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Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 fighter

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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 fighter:
Soviet Union's Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 fighter

Design

Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich designed the MiG-3.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 was an improved design to replace the inadequate MiG-1. The MiG-3 had the engine move forward, the dihedral on the outer wings was increased, the rear fuselage was cut down, additional fuel was added, more armor, and hard points under the wings were added.

Construction

The MiG-3 was made from wood and metal.

Wing

The wing was placed low in the fuselage.

Fuselage

The front of the fuselage was made from steel tubing with an alloy stressed skin. The skin of the rear fuselage was made from Bakelite plywood that was bonded with glue.

Engine

The engine was the Mikulin AM-35A (1,350 HP). It drove a constant speed propeller.

The engine alone weighed 1,826 lb / 830 kg. The exhausts were made of EYa1-TL-1 heat resistant steel.

With the Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik using the same engine as the MiG-3, priority was given to the Il-2 by Stalin.

Cockpit

The cockpit of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 had only 13 instruments, none being a radio. The pilot used a PBP-1 gunsight when firing his weapons. The canopy could slide. The pilot could also use a rear view mirror that was installed to help watch behind him.

Landing Gear

The landing gear was retractable.

Prototype

The MiG-3 prototype was the first to be tested in the Soviet Union's first full scale wind tunnel.

The I-61 prototype first flew in the spring of 1940.

The MiG-3 prototype first flew in December 1940.

The test pilot, Yekatov, was killed when a supercharger exploded.

Production

By the middle of 1941, 25 MiG-3s a day were leaving the production line.

  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3: 3,322
  • Total: 1,900 estimated. , 3,120, 3,422
    • Manufacturer: State Industries
    • Production: ? - 1941, December 1940 - December 1941

Variants

  • Mikoyan-Gurevich I-61: Prototype. Had a Mikulin AM-35 V-12 engine (1,200 HP).
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich I-211: Prototype with a M-82 engines on a revised MiG-3. Was successful but the La-5 required the engines and got the priority.
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich I-231: Prototype with the AM-39 engine on a revised MiG-3.
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3: Entered service in April 1941.

Usage

The MiG-3 performed better at higher altitudes than most of the Soviet fighters. At altitudes below 5,000 m the MiG-3 wasn't able to keep up with the Bf 109 and Fw 190. Above 16,000' it could keep up with them.

In late 1941 the MiG-3s were made operational.

401st Fighter Squadron

The 401st Fighter Squadron was the first unit to receive the MiG-3. The unit included the ace Stepan Surprun.

Alexandr Pokryshkin

On June 23, 1941, Alexandr Pokryshkin made his first kill of a Bf 109E of Jagdgeschwader 77 in a MiG-3.

Removed From Front Line

By 1943 the MiG-3 was removed from front line service and used for reconnaissance.

Specifications

  Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Mikulin AM.35A
Mikulin AM-35A piston
Cylinders Inline
V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,350
Propeller blades 3
Fuel capacity 2: 29 gallon tanks
2: 110 liter tanks
Dimensions  
Span 33' 9", 33' 9.5"
10.2 m, 10.3 m
Length 20' 9", 26' 9"
8.15 m, 8.25 m
Height 8' 7", 8' 8", 8' 9", 11' 6"
2.64 m, 2.67 m, 3.5 m
Wing area 187.7 ft2 , 188 ft2
17.44 m2
Weight  
Empty 5,709 lb, 5,721 lb, 5,952 lb, 5,996 lb
2,595 kg, 2,700 kg, 2,720 kg
Loaded 7,370 lb, 7,385 lb, 7,694 lb, 7,695 lb
3,350 kg, 3,490 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 314 mph
505 kph
Speed @ 12,880' /
3,925 m
398 mph
640 kph
Speed @ 22,960' 407 mph
Speed @ 22,965' /
7,000 m
398 mph
640 kph
Speed @ 25,590' /
7,800 m
398 mph
640 kph
Speed @ 25,600' /
7,800 m
397 mph
640 kph
Climb 3,935'/minute
1,200 m/minute
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
5.7 minutes
Service ceiling 39,370', 39,400'
12,000 m
Range 510 miles, 743 miles, 777 miles
820 km, 1,195 km, 1,250 km
Armament 2: 7.62 mm ShKas MG
1: 12.7 mm Beresin Bs
Above engine 1: 12.7 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm Beresin, 300 rounds
2: 7.62 mm MG
2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG, 375 rounds each
Under wings or in wings 2: 12.7 mm MG
Under wings - later models 2: 12.7 mm
Bombs 440 lb
Under wings - bombs 440 lb, 485 lb
2: 220 lb
200 kg, 220 kg
2: 100 kg
OR 6: RS-82 Rockets
6: Rockets
6: 82 mm rockets

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  5. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
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