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I-153P

The I-153P Chaika (Seagull) was a Soviet biplane fighter of the 1930s and 1940s. It was created by the Polikarpov Design Bureau in 1938. It is a modification (3rd variant) of the earlier I-15 fighter, as shown in the designation. The Chaika was considered to be the fastest biplane in the world. However, at the start of hostilities between the Soviet Union and Germany, the I-153 could not compete on equal terms with the German Messerschmitt Bf-109 and therefore was mainly used in ground attack roles. 


 
For many years, Soviet pilots considered the I-16 to be the most dangerous aircraft in a spin. Therefore, when flight testing the I-153 with the M-25 engine in March and April of 1939, the VVS Command paid special attention to its spin characteristics. Initially the matter remained unresolved. However, in the summer of 1939, when the new aircraft saw action against the Japanese in Mongolia, NII VVS returned to this crucial point. Test results were disappointing. By the third full rotation the I-153 would go into a flat spin; the engine would cease by the fifth formation, after which spin recovery would become extremely difficult. Lowering the landing gear in order to shift the centre of gravity did not help. The Chaika still took a significant amount of time to recover.
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