The present paper is the first in a series of works devoted to the solvability of the Possio singular integral equation. This equation relates the pressure distribution over a typical section of a slender wing in subsonic compressible air flow to the normal velocity of the points of a wing (downwash). In spite of the importance of the Possio equation, the question of the existence of its solution has not been settled yet. We provide a rigorous reduction of the initial boundary value problem involving a partial differential equation for the velocity potential and highly nonstandard boundary conditions to a singular integral equation, the Possio equation. The question of its solvability will be addressed in our forthcoming work.