Test drive MIG-3 from Murmansk swamps

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Test drive MIG-3 from Murmansk swamps
Test drive MIG-3 from Murmansk swamps

On October 29, 1940, the first flight was made by a fighter I-200 - prototype of the future famous high-altitude fighter MiG-3.

The plane, by the way, undeservedly, in my opinion, remained in the shadow of the more eminent machines of Yakovlev and Lavochkin, although he worked hard and worked in the air defense practically until the end of his life.

MiG-3 became the first Soviet fighter to shoot down a Nazi plane over the USSR in 1941. Three months before the War. On April 15, 1941, he damaged the engine of a German reconnaissance aircraft. Ju-86R-1, who sat down on a forced in the Rivne region.

Also on MiG-3 the first air ram in the Great Patriotic War was carried out. Junior Lieutenant Dmitry Vasilyevich Kokorev chopped off the keel of a bomber with a screw Ju-88.

Also on this plane, one of the best Soviet aces, Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin, won his first victory by shooting down a Bf-109E.

And just by the way, I got a story about a test drive MiG-3.

The guys from the Novosibirsk company "Aviarestavratsiya" have restored the aircraft, which has a real combat history.

On September 23, 1941, aircraft with tail number 3457, piloted by the commander of the 147th Fighter Aviation Regiment, Colonel Mikhail Golovnya, after a fierce air battle, made an emergency landing near Murmansk. The landing site was found from the recollections of the pilot himself. Restorers of Russian aircraft during the Great Patriotic War have to rely only on such finds.


So - test drive of the reconstructed MiG-3.

Test pilot, director of SibNIIA Vladimir Barsuk.

An interesting professional view of an airplane, which demanded much more skill and dexterity from the pilot than the current winged aircraft stuffed with electronics and automation.


It is recommended to perform with shields in the second position. To maintain the direction, it is done in two steps:

1. At an engine speed of 2800 per minute, acceleration to separation at a speed of 130 km / h and a flight speed of 160 km / h, while the right pedal is fully on the stop - compensates for the reactive moment from the propeller. At the beginning of the take-off run, after increasing the engine speed, it is recommended to raise the tail wheel by 5 cm by pushing the control stick away from you to improve visibility and prevent longitudinal swing.

2. After reaching a flight speed of 160 km / h, increase the engine operating mode to takeoff, remove the landing gear, take an altitude of at least 50 m and after reaching a speed of 220 km / h, remove the shields. Once the engine has taken off, it may be necessary to cover 3-5 degrees to the right to maintain direction. Maintaining a height of 15 m is very difficult due to the limited forward view and distortion of the air space by exhaust gases coming out of the nozzles, therefore it is recommended to occupy a height of at least 50 m as vigorously as possible. At an altitude of 100 m, after removing the shields, the aircraft should be transferred to a climb at speed 300 km / h by setting the nominal engine speed.


The aircraft performs well all direct aerobatics: coups, loops, half loops, turn on a hill, combat turn, barrels, turns. Vertical ascending figures are performed with initial speeds in the range from 400 to 550 km / h with overloads from 3, 5 to 6, 5 units. For example, the loop is performed both at a speed of 400 km / h with an overload of 5, 5 units, and at a speed of 550 with an overload of 3, 5 units, while significantly increasing the radius of maneuver. On the I-16 at a speed of 300 km / h and an overload of 3 units. the plane fell into a tailspin, and having accelerated it to a speed of 450 km / h, the overload must be kept at least 4.5 units, since in the climb the speed drops rapidly. MiG-3 at a loop speed of 400 km / h and an overload of 5 units. has a figure diameter of 600 m, and at a speed of 550 km / h and an overload of 3, 5 units. - 1300 m. Aircraft control is easy and pleasant in both cases. The aircraft has such capabilities due to the high power-to-weight ratio and low drag of the fuselage midsection, stability and controllability in all modes is ensured thanks to automatic slats and very well balanced rudders. The possibility of stable piloting of the aircraft in such a range on verticals in air combat, apparently, made the aircraft a rather dangerous weapon for the enemy. There are very good acceleration characteristics on a dive, when performing a downward roll at a speed of 160 km / h and from an altitude of 1100 m at the top point of the beginning of the figure. The conclusion after the end of the figure was carried out at a height of 150 m back to back. When performing a similar figure on the L-29 during training, the aircraft confidently reached 350-400 m with the same initial flight parameters. Such acceleration characteristics during the war helped our pilots more than once to evade the enemy.

The balance of the pitch control is especially noted: the efforts on the control stick along the pitch channel are the same at all flight speeds (1.5−2 kg), which makes it possible to perform the entire complex of figures with one hand at speeds of 350 and 550 km / h, practically without getting tired. This feature allows you to dose the overload at the limit permissible for the pilot (the so-called lowering of the curtains) and continue piloting even after losing sight during the overload, which was probably used by our pilots more than once in battle.

Piloting at low altitudes

Very limited downward visibility, high airspeed, and equal stick force regardless of speed make it difficult to estimate low altitude. The only source of information about the flight path is the barometric instruments: altitude, speed and variometer, which, unfortunately, are very late. Given these circumstances, piloting at low altitudes must be carried out with increased caution and not lower than 150 m true altitude. Very good acceleration data and great difficulties when piloting at low altitude during the war became a big problem for young pilots, which is why the books note the advantages of enemy aircraft over MiGs at medium and low altitudes. However, for an experienced pilot, these difficulties are not dangerous, which made it possible to gain advantages in battle even at low altitude.


For all the simplicity and pleasure of piloting, the plane is very strict on landing. On the glide path, a speed of 230 km / h is recommended, the flaps should be lowered to position 4 (50 degrees), and the aircraft should be trimmed. It is better to approach on a steep glide path, which allows you to see the landing strip over the hood. From a height of 15 m, reduce the vertical speed to 1 m / s and smoothly approach the ground so that at a height of 2 m the speed is set to 200 km / h by the instrument. From a height of 2 m, level the aircraft to a position that differs from the landing position by a raised tail wheel by 10 cm, set the descent speed to 0.05 m / s and wait until it touches the ground. The recommended touch speed is 160 km / h or more. After touching the ground, hold the control stick to reduce the speed to 130 km / h, then smoothly take the control stick towards you and start braking. The most dangerous landing area is maintaining the direction when the aircraft is braking in the speed range from 160 to 100 km / h, which is associated with the weak efficiency of the aerodynamic rudder without blowing the propeller and the low efficiency of the landing gear brakes at speeds above 100 km / h.

It is recommended to land with an open light in the middle position of the pilot's seat - this position improves visibility, allows you to more accurately determine the leveling height and direction.

The overall impression of the aircraft is very good. Pleasant to fly, has excellent aerobatic and maneuverable capabilities, is stable. However, this dulls vigilance and can interfere with landing. The pilots who fought in such a complex aircraft evoke great respect, because there was no navigation, the first aircraft, which were also used for night flights in the clouds, did not even have artificial horizons. In general, it is quite obvious that our grandfathers were real heroes.


Few words from the history of the plane:

The aircraft was developed from the very beginning with the idea of mass production and partly had a modular design. Individual parts of the aircraft were easy to remove, repair and return to their place, i.e. The MiG-3 turned out to be very maintainable.

Subsequently, this made it possible to assemble one combat-ready out of three out of order aircraft literally in the field.

Test drive MIG-3 from Murmansk swamps
Test drive MIG-3 from Murmansk swamps

And although due to the high mass of the aircraft and, as a result, the worst thrust-to-weight ratio and the complexity of piloting (many young and inexperienced pilots fought during landing) at low and medium altitudes, a front-line fighter did not leave the MiG-3 … It found its place in air defense.

The armament of the aircraft was initially rather weak - 2 ShKAS 7, 62mm machine guns and one UBS 12, 7mm.

On February 20, 1941, plant # 1 began to produce MiG-3 aircraft with five firing points. Two additional BC machine guns with 145 rounds of ammunition were installed under the wing. However, due to the shortage of BK machine guns, plant No. 1, on the instructions of the NKAP, had to often ship them to other aircraft factories. In addition, the significantly increased weight of the aircraft led to an even greater decrease in its flight characteristics (-20 km / h). In this regard, the release of the MiG-3 with five firing points was limited to 821 aircraft, and later the BC machine guns were removed from all fighters.

In order to increase the effectiveness of the combat use of the MiG-3 fighter, in accordance with the order of NKAP No. 752 dated July 27, 1941, plant No. 1 was to switch to the production of aircraft with three firing points, including two BS and one ShKAS. During the development of small arms, three options were tested: the first - two BS machine guns and two ShKAS, the second - two BS and one ShKAS, and the third - two BSa. According to the test results, from September 20, 1941, from 151 aircraft of the 27th series, the two-point version of the MiG-3 was launched into production, while due to the ShKAS machine gun, the BSov ammunition was increased from 300 to 700 rounds. Before the evacuation began, 315 aircraft were manufactured armed with two BS machine guns, in addition, 215 of them were equipped with two RO-82 triple launchers for firing RS-82 rockets.


Installation of ShVAK cannons on the MiG-3

The project to radically improve the issue of armament provided for the installation of two 20-mm ShVAK cannons (it was chosen on the recommendation of NII-13) in place of 2 synchronous Berezin machine guns (UBS). The release of such a MiG was established at the plant after the evacuation. But they managed to release only a few dozen - a directive came to transfer the plant to the production of the Il-2 attack aircraft, which is more needed by the front. This decision was also led by the closure of the production of the AM-35A engine installed on the MiG-3. The engine was produced at the same plant as the AM-38 for the Il-2 attack aircraft, and was eating up production capacity.

That is why the production of the aircraft was curtailed in December 1941. Not because the plane was bad, as some say.

The released aircraft fought at the front until 1943 - the MiG-3 left the army after being destroyed by the enemy or at the end of its service life.

Well, by 1944, less than a hundred "survivors" of the machines (out of 3000 with a little released) were transferred to flight schools and colleges.

An interesting fact is that test pilotsflying around the car, refute the prevailing stereotype about the poor maneuverability of the MiG-3 at low and medium altitudes.

Difficult and dangerous to fly at low altitude - yes. Strict landing - yes. But at the same time it is very simple in the air and … "surpasses the I-sixteenth at all heights in maneuverability."

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