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Sikorsky S-16


Sikorsky S-16

Full scale non-flying replica of the S-16 exhibited at the New England Air Museum in Connecticut.
Role Fighter
Manufacturer RBVZ (Russo-Baltic Wagon Works)
Designer Igor Sikorsky
First flight 6 February 1915
Introduction January 1916
Retired 1923
Primary users Imperial Russian Air Service
Soviet Air Force

The Sikorsky S-16 (named after its designer) or RBVZ S-XVI (named after its manufacturer) was a Russian equi-span single-bay two-seat biplane designed by Igor Sikorsky in 1914-15. Conceived in response to demand for an escort fighter for the Ilya Muromets bombers, it was noteworthy in that it was one of the first aircraft to possess synchronisation gear for its 7.7mm machine gun. The first S-XVI was completed on 6 February 1915 with an 80 hp engine instead of the intended 100 hp because of supply problems. On 17 December 1915, the Russian government placed an order for 18 aircraft, these being delivered in early 1916.


  • Operational history 1
  • Operators 2
  • Specifications 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5

Operational history

Although highly maneuverable, the S-XVI possessed a comparatively poor performance due to insufficient power. A further small batch were completed in 1917, with the aircraft being used during the Russian Revolution and staying in service until 1923.


 Russian Empire
 Soviet Union


General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 6.20m (20 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.40m (27 ft 6¾ in)
  • Height: 2.78m (9 ft 1½ in)
  • Wing area: 25.36m² (272.98 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 407 kg (897 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 676 kg (1,490 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × 100hp Le Rhone/80hp Gnome air-cooled rotary engine, 75 kW (100 hp)


  • Guns: 1 x 7.7 mm Lavrov or 1 х Vickers, 500 rounds machine gun


  • William Green and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Colour Library Direct, Godalming, UK: 1994. ISBN 1-85833-777-1.

External links

Media related to Sikorsky S-16 at Wikimedia Commons

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