Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3

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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
Missing image
MiG-3.jpg
Image:MiG-3.jpg


the slogan on the nearest aircraft reads "za rodinu" - "for the motherland"
Description
RoleFighter
Crewone, pilot
First FlightJanuary 1941
Entered Service1941
ManufacturerMikoyan-Gurevich
Dimensions
Length8.25 m27 ft 1 in
Wingspan10.20 m33 ft 5 in
Height3.50 m11 ft 6 in
Wing area17.5 m²188 ft²
Weights
Empty2,699 kg5,938 lb
Loaded3,350 kg7,370 lb
Maximum takeoff3,490 kg7,678 lb
Powerplant
EngineMikulin AM-35A
Power1,007 kW1,350 hp
Performance
Maximum speed640 km/h400 mph
Range1,250 km781 miles
Service ceiling12,000 m39,360 ft
Rate of climb882 m/min2,894 ft/min
Wing loading191 kg/m²39lb/ft²
Power/Mass0.30 kW/kg0.18 hp/lb
Avionics
Avionics
Armament
Guns1x 12.7 mm BS machine gun
2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns
Stores2x 100 kg (220 lb) bombs or
6 x 82 mm rockets

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 (Микоян-Гуревич МиГ-3) was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a development of the MiG-1 in an attempt to curb some of that aircraft's handling problems. This proved to be only partly successful, however.

Mikoyan and Gurevich made a large number of modifications to the MiG-1 design after field testing revealed a number of dangerous characteristics of the type. The most significant of these was doubling the dihedral of the outer wings in an attempt to create more stability, and lengthening the nose of the aircraft to move the engine and therefore centre of gravity further forward. These changes were quickly implemented on the MiG-1 production line, and by March 1941, 10 of these aircraft were coming off the production line every day. It was not long before the type would see combat, claiming a pair of German Junkers Ju 86 reconnaissance aircraft even before the start of hostilities between Germany and the Soviet Union. By the time of Operation Barbarossa, over 1,200 had been delivered.

The MiG-1 had originally been designed as a high-altitude interceptor, and this is where the MiG-3 excelled as well. However, most of the combat against the German invasion took place at very low altitudes, where the aircraft did not stand out at all. Some attempt was made to put it to use as a ground-attack aircraft, but it was quickly withdrawn from this role. The death knell for the MiG-3 was the discontinuation of its AM-35 engine so that Mikulin could concentrate on AM-38 production for the Ilyushin Il-2. There was an attempt to re-engine the aircraft with the engine it was originally designed for, the AM-37. This was designated the MiG-7, but with this engine out of production as well, the project stalled. From Spring 1942 onwards, the MiG-3s were moved from the front line to air-defence squadrons, some of which flew them for the rest of the war.

One final attempt to save the aircraft was to re-engine it with a Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engine, the same engine that had been used to create the Lavochkin La-5 from the LaGG-3. The prototypes were designated I-210 and I-211, and was successful enough that production was considered under the designation MiG-9 (not to be confused with the later jet). However, the La-5 was already in production and the I-211 did not offer the air force anything that it did not already have in that aircraft.

Throughout the rest of the war, Mikoyan and Gurevich continued to develop the MiG-3 along the high-altitude interceptor lines that it had originally been designed for, leading to a series of ever-larger and more powerful prototypes, the I-220 to I-225. While promising enough, the air war over Germany was demonstrating that the heyday of the piston engined fighter was over, and no production order followed. Some sources confuse the MiG-7 designation with one of these aircraft.

Two final prototypes, the I-230 and I-231 attempted to make the most of the original MiG-3 and its engine by considerable lightening of the aircraft, but with the type relegated to secondary units, the air force was simply not interested.


Related content
Related Development

MiG-1 - MiG-7 - I-211 - I-225 - I-231

Similar Aircraft

Heinkel He 100 - Curtiss XP-37

Designation Series

MiG-1 MiG-3 - MiG-5 - MiG-7 - MiG-8

Related Lists List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS - List of fighter aircraft


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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