Polikarpov I-16 Ishak 'Little Donkey', was designed by Nicolai Polikarpov whilst in a Soviet prison!
In 1927 Stalin demanded an outstanding fighter and when it wasn't forthcoming the designer, along with another talented aero engineer, Grogorovich, were sent to State Aircraft Factory 39....which was a 'Vnutrennaya Tyur'ma' an 'Internal Prison'.
The Polikarpov I-16 first flew in December 1933 and was very advanced for that time, being a monoplane with a cantilever wing, retractable undercarriage and a variable pitch prop.
So a very interesting plane to finally see at Legends!
Just listen to that amazing clatter from that Shvetsov M-62R 1000hp radial engine.
This aircraft, registered now as D-EPRN, was one of the six aircraft built in 1939 that Tim Wallis' Alpine Fighter Collection had restored in Russia. Two are now on display at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum, and four have been sold.
Restored from wreckage recovered in Russia, these six I-16's constitute the only flying examples in the world. They were test flown in Russia before being transported by train to Novisibirsk, then via ship to New Zealand.
The other name often given to this plane 'Rata' ('Rat') was used by the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, where it was in common use....against them.
See the complete Flying Legends 2010 airshow on focalplanes.co.uk