Nikolayevich Polikarpov was, with Tupolev, the most famous
Russian aircraft designer prior to World War II. Polikarpov
worked with Igor Sikorsky prior to 1917 and was the chief designer
of State Aircraft Factory Number One prior to the establishment of
Polikarpov was famous for light aircraft like the
U-2 (renamed the Po-2 in his honor) utility biplane and biplane
fighter aircraft. The Polikarpov monoplane fighter I-16 was
possibly the best fighter in the world when it went into production
Polikarpov's designs could not compete with those
of Yakovlev, MiG and LaGG and his design bureau was closed at his
death in 1944.
Note: Following the Soviet method of
designating aircraft, Polikarpov was a design bureau and not a
manufacturer of aircraft.