Irbitis, VEF I-14 / I-15 / I-16
Страна: Латвия
Год: 1937

VEF. Самолеты

  В 1937 году за I-12 последовал одноместный военный учебный самолет I-14, оснащенный 200-сильным (149 кВт) ПД Menasco B6S. Он был разрушен в ходе испытаний в 1938 году.
  Были построены два прототипа более совершенного учебного самолета I-15. За I-15a, совершившим первый полет в апреле 1939 года, последовал I-15b с 220-сильным (167 кВт) ПД Gypsy Six II.
  Единственный двухдвигательный самолет VEF, многоцелевой военный JDA-10M, поднялся в воздух в сентябре 1939 года.
  Наиболее амбициозным проектом VEF был легкий истребитель I-16. Оснащенный 12-цилиндровым ПД Walter Sagitta ISR мощностью 520 л. с. (388 кВт), единственный прототип взлетел весной 1940 года. После германского вторжения в СССР самолет испытывался Люфтваффе.
Aircraft designed hy Irbitis and built by VEF included the I-14 advanced trainer.
The Irbitis-designed I-15a advanced single-seat training monoplanes built by VEF of Riga (then Latvia) in 1938. No production of these aircraft was undertaken.
The Irbitis-designed I-15b advanced single-seat training monoplanes built by VEF of Riga (then Latvia) in 1938. No production of these aircraft was undertaken. Military markings are those of Latvia.
The V.E.F. I-16 light fighter, which flew in Latvian and Soviet markings as well as the German markings shown here. Pictures of the aircraft in Latvian colours are rare. Note the elliptical clear vision panels in the canopy and the VEF logo forward of the fuel triangle.
Another view of the I-16 showing the aircraft in its Luftwaffe colours. Note the pitot tube under the port wing. The elegant gear spats reveal the attention paid to streamlining.
VEF I-16 undergoing preflight while under Nazi ‘ownership’. Note the orange Luftwaffe fuel octane triangle just aft of the exhaust stacks. Test pilot K Mikelsons is seen at far right.
The I-16 warming up its Walter Sagitta engine prior to a Luftwaffe-sponsored test flight with K Mikelsons at the controls. Note the VEF company logo, designed by the I-16’s designer Karlis Irbitis, aft of the engine cooling air exhaust gill.
Another view of the I-16 during engine run-up. The aircraft was coded эAW+10' for Luftwaffe service. All Latvian aircraft used or tested by the Luftwaffe were coded with an ‘AW’ suffix. Note the trailing edge tailplane fillet, the rudder control rod fairing and the non-skid step panel on the mainplane.
An excellent idea of what an opponent would see of the nasty end of the I-16. The aircraft is undergoing engine warm-up.
A rare picture of the I-16 just after its roll-out. This photo was taken prior to the commencement of flight testing with the aircraft in Latvian markings. Note the Latvian Ugunskrusts on the fuselage and wings and the lack of the aircraft’s canopy.
Almost ready. An excellent photo showing the I-16 nearing completion. Many structural details are readily apparent. A VEF I-12 is in the foreground.
Designer and Pilot, Karlis Irbitis gives some last minute advice to K Mikelsons (in cockpit). An excellent view of the canopy and some cockpit details.
The I-16 prior to first flight; Scheme as adopted for the first flight, Spring 1940; Colour scheme during flight testing under Soviet occupation, Spring 1940; Under Luftwaffe control, circa 1940.
Valsts Elektrotechniska Fabrika Irbitis I-16 lightweight fighter, circa 1939