I-16 Type 28

Uploaded on 13 March 2021

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This variant can be seen as an updated Type 27 with M-63 engine, or as a Type 24 with ShVAK guns on its wings.

16 were built in 1939, plus a total of 277 Type 27 and Type 28 in 1940.


Profiles of a typical Type 28.

Its visual characteristics were:

  • AV-1 propeller with hydraulically movable pitch, visually distinguishable for the big and bulbous spinner or, when this was removed, for two balance weights on the hub (as Type 18, 24, 27);
  • a triangular air intake for the supercharger on the top of the cowling (as on Type 18, 24, 27, 29);
  • the intake of the oil cooler under the nose was trapezoidal or trapezoidal with bent inside sides (as on Type 24, 27 and late 18);
  • a fairing for the oil cooler air outlet, that altered the profile under the nose (as on Type 18, 24, 27);
  • armed with two synchronized ShKAS 7.62 mm machine guns on the nose and two ShVAK 20 mm guns on the wings (as on Type 17 and 27), easily recognizable for their big protruding barrels;
  • small squared loading hatch for the guns on the rear top of the cowling (as Type 12, 27);
  • short ailerons and flaps (as on Type 10, 17, 18, 24, 27, 29) mechanically operated;
  • optional predisposition for auxiliary fuel tanks under the wings, and hatches over the wing consoles for access to the system;
  • landing gear with scissor, increased stroke, modified bays and curved leg cover (as on Type 24); at least two different shapes are possible;
  • tail wheel (as on Type 24, 29, late18 and 27)
  • a small hatch over the fillet of the right stabilizer;
  • a second pilot's door on the right side (as Type 24, 29, late 18 and 27);
  • both doors had a thin leather stripe to protect their edge;
  • armoured backrest;
    on the rearward side of the sides of the cowling, a separate panel was provided to give better access to the ammo boxes of the synchronized ShKAS (as on type 18, 24, 27, 29);
  • open recesses for the ski gear in retracted position under the cowling, eventually closed by a removable optional aerodynamic fairing (here represented on the profile from the right side) that let only a slot on the rear as cooling air outlet;;
  • two recesses only, each for two exhaust pipes, under the cowling, close to the wing fillets (as on late type 10 and on type 17, 18, 24, 27);
  • PAK-1M gunsight (as on Type 24, 27, 29) distinguishable for the rectangular safety cushion.



Above: top view of the Type 28.

When compared to Type 24, it visually differed because:

  • of the ShVAK gun barrels instead of ShKAS;
  • the hatches for the guns were slightly longer (from 650 mm to 744 mm), and with six locks instead of four;
  • behind them, there were smaller hatches hinged on their front side;
  • the loading hatch for the ShVAK guns, accessible through a cut on the rear of the top panel of the cowling.

When compared to Type 27, it visually differed for:

  • the pilot's door on the right side;
  • the leather protection on the edges of the doors;
  • the large access to the radio bay on the right side.

Below: bottom view of the Type 28.

When compared to Type 24, it visually differed because of the ShVAK guns, their peculiar outlets for waste links and for the lack of the wing ShKAS ammo hatches behind the cowling and the wheel bays.

When compared to Type 27, it visually differed for the scissor type landing gear leg, its bays, for its doors that were extended backwards in many variants, and the tail wheel instead of a tail skid.



Type 28 P

In early 1940, it was stated that one Type 24 and 28 each four planes should have received a predisposition for auxiliary droppable fuel tanks.

This included a plate with suspension points under each wing console, and a smaller plate for access to the system on the upper wing console surface.

The suspension point was usable for bombs and other loads too.

These planes were named Type 28P; this character was included in their serial number (often confused with the cyrillic R, that is written as Latin P).

Apart for this, Type 28P wasn't different from the contemporary Type 28.

It is possible that some Type 28 were equipped with extractable landing torches and protection plates under the right wing as many Type 24P, but at present time we hadn't photos showing this; in case, the red stars under the wings should be moved closer to the wingtips.

It is also possible that some Type 28 were equipped with a radio mast fixed on the right side of the nose as on some late Type 24 and many Type 29, but we have not photos showing this.

The drawings represent the Type 28P with the colors introduced in the second half of 1940:

  • a lighter shade of AII green containing more chromium oxide for the wood/fabric parts;
  • a lighter shade of paint (A-19F) for the metallic parts, that appeared somewhat distinguishable (but not always);
  • AII light blue instead of silver or AII grey for the wood/fabric skinned parts;
  • A-18f light blue for the metallic parts of the undersurfaces.

According to other interpretations, the same paint was used both on wooden and metallic parts, but it appeared darker and better preserved on fabric/wood parts because it was covered with 2 or 3 layers of transparent oil paint.



Above: top view of the Type 28P.

It differs from standard Type 28 because of the access hatches to the tank suspension system visible over the wing consoles.


Below: bottom view of a Type 28 P. It differed from standard Type 28 because of the suspension point plates and some strengthening to the frame between them and the base of the outer consoles.

It is likely that some Type 28 had the extractable landing torches and the relative protective plates under the right wing as many Type 24 and 29, but they aren't represented here because they don't appear in any photos we have.

In case, the red stars under the wings should be moved closer to the wingtips.


It is not difficult to find many photos of fully representative and surely identified Type 28, because many non-airworthy Type 28 of 89 IAP were captured on the Lutsk Air Base, Ukraine.

The white lightning painted on the tail of all these planes was the regimental marking of this unit.




According to an article of M. Timin, the color of the number on the tail was indicative of the squadron:

  • 1st squadron: red with white outline; known planes: n. 2, 7, 10
  • 2nd squadron: blue with white outline; known planes n.10
  • 3rd squadron: yellow, probably with black outline (known planes: n.4, 15)
  • 4th squadron: white, probably with red outline (known planes: 6, 10, 15)

The plane in the photos could be Yellow 15 with black outline. Note the damage to the tail cone.




The photo show planes White 15, 6 and 10 captured by German.

Plane White 15 had serial 2821376



Plane White 6. s/n 2821377.

The detail of the number suggests that it could have had a red outline.

Note the strongly curved rear edge of the wheel cover, even more curved than on standard Type 28.




detail of the guns inspection hatch, that was slightly longer than those of the ShKAS-armed versions, but of the same width, and with 6 fast locks instead of 4. The photo shows also the inspection panels of the auxiliary tanks plant.


detail of the gun barrel of the same plane. One can see the wide 20 mm barrel, the gas recovery tube under it, then the inverted T slot on the wing leading edge and the waste links expulsion tube, on the right side of both guns. There is an oblique lip preventing the rain from entering massively into the slot.


Some images of tail numbers of I-16 Type 28 of 89 IAP.

Thanks to the article of M.Timin, we know the colors and serials of these planes:

  • Blue 10 serial 2821372 of 2nd squadron;
  • Red 7 serial 2821285 of 1st squadron
  • Yellow 4 serial 282133 of 3rd squadron;
  • Red 2 serial 2821311 of 1st squadron.



A rare color photo of one of the planes of the same unit.

Remains of what seems a yellow number 4 are visible around the hole in the rudder; this could be plane serial 282133 of 3rd squadron.

Note that the green shade metallic panels appear more faded than the one of the wooden and fabric surfaces, a common thing on many Soviet types of the same timeframe.

Image from the web


Images from M-Hobby 12/2018, article of M.Timin.


Type 28 of 1st squadron of 67 IAP lost in accidents in March-April 1941.

N.16 had s/n 28 p211-11 and was flown by second Lieutenant M. I. Karetin.

N.20 had s/n 28 p211-3 and was flown by Lieutenant N. F. Murashev.

The livery is the usual prewar AII green/AII light blue, while the tactical numbers were probably aluminum.

They were predisposed for auxiliary tanks, as the known Type 24s of the same unit.



I-16 Type 28 of 29 IAP. The black front is noteworthy.

Unfortunately the image don't show the sides of the plane, but show an interesting characteristic of the undersurface: the bay of the main landing gear leg is strongly curved in its outer rear part to make room for the scissor behind the legs; this form is the same visible on the preserved Type 28 of Safonov, is rather rare and should be typical of very early Type 28, characterized by leg covers markedly curved on their rear.

The silver-grey livery of the undersurfaces is evident, denoting that the plane was built before spring 1940.


Type 28 (or 27?) of the 178 IAP of the PVO, probably in spring 1942.

The most evident and interesting characteristic is the angular camouflage, whose pattern is broadly compatible with the sketch on NKAP of June 1941. The green looks worn, with traces of roughly remover winter camouflage, while the black bands look newer, probably made after the winter.

Although a part of the cover of the leg is missing, it is difficult to distinguish if the leg itself has scissors or not; this would help to distinguish between a Type 28 and a similar-looking 27.

The shape of what is visible of the door seems slightly protruding backwards, suggesting a Type 28.






This wreck isn't easily identifiable, but one can see the long barrel of the ShVAK and a propeller with balance weights, so it probably was a Type 27 or 28.

Image from the web.

Rare photo of a Type 28 (or 27?) with retractable ski gear and winter painting.


Type 28 with the most common one.type of leg cover.

The open right door of the pilot is visible.


I-16 Type 28 of Safonov preserved in the Museum of the Navy of S. Petersburg, Russia



An original I-16 Type 28 flown by the ace Safonov is preserved at the Museum of the Navy of S. Petersburg in Russia.

It seems that the plane had a belly landing and was repaired in very rough way. The flaps seem to have ben covered by something thin and are no longer visible.

Despite this, some parts of the plane are still a good reference

Many walkarounds do exist on the web: these images are of Vladimir Yakubov.



The landing gear bays are interesting: they represent one of the early shapes after the introduction of the scissor-type shock adsorbers on the legs. Note that the inner part of the leg bays are narrow and straight as on Type 10, while the rear part has a rounded extension. Probably this was done to adapt already built pieces of bays to lodge the scissors of the newly built legs.

The right leg cover, strongly curved, follows the shape of the bay and seem original, while the left one is angular and looks a rough replace.

The most part of Type 24/28 had bays where the protrusion was distributed on all the length and was much less visible, just as the landing gears of the late UTI-4 preserved in the Finnish museum.



This work was made with the important help of Bernard Le Guenno (BLG), Daniele Righi (Righidan), Andrey Averin (Dabbler), Charles Green, PG Monster and Aleksandrs Ruckovskis.



This work collects photos from many sources, not always identified and mentioned. This was made for research purposes, not intended to obtain an economical gain from them nor to offend the rights of anyone.

Besides, many of the images were published on multiple sources, making difficult to credit them to one source without forgetting other ones.

If someone has rights on the images reproduced here, please don't feel hurted, email to me and I shall provide to remove or to credit them.