MiG-3: SPEED AND ALTITUDEIn early 1939, at the meetings of the military and industrial leadership of the Soviet Union repeatedly raised the issue of creating new types of fighters and about the increasing power of the aviation industry in case of war could not cope with the necessary volumes of deliveries of combat aircraft. The impetus for this was the analysis of air fighting in Spain, where it became apparent technological backwardness of Soviet fighters I-15 and I-16 from the new enemy aircraft, particularly from the German BF-109.

The plans for the construction of aircraft 1939 – 1940 there was a release of a number of new machines, the design of which began in almost all aviation design Bureau of the country.

In the autumn of 1939 was clarified requirements for new fighters. In the task indicated that the new machines were supposed to surpass their potential enemies by background characteristics. Ordered the fighters were divided into several types: high-speed single-engine, twin-engine high-speed and maneuverable.
High-speed fighter aircraft was supposed to equip two rifle-calibre machine guns with ammunition 1500 rounds per gun one 23-mm cannon or two heavy machine guns, ammunition 100 rounds or 500 rounds. Weapons maneuvering the aircraft remained machinegun. In addition, each fighter could carry up to eight rockets RS-82 and have the opportunity to install the bomb racks.
Maximum speed 650 km/h fighters had to develop at elevations from 3000 to 9000 m, and the range was supposed to be 600 km.
Lead role in designing an aircraft that meets all these requirements, played OKB of Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov, who was considered to be the best designer of Soviet fighters of that time. Machines of this design Bureau was the basis of Soviet fighter aircraft and enjoyed the deserved respect of pilots.
More recently, in 1938, his creative team has put the air force fighter-biplane with retractable landing gear And a-153. But obsolete biplane scheme is, in principle, could not meet the requirements. Therefore, the main task of the Polikarpov design Bureau was the creation of a promising fighter-monoplane I-180.
Fighter MiG-3
Fighter MiG-3
I-180 had excellent design characteristics but it was very difficult. The chief designer of all time rush, and components came to the plant very late and had poor quality. As a result, flight testing the I-180 was released with numerous defects, and in the first flight he crashed – died legendary Soviet pilot Valery Pavlovich Chkalov. And at the end of state tests on I-180 was in a spin and killed a well-known test pilot Tomas Suzi Pavlovich, who in the autumn of 1932 led the group flights on the route Moscow – Kharkiv – Moscow and set a new world record long high-altitude flights.
Despite these disasters, I-180 I decided to prepare for serial production, with plans to start him in January 1941 at a rate of 120 units per month. However, in late 1940, the decision was canceled. The main reason for this was the erroneous opinion of the management of aviation industry about inappropriate use of radial engines for fighter aircraft with flight speeds over 500 km/h. Although the 180 already by its very existence refuted such misconceptions, it is easy to developing a speed of over 580 km/h, after modernization the power plant H. H. Polikarpov generally planned to reach the line of 650 km/h. But the distrust of the radial engines was not the only reason. The new leaders of the Soviet aviation industry – in particular, A. I. Shakhurin and C. A. Yakovlev – seen in the I-180 threat to the advancement of fighters of other EDO (in particular, I-26, the A. S. Yakovlev) and therefore strongly supported the work of competitors H. H. Polikarpov designed the aircraft with the inline engines water cooling.
Interestingly, a similar project under the designation I-61 were in the H. H. OKB Polikarpov. As propulsion it used the engine AM-35, created in OKB A. A. Mikulin. This liquid-cooled engine was designed on the basis of known AM-34, which was mounted on a heavy Soviet bomber TB-3, TB-4 (ANT-16), TB-7 (PE-8), “Maxim Gorky” and many other aircraft. On trials in 1939, the AM-35 had developed a fairly high capacity of 1350 HP at sea level and 1,250 HP at the altitude of 4500 meters. Continuing to improve their offspring, Mikulin installed in the fuel system AM-35 special radiator (according to Western terminology -intercooler), which cools the compressed supercharger air before it is fed into the carburettors, which allowed us to raise takeoff power at 100 HP and output of AM-35 of the leaders on this indicator among the other V-engines. Modified so the motor was designated the AM-37.
In the summer of 1939, when mass-dimensional data of the AM-37 was received in OKB Polikarpov, Deputy M. N. Rivkin, head of engineering Department of M. I. Gurevich and chief aerodynamicist N. Z. The swearing undertook preliminary design of the new fighter, later (in the autumn) the designation of I-200. Structurally and technologically, he continued the line of I-16 And I-180. However, it was pawned for quick and easy replacement of the most vulnerable parts of the structure of the wing and center section and easier access to the fuel tanks. In addition, easily removable motor mount was executed, controls the aircraft ailerons, flaps, and other components and assemblies. All this in the future identified high technology machines in production.
I-200 was a low with a fairly high wing loading of 150 kg/m2 (I-180 she was 10 kg/m2 less) and a maximum design speed of 670 km/h at 7000 m (without turbocharger). The rise of the aircraft at the altitude of 5000 m held for 4.6 min, and 7000 m to 6.8 minutes. Armament consisted of two machine guns ShKAS caliber rifle and one heavy machine gun of Berezina BS design. In the future, Polikarpov planned to increase the maximum flight speed of the fighter by increasing wing loading and modernization of the power plant.
The preliminary draft was almost completed and it is prepared for approval, but, in connection with the departure of Polikarpov in the Soviet delegation to Germany to experience German aircraft, project promotion the chain of command was suspended.
Meanwhile, at the aircraft plant No. 1, which started the serial production of obsolete polikarovsky-153, preoccupied by the search for new promising machines to launch them into production. The Commission for the selection of projects, first drew his attention to a light fighter I-26 construction A. S. Yakovlev (later Yak-1), but, as the company is formally subordinated to Polikarpov, Director of the plant P. A. Voronin has proposed to consider “native” project – polikarovsky-200, which, in his opinion, had the best features.
And, indeed, acquainted with the documentation, the car Polikarpov gave up the advantage. The people’s Committee promptly approved the project and, despite the absence of the chief engineer, gave all the documentation on the plane in a specially created to work on I-200 experienced design Department (JCE) for maneuverable fighters. Leader EYE has appointed Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan, brother of Stalin’s Commissar. To help Mikoyan, who had never engaged in aircraft design, has appointed experienced Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich and several other leading specialists of the OKB Polikarpov. Began production of working drawings. Well, for plant No. 1 deployment of production-200 has become a priority.
The layout of the fighter was completed and approved on 25 December 1939. Purge and evaluation of the flight characteristics of the machine were made in TSAGI and was successfully completed on 2 January 1940. After the preparation of the design documentation to the staff development Department Mikoyan and management of the plant No. 1 requested the construction of three prototypes. Motor AM-37, which is calculated on the plane, was not yet ready, and the fighters had to set the engines AM-35A.
First flight-200 was held April 5, in the air machine has raised test pilot A. N. ECAT. His first impressions were very positive, and further testing showed almost complete conformity of real characteristics of the aircraft stated. In the third flight aboard the I-200 was on fire, but the car was saved, and after repairs she was again up in the air. Circled the second car, a military pilot major M. N. By Akulinin took place on 9 may.
The third prototype was initially used for ground tests of arms, and the first flight he made on June 6. This car can be seen as a pre-production sample, because in addition to the three machine guns: two ShKAS and one BS there was a radio station, and the wings had a metal casing.
May 24, 1940 Arkady ECAT gained altitude 6900 m and accelerated to the speed of 648,5 km/h. This achievement did not go unnoticed, and after a few days, without waiting for the completion of the test, the fighter launched. On the instructions of the government by the end of 1940 plant No. 1 was to supply 125 serial fighters. In the meantime, improving the production cycle, the pilots continued to surprise everyone with their achievements. August 5, the second sample exceeded the speed of 650 km/h at 7000 m, and the motor worked in nominal mode. For maximum speed at altitude 2220 m a fighter jet flew at a speed of 579 km/h and at a speed of 605 km/h – at an altitude of 3630 meters.
August 18 the same year, at the aviation Day parade aviation, already hackneyed I-16 And I-15, rapid-200 made a strong impression.
Began public testing during which we were able to reach a speed of 628 km/h at an altitude of 7200 meters. However, the test pilots noted the low reliability of the power plant and some difficulties in administration, demanding to improve the stability in roll and pitch. Moreover, to improve the maneuverability And serial-200 is recommended to install the slats. The military wished to be armed, to increase the range from 650 to 1000 km and protestirovat fuel tanks.
In December, the name of the aircraft with removed comments and made wishes changed to MiG-1 and the first ten copies of the series sent to military trials. Variant with increased almost two times range called the MiG-3. All works necessary for that purpose, carried on the fourth prototype of the fighter. Around the same time at the disposal of the designers handed over the first flying motor AM-37. It was installed on the second prototype and was flown on 6 January 1941. In the first flight revealed many shortcomings of the engine, but to fix them failed. On 7 may, the aircraft crashed, and the fine-tuning of the AM-37 was continued in one of the serial MiG-3.
The production MiG-3 with engines AM-35A began on 15 December 1940. The production version differed a new cooling system engine and an extra fuel tank of 250 L. To preserve the alignment of the engine shifted forward, which mount had to be lengthened by 100 mm to improve stability of transverse V wing panels increased by 1°. As a result of improvements take-off mass production of fighters increased by 250 kg., Respectively, decreased the rate of climb deteriorated and landing characteristics. However, aerobatic, high speed and high quality MiG has improved somewhat.
In the spring of 1941 the air force was 660 MiG-1 and MiG-3. But before the war this number was not considered sufficient, and the decree of the Council of people’s Commissars of the production aircraft ordered to increase. As of June 1, was built in 1094 machine.
Despite the fact that “MiG” is constantly improving, to completely get rid of identified test defects and failed. Drill the pilots noted a lack of stability, weak chassis design and the many defects in the power plant, what great confidence the pilots of the plane didn’t use and retraining of pilots of I-16 And I-15 on “MiGs” was hard.
By the beginning of the war fighter units in the Western military districts had 917 “MiGs”, which accounted for roughly a quarter of all Soviet fighters. 48 hours after the attack the Germans in the ranks was 384, and the rest were destroyed mostly on the ground as a result of enemy aircraft attacks and his technical staff during the retreat. And a few of the MiG-3 was in the hands of the enemy absolutely in good condition.
Air battles were few, but they are fully manifested constructionproduction defects, especially in her arms, forcing pilots to go to desperate steps and RAM the enemy aircraft. It is believed that the first aerial ramming during the great Patriotic war was carried out exactly on this type of a fighter.
The loss of personnel and equipment forced to throw in the most valuable footage of test pilots from the air force research Institute and design Bureau, which had a great flight experience and piloting skills. Forming six pieces of special purpose.
Two aviation regiment (401 and 402) was armed with MiG-3. The first was commanded by Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel S. P. Suprun, second – Lieutenant-Colonel P. M. Stefanovsky, a prominent Soviet pilots of the time.
401 regiment went into battle in the first days of July. Pilots of the regiment fought against superior enemy forces in the district of Orsha, and then at Vyazma. In 44 days of fighting, they shot down 56 enemy aircraft, but lost 28 of its pilots, including the commander – Stepan Pavlovich Suprun. The circumstances of his death are not precisely known. Command of the regiment accepted the Colonel K. K. Kokkinaki, who on his MiG-3 shot down four enemy aircraft in person and three in the group. August 13, 401 regiment was sent to re-form, and test pilots have returned to work.
402-th regiment went into battle July 2 in the Pskov region. Until August, his pilots shot down 27 enemy planes, but lost almost all of its (by mid-July there were only three serviceable MiG-3). After the reorganization of Moscow, the regiment returned to the front in 1942, it was rearmed with Yak-1.
Other parts of fighter aircraft, flew the MiG-3, also heroically fought the enemy; almost all a number of aerial victories have outnumbered the losses.
Among the many pilots who flew the MiG-3, it is necessary to highlight the future of the legendary ACE Alexander Pokryshkin, who fought in MiGs until the end of 1942 and only for the period was down around 15 Nazi planes.
Fighter MiG-3
Fighter MiG-3
Manifested in the course of operation, the disadvantages are gradually eliminated, and the MiG was continuously improved. So, to increase longitudinal stability in mass production launched a new wings with automatic slats. And put them not only on new machines, but also gradually upgraded the previously released planes in combat units. In MiGs early series were replaced by propellers. New was lighter and without the effect of “promotion”.
The armament was also increased. The first car had a standard set of one 12.7 mm BS machine gun and two 7.62 mm ShKAS. Late – and two wing-mounted ShKAS 7.62 mm or under-wing-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun BK. In the autumn of 1941, the series has gone the two heavy machine guns BS in the bow, and from “weak” ShKAS was abandoned in favor of increasing the ammunition. Already at the end of serial production of the MiG-3 started to put two 20-mm cannon ShVAK.
Cannon “MiGs” were equipped with engines AM-38 with a maximum capacity of 1500 HP
In October 1941 the main producer of the MiG-3 – Moscow plant № 1 was evacuated to Kuibyshev, where it was planned to continue their output, but on 26 November the factory received an order to stop production of these aircraft in favor of Il-2, which had the same engine. Serial production of “MiG” in Kuibyshev gradually decreased and finally ceased in early 1942.
In the spring of the same year, KB Mikoyan returned to Moscow and the production plant of factory No. 115 has resumed production of the MiG-3 with cannon armament. However, the quantities were negligible -30 machines. All in all, it was built 3172 MiG-3.
In combat regiments of tactical aviation, the number of the MiG-3 has been reduced -mainly due to the lack of spare parts, and in the course of reformation of the fighter part of the rearming of the fighters Yakovlev and Lavochkin. In the regiments of air defense, the air covering Moscow, Leningrad and other major cities, “MiGs” was delayed much longer – until the summer of 1944. Performing tasks standing in front of air defence, the MiG has shown itself from the best side. Can be very useful here was his great height and speed. On account of the pilots of the Soviet air defense lists more than 700 victories.
The MiG-3 became the most popular fighter of new generation put into service just before the war. At speed and altitude it was on par with the best fighters in the world but, unfortunately, his service was short. However, the MiG-3 has left an appreciable trace in the history of domestic aviation, assuming all the difficulties of the initial period of the great Patriotic war.
Design description
The MiG-3 was a single high-altitude fighter of mixed construction, made by normal aerodynamic scheme with low wing.
Technologically the fuselage consisted of two compartments – the front and tail. The front was formed by a spatial frame made of welded pipes and engine mount. Compartment closed by dural panels five and seven removable hood, observed by the castles “ZUSHI”. Rear compartment – wood, monocoque (as described in the technical description – “scallopboy design”), carried integral with the keel. The power range of the compartment was formed of four pine longerons with lining of bakelite plywood, stringers (pine slats) and eight box-shaped frames. Trim the tail section was wycliffes from five layers of veneer with a thickness of 0.5 mm; the inside and outside of the compartment papered another layer; the outside section is covered with putty and viskazalas.
The engine was installed in the front compartment on the steel Motorama; it also housed units of the fuel system. The front of the engine, just behind the spinner screw was located the oil tank and expansion tank. Behind the engine were fixed to the front fuel tank and cartridge boxes. On the engine, before the cockpit was installed weapons.
The cockpit was located behind the fuel tank and was completely closed by the lantern, consisting of a front fixed shroud, the middle sliding part glazed outside door. The middle part of the lantern is opened by moving backward flight; if necessary, it can be emergency reset. Cup the pilot seat is regulated on height.
Instrumentation allows you to perform flights day and night, in VFR and IFR weather conditions. In the lower part of the section, under the floor of the cabin, mounted liquid cooler and the main fuselage fuel tank.
In front of the tail section, just behind the pilot’s seat, housed the radio equipment. Around the Bay took place of the control rod of the control surfaces. In the lower part (under the keel) was installed tail (spike) wheel, and slightly higher section of the stabilizer.
The wing is single-spar, mixed design. The center section is metal. Longitudinal force consisted of I-shaped steel spar, the two dural walls (additional spars), 2 mm thick with reinforcing profiles and five stringers under the top wing skin. Cross set was composed of 13 ribs, two of which (the power) went along the sides of the fuselage. Wing profile – Сlark UNIVERSITY, elongation -5,97, transverse V – 6°. In the center section of the wing housed the fuel tanks and niche cleaning the main landing gear.
Two detachable wing – wooden, single-spar design. Longitudinal power set consoles consisted of a spar box type, two box-like walls with nine stringers. Cross set formed ribs 15 of the beam type. The consoles lining – 5-ply bakelite plywood thickness from 2.5 to 4 mm When the Assembly was used casein glue.
At the trailing edge of the wing panels were mounted ailerons of the “fries” with the angles of deflection: up 25° , down to -18°. The power range of the ailerons – aluminum, trim – cloth AST-100. Across the span of the lower surface of the wing (ailerons) was located dural flaps type “shrink”. The angle of deflection of flaps is 55°.
The aircraft later series (starting the 19th) at the front edge of the wing before the ailerons, housed the automatic slats.
The tail unit consisted of a vertical fin, made integral with the tail section of the fuselage, rudder, stabilizer and elevators. Frame two stabilizer – aluminum, with a cladding made from thin sheet aluminum. Frames rudder and elevators – also duralumin with fabric covering. On rudder and right sections of the Elevator were operated trimmers.
Control system – combined. The Aileron and rudder actuator – control knobs with push-pull rods, while the rudder was connected with the pedals Bowden-cable runs. The flaps were rejected by the pneumatic cylinders.
Chassis – retractable, tricycle, tailwheel. The main stand was developed in a niche of the wing along the axis of the aircraft tail stand – on the flight back into the fuselage. Housekeeping system – pneumatic. The design of the main props in the production process of the machine has changed. Depreciation stands – vostochnoperevoznaya (mixture of 70% glycerin and 30% alcohol). Stroke of the absorber rods were 250 – 270 mm dimensions of the main wheels – 600×200 mm, tail – 170х90мм. Tail stand in line units were often recorded in the released position and does not retract.
The power plant of the V – shaped 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engines AM-35A takeoff power 1350 HP, cooling systems, lubrication and fuel supply. The engine was equipped with propellers VISH-22E and VISH-61Ш (first series), and later propellers AB-5L-or VISH-105P. Radiator – cellular, type, OP-310, with capacity of 40 l; was placed in the tunnel under the cockpit. The degree of cooling was regulated by the deviation of louver and damper. Two oil cooler located on the sides of the forward fuselage.
Starting system the engine air from the common pneumatic system. At the hub of the propeller aircraft of the last series there was a ratchet for airfield run autostarter. Six thin-walled exhaust pipes were made from heat-resistant steel ЭЯ1-TL1. Spinner -magnesium alloy “electron”.
The fuel system consisted of four tanks (two in fuselage and two wing) with a total capacity of 680 l and the units of the fuel control. Filling tanks – separate, through the filling neck. Provided for the possibility of suspension under the wing of two resettable PTD with a capacity of 100 liters each.
Aircraft equipment consisted of electrical, instrument, navigation, communication and high-rise.
Electrical equipment included a generator GS-350 and the battery 12А5 (grid – wire). These sources provided lights, ANO, light-signalling and ambient cabin lighting, heated and LDPE.
Instrument and navigation equipment were allowed to fly day and night in simple and adverse weather conditions.
The aircraft had established radio RSI-3 or RSI-4, some vehicles were equipped with a radio, and some of the fighters had no radio equipment. In some regiments the radio was removed to facilitate the aircraft and improve its handling characteristics.
In the high-altitude equipment included oxygen device KPA-3 oxygen cylinder with a capacity of 4 l in Almost all of the MiG-3 was not involved in the defense system, this equipment had not been used.
The armament of the aircraft consisted of missile, rocket and bomb. Standard missile included
12.7-mm UBS machine gun with 300 rounds of ammunition and two machine guns ShKAS ammunition 375 – 750 rounds each. All small arms were installed on the engine, front cockpit, and was synchronized with the propeller. In the later series of arms increased. It was also envisaged suspension of two wing-mounted containers
12.7-machine guns BK.
Reactive missile launchers six RO-82 rockets RS-82.
Bomber weapons were placed on the four wing castle holders DZ-40 capacity 100 kg Total bomb load – 200 kg. for the possibility of the use of bombs caliber 100, 50 and 25 kg.
On all series of MiG-3 was mounted reflex sight PBP-1A.
Flight characteristics of the MiG-3
Wing span, m 10,20
Length, m 8,25
Height, m 3,50
Wing area, m2 17,44
Weight, kg:
empty aircraft 2699
takeoff 3350
fuel 463
Maximum speed, km/h:
earth 505
at the height of 640
Practical range, km 1250
The rate of climb, m/min 877
Practical ceiling, m 12 000

A. CHECHIN, N. Food reserve was

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