|This page is about the Soviet fighter I-185 (M-71). For the other version, see I-185 (M-82).|
The I-185 (M-71) is a rank IV Soviet fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.41.
The I-185 (M-71) is a monoplane with a Shvetsov M-71 engine, the plane is fitted with 3 x 20 mm ShVAK cannons mounted at the fuselage of the I-185. The left cannon has 140 rounds, right cannon 170 rounds, and the top cannon 250 rounds. The fuel tanks of the I-185 are self-sealing and located in the fuselage and in the wings.
The I-185 (M-71) is a dedicated Boom & Zoom fighter for its battle rating and needs to always keep its energy levels at a good level to hunt down players.
The I-185 (M-71) inherits the characteristics of its predecessor while improving on its flight characteristics, due to its more powerful Shvetsov M-71 engine. The aircraft has a more powerful main engine, giving it a noticeably faster climb rate than its predecessor. The climb rate is very impressive for its tier, allowing the I-185 to reach higher altitudes in a very short timespan. However, similar to other Soviet propeller planes, the I-185's engine rapidly loses performance above 4 km in altitude, which prevents the aircraft from flying effectively at higher altitudes.
The I-185's manoeuvrability is relatively good, and is very similar to that of the German Fw 190. It has a great roll rate, but a lacklustre turn rate that is uncompetitive with aircraft it frequently faces at its BR. The aircraft does have a sturdy airframe (with a wing-break speed of ~800 km/h IAS) meaning that the aircraft can survive dives much better than aircraft of the Lavochkin tree. Finally, it is worth noting that the aircraft features automatic slats, which can improve low-speed manoeuvrability.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,100 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)|
|< 400||< 250||< 500||> 400|
Survivability and armour
- 8 mm Steel - armour plating behind pilot's seat
- No armoured glass
- Critical components located in front of aircraft, centralized in the fuselage (fuel, pilot, engine, controls, guns)
- More fuel tanks located in wings near the fuselage
Modifications and economy
Radiator, Compressor, Offensive 20 mm, Engine Repair, Engine Injection, New 20 mm Cannons, Wings Repair, Survivability Modifications, Fuselage Repair, and only lastly the ordnance. (Note that Airframe might have to be researched after the Compressor in order to unlock the Tier 3 modifications)
The I-185 (M-71) is armed with:
- 3 x 20 mm ShVAK cannons, nose-mounted (250 rpg top + 140 rpg left + 170 rpg right = 560 total)
The I-185 (M-71) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (200 kg total)
- 4 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (400 kg total)
- 2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (500 kg total)
- 8 x RS-82 rockets
- 8 x RBS-82 rockets
Usage in battles
The I-185 (M-71) can be thought of as a Russian Fw 190, and has very similar performance to its German counterpart. The aircraft should be used as a Boom & Zoom aircraft, and can perform this role very well due to its good high-speed performance. At the start of a match, utilize the I-185's impressive climb rate to quickly get to its ceiling of ~4,000-5000 m in altitude. However, it is typically not advised to climb to higher altitudes, as the aircraft's engine will practically suffocate above this altitude.
At this altitude, the aircraft can be used for B & Z similar to the Fw 190. Note that the aircraft's lower operating altitude may leave enemies above you - thus, it is crucial to pay attention your surroundings. Do not engage in a turnfight - the I-185's poor turn performance means that it can be outturned by practically every aircraft it faces, save for some variants of the Fw 190, P-47 and most twin-engine fighters. Aircraft such as the Spitfire will turn circles around you, and easily rip your airframe to shreds.
If being pursued by enemy aircraft, the best option for the I-185 is to dive away. Utilize the aircraft's good acceleration and high maximum speed to dive away from enemy aircraft as fast as possible. However, some aircraft such as the American P-51 and P-47 can easily catch up to the I-185 in dives. Against such aircraft, the best way to defend is to utilize the aircraft's great roll rate. Force the attacker into manoeuvres such as the Rolling Scissors, so that you can utilize your superior roll rate to potentially pull a reversal on them.
Finally, the I-185 (M-71) could potentially be used in a CAS role (either in Air or mixed battles), due to its surprisingly-plentiful ordnance options. However, be aware that the aircraft is very vulnerable in this role, and can easily be shot down by pursuing fighters. The 2 x 250 kg loadout is effective against most hard targets (such as tanks and pillboxes), but severely impacts performance. The aircraft's rockets are also effective, especially in mixed battles where they can penetrate the sides / back of most tanks at its BR.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Once engine injection upgrade has been purchased, the plane has a brutal climb rate
- 3 x 20 mm nose-mounted cannons have a decent amount of ammo and have workable damage output (note that all the cannons have different ammo counts)
- Great roll rate, comparable to that of Fw-190s
- Surprisingly manoeuvrable at higher speeds
- Able to safely dive up to 800 km/h IAS
- The ramming effect of the air at higher speeds significantly help with the engine performance when above the critical altitude of the supercharger gears
- Has good ordnance options, making the aircraft viable for CAS in Ground RB
- Terrible turn rate against most opponents
- Top speed is nothing special when compared to most US aircraft, but is still better than most Spitfires and most Japanese aircraft
- Combat flaps break when above 380 km/h IAS
- First supercharger gear is just for show, losing engine performance after 500 to 800 m altitude (and being replaced by 2nd gear at 2,000 m)
- The first supercharger gear is ineffective to the point of the aircraft using the second supercharger gear when parked with the throttle at idle (in Automatic Engine Control)
- Second supercharger gear only lasts up to about 3.5 km altitude
- Massive engine overheating, some times even at only 100% throttle
- Massive loss of engine performance after 4 km altitude
- Performance is only "workable" under ~5 km altitude
Following combat test results, production began on a new I-185 prototype in Novosibirsk, which, during its evacuation, was home to the N.N. Polikarpov design bureau and experimental plant. This prototype was intended to be a standard for series production. The designer corrected several flaws from the previous models in this aircraft, which is sometimes called the I-186, and combined its triple-cannon armament with the M-71 engine. The I-185/M-71 Series Standard took its maiden flight on 10 June 1942.
The plane was powered by the 18-cylinder twin-row air-cooled Shvetsov M-71 radial engine with a rated output of 1,625 hp (maximum power in emergency mode – 2,000 hp). It had the three-blade variable-pitch AV-5-119 metal propeller. It used 2B-78, 3B-74 and B-95 aviation fuel with an octane rating of no less than 90.
The M-71 engine hood's shape was altered and the plane's airframe made more aerodynamic.
The I-185/M-71 Series Standard possessed three 20 mm synchronized Shpitalny-Vladimirov ShVAK cannons with 500-600 shells overall (tests were conducted with various amounts of ammunition). The central cannon had 250 shells, the left 140 shells, and the right 170 shells.
The plane could carry up to 500 kg of bombs of various types (FAB-250, FAB-100, FAB-50, FAB-25) on four bomb racks mounted under the wing panels.
As expected, the new I-185 possessed even better characteristics. In plant tests, it reached a speed of 680 km/h, but the new engine continued to fail.
Only one I-185/M-71 Series Standard was built. The airplane was not put into service.
N.N Polikarpov received a 1st degree Stalin Prize for creating the I-185/M-71 Series Standard in 1943.
- Aircraft of a similar role, configuration or era
- [Forum] I-185 (M-71) flying tips (RB)
- [Wikipedia] Polikarpov I-185
- [Air Vectors] Polikarpov Fighters - I-180/I-185
|Polikarpov Design Bureau (Опытное конструкторское бюро Поликарпова)|
|I-15||I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15 M-25 · 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|
|Bombers||Po-2 · Po-2M|
|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-15 M-25 · 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|