Pre-series I-153s with M-25

Updated on April 3, 2016

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In October 1938, while the tests of the first prototype weren't still completed, Zavod 1 built a batch of 10 pre-series planes with M-25V engine. All these planes were equipped with a fixed pitch propeller and wide spinners as those of I-15bis.

Plane no. 6005

Drawing of Tapani Tuomanen


Plane no.6005, black (?) 5, underwent state trials in March 1939, flown by test pilot Pavel Ya. Fedrovi and is often regarded as the second prototype.

Some differences, in comparison to the first prototype, include;

  • the oblique cut of the rear of the engine cowling;
  • the shutters plate;
  • elevators reduced in surface area;
  • the position of the pitot probe on the right wing strut was lower and similar to that of later production planes;
  • some differences in the detail and panelling of the fuselage sides;
  • the military livery, with metallic surfaces painted light grey AE-9 and fabric-skinned surfaces in AII aluminium,with the front of the spinner painted white;
  • less visible improvements as a strenghtened landing gear, fuel tank protection, improved control system.


When compared to well-known production M-62 engined I-153s, pre-serie planes differed for:

  • the spinner, similar to that of I-15bis, and related to a fixed pitch propeller;
  • the upper cowling intake was slightly different;
  • the oil cooler exhaust, that was much smaller and moved after the cowling, on the left side of fuselage;
  • the simpler oblique rear profile of cowling;
  • the single rigging wire in frontal position between fuselage and upper wing, where production M-62 planes had two coupled on each side;
  • some change on panels, holes and slots of the fuselage sides.



Plane no. 6009

Drawing of Tapani Tuomanen

Another plane of the line was n.9 (or perhaps a 2 with an odd font?), that was characterized by a red (?) spinner instead of the grey-white one of many other planes.

Both planes 6002 and 6009, aside 6004, 6008 and 6010, were sent in Baku, in the republic of Azerbaijan, to be tested in a good climate between 25 February and 20 March 1939.

Photos are from:

Polikarpov's Biplane Fighters, red star vol.6, of Y.Gordon and K.Dexter,

Polikarpow I-153 of Maslov, Wydawnictwo Militaria n.222,