I-16 type 5
The I-16 type 5 Ishak is a Rank I Soviet light fighter with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.43.
The I-16 Type 5 is the earliest installment of the Polikarpov I-16 family available in the game. A rather solid if somewhat temperamental pre-war fighter that while extremely dangerous if used right against biplanes and other pre-war fighters can get in quite struggle to deal with latter aircraft such as the Ki-43I and the Hurricane, and being completely overmatched by aircraft like the Spitfire MkIA and the BF-109E-1.
The I-16 Type 5 is equipped with two wing-mounted ShKAS machine guns chambered with the 7.62 x 54R cartridge, a cyclic rate of fire of 1.800 rpm and with an ammo load out of 900 rounds each.
Since both machine guns are mounted pretty far apart they are more effective at convergence range which, being rifle calibered machine guns should be set to a relatively low distance (from 150 to 400 meters). The guns have a rather standard firing time of 30 seconds and had a very high throw for a rifle caliber machine gun due to its very high rate of fire. This particular features makes overheating a pretty big problem as such it is recommended to fire the guns in short burst since the jamming of one of them would result in the loss of a half of the weapons effective armament. It's also of note, particularly in Simulator Battles, that the I-16 Type 5 modeled in-game is fitted with the original for the type enclosed cockpit and OP-1 telescopic sight which may proof problematic for players who are not fond of telescopic sights for aiming. The I-16 Type 5 low weight, high roll rate and somewhat unstable center of gravity make it a rather inaccurate gun platform, though it's high roll rate and weight of fire somewhat mitigates it's effects.
As for the armament effectiveness it can be considered of moderate power against most fighter aircraft at its tier, it can be quite complicated to kill an enemy in a single glancing attack and sometimes it would take quite a bit of time to finish a particularly resilient foe, incendiary ammunition or stealth can be very helpful for boosting the lethality of the planes armament. Against bombers however the armament loses a lot of its effectiveness with only shots to the pilot's cockpit or the engines proving somewhat effective and even then normally taking several hundreds of bullets to bring them down.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 2,700 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Max Speed
(km/h at 2,700 m)
|Max altitude (meters)||Turn time (seconds)|| Rate of climb
|Take-off run (meters)|
|Combat flap||Take-off flap||Landing flap||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flap
|Max Static G|
|< 280||< 320||< 320||> 220|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|2,500 m||730 hp||803 hp|
Survivability and armour
- No armour plating
- No armour glazing
- Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
The I-16 type 5 is armed with:
- 2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns, wing-mounted (900 rpg = 1,800 total)
Usage in the battles
The I-16 Type 5 biggest asset is it's versatility, it is considerably faster than most biplanes allowing it to use superior speed (both in level flight and in dives) and energy to engage them safely, while at the same time it is able to outmaneuver a lot of it's faster opponents if not by turn rate at least by using it's extremely fast roll rate. It has also a very high climb-rate of over 14 m/s to up to 3,000 meters which is only beat at its BR by Bf 109 E-1/F-1's, Spitfire Mk I's and by the Ki-27/43/44. As previously mentioned the plane has a phenomenal roll rate of up to 150°/s. This however can under some circumstances cause the plane to lose control particularly while performing high G pulls ups after recovering on a dive which in some circumstances may proof fatal.
When confronting slower but more maneuverable planes energy tactics are to be favored over turning and burning, in contrast when facing faster monoplanes the use of horizontal maneuvers, particularly the use of scissors due to the aircraft extremely quick roll rate in combination of short vertical maneuvers such as Immelmans and chandelles. While the plane light weight means that it is relatively slow at building up speed on a dive and also causes it to have a lackluster energy retention for a monoplane the fact that it's paired with a rather powerful engine helps to alleviate this shortfalls and the aircraft can initially out-accelerate planes which otherwise outperform it in the speed department.
Your biggest threat when flying the I-16 Type 5 comes from aircraft with a significant top speed advantage (like the aforementioned Spitfire MkIA and Bf 109 E) as well as from low tier Japanese monoplanes. Against the former your best chance is to use defensive tactics and hoping that they make a mistake or a an ally comes to your aid, rolling scissors and sudden changes of direction through rolling the plane axis are the most effective evasive maneuvers for this particular plane. Against the latter the tactic would depend on the particular model you encounter, against the Ki-27 the use of rolls are the most desired if not nigh obligatory form of evasion, you can't really out turn or outrun the Ki-27 but you can out-roll it particularly at high speeds, zoom climbs are a bit of a mixed bag since while the Type 5 sometimes can get away with it through its superior power-to-weight ratio, but the Ki-27 has a much lower stall speed which sometimes allows it to stay all the way through the zoom climb with early I-16's (latter, heavier variants of the plane are more effective at using this tactic). Against the Ki-43 things became quite complicated since the Ki-43-I and the Type 5 are pretty well matched in roll rate (were the latter has a slight advantage) and turn rate were the former has slight advantage), a combination of turns and rolls is the best way to evade the Ki-43's though it has to be done careful in order to be effective, the latter Ki-43-II with its considerably higher top speed but reduced maneuverability is confronted more effectively by use of horizontal maneuvers while trying to prevent it from reaching high speeds that would allow it to use energy tactics against you.
The I-16 Type 5 is not a very effective interceptor, not being much faster than most monoplanes bombers in its tier while having both a rather weak armament and protection.
Manual Engine Control
|Controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Not controllable||Separate||Not ontrollable||Not controllable|
|I||Fuselage Repair, Radiator||Offensive 7 mm|
|III||Wing Repair, Engine||New 7 mm MGs|
Pros and cons
- Small target
- Great manoeuvrability
- High max altitude
- Good low attitude climb-rate
- Slow, some same tiered bombers fly faster
- No external payloads
- Do NOT attempt to chase a steep climbing target at low altitudes, as you may quickly stall and die
- Loses speed very quickly
Developed from the early I-16 Type 4, the I-16 Type 5 was the first version of the I-16 to incorporate the M-25 engine (which produced 700 HP in contrast with the previous M-22 engine that produced just 480 HP) and receiving ShKAS machine gun in place of the Type 4's slower firing PV-1's. Testing of the new power-plant in the I-16 airframe started in October 1935 with serial production of the aircraft starting in early 1936 and continued up to late 1937, through it's production several changes would be done to the production model using the feedback obtained by the operational and combat experience through the 1936-1937, most notably the removal of the sliding canopy in favor of an open cockpit and the addition of the PAK-1 reflector sight in place of the older OP-1 telescopic sight. It was substituted in production by the I-16 Type 10 and by that time over 2,000 units had been built.
By the mid 1936 the I-16 Type 5 had just begun to be put into service with several units of the VVS when the Spanish Civil War broke out. After receiving an economical lawn by the Spanish Republican government the Soviet Union started to supply the government forces with war equipment and resources to oppose the fascist supported Nationalist. The first batch of I-16 Type 5's was deployed in November 1936. The I-16 Type 5 would soon proof to be a formidable aircraft being easily able to intercept the Ju-52 utility/bomber aircraft while proving superior to the German He-51's deployed by the Condor Legion. At the time only the Italian built Cr.32 stood a chance against the soviet monoplane fighter due to its superior armament, maneuverability and superior diving performance, the Republican Air Force would soon start to referred to them as "Moscas" (Fly) while the Nationalists nick named it the "Rata" (Rat). The I-16 Type 5 did however show some issues including limited cockpit visibility, unreliable armament and a tendency to suffer structural damage when flying at high speeds.
In 1937 the Condor Legion had started to deploy its first models of jumo powered Bf 109's as well as their first high performance level bombers like the Ju-86 and the Do-17. The early jumo powered and I-16 Type 5 were well matched, with the Bf 109 B having a slight advantage in top speed, performance at high attitude and in diving performance, while the I-16 boosted a superior maneuverability, power to weight ratio and climb-rate, both aircraft had comparable armament. Although superseded by the I-16 Type 10 by 1938 some models of the Type 5 variation would stay in operational service until the end of the Spanish Civil War and would remain operational service by the Spanish Air Force up to 1953.
The I-16 Type 5 also played a crucial role during the initial stages of both the battle of Khalkhin Gol and the Winter War, by the time the aircraft had started to show its age and were considered generally inferior to the Ki-27 fielded by the IJAAF during Khalkhin Gol and evenly matched with the Dutch produced Fokker DXXI. In both conflicts the Type 5 was latter complemented with the latter Type 10 and Type 17 (as well as a few Type 18's during the Winter War) with would proof to be more effective against the opposing aircraft. The Type 5 was still in service with the VVS at the start of the Great Patriotic War in summer 1941, with some of them being captured by the axis during the advance into Soviet territory. Most Type 5's that survived the initial onslaught were quickly withdrawn in favor of newer models of fighter aircraft like the Yak-1 and LaGG-3 as well as latter and more powerful variants of the I-16.
An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- page on aircraft encyclopedia;
- other literature.
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