Polikarpov I-185/M-71 “Étalon”: The old master still knew his trade.

In the Stalin’s USSR a designer life could be quite shaky, and Nikolai Polikarpov was a clear example: prison, labor force, etc, etc. Not only that, when he at last had a Design Bureau, poor Polikarpov suffered even more: during a technical trip to Germany in 1939 some of his workers including Mikhail Gurevich and Artem Mikoyan designed a new fighter, the I-200 and thanks no doubt to Mikoyan’s brother (a senior politician close to Stalin) received the approval to open a new design Bureau and that meant that when Polikarpov returned he found himself without a Bureau. He was appointed professor at Moscow Aviation Institute, but died soon after.
The I-185 with its various engines iterations is one of Polikarpov’s latest projects that reached flight status and it showed the injustice committed against him: they proved to be first class aircraft with serious potential, sadly other aircraft -not as good, that’s for sure- were in mass production by them so the I-185 didn’t go into production.

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One thought on “Polikarpov I-185/M-71 “Étalon”: The old master still knew his trade.

  1. Pingback: Polikarpov I-16: Daddy Cool (X). | The Dreamy Dodo

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