Polikarpov I-16  “Mosca”

Polikarpov I-16 “Mosca”

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Polikarpov I-16 “Mosca” Fuerzas Aéreas de la República Española Spring 1937

Flown for the first time in December 1933, this advanced (for the time) Russian fighter had retractable landing gear, a cantilever wing and variable pitch propeller. About 7000 were built, although it was obsolete by the outbreak of WWII. During the Spanish Civil War, Russia supplied nearly 500 of these fighters to the Republicans. CM-023 was flown by the American mercenary Frank G. Tinker (as Francisco Gomez Trejo), who counted 2 Messerschmitt Bf-109s among the eight aircraft he shot down during his 6 months of combat in Spain in the spring and summer of 1937.