the growth of the translated documents page, one of the most important section currently.
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2022, 09:47:17 PM »

Hi Daniele,
thank you for all your useful work of collecting and translating documents.
Regards
Massimo
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Anton Petrov
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WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2022, 08:28:51 PM »

Thanks lots Daniele!:) great to have this info.
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righidan
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Posts: 100


« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2022, 07:30:51 PM »

Dear Friends,
   Recently Mr. Linevich has started a thread in his Facebook account and has found that the I-16 Type 28 cockpit is furnished like the prototype, even if some instruments are lacking from the St. Petersburg Central Naval Museum airplane.
   I have been particularly interested by the control stick, that can be seen, even if not perfectly, in one photo, and that corresponds with the drawing in page 90 of the book "Technical description of the airplane I-16 with M-63 engine".
   Both the photo and the drawing show a lever on the right side, and thanks to Mr. Averin, we know that the lever function was to discharge all the weapons simultaneously.
   Preparing a composite illustration of the known I-16 control sticks, I was puzzled by the "Type 18" one.
   As long as I know, it was first published and identified as a Type 18 control stick in Squadron Signal 1162 "Polikarpov fighters in action pt.2".
   While I do respect and cherish the work of serious authors that have given me books that I much enjoyed, I feel that it is an enthusiast duty to investigate further and, if you are lucky enough, discover new things.
   As the photos are attributed to a source, it was clear that it came from the Finnish Airforce Museum, that has a bilingual site at https://ilmavoimamuseo.fi/
   As this Museum has both a digital archive with a lot of photos and manuals, and the opportunity to buy high resolution copies of the photos they own, through the courtesy of Mr. Antti Lappalainen I was able to acquire an high resolution copy of the cockpit photo.
   From it was clear that the airplane had Finnish captions for the instruments, and that near the three buttons on top of the control stick was written RAKETITT that as can be easily imagined, means "rockets" in Finnish.

   As it had translated labels for the instruments, it was an airplane that was flown by the Finns.
    As it had rockets, it could only be red 15, IR-101 in Finnish service, as the other VH-201/21 had a predisposition for an external fuel tank, and not for rockets, while red 15 had three couples of rockets under the wings.
   So we have identified a way to fire rockets in modified Type 5, even if we cannot be sure that it was the only model used.
   After a suggestion of Massimo, I see a button on the upper right part of the control stick of the Type 29 that is equipped with an ESBP-3p.
   We have beautiful illustrations of the Il-2 cockpit, with captions for every detail, we can find two ESBP-3p, and two buttons on the control stick, one for rockets one for bombs.
   We can suppose that some I-16 had three buttons, while others had an ESBP-3p and one button.
   I hope that our Russian friends can publish a high resolution photo of the Type 29 cockpit, showing the button in clearer detail.
   I have prepared a composite of the main types of control stick seen in the I-16.

   From left to right we have:
- Type 5, probably the two horizontal buttons were for firing the left and the right wing machine gun.
- Type 5 modified with rockets.
- Type 10, probably the two vertical buttons were for firing the fuselage machine guns and the wing machine guns.   Similar buttons were present in other models, both armed with machine guns only, and with machine guns and cannons.   In the Il-2 we know that a similar arrangement was for firing the cannons (upper) and the machine guns (lower).
- Type 24, from a prototype airplane, similar to type 10.
- Type 29, similar to the Type 24, probably with a button for rockets
- From the manual, identical to the Type 28 in the Navy Museum, with one upper and two lower buttons, and the side handle to fire all the weapons.
- The UTI control stick from the airplane preserved in Finland.
   I am sure that new information will surface, but now we have the proof of one rocket firing device used by I-16.
Regards
Daniele
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Daniele
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2022, 10:47:09 AM »

Hi Daniele,
your research is brilliant, now there is much more order in the knowledge of the evolution of the cockpit. The fact that the Finnish-captured Type 27 (often mistaken for Type 18) had so much in common with the Type 5 of the Chkalow museum was confusing, creating an apparent step back in many details.
The image of the cloche of Type 29 already on the site is less clear but uncropped, showing the button atop of the cloche.
The side handle, now that I know of it, is visible on the photos starting from Type 10. It is new for me.
I've already made some update of this page, I can add some other thing thanks to your new post.
Best regards
Massimo
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righidan
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Posts: 100


« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2022, 03:38:48 PM »

Dear Massimo,
   Now that you have noticed it, I can see that you are right, and that the lever is present in other photos, starting from the Type 10.
   Moreover, thanks to the courtesy of Mr. Averin, we have an illustration from a Type 10 manual, that is almost identical to the one published in the M-63 type technical description.
   It confirms nicely your observation.
   I am enclosing it, and even f much must still be discovered, I feel that we begin to have a clearer image of the I-16 cockpit.

Regards
Daniele
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Daniele
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2022, 10:33:45 AM »

Thank you Daniele, this image will make the collection more complete. I have to make a further update on next days.
Best regards
Massimo
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AC26
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Posts: 101


« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2022, 11:52:23 PM »

   From it was clear that the airplane had Finnish captions for the instruments, and that near the three buttons on top of the control stick was written RAKETITT that as can be easily imagined, means "rockets" in Finnish.

   As it had translated labels for the instruments, it was an airplane that was flown by the Finns.
    As it had rockets, it could only be red 15, IR-101 in Finnish service, as the other VH-201/21 had a predisposition for an external fuel tank, and not for rockets, while red 15 had three couples of rockets under the wings.
   So we have identified a way to fire rockets in modified Type 5, even if we cannot be sure that it was the only model used.
Dear Daniele,

IR-101 was an original type 5 with sliding canopy modified to open cockpit and the rockets. It can be seen in photos of IR-101 that it still had canopy slide rail on the canopy hatch and end part of the rail in the fuselage after the hatch. Looking that uncropped cockpit photo from the museum photo album there is no that end part of the rail in the fuselage. So it is not the cockpit of red #15/IR-101.

There were several I-16s under repairs at the Valtion Lentokonetehdas during the Continuation War until work on them was ended some time during 1943. This must be one of them. WHich one and which subtype are the questions.

Cheers,

AaCee
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righidan
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Posts: 100


« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2022, 10:30:56 PM »

Dear AaCee,
   Thank you for your clarification.
   You are right, 15 red still had the canopy rail, as can be seen in this photo from the Finnish Air Force museum site.

   The cockpit with the three buttons from the museum site is as follows:

   I must say that I am not able to understand exactly where the rail is missing, but the museum has a photo with a nearby number, and in this machine with a long visor, it is clear that the rail is missing:

   I had based myself on the English summary of Suomen Ilmavoimien Historia 7, that speaks of only two planes, but I should have translated the Finnish text, that confirms what you say and reads: "In the Second World War, five planes, numbered IR-101 to IR-105, were captured in 1941-42. Only the IR-101 was put into flight." And then: "IR-101, which had been captured during the war on the Great Island, first served in Squadron 6 from 1 August 1942 and in Squadron 30 from 16 November 1942. The aircraft did not take part in the front flights and was stored on 22 June 1943 and removed from the aircraft reinforcement on 2 November of that year.   Repair work on four other (IR-102-105) aircraft was suspended in June 1943. The actual decommissioning did not take place until January 2, 1950".
Therefore, it is quite probable that the three buttons, as Mr. Linevich believes, are not original, but a Finnish modification.
Now it would be nice to have more information and photos of IR-102-105, and it would be wonderful if one of our friends had a photo of the rocket release mechanism of the revamped Russian Type 5.
I repeat: the I-16 is quite a fascinating airplane!
Regards
Daniele
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Daniele
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2022, 05:48:57 PM »

Hi friends,
the image seems to show that the rail remained only on the side door, not on the part of the fuselage in front of the opening. I don't see reasons to think that the cockpit can't be of plane 15.
Regards
Massimo
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