|This page is about the Soviet fighter I-15 WR. For other versions, see I-15 (Family).|
The I-15 WR is a rank I Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
The I-15 WR is a single-engine fighter developed by the OKB Polikarpov as the I-15 (TsKB-3), first released in 1934 which featured a biplane mixed design with a gull-type upper wing, open cockpit and non-retractable landing gear. The I-15 WR fighter was developed at the Central Design Bureau under the direction of N. N. Polikarpov. This aircraft was a further development and refinement of the existing I-5 and I-6 fighters. The main task of the designers when creating the I-15 WR was to improve aerodynamics without significant changes to the overall size of the aircraft. The first prototype first flew in October 1934 under the direction of test pilot V. P. Chkalov. This aircraft had an American 9-cylinder star-shaped, air-cooled engine Wright Cyclone SGR-1820-F-3 installed which had a take-off capacity of 715 litres.
Preparations for mass production of the I-15 began even before the completion of flight tests. The first serial fighter of its type, the I-15, was built at aircraft factory No. 39 the summer of 1934. The initial armament of this fighter series consisted of two 7.62 mm synchronized PV-1 machine guns ("Aircraft machine gun" - a version of Maxim machine gun designed for installation on aeroplanes) with 750 rounds of ammunition per barrel. Cartridges loaded into ammunition belts and were housed in the central part of the fuselage just behind the gas tank. Provisions were made to also collect the spent ammunition casings. Aiming the machine guns was carried out using an optical sight OP-1 (a variant of the British "Aldis"), which was placed on the edge of the pilot's visor. In the event the optical sight failed, a backup mechanical ring sight, the KP-5 was attached to the telescopic sight tube.
Under the lower wing, four Der-32 bomb racks could be installed for small-calibre bombs with a total mass of up to 40 kg (4 x P-7, or 4 x AO-8, or 4 x AO-10), however, two 50 kg FAB-50 bombs could be taken as maximum payload as is the option here in War Thunder. Total aircraft production in 1934, between the two Moscow Aviation Manufacturing Plants, No. 1 and No. 39 produced 94 I-15 fighters. The first batch of 50 aircraft featured the American SGR-1820-F-3 engines installed as manufactured, however, after April 1934 the rest of the Wright Cyclone engines underwent alterations and improvements at the request of Soviet engineers in which particular changes were made especially to the machine gun synchronization mechanism installed on the engine.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 3,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 250||< 260||< 260||> 190|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|1,000 m||570 hp||N/A|
Survivability and armour
The I-15 WR does not have significant armour protection. All the important modules are located in the front half of the fuselage, and the large fuel tank is not self-sealing. With all the important modules packed together, well aimed shots will have little trouble causing significant damage very quickly. As such, the I-15 WR must rely on other factors, such as manoeuvrability, in order to increase its survivability.
- 8 mm Steel - Behind Pilot's Seat
- Non-Self-Sealing Fuel Tanks
Modifications and economy
The I-15 WR is armed with:
- 4 x 7.62 mm PV-1 machine guns, nose-mounted (750 rpg = 3,000 total)
The I-15 WR can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 50 kg FAB-50 bombs (100 kg total)
Usage in battles
The I-15 can be used in turnfighting, bomber intercepting and ground pounding. Like in AB and RB, it is excellent in turning tightly and continuously, and it has lovely low-speed handling and low stall speeds (unlike its successor I-16), making it a great starter plane for sim. However it does have its drawbacks: the rather big nose blocks the visibility a lot, offering very poor over-the-nose visibility which is a disadvantage in a turn fight, because when leading a shot the enemy will always get obstructed by the engine, making the player guess the shot. Also its upper wings will get in the way when you look aside. Plus, it has an awful telescope-like gunsight, so when zoomed in the I-15's nimbleness is magnified, making the aim super wobbly. You cannot see anything around which greatly reduces your situational awareness.
Note: it is recommended to set the convergence within 300m, with vertical convergence on, because the majority of turnfights happen at that range or closer.
Note 2: in a turnfight you must get used to shooting without zooming in, as you really can't see anything with its awkward scope when zoomed it. However when tailing a straight-flying plane that scope doesn't seem that bad
Before engaging a fight, it is better to have an altitude advantage first. When approaching the fight try to figure out which is your teammate and which is the enemy, to avoid going for a second pass, as the energy retention of the I-15 is rather slow. Also pick your target carefully. For easier aiming, you want to go for those unmanoeuvrable twin engine aircraft like Ju 88 or Ki-45, or bombers if there are any. Given the bad forward visibility of the I-15, these are the best options as they are quite slow and sluggish, and are a bigger target to hit. However getting hits on them doesn't mean good damage, so you must be patient. When dealing with fighters, it is way harder to aim. The elevator control of the I-15 is extremely sensitive, giving it good manoeuvrability, but at the same time, bad handling. The I-15 will respond in a very fast turn upon moving your stick / mouse by a little bit, which makes tracking nimble planes quite hard. But once you get used to it, try to lure every enemy into a turnfight, as that is where the I-15 shines. Quite a bit of bullets are required to effectively damage the enemy so you must be patient. If you find an enemy at your 6, utilise your great roll rate to do defensive manoeuvres like scissors to make them overshoot. Or you can simply do tight turns, most monoplanes won't be able to cut inside your turn and they might disengage.
you can also go for even bigger targets (bombers) for easier aiming. However you want to be more careful when hunting bombers, since with the Sim control (whether it be mouse joystick or a real stick) the plane will manoeuvre much more gently, making itself a great target for the bomber's gunners. Do not follow behind a bomber's 6 unless you are sure that its tail gunners are unconscious. Chasing behind a bomber makes yourself stationary for the tail gunners, and you will be showered with bullets. Your big radial engine will usually get damaged. Instead, before attacking, get an altitude advantage over the bomber by flying around 2 km above it. The bomber should only fill up about 1/6 of your gunsight. The best position for an attack is at the bomber's high 6 so you can adjust the lead much easier. Dive at the bomber, but not directly at it, try to predict where you two will crash by imagining yourself as a missile, that's where you should aim at (deflection shooting). To maximise the damage it is better to aim for their wings and engines, as the fuselage usually soaks up quite some bullets. Only fire when the bomber passes in front of your guns. This short window might seem inadequate to do anything, but with a accurate burst on the engine the 4 MG can at least damage it. With an engine damaged most bombers cannot go far.
Ground pounding ability is poor as there are only light bombs. The small 50kg bombs can be used on light pillboxes, or base bombing if you want, although the effect is almost non-existent. Once the suspended armaments are gone, the 4 MG are good for killing soft targets like trucks, artillery and AA cars.
Enemies worth noting:
- Ki-27, N1K1, He 51, Gladiator, etc. - Those commonly seen planes are equally good at turnfights and will be a hard target to down since they are very small and agile. To deal with them you need to practice leading and deflection shots, plus manoeuvres like barrel rolls and scissors. They still need plenty of bullets to get damaged, so these kind of targets are the hardest to kill and requires great skills from the player.
- Do 17 Z-2 - This early twin-engine plane always shows up as an AI controlled recon aircraft that you have to down, which is a good news as AI won't manoeuvre aggressively. However this plane is extremely durable for the I-15's weak MGs. When it shows up as an AI, deflection shots are not recommended as the small shooting windows really does nothing. Instead, try disabling its 2 gunners first, then just sit behind it and burst on its wings and engines. When attacking the gunners try to not get your engine damaged by pulling evasive manoeuvres as soon as the bullets come close, since the Do 17 can outrun the I-15 in a level flight.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable|| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Extreme turning abilities: one of the best turn-fighters in-game, able to turn tightly and continuously with other biplanes
- Firepower is rich with 4 x 7.62 mm MG, moderate damage and plenty of ammo
- Good rate of climb
- Small silhouette meaning you are harder to hit
- 2 x 50 kg bombs allow you to have some ground-pounding abilities in ground battles
- Fixed gear is convenient for quick landings and takeoffs
- Very short take off distance
- Low stall speed, beginner friendly to land and manoeuvre
- Open cockpit allows you to easily hear nearby aircraft in Simulator
- Nose-mounted MGs means no need to worry about convergence distances
- Very slow speed: cannot keep up with early monoplane fighters (eg He 112) or even some bombers such as Do 17 E-1
- Will quickly lose speed gathered in a dive
- Average roll rate
- Open cockpit can usually get the pilot sniped
- Small 50 kg bombs require very accurate aiming
- Telescopic gunsight offers very limiting field of view in Simulator
- Big engine blocks the visibility over the nose, a disadvantage in a turnfight in Simulator
- Side views are obstructed by the upper wings and supporting structures
- Very wobbly with Simulator controls, making it hard to aim precisely
- Vulnerable to heavy machine gun fire (eg. .50 cal M2 Browning, 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT)
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Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
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|Polikarpov Design Bureau (Опытное конструкторское бюро Поликарпова)|
|I-15||I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis · I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P|
|I-16||I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28|
|I-180||I-180S · I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)|
|Twin-engine fighters||TIS MA|
|Export||␗I-15bis · ␗I-153 M-62 · ␗I-16 type 5 · ␗I-16 type 10 · ␗I-16 type 17 · ␗I-16 Chung 28|
|I-15||I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis|
|I-153||I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P|
|I-16||I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28 · I-180S|
|I-185||I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)|
|MiG-3||MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34|
|LaGG||I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66|
|La||La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11|
|Yak-1/7||Yak-1 · Yak-1B · Yak-7B|
|Yak-3||Yak-3 · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)|
|Yak-9||Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9T · Yak-9K · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT · Yak-9P|
|Other countries||▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc|
|P-39||▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15|
|P-63||▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5|