MiG-1/3: how good/bad it really was

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    An invitation for a discussion about the merits of the MiG-1 and MiG-3 fighters. What were the strong points, bad points, was it a good decision to end the production of it, feasible upgrades and so on.
     
  2. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    The MiG's were high-altitude designs, the combat on the Russian front was low and mid-altitude so they were not required.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The aircraft were designed for a high altitude bomber threat which didn't materialize. I suppose MiG 1 could be repurposed for recon as Soviets later did with MiG 25.
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Why use MiG 1s when you have 197 P-47 Thunderbolts for high altitude defense .... and not a huge need for high altitude defense in the first place ...?
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Were those P-47s available during mid 1941 when the VVS desperately needed recon aircraft to photograph German Army staging areas?
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #6 michaelmaltby, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    No ... of course they weren't ... and in 1941 the MiG 1/3 was the only choice .. and hence the right choice ... for the Soviets. :) But that doesn't mean the MiG 1/3 was necessarily worth investing future resources in .... given that the Lagg and Yak fighters were more suited to the requirements of Soviet air war.

    And the P-47 was far too exotic for main stream use by the Soviets .... but guarding Moscow after 1943 .... just the ticket
     
  7. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The MiG-3s were not deemed suitable for low-alt frontline service although all aircraft were required vs the germans. Once sufficient LaGGs and Yaks became available the MiGs were withdrawn and used as point defense fighter over important cities.
    With their good high alt performance they were well suited to intercept german high flying recon aircraft, a task they were serving for a long time.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Also well suited to conducting high altitude recon. If a suitable camera pod can be attached.
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Charts from the TsAGI book. I've added speed graphs for Bf-109F1/F2 (from Kennblatt, for 'Start Notleistung'; with 'Steig Kampfleistung' the speed is 15-20 km/h lower), MiG-3 with AM-38 ( from same book; that engine was usually used on Il-2) and data from Bf-109E (from German chart). The climb graph for the 109E, on 5 min power, is in the ballpark with German data, and I've added RoC graph for the Bf-109F1/F2, both on 'Start und Notleistung' and on 'Steig und Kampfleistung' power settings.
    We can see that MiG-1/3 were not high-altitude fighters because of airframe properties, but due to it's AM-35A engine. Once low-altitude engine (AM-38 ) was installed for test purposes, MiG-3 was best of the bunch under 4 km. Unfortunately, I don't have RoC values for the MiG-3 with AM-38. The RoC with AM-35A on-board was simply non-competitive under 4-5 km, where it mattered.
    Data is for 1941. Some time in mid 1942, the VK-105PF engine was introduced (heavier, due to strengthening; more boost allowed for more power under ~4km), the Yaks and LaGG-1 pretty much closed the gap vs. German competition between SL and 4 km.

    1941spd.JPG
    1941roc.JPG
     
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  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The other two problems with the Mig-3 were it's fire power and it's handling characteristics. One 12.7mm MG and two 7.62 MGs is a bit on the light side, especially if you are trying to shot down bombers. And while it was said that the Mig-3 could be flown by pilots who had mastered the I-16 that is faint praise indeed as the I-16 was regarded as something of a handful.
    Granted the Early German 109Fs were nothing to write home about in regards to firepower either.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Indeed, the firepower of the vast majority of the MiGs was lousy. Some of aircraft were furnished with extra two UB HMGs under the wings, other were with just 2 UBs, and a handful was made with 2 (synchornised?) Shvaks, and no MGs - should've got that from the start. link
    The main shortcoming of the MiG, IMO, was that it competed with Il-2, engine-wise. Since Il-2 was judged as more important, MiG was cancelled from mass production.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    There is a story that one pilot was "disciplined" when his Mig-3 with under wing guns couldn't keep up with the rest of his flight (without under wings guns) and they were lost and he wasn't.

    The Mig-3 had a limited armament payload without impacting performance.
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Two Svaks or 3 UBs (instead of historical fuselage armament) shouldn't kill the performance, provided that fighter is used in suitable altitude. Problem with wing guns was that their gondolas added plenty of drag and impaired roll capabilities.
    Reading a bit about the MiGs, seem like the wing guns were promptly deleted, even from factory-fresh examples, once shooting started.
     
  14. tengu1979

    tengu1979 Member

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    Yup. That pretty sums it up. A little too underarmed for High Altitude Interceptor. (Basically bomber/recce plane destroyer) and worse performer down low where most of fighting took place. But many pilots liked it.
    Also we must take into consideration that tacticallywise Germans at the begining at least were vastly superior to Russians.

    On the side note it really looks good IMO.
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    aal of these points are true. ive got no argument there. However, one should not discount the political standing of the MiG bureau during the wqar, or more correctly, the lack of poilitical standing. During the war there was initially three bureaus favoured by the regie, and thn just two, Polikarpov, Yakovlev and Lavochkin. There were others, but these guys all had the inside running with the administration
     
  16. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Anastas Mikoyan was Artem's brother!
    The basis of Mikoyans rise was certainly Anastas political position.
     
  17. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #17 Juha, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    Yakolev was very well connected, being a deputy minister of Aviation Industry who didn't shun to use his position to ouster his competitors and Mikoyan's brother was a Polibyro member and Special Representative of the State Defense Committee from 1941 onwards, so he has very good connection to the Stalin's inner circle.

    Juha
     
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  18. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Lavochkin and Petlyakov must have been a Stalin moment from been shot.
    Even guys like Korolev were almost executed and all his co designers were.
    A phrase I liked when Sukhoi made a mess of the original Su-27 T-10 design was
    'Good job its not 1936!'
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Business as usual - if one has political connections, hi's projects are likely to attract government support. We can note that, despite Anastas' position, he was unlikely to forestall cancellation of the MiG-3 production, once needs of the total war arose.
    We can also see why there is a good thing to have more designs in the pipeline - in case one of them is not well suited for the job, country's defense needs can still be met. Unlike today, where there is no 'plan B' for even big countries.
     
  20. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    MiG-1 was no good but MiG-3 was better than LaGG-3. MiG-3 had better performance even than current fighters so a success.
    I agree that Anastas couldnt stop cancellation of MiG-3 but MiG-9 and MiG-15 could have been political.
    In Stalins USSR, failure was more than project cancellation and designers who failed got shot.
     
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