I-16 – the world’s first high-speed fighter and the most numerous Soviet aircraft in mid 30s-early 40s period. The cantilever monoplane with retractable chassis I-16 has designed by N. N. Polikarpov in 1933.
The modification I-16 type 18 with M-62 engine entered service in Summer 1939 and took part in Soviet-Japan conflict on Khalhin-Gol river, and then – in Soviet-Finnish Winter War 1939-1940.
From the end of 1939 it were produced I-16 type 24 with M-63 engine and I-16 type 28 with cannon armament.
In the initial stage of Soviet-German War I-16 types 18, 24, 28 were the most expanded fighters in service and stood the main weight of heavy air battles.