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This page is about the Russian fighter I-15bis. For other versions, see I-15 (Family).


GarageImage I-15bis.jpg

The I-15bis is a rank I Russian fighter with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.31.

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
368 356 8600 10.9 11.7 10.6 10.6 125
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
394 380 8600 10.3 10.5 19.1 14.2 125


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
N/A ~13 ~6
Optimal velocities
< 180 < 360 < 260 > 309
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
2,900 m 750 hp 830 hp

Survivability and armour

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.


Offensive armament

Main article: PV-1 (7.62 mm)

The I-15bis is armed with:

  • 4 x 7.62 mm PV-1 machine guns, nose-mounted (1,100 rpg upper + 425 rpg lower = 3,050 total)

Suspended armament

Main articles: FAB-50 (50 kg), RS-82, RBS-82

The I-15bis can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 50 kg FAB-50 bombs (100 kg total)
  • 6 x RS-82 rockets
  • 6 x RBS-82 rockets

Usage in battles

Like other I-15 models, try not to go face-to-face against enemies and instead maneuvre around and dogfight the enemy from advantageous positions. With 3,050 rounds in the four machine guns, greater firing time can be afforded to lead shots into the enemy. As such, the aircraft is quite friendly to beginners with low gun accuracy.

Keep in mind the I-15bis has a slightly slower turn time than the preceding I-15 models. As such, be wary of rival biplanes that could begin out-turning the I-15bis.

The I-15bis can also equip six rockets, which can be used to ground-pound targets like light tanks or light-skinned vehicles, or activate the timed fuses and try to down larger aircraft like bombers, or even time it to destroy a fighter in a head-on.


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 unmaneuverble 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 maneuverbility, 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 maneuvers 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.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm
II Compressor New 7 mm MGs
III Wings repair Engine Airframe DZ-40
IV Engine injection Cover RO-82

Pros and cons


  • 4 x 7.62 mm PV-1 machine guns with 3050 shells gives good fire saturation even with low beginner's accuracy
  • Can carry six rockets to destroy light tanks or even aircraft with timed fuses
  • Turn time is quite good compared to monoplane aircraft


  • I-15bis's turn time is relatively higher compared to previous I-15s
  • Lower speed than other I-15


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

In-game description

A single-seat biplane fighter with a composite construction, open cockpit and fixed landing gear designed in N.N. Polikarpov's TsKB (Central Design Bureau). The plane was a modernized version of the I-15 fighter. The developmental prototype of the TsKB-3bis underwent state testing in July 1937, and went into series production in October of the same year at the No. 1 Aircraft Works in Moscow.

Apart from its new upper wing center section, increased fuel capacity and upgraded armament, the I-15bis differed from its predecessor in its new, longer engine housing, which not only covered the engine, but also the entire frontal section of the fuselage to the landing gear unit.

Wind tunnel testing showed that this housing improved the plane's streamlining and increased its speed. A large semi-circular propeller spinner covering the plane's rotor head provided additional improvements to its aerodynamics. A ratchet passed through it for the self-starter.

The plane was equipped with the 750 hp 12-cylinder air-cooled M-25V radial engine (a licensed uprated version of the American Wright Cyclone SGR-1820 engine).

The plane's armament consisted of four synchronized 7.62 mm PV-1 machine guns (the "Pulemyot Vozdushnyj", or "Airborne Machine Gun" was a reduced-weight model of the famous "Maxim" machine gun, redesigned with an air-cooled barrel and a disintegrating metal ammunition belt).

The upper machine guns were equipped with 1,100 rounds each, and the lower guns – 425 rounds each. The rounds were housed in belts and located in the central fuselage directly behind the fuel tank. The used chain-link collectors were located in the same place. Spent cases were ejected outside and downwards.

In addition, the majority of series-produced I-15bis planes were equipped with four DER-31 bomb containers under the lower wing, rated for a maximum load of 150 kg (two FAB-50 bombs and two AO-25 bombs). Some of the planes were additionally equipped with four to six RO-82 launchers designed to fire RS-82 rockets. With the installation of the DER-32 bomb containers, it was also possible to install suspended VAP-6 spraying devices.

The I-15bis was in service with the USSR and China from the beginning of 1938 and with Spain from January 1939. It was used in Spain from February 1939. It participated in the Battles of Khalkhin Gol in May – September, and in the Winter War in the winter of 1939–1940. It saw use as a fighter and assault plane on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War in 1941–1942. Air defense logistics units used it right up to the end of 1944, particularly in the Far East. Production was ceased in 1939.

In total, 2408 I-15bis aircraft were built.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Polikarpov Design Bureau (Опытное конструкторское бюро Поликарпова)
I-15 fighters  I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15R · I-15bis · I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P
I-16 fighters  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 fighters  I-180S · I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
ITP fighters  ITP (M-1)
Twin-engine fighters  TIS MA
Bombers  Po-2
Export  ␗I-15bis · ␗I-153 M-62 · ␗I-16 type 5 · ␗I-16 type 10 · ␗I-16 type 17 · ␗I-16 Chung 28

USSR fighters
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-29  I-29
I-185  I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)
I-225  I-225
ITP  ITP (M-1)
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