I-153 prototype No. 5001

Updated on December 10,2019

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Prototype painted with primers


The profile above and the photos aside represent the I-153 prototype, No.5001 as it appeared in August or September 1938. The plane made his first flight in August 1938, flown by pilot Aleksandr I. Zukov. Factory tests were made between 27th September and 5th October 1938.

The plane looks primed with AII silver on fabric skinned surfaces, while the metallic surfaces seem to show a mix of different primers, that could be predominantly red-brown, while the engine cowling looks darker and could be black, while some side panels and the landing gear doors seem lighter, could be painted with ALG-1 zinc chromate yellow, or anodyzed aluminum, or other finishes.

The prototype was powered with an M-25V engine with power of 750 hp; visible differences if compared to well-known M-62 engined I-153s include:

  • the spinner, similar to that of I-15bis, and related to a fixed pitch propeller;
  • the lack of shutter in front of the engine;
  • the upper cowling intake;
  • the oil cooler exhaust, tht was much smaller and moved after the cowling, on the left side of fuselage;
  • the simpler rear profile of cowling;
  • the pitot probe, moved in higher position on the right wing strut;
  • 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.



Prototype with livery





The prototype was later repainted with a nice livery, probably silver and cherry red with a sort of drawing, presumably made with red lines, on the fuselage sides.

Cherry red areas included:

  • all the cowling, spinner, perhaps the prop blades, and part of the fuselage sides (not the lower surface between wings);
  • probably the front gear leg doors, inside and outside, while the doors solidal to the wheels remained silver;
  • the wheel disks, while their outer ring remaind silver;
  • thin lines on the leading edges of all the wings and probably of the stabilizers.


Prototype with new propeller and spinner








The propeller was replaced with a variable pitch one, with a new spinner. Note that the new propeller blades and balancers appear in aluminium color, while the spinner looks cherry red again.

The photo below shows the lower wing with the shadow of the upper one