VEF I-16
1939
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VEF I-16

Owing much to a line of light cabin monoplanes and advanced trainers, the I-16, designed by Karlis Irbitis and built as a single prototype by the Valsts Elektrotechniska Fabrika (State Electro-Technical Factory) at Riga, was a single-seat lightweight fighter. Of wooden construction with plywood skinning and a fixed, faired undercarriage, the I-16 was powered by a 454hp Walter Sagitta I-SR 12-cylinder inverted-Vee engine. It carried an armament of two 7.9mm fuselage-mounted machine guns which could be augmented by two wing-mounted 20mm cannon. The success of initial flight testing of the I-16 in 1939 prompted the Latvian authorities to order prototypes of the heavier and more powerful I-19 air superiority fighter, but this was still on the drawing boards when Latvia was occupied by Soviet forces on 17 June 1940. The sole prototype of the I-16 was subsequently flown in Soviet markings which gave place to Luftwaffe markings when the Wehrmacht advanced into Latvia during the following year.

3-View 
VEF I-16A three-view drawing (1647 x 1110)


Specification 
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight1540 kg3395 lb
    Empty weight1100 kg2425 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan8.23 m27 ft 0 in
    Length7.30 m24 ft 11 in
    Wing area11.43 m2123.03 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed483 km/h300 mph
    Range805 km500 miles

Comments
BiplaneLover, 05.08.2015

For any mod in this website, here's some info about latvian military aircraft - latvianaviation.com/en/index.php?content/AF_Index.ssi

Stephen Round, 20.10.2013

Lightweight fighters had no future in the second world war even the Japanese manufacturers eventually started making heavyweight fighters because even their very best lightweight fighters simply became moving targets for the allied air forces to shoot down at leasure. This was due to the new high energy diving and zooming tactics employing the vertical plane of the sky this utilises the kinetic energy of the airoplane to gain advantages over their opponents in combat which cannot be countered by any lightweight.

As Mr Smith the head of development for the Spitfire project said ..."a good big un will always beat a good small un" and that was that.

sven, 08.02.2012

Peter has it in one.Its lacking about 100 sq-ft of wing area for even the smallest merlin. Would I like to have one as it is? Oh yes.

Pater, 23.09.2011

Bigger engine like Merlin for this tiny fuselage is a nonsense. Merlin was at least 300kg heavier than Sagitta + radiator + coolant + bigger propeller = + 450kg at least. Even if you place the radiator somewhere at the back to improve ballance, it will still have too much weight forward. Plus, you need to strenghten and enlarge the whole body and the wing and improve firepower. That makes for a new airplane that will be at least a ton heavier than the original.

napo, 18.06.2011

If it had been given a bigger engine I would imagine it could've given any Axis or Allied fighter of the day a hard time.

, 18.06.2011

VEF I-16
1939

bombardier, 25.05.2011

With retractable undercarriage and a bigger engine a Merlin for example this fighter would have given a hard time to the Soviet fighters

bombardier, 25.05.2011

With retractable undercarriage and a bigger engine a Merlin for example this fighter would have given a hard time to the Soviet fighters

leo rudnicki, 05.05.2009

Karlis Irbitis emigrated to Canada and designed the control system for Canadair CL-84 Tilt-Wing, see rotorcraft section.I don't think Soviets added markings, only the Germans. Upon occupation by Soviets, Soviet Latvians arose like dandelions and took over the factory, sending the Latvian Latvians off to camp.

hichkoks, 30.03.2008

if,same body haw this plane correct drawing, please write me pezo104@mail.ru

Aero-Fox, 30.03.2008

This is one sexy fighter, I would say. I've always been a fan of the 'civilian-aircraft conversion' school of fighter design, which is what this appears to be. If it had been given a bigger engine I would imagine it could've given any Axis or Allied fighter of the day a hard time.

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