The MiG-3 – tickets WWII Best Fighter Russia

The German Luftwaffe in July and August 1941 met for the first time a Russian fighter previously unknown, with a long thin nose. It was obvious that he was fed by a line or engine type “V”, which was also surprising because all Soviet fighters until that time were powered by radial engines and Germans lacked frontline fighters performance. Luftwaffe pilots were taken by surprise by the existence of this new fighter because his Luftwaffe intelligence information about the Soviet Air Force was virtually nonexistent.

Top boxer of Germany at the time was the Bf 109F and Luftwaffe pilots were equally surprised and puzzled to discover that the new Soviet fighter could out maneuver at high altitude, flying fly faster and longer, the Messerschmitt. The MiG-3 had come!

Because in the West at that time, the Bf 109F was considered the best, or at least one of the best air superiority fighters in the world, the MiG-3 worth examining closer. The “MiG” is an acronym for Experimental Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Team Construction Bureau.

The first model was the MiG-1, a high-altitude interceptor powered by a V-12 engine that was developed Mikulin 1,350 horses. It was an elegant, low-wing, cantilever monoplane armed with a 50 caliber machine gun and two 30-caliber machine guns, three mounted on the nose and synchronized across the bow thruster to fire. The first prototype out of a top speed of 403 mph at 20,000 feet, making it the world’s fastest fighter at that time.

The flight test program revealed that there were deficiencies in the design, so the changes are incorporated and the MiG-3 was born. It was built around a tubular steel frame with duralumin skin, which strengthened the frame. Outwardly, it still looked like the MiG-1, but the engine four inches forward to change the center of gravity, the outer wing dihedral wing has increased by one degree, while the rear fuselage height was reduced for a better view back to the driver. In the engine compartment, the supercharger intake is enlarged and the radiator cowl forward. A fuel tank 55 gallon fuselage was added to increase the scope, the armor of the cabin and finally four hard points on the wings were added. This allowed the creation of small bombs or six rockets.

Unfortunately, the production of MiG-3 was abruptly ended when Stalin ordered the Mikulin engines diverted to terrorist attack of IL-2. Total production amounted to 3120 with another 50 aircraft built from spare parts and shipwrecks cannibalization. There was a later attempt to engage the MiG-3 with a radial engine, air-cooled, 14-cylinder, but was unsuccessful.

Many of the MiG-3 generation had a .30 caliber machine gun mounted under each wing. This still does not give power parity MiG-3 fire with the Bf 109F, but give more firepower to ground attacks.

Basic Specifications of the MiG-3 were: top speed of 314 mph at sea level, 398 mph to 35, 590 feet. Your upload speed was 10 minutes to 26 000 feet and service ceiling of 39,370 feet was. It had a range of 512 miles at 342 mph, with a maximum range of 743 miles. Curb weight of 5950 pounds and a takeoff weight of 7739 with guns and sub-wing fuel tank. Its length is 27 feet, 33 feet large, with a height of only 8 feet.

On paper, the MiG fighters Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 and was almost comparable. In fact, however, the 109 had the advantage of a better rate of climb and improved handling at low and medium speed and low and medium altitude, where most of the fighting took place in front of it. The MiG-3 had the advantage of speed level and in the end, often had to break the 109s because their fuel was running dangerously low. The MiG-3 also had the advantage of better performance at more than 30,000 feet, but the Bf 109 flew rarely so high.

The MiG-3 has never had the opportunity to play the role it was designed: to combat high-altitude bombers. The Luftwaffe did not build the four-engine bomber that was designed to be used in Soviet industrial zones. The Russians moved their factories is far enough away that they were out of range twin-engine bombers, so the MiG-3 was forced to fight in a scenario of low level for which it was not designed.

The Germans had another crucial advantage, its fighters were equipped with modern reflectors viewers. Most Soviet aircraft were simple viewers, sometimes a circle drawn on the windshield. The delivery of P-39 and P-40 fighters have managed to install modern attractions in their fighters was.

Despite these drawbacks, some Russian pilots were able to achieve impressive figures of murder. Pokryskin Alexander scored 59 official victories, about forty in a MiG-3, remains in the P-39. It also destroyed another 13 additional German planes over enemy occupied territory, but are not officially considered that are not slaughtered in the territory controlled by the Soviets. According to Pravda, Pokryshkin flew 650 missions, participated in 156 air-to-air and never lost a wingman. He eventually became a Marshall of the Air Force during the Cold War.

In the last years of the war, the Yak-9 became the dominant fighter for the Soviets and probably contributed more than any other Russian fighter planes in the final defeat of the Luftwaffe. But the first bright, star bright element was the Soviet fighter MiG-3.

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