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Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces (Aircraft of the Aces) Paperback – May 25, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“This is an excellent account of the Aces that flew the Polikarpovs ... a hugely enjoyable and educational read, particularly if you are new to this subject.” ―Tim Hatton, Model Shipwrights

“Maslov's text is full of distinguished characters who often give firsthand accounts of what it was like to fly these pioneer fighters. There is the usual wealth of color profiles as well...” ―Jon Guttman, Aviation History (July 2011)

About the Author

Mikhail Maslov is a certified aviation engineer and an employee of the N E Zhukovsky Memorial Museum. He has written a number of articles and books on the history of Russian and Soviet aviation, including the monographs The I-16 Fighter, The I-15 Fighter, The I-15bis Fighter and The I-153 Fighter.

Product Details

  • Series: Aircraft of the Aces (Book 95)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846039819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846039812
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I own a number of Osprey's series "Aircraft of the Aces" and I must say, that this title is the best yet! I have found that a number of the Aircraft of the aces series are somewhat tedious, and boring, consisting of day to day operations of a particular unit or individual. IMHO, uniteresting and slow reading. Not so with Polikarpov I-15, I-16 and I-153 Aces.

Maslov's title is a refreshing change from the usual format in that he goes into developmental detail of the Polikarpov aircraft reveals technical as well as tactical advantages and disadvantages under the different operational areas that the aircraft performed in. All the theatres of war are included in this title; Spain, China, Khalkin Gol, Finland WWII. Exploits of individual pilots are also included. I found it fast paced and very enjoyable.

The color plates are of extremely good quality and will no doubt be helpful for the modeller and the wealth of photographs will be of interest to the aviation buff.

I hope this is a trend in Osprey's Aces series. If so, Ill be buying more!
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Format: Paperback
Mikhail Maslov's POLIKARPOV I-15, I-16 AND I-153 ACES devotes itself to the trio of highly maneuverable fighters designed by Nikolay Polikarpov. From the mid-1930s to late 1941, the I-15, I-153 and I-16 formed the bulwark of Russian Air Force units. Committed to action worldwide, the stubby, sturdy Polikarpov fighters proved to be deadly opponents. Although later eclipsed by LaGG, MiG and Yak products, the Polikarpov family of fighters compiled a first-rate combat record, a record described in this fine 'Osprey Aircraft of the Aces' volume, #95 in the series.

After detailing the production history of the three fighters, Maslov relates the combat record of Polikarpov fighters over Spain, China, the Khalkhin Gol, Finland and Mother Russia itself. In all, some 16,000+ I-15, I-153 and I-16 models were produced. When Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941, I-16s made up 40% of the VVS fighter inventory. I-15bis and I-153 variants were still on strength and Luftwaffe pilots soon learned to fear Polikarpov's fighters. Though outclassed by Bf 109s, VVS pilots were fearless in their attacks on Luftwaffe formations, Russian pilots often launching ramming - 'taran' - attacks in their determination to down the hated 'Fascists.'

POLIKARPOV I-15, I-16 and I-153 ACES is a nicely-done, well-illustrated guide to Polikarpov aces wherever they flew and whatever their nationality. Maslov makes excellent use of first-person reminiscences. Interestingly enough, he devotes several pages to taran attacks and the VVS use of air-to-air rockets, subjects dear to my heart. Given the frantic nature of air combat whether over Spain, China or Moscow, overclaiming was rampant, Maslov making an effort to compare claims against actual losses where known.
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Format: Paperback
This book from Osprey publishing narrates the story of aces who flew Nikolai Polikarpov designed I-15, I-16, I-153 class fighters. Generally Soviets give an abbreviated name of designers for their fighter aviation: La for Lavochkin; Pe for Petliakov;Su for Sukhoi; IL for Ilyushin; Tu for Tupolev etc. Given such a practice it would have been appropriate to name the plane NP or PN.

The book is neatly divided into five chapters.In the first chapter author ecamines technical aspects of the aircraft. Remaining chapters feature its operational history. However some important details are missing. Firstly, I series planes opened a new phase in world aviation history. What were they? It represented a transition from a biplane to truly remarkable advanced monoplane fighter having an enclosed cockpit with a retractable undercarriage. These were also first mass produced aircraft in history nearly 17,000 were built from a period between 1935 to 1941.

How does the planes stack up with the machines of Western airforces? My answer is unequivocal: definitely superior because of following attributes. Among all pre war fighters I- 16 was unique because it provided armour protection for the pilot. Starting from 1937 I-16 was produced with machine guns and cannnons. Even the legendary British fighters Hurricane, Spitfire and for that matter American P 51 Mustangs did not have cannons.Later versions underneath the wings were fitted with rocket launching pads that fired RS-82 rockets.

Though slower than Luftwaffe fighters I- series planes had excellent vertical and horizontal manoeuvrability. I- 153 climbed 5 miles in a minute less than Me - 109. If the German fighter took 24 seconds to take a turn the former could execute this manoeuvre in 12 seconds.
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