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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3

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The MiG-3 or Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 was a single seat, liquid cooled, Soviet fighter that was used during World War II.

Description

It was designed to replace the older MiG-1. It had several modifications including a moved up engine and extra fuel capacity,[1] which consisted of two tanks each containing 150 litres in the centre of the wing, a single 110 litre tank between the firewall and the cockpit, and a 235-litre tank below the cockpit floor.[2]

The MiG-3 weighed about 2,594.5 kg empty and was 8.2 meters long with a wing span of 10.2 meters. The MiG-3 had a Mikulin AM-35 engine driving a three bladed VISh-22E propeller unit,[2] providing a top speed of around 642.1 km/h. Armament consisted of a pair of 7.62mm ShKas MGs with 375 rounds each and a single 12.7mm Berezin UB MG with 300 rounds,[3] aimed via a PBP-1 gunsight.[4] The aircraft could also carry about 6 rockets and 2 bombs.[5] Even though the MiG-3 had not significantly improved over the MiG-1, it was still faster than the Messerschmitt Bf 109, which was the main German fighter of the time.

The MiG-3 had difficulty catching German planes such as the Focke Wulf Fw 190 at low altitudes; however at higher altitudes the MiG-3 became faster and lost these difficulties. Eventually later models of the MiG-3 included more weaponry. Maximum range of the MiG-3 was about 1,195.7 kilometers.[6] Despite small differences in production, there were no official variants.[N 1]

History

The MiG-3 was first developed in 1940 and production of the new MiG-3 began in 1941. The MiG-3 was used by several fighter groups such as the 401st squadron which were the first to receive them, with the type making it's combat debut before Operation Barbarossa, when a MiG-3 intercepted a pair of Ju-86P reconnaissance aircraft, which the Luftwaffe - who were clearly unaware of the MiG-3's existence - had dispatched to carry out preparatory checks over the border. One Ju-86 was shot down, and the other was forced to land.[8] However, the MiG-3's low performance at low altitude meant it was later transferred to less important units, and used for reconnaissance missions only after 1943. Even so, the MiG-3 was used throughout the war by the Soviet Union. The MiG-3 was replaced particularly by the Lavochkin series of fighter aircraft.

Production ended in 1942, after the construction of 3,120 aircraft.[4]

Notes

  1. Five examples of an enhanced version, designated Mioyan-Gurevich I-230 (MiG-3U), were passed to 1 GvIAP on the Kalinin front for evaluation.[7]

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/ussr/aircraft/fighter/mikoyan-gurevich-mig-3.asp
  2. 2.0 2.1 Scale Aviation Modeller International 1998 Page 438
  3. Scale Aviation Modeller International 1998 Page 436
  4. 4.0 4.1 Aircraft of The World Card Collection Group 13 Card 17 - MiG-1 and MiG-3
  5. http://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraft/detail.asp?aircraft_id=512
  6. http://www.chuckhawks.com/mig-3.htm
  7. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 1-84065-269-1 Page 387
  8. World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 205 Sheet 1 (Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-1/MiG-3:A dynasty is founded)

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