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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-3.5

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 was an improved design to replace the inadequate MiG-1.4,5 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.4,5

Construction

The MiG-3 was made from wood and metal.5

Wing

The wing was placed low in the fuselage.5

Fuselage

The front of the fuselage was made from steel tubing with an alloy stressed skin.1 The skin of the rear fuselage was made from Bakelite plywood that was bonded with glue.1

Engine

The engine was the Mikulin AM-35A (1,350 HP).2 It drove a constant speed propeller.2,3

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

With the Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik using the same engine as the MiG-3, priority was given to the Il-2 by Stalin.1

Cockpit

The cockpit of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 had only 13 instruments, none being a radio.1 The pilot used a PBP-1 gunsight when firing his weapons.1 The canopy could slide.3 The pilot could also use a rear view mirror that was installed to help watch behind him.5

Landing Gear

The landing gear was retractable.5

Prototype

The MiG-3 prototype was the first to be tested in the Soviet Union's first full scale wind tunnel.4

The I-61 prototype first flew in the spring of 1940.3

The MiG-3 prototype first flew in December 1940.4

The test pilot, Yekatov, was killed when a supercharger exploded.1

Production

By the middle of 1941, 25 MiG-3s a day were leaving the production line.4

  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3: 3,3223
  • Total: 1,900 estimated.2 , 3,1201,4, 3,4223
    • Manufacturer: State Industries5
    • Production: ? - 19415, December 1940 - December 19415

Variants

  • Mikoyan-Gurevich I-61: Prototype.3 Had a Mikulin AM-35 V-12 engine (1,200 HP).3
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich I-211: Prototype with a M-82 engines on a revised MiG-3.1 Was successful but the La-5 required the engines and got the priority.1
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich I-231: Prototype with the AM-39 engine on a revised MiG-3.1
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3: Entered service in April 1941.4

Usage

The MiG-3 performed better at higher altitudes than most of the Soviet fighters.1,4 At altitudes below 5,000 m the MiG-3 wasn't able to keep up with the Bf 109 and Fw 190.1,3,5 Above 16,000' it could keep up with them.5

In late 1941 the MiG-3s were made operational.5

401st Fighter Squadron

The 401st Fighter Squadron was the first unit to receive the MiG-3.1 The unit included the ace Stepan Surprun.1

Alexandr Pokryshkin

On June 23, 1941, Alexandr Pokryshkin made his first kill of a Bf 109E of Jagdgeschwader 77 in a MiG-3.1

Removed From Front Line

By 1943 the MiG-3 was removed from front line service and used for reconnaissance.4

Specifications

  Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31,2,3,4,5
Type Fighter1,2,3,4,5
Crew 11,2,3,4,5
Engine (Type) Mikulin AM.35A5
Mikulin AM-35A piston1,2,3,4
Cylinders Inline2,4
V 121,3,4,5
Cooling Liquid5
HP 1,3501,2,3,4,5
Propeller blades 31,2,4
Fuel capacity 2: 29 gallon tanks1
2: 110 liter tanks1
Dimensions  
Span 33' 9"1,5, 33' 9.5"2,3,4
10.2 m1, 10.3 m2,3,4
Length 20' 9"1, 26' 9"2,3,4,5
8.15 m2,3,4, 8.25 m1
Height 8' 7"5, 8' 8"4, 8' 9"2,3, 11' 6"1
2.64 m4, 2.67 m2,3, 3.5 m1
Wing area 187.7 ft2 2,3, 188 ft2 1
17.44 m2 1,2,3
Weight  
Empty 5,709 lb1, 5,721 lb3, 5,952 lb4, 5,996 lb2
2,595 kg1,3, 2,700 kg4, 2,720 kg2
Loaded 7,370 lb1, 7,385 lb3,4, 7,694 lb2, 7,695 lb5
3,350 kg1,3,4, 3,490 kg2
Performance  
Speed at sea level 314 mph4
505 kph4
Speed @ 12,880' /
3,925 m
398 mph2
640 kph2
Speed @ 22,960' 407 mph5
Speed @ 22,965' /
7,000 m
398 mph3
640 kph3
Speed @ 25,590' /
7,800 m
398 mph4
640 kph4
Speed @ 25,600' /
7,800 m
397 mph1
640 kph1
Climb 3,935'/minute2,3
1,200 m/minute2,3
Climb to 16,405' /
5,000 m
5.7 minutes4
Service ceiling 39,370'2,3,4,5, 39,400'1
12,000 m1,2,3,4
Range 510 miles4,5, 743 miles1, 777 miles2,3
820 km4, 1,195 km1, 1,250 km2,3
Armament 2: 7.62 mm ShKas MG5
1: 12.7 mm Beresin Bs5
Above engine 1: 12.7 mm MG4
1: 12.7 mm Beresin1,2,3, 300 rounds1
2: 7.62 mm MG4
2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG1,2,3, 375 rounds each1
Under wings or in wings 2: 12.7 mm MG4
Under wings - later models 2: 12.7 mm2,3
Bombs 440 lb5
Under wings - bombs 440 lb1, 485 lb4
2: 220 lb3
200 kg1, 220 kg4
2: 100 kg3
OR 6: RS-82 Rockets1,2
6: Rockets3
6: 82 mm rockets4

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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