|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Polikarpov|
Criticism of the "gulled" upper wing centre section of the I-15, which restricted the pilot's view for take-off and landing, led indirectly to major redesign of the fighter as the I-152 (I-15bis). The structure was restressed and extensively revised, a new Clark YH aerofoil was adopted, the span and area of the upper wing were increased, the wing centre section was carried above the fuselage by a cabane of splayed N-struts, and the 775hp M-25V engine was enclosed by a long-chord cowling. Fuel capacity was increased, but armament remained four 7.62mm guns. The I-152 was first flown early in 1937, production deliveries commencing mid-year. One of the first recipients of the I-152 was the Chinese Central Government, which was assigned 186 from late 1937 through early 1938 (an additional 86 being supplied later), and 31 reached Spain in January 1939 (a further 62 being held at the French frontier, of which 20 were subsequently released to the new Nationalist government). One example was fitted with two TK-3 turbo-superchargers as the I-152TK, one was equipped with a pressure cabin (Germeticheskaya kabina) as the I-152GK, and another was tested with DM-2 ramjets as the I-152DM. Production of the I-152 was phased out early in 1939, having totalled 2,408 examples, 60 squadrons being equipped with this type during 1939.