Category Mig

1-301 / rs / MiG-9

During the summer of 1946, the Soviet command authorities decided that the first ten MiG-9 s would take part in the flyover at Red Square on 7 November The builders had no time to lose. The NKAP decree of 28 August 1946 stated: "Our aim being to produce the MiG-9 as soon as possible and to give the pilots time to train and get a feel for the machine, chief constructor A. I. Mikoyan and factory manager V. Ya. Litvinov are assigned the task of producing a small series of this air­craft (ten units).” By 22 October the ten aircraft were completed. They were practically handmade, without any production tooling. On the morning of 7 November, the flyover was canceled because of adverse weather conditions. These first ten machines can be regarded as pre – production aircraft and were in no way different from the prototypes.

The production aircraft 1-301 (factory code FS, military designation MiG-9) was different in that RD-20 engines replaced the BMW 003s. The RD-20 was a 100-percent Soviet-made version of the BMW 003. It offered the same thrust, 784 daN (800 kg st), and its mass production was organized by D. V. Kolosov in the Kazan engine factoiy The land­ing gear of the MiG-9 was fitted with more efficient brakes, and its fuel system was equipped with a new type of fuel cell made with a rubber­ized fabric developed by the VIAM (Soviet institute for aviation materi­als). During the test flights of the first ten MiG-9s equipped with these cells, no leaks were noted. These cells allowed the engineers to put to use all of the space available in the aircraft structure. Their capacity was of the greatest importance because the engines were so thirsty.

The armament was similar to that of the prototypes: one N-37 with forty rounds and two NS-23s with 80 rpg The first production aircraft was rolled out on 13 October 1946 and first flown by M. L. Gallai on the twenty-sixth. The first MiG-9s were railroaded to the LII airfield, where they were taken up by GK Nil WS pilots M. L. Gallai, G M. Shiyanov, L. M Kushinov, Yu. A. Antipov, A. V. Proshakov, A. V. Kotshyetkov, and D. G. Pikulenko. All these men as well as a few young air force pilots had trained hard to celebrate the October Revolution.

It was not long before the first service evaluation flights revealed the aircraft’s design flaws and shortcomings related to defective work­manship. Some of these could be corrected without difficulty, but oth­ers were more serious. For instance, when all three guns were fired simultaneously above 7,500 m (24,500 feet), the two jet engines fre­quently flamed out. It was later discovered that this phenomenon was a distinctive feature of all jet engines, and many years of research were needed worldwide to resolve this problem. It was part of the price an aircraft designer paid for doing without a propeller.

Test flights also demonstrated that jet aircraft needed airbrakes, and that above a speed of 500 km/h (270 kt) the pilot could not bail out. This led to the development of the first ejection seats. Other needs were brought to light as well, such as cockpit pressurization and fire protection in the engine bay. And soon it became obvious that a two – seat training aircraft with the same flight envelope as the single-seater had to be a priority.


The first production aircraft of the 1301 model, with its military livery. Small airbrakes (shown extended) were installed on the wmg trailing edge


This production MiG-9 was experimentally fitted with two drop tanks with a capacity of 235 1 (62 US gallons) apiece.

The first jet engines were heavier than piston engines; the advan­tages of not having a propeller could be appreciated only at high speeds. This explains why the takeoff roll of the MiG-9 was so long: 910 m (2,985 feet), as opposed to 234 m (768 feet) for the MiG-3. And yet the primary goal—to increase flight speed—was fully achieved thanks to the jet engine


The first two-seater, the FT-1. was not certified because of the poor visibility from the rear seat.


Span, 10 m (32 ft 9.7 in); length, 9.83 m (32 ft 3 in); height, 3.225 m (10 ft 6.7 in); wheel track, 1.95 m (6 ft 4.8 in); wheel base, 3.072 m (10 ft 0.9 in); wing area, 18.2 m2 (195.9 sq ft); empty weight, 3,420 kg (7,538 lb); takeoff weight, 4,963 kg (10,938 lb); fuel, 1,300 kg (2,865 lb); oil, 35 kg (77 lb); gas, 7 kg (15.5 lb); wing loading, 272.7 kg/m2 (55.9 lb/sq ft).


Max speed, 911 km/h at 4,500 m (492 kt at 14,760 ft); max speed at sea level, 864 km/h (467 kt); climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft) in 4 3 min, ser­vice ceiling, 13,500 m (44,280 ft); landing speed, 170 km/h (92 kt); range, 800 km (497 mi); takeoff roll, 910 m (2,985 ft); landing roll, 735 m (2,410 ft).

UTI MiG 15P / ST-7

The VVS needed a two-seater to familiarize pilots with the operation of the RP-1 Izumrud radar. For this purpose the nose of the UTI MiG-15 was modified to resemble that of the MiG-15P bis (SP-5). The instru­ment panel of the student’s cockpit in front was identical to that of the single-seat fighter.

The armament on this trainer was limited to one 12.7-mm UBK-E machine gun. The ST-7 passed its acceptance tests in 1952, but its pro­duction run was limited. Its flight performance did not differ signifi­cantly from that of the UTI-15.

MiG-17P / SP 7

The purpose of this program was to convert the MiG-17 day fighter into an all-weather night fighter. The radar developed for the new air­craft was supposed to provide target scanning and fire control capabili­ties day and night as well as in clouds.

The SP-7, powered by a VK-1A rated at 2,645 daN (2,700 kg st), dif­fered from the MiG-17 in the nose section, which was modified to accommodate the RP-1 Izumrud radar designed by V. V. Tikhomirov. This modification led engineers to redesign the cockpit windshield and to rearrange the armament. The N-37D cannon of the MiG-17 was replaced by another NR-23, for a total of three NR-23 cannons with 100 rpg. Protection for the pilot included a bulletproof windshield, an armor plate in front of the cockpit, an armored headrest, and an armored seat back.

The SP-1 radar was combined with an ASP-3N gunsight and had two antennae: one (for scanning) housed in the upper lip of the engine air intake, and one (for ranging and fire control) housed in the air intake partition. Once the target was within 2 km (1.24 miles) the fire control antenna activated automatically to sharpen the pilot’s aim. In clear weather the radar was disconnected, and the pilot used the gun – sight. With the exception of the aileron controls, which were boosted by a BU-1U servo-control unit, all systems were identical to those of the MiG-17.

G. A. Sedov was the first pilot to fly the SP-7; it passed its tests in the summer of 1952. After certification as the MiG-17P, it was mass – produced for the PVO and land-based naval aviation. Approval was expedited by the fact that the RP-1 radar had been installed beforehand on the SP-5, a modified MiG-15 bis. Development of the RP-1 continued in 1953 on the ST-7, a version of the UTI MiG-15, in various weather conditions.

The MiG-17P was flown only by above-average pilots. It was the first radar-equipped lightweight interceptor ever built in the USSR.


Span, 9.628 ш (31 ft 7 in); length, 11.680 m (38 ft 3.9 in); height, 3.685 m (12 ft 1 in); wheel track, 3.849 m (12 ft 7.5 in); wheel base, 3.44 m (11 ft 3.4 in); wing area, 22 6 m2 (243 3 sq ft), empty weight, 4,154 kg (9,155 lb); takeoff weight, 5,550 kg (12,232 lb); max takeoff weight with two 400-1 (106-US gal) drop tanks, 6,280 kg (13,841 lb); wing loading, 245.6-277 9 kg/m2 (50.3-57 lb/sq ft); max operating limit load factor, 8.


Max speed, 1,115 km/h at 3,000 m (602 kt at 9,840 ft); max speed at sea level, 1,060 km/h (572 kt); climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft) in 2.5 min; to

10,0 m (32,800 ft) in 6.6 min; to 14,000 m (45,920 ft) in 16.2 min; climb rate at sea level, 37 m/sec (7,280 ft/min); landing speed, 180-200 km/h (97-108 kt); range, 1,290 km at 12,000 m (800 mi at 39,360 ft); with two 400-1 (106-US gal) drop tanks, 2,060 km (1,280 mi); flight endurance, 1 h 53 min at 12,000 m (39,360 ft); with two 400-1 (106-US gal) drop tanks, 2 h 58 min; takeoff roll, 630 m (2,065 ft); land­ing roll, 860 m (2,820 ft).


In 1955 the cold war had turned up the heat on more than one political leader Soviet airspace was being systematically violated by balloons carrying all sorts of detection equipment and by high-flying Canberra reconnaissance aircraft It was at this time that the ОКБ first received information about the development in the United States of the Lock­heed U-2, a reconnaissance aircraft that had a service ceiling of 25,000 m (82,000 feet). The situation was deemed serious because the USSR did not have a single aircraft capable of intercepting such high-altitude invaders.

A crash program was set up to counter the threat. The consensus was to build specialized high-altitude interceptors and in the meantime to modify the MiG-19S to improve its service ceiling—hence the "V" of the designation, which stands for Visotrdy (altitude). The ОКБ quickly decided to make the following changes in the production aircraft:

—increase the wing area by 2 m2 (21.5 square feet)

—remove the two NR-30 wing cannons; only the fuselage cannon was retained

—take the armor plate out of the pilot’s seat back —raise the turbine inlet temperature (TIT) of the AM-9B to 730° C (1,378° F); the modified engine was renamed the AM-9BF —add a 12-degree flap setting to be used at 15,000 m (49,200 feet); the deployment of flaps during flight maneuvers marked a first in the USSR

G. K. Mosolov and V A Nefyedov dealt briskly with the SM-9V tests under the management of V. A. Arkhipov. The prototype was then handed to military test pilots. During high-altitude flights, the KKO-1 oxygen dispenser was tested. It secured a high oxygen pressure in the pilot’s mask. Moreover, a research center designed and tested the VSS-04A pressure suit, a piece of equipment that was considered essential because the smallest pressure loss at high altitudes—whether caused by a direct hit or a tiny crack in the cockpit hood—could lead to the pilot’s death. The pressure suit was also vital in case the pilot need­ed to eject at high altitudes and high speeds. The OKB brain trust, with Mikoyan in the lead, agreed to give the highest priority to the develop­ment of this pressure suit within the context of the SM-9V program.

The VSS-04A tests were carried out by two OKB pilots, К. K. Kokki – naki and V. A. Nefyedov, first in an altitude chamber and then in flight. In the altitude chamber, both pilots "climbed” to 25,000 m (82,000 feet), a first in the USSR. The suit was developed very quickly, and its use became normal practice. Soon afterward, the pressure suit was supple­mented by the GSh pressure helmet. The combination allowed pilots to fly as high as 24,000 m (78,700 feet). OKB pilots G. A Sedov, К. K. Kokkinaki, and G. K. Mosolov and military test pilots S. A. Mikoyan, V. P. Vasin, and V. S. Ilyushin quickly got used to the high-altitude equip­ment and to the SM-9V, which was mass-produced as the MiG-19SV. On 6 December 1956 N. I. Korovushkin, a GK Nil VVS pilot, climbed to the record altitude of 20,740 m (68,030 feet) by using the zoom technique.

(A zoom is an optimized steep climb at high altitude, normally starting at the aircraft’s maximum level Mach and trading speed for height to reach exceptional altitudes far above its sustainable level ceiling.)

The test report on the USSR’s first high-altitude interceptor reads, "The MiG-19SV does not differ much from the MiG-19S as far as han­dling technique is concerned. On the other hand, at low speeds in the 350-380 km/h [189-205 kt] range the aircraft handles better and proved to be steadier in flight than the prototype." Several MiG-19SVs were powered by AM-9BF and BF-2 turbojets rated at 3,235 daN (3,300 kg st). One of them topped 1,572 km/h at 10,000 m (849 kt at 32,800 ft).


Span, 10 3 m (33 ft 9.5 in); overall length without probe, 12.54 m (41 ft 1.7 in); with probe, 14.64 m (48 ft 0.4 in), wheel track, 4.156 m (13 ft 7.6 in); wheel base, 4.398 m (14 ft 5.2 in); wing area, 27 m2 (290.6 sq ft); empty weight, 5,580 kg (12,300 lb); takeoff weight, 7,250 kg (15,980 lb); wing loading, 268.5 kg/m2 (55 lb/sq ft).


Max speed, 1,420 km/h at 10,000 m (767 kt at 32,800 ft); service ceil­ing, 19,000 m (62,300 ft).

Ye 151/1 / Ye-151/2

Following close on the heels of the Ye-150, the OKB started work on the full-scale mock-up of a new prototype—the Ye-151— armed with a rotating twin-barrel cannon that was set on the forward fuselage struc­ture and that revolved around the air intake case axis. With the can­non (a 23-mm TKB-495 whose axis of rotation was perpendicular to its annular support axis) at its widest angle, a noticeable torque occurred that disrupted the aircraft’s three-axis stability and made it impossible to shoot accurately. For the Ye-151/2 the cannon and its support were moved behind the cockpit and thus closer to the aircraft’s center of gravity.

The Ye-151’s forward fuselage was longer than that of the Ye-150, but the dimensions of the air inlet duct did not need to be modified because the ammunition boxes and belts were transferred to behind the cockpit. Wind tunnel experiments proved that the internal aerody­namics of the extended duct improved the engine’s operation. This arrangement was retained for future aircraft of this family, starting with the Ye-152A.

MiG21PF / Tip 76 / Yb-7G

If the MiG-21P descended from the MiG-21F, the MiG-21PF descended from the MiG-21F-13. However, it contained the more powerful R-11F-

The new shape of the spine allowed engineers to add two fuel tanks and bring the air­craft’s total fuel capacity to 2,750 1 (668 US gallons).

300, rated at 3,870 daN (3,950 kg st) or 6,000 daN (6,120 kg st) with afterburner. The greater volume of the nose cone (which housed a big­ger radar unit) and the increased airflow essential for the new turbojet meant that the diameter of the air intake had to be increased from 690 mm (27.2 inches) to 870 mm (34.25 inches). It is noteworthy that this change had already taken place on the MiG-21 P.

A new system, the UVD-2M, was developed to ensure steady con­trol of the nose cone at all flight regimes. (On the ground, the cone extended 1,213 mm [47.8 inches] ahead of the air intake plane; in flight, according to speed, this could be reduced to 200 mm [7 9 inches].) This MiG-21PF inherited such modifications from the MiG-21P as larger wheels and attachment points for solid propellant boosters. However, its silhouette was somewhat modified by the removal of the rear win­dow in the canopy and the new shape of the dorsal fairing immediately behind the cockpit; this housed two more fuel tanks, bringing the total fuel capacity to 2,750 1 (726 US gallons). In addition, the PDV-5 air data probe—which on earlier versions was set axially under the air intake— was moved above and to the right of the intake.

The RP-21 Sapfir ("sapphire’’) radar made its debut on the MiG – 21PF. The ASP-5ND gunsight was replaced by a PKI-1. Other equip­ment included the KAP-2 autopilot (still only for roll stabilization), a guidance command receiver, and an IFF interrogator. Like the MiG – 21 P, the PF had no cannon. Its armament was limited to two K-13 air – to-air missiles that could be replaced by the usual weaponry options

On late-series MiG-21 PFs, the tail chute canister was moved to the base of the tail fin after this position was tried out on the Ye-6V.

(rocket pods, bombs, etc.). On PF late series the tail chute canister was set at the base of the tail fin, a position that was tried out on the Ye-6V.

In early 1962 a decree signed by the minister of defense accepted the MiG-21 PF into the military inventory of the USSR. The aircraft was mass-produced in the Gorki factory between 1962 and 1964 for the WS and in the MMZ Znamya Truda factory in Moscow between 1964 and 1968 for export. A MiG-21 PF—renamed Ye-76 for this purpose—broke several female world records in 1966 and 1967:

1. 16 September 1966. Speed over a closed circuit of 500 km (310 miles), 2,062 km/h (1,113.5 kt). Pilot, M. Solovyeva

2. 11 October 1966. Speed over a closed circuit of 2,000 km (1,240 miles), 900 267 km/h (559.07 kt). Pilot, Ye. Martova

3. 18 February 1967. Speed over a closed circuit of 100 km (62 miles), 2,128.7 km/h (1,149.5 kt). Pilot, Ye. Martova

4. 28 March 1967. Speed over a closed circuit of 1,000 km (620 miles), 1,928.16 km/h (1,041.2 kt). Pilot, L. Zaitseva

The documents sent to the FAI mentioned that the Ye-76 was pow­ered by an R-37F turbojet rated at 5,830 daN (5,950 kg st).


Span, 7 154 m (23 ft 5.7 in); fuselage length (except cone), 12 285 m (40 ft 3.7 in); wheel track, 2.692 m (8 ft 10 in); wheel base, 4 806 m (15 ft 9.2 in); wing area, 23 m2 (247.6 sq ft); takeoff weight, 7,750 kg (17,080 lb); max takeoff weight, 9,500 kg (20,940 lb); max takeoff weight on rough strip or metal-plank strip, 8,800 kg (19,395 lb); fuel, 2,280 kg (5,025 lb); wing loading, 337-413-382.6 kg/m2 (69.1-84.7-78.4 lb/sq ft); max operating limit load factor, 8.


Max speed, 2,175 km/h at 13,000 m (1,175 kt at 42,640 ft); max speed at sea level, 1,300 km/h (702 kt); climb to 18,500 m (60,700 ft) in 8 min; service ceiling, 19,000 m (62,300 ft); climb rate at sea level (half internal fuel, full thrust) with two R-3S missiles, 205 m/sec (40,350 ft/min); landing speed, 280 km/h (151 kt); range, 1,400 km (870 mi); with 800-1 (211-US gal) drop tank, 1,770 km (1,100 mi); takeoff roll, 850 m (2,790 ft); landing roll with tail chute, 850 m (2,790 ft).

MiG-23 Series

The MiG OKB’s first approach to the variable geometry (VG) wing concept dates back to the early 1960s. The countless computations made by the design office showed that VG aircraft could offer an appreciable number of advantages. Many models were built and test­ed in TsAGI wind tunnels under different flight conditions: takeoffs, landings, and transonic/supersonic speeds. The tests confirmed most of the computations

One of the basic problems the ОКБ had to face in the field of struc­ture as well as aerodynamics was finding just the right place for the wing pivot, and thereby determining the chord and span of the wing. That problem was linked to the optimum pitching stability margin nec­essary according to the chosen sweep angle, since the shape of the wing as it pivoted and the mean aerodynamic chord were basically dependent on the position of the wing pivot. Another important item involved choosing the proper shape for the fixed wing panels (or gloves) and their wing-to-fuselage junctions. The difficulty there was linked to the distinctive features of the airflow around both the wing and the whole aircraft at great angles of attack in subsonic flight. The shape of the wing’s fixed panels and the blending of their leading edge into the fuselage act extensively upon the vortex flow in these flight conditions; and obviously the vortex flow influences the lift capability and the static pitching stability.

The third hurdle was developing a flight control system capable of changing the wing’s sweep angle and actuating an all-moving stabilator that operated differentially (taileron) plus all the moving surfaces hinged on the wing’s main panels (spoilers and full-span trailing edge flaps). The spoilers were highly efficient at minimum sweep angles, but this efficiency dropped abruptly once the wing was set for a high sweep angle in subsonic flight regime In transonic flight conditions, due to the airflow downwash onto the stabilator caused by their deploy­ment, the spoilers experienced reverse aerodynamic feedback. This is why the roll control had two functions. When the pilot pushed the con­trol column sideways, the spoiler on that side was extended and the opposite half part of the stabilator was deflected.

The spoilers’ extension angle was greatest for the smallest wing sweep angle; as the sweep angle increased, the angle of the spoilers decreased all the way to zero. The slab stabilator operating differential­ly thus functioned in place of the aileron. To save weight and provide the yaw stability needed over its whole range of speeds, altitudes, and load factors, the aircraft was fitted with a large folding ventral fin (the first of its kind in the world)

Development of the MiG-23 was completed in record time by a group of highly motivated engineers who were never short of ideas, to judge from the number of patents registered as the prototype took shape. The MiG-23 silhouette emerged gradually. The OKB first built an aircraft of a totally different concept It had a fixed delta wing, and its power pack included two lift jets to shorten takeoffs and landings and a primary power plant fed by two lateral air intakes (the first of their kind for a supersonic mixed-power aircraft), clearing space in the nose for the radar. That aircraft was the 23-01. In the course of development, which started in 1964, OKB engineers quickly realized that the lift jets became dead loads after takeoff and that the 23-01 was an uneconomical proposition. When the aircraft was almost completed, Mikoyan grew doubtful about the rationality of the project. Those doubts served as food for thought and were based on several arguments:

— even if the 23-01 could make short landings of 300-350 m (985-1,150 feet), that is, two times less than average, there was always a chance that one or both of the lift jets could fail on final approach

—the space occupied by the lift jets could be better used to house fuel tanks to increase the aircraft’s range

The development of the 23-01 experimental machine was to some extent tied to the customs of the day. At about this time France flight – tested the Dassault Balzac experimental prototype powered by one cruising turbojet and six smaller lift jets. Other countries such as Great Britain and West Germany had also started to design similar machines. The fourteen flights of the 23-01 and the sad end of the Balzac con – finned the pointlessness of the formula.

So another approach was tried: an aircraft powered by a turbojet whose thrust could be vectored at takeoff, in flight, and at landing by swiveling nozzles. The best-known examples are the British Harrier VTOL aircraft and, in the USSR, the experimental Yak-36 and Yak-38 carrier-based combat aircraft, which features both vectored-thrust engines and lift jets—but let us return to variable geometry. The final parameters selected for the wing were minimum sweep angle of 16 degrees, maximum sweep angle of 72 degrees, and leading edge flaps. The advantages of those choices are twofold.

1. Airflow characteristics: high lift-to-drag ratio in supersonic flight conditions due to a high sweep angle and a low thickness-chord ratio and in subsonic flight conditions due to a low sweep angle and a high wing aspect ratio; excellent lift coefficient at takeoff and landing because of a high aspect ratio and the full-span lead­ing edge and trailing edge flaps, good lift-to-drag ratio and lift coefficient at transonic speeds with a midrange sweep angle

2. Flight data: better performance due to peak application of the sweep angle. On that subject it should be noted that the MiG-23 pilot could choose any sweep angle between 16 and 72 degrees, each one presented a distinct advantage for a particular flight regime. Practical experience showed that the three most popular sweep angles were 16, 45, and 72 degrees. Because of its wide – ranging flight envelope, the MiG-23 was undoubtedly one of the best frontline fighters of the 1970s.

As soon as development was halted on the 23-01 VTOL, the highest priority was assigned to the 23-11 VG project. This was further boosted in 1965 by a decree of the ministry of aircraft production that detailed the main specifications: "The MiG OKB is commissioned to design and build a second prototype of the MiG-23 [the first was the 23-01] fitted with a high-lift variable geometry wing. The Rodina MKB [headed by general designer Selivanov] is in charge of designing the wing pivot." The preliminary design was drawn up in a very short time, from Janu­ary to March 1966. A. A. Andreyev, a very capable designer, was put in charge of the project’s technical management.

The R-27 turbojet was developed especially for the MiG-23 at a time when it was unclear whether the 23-01 or the 23-11 would win out. This is why it was developed and tested concurrently with the two aircraft. It was designed by K. R. Khachaturov as a modification of the R-11F2S-300 twin-spool turbojet, a reliable engine that had powered many of the MiG-21 variants and the whole Yak-28 line.

In the MiG-23 development process care was exercised to auto­mate as many of the pilot’s tasks as possible, especially while intercept­ing. A. V. Fedotov, newly appointed as the OKB’s chief test pilot, played a dominant part in developing those systems. The 23-11 went for its first flight on 10 April 1967 with this experienced pilot at the con­trols and the wing at 16 degrees. As early as the second flight two days later, he tested the whole range of sweep angles. The aircraft proved to be easy to control whatever the sweep angle, a quality that triggered Fedotov’s enthusiasm. His log entry for that day reads: "Flight with 16 to 72” sweep angle. It’s a first! Terrific!"

That kind of emotional report seldom appears in a test pilot’s log­book, but admittedly this was a rather unusual case. As early as the third flight, Fedotov broke the sound barrier and continued to acceler­ate until he reached Mach 1.2 with a 72-degree sweep angle. A few weeks later, on 9 July 1967, the MiG-23 made its public debut with Fedotov at the controls. It was clear after this brilliant display that the 23-11 would be the originator of a great aircraft family—and that was the case, even though the entry into service of such a new aircraft caused some problems of familiarization for pilots (before the delivery of a two-seat trainer to the fighter regiments) and field support crews.

The variable geometry concept was at the heart of some structural innovations. The fuselage structure was organized so that fuel tank no. 2 and the wing center section were as one. It was constructed of weld­ed thin panels made out of VNS-2 alloy. This fuel tank was in fact the aircraft’s primary structure. The stressed box that upheld the wing piv­ots was attached to that structure, and the air intake duct passed through it. This “wing box-tank” sustained high stress loads at all times and especially during high-g maneuvers. Considering the peculiarity of the aircraft’s missions, the breaking strength of this structure was com­puted to withstand limit load factors up to 8.

During the factory experiments, state acceptance trials, and mili­tary tests, fuel tank no. 2 never caused trouble. And yet. . On 14

March 1972 test pilot A. G. Fastovets had to check the strength of a new type of wing that had a larger area (called the type 2 wing); to do that, he had to reach the limit load factor in pulling out of a long dive. Just as he hit 7.3 g on the accelerometer at 1,000 m (3,280 feet) the tank gave way, and the aircraft totally disintegrated. The pilot was lucky to eject in time.

The subsequent investigation blamed the failure of this primary structural element on cracks that had formed in the panels due to some sort of soot by hydrogen molecules that had found its way onto some of the rough castings. The production factory had to revise the whole of its welding process for the components of fuel tank no. 2 and to inspect all tanks already built. Several cases were reported of wing pivot failure due to the infiltration of hydrogen molecules in welded parts and rotating shafts as well. That problem was overcome by increasing the number of quality checks at every stage of manufacture and by strengthening the structure of the no. 2 fuel tank for all aircraft on the assembly line. For the aircraft already completed, heat carefully applied to the tank structure prevented the hydrogen molecules from spreading and the stresses from accumulating. Moreover, the pivot rotating shafts were made out of a better steel alloy called khromansil.

The area of the type 2 wing was augmented by a chord increase on the leading edge, but it had no leading edge flaps and had been dubbed the "dog-toothed" wing because of the typical shape of the end of its inner leading edge. This enlargement—5.25 m2 (56.51 square feet) at 16 degrees, 4.27 m2 (45.96 square feet) at 72 degrees—resulted in a sweep angle increase at the leading edge. The three most popular angles— 16°, 45°, and 72”—thus became 18”40′, 47°40′, and 74 40’, a constant difference of 2° 40’. But for convenience’s sake it was decided not to modify the figures in the flight manual or on the instrument panel’s sweep angle indicator, which therefore provided erroneous readings.

This enlarged wing would later be fitted with leading edge flaps and named the type 3 wing. The first MiG-23s equipped with that wing appeared in 1973, and from that date all MiG-23s and MiG-27s used it until assembly lines were closed in the early 1980s. The hydraulically driven flaps were added to raise the lift coefficient at great angles of attack. After the basic causes of flow breakaway (resulting in a severe buffeting) were suppressed, it became possible to fly at even greater AOAs. After a great deal of research, engineers developed an automat­ed contrivance to protect against engine surges and flameouts while missiles and cannons were fired.

The more the aircraft was developed, the more the OKB and its client—the air force of the Soviet Army (WS SA)—realized that it had to be upgraded. Its stability, handling characteristics, and maneuver­ability were significantly improved. It was possible to raise the maxi-

mum operating limit load factor not only by making the airframe stur­dier but also by using sweep angle variations intelligently during high-g maneuvers.

The aircraft’s handling characteristics at great AOAs were improved, the pilot helped by new visual and tactile warnings of criti­cal AOAs that could prompt spins. Moreover, the sighting system was improved and the radar was modified so that it could operate in the close-combat mode; simultaneously, the aircraft received a target illu­minator to guide semiactive radar homing missiles. New air-to-air mis­siles optimized for close combat were tested and certified.

In the 1970s a prolific family of attack airplanes based on the MiG – 23 airframe developed. They could cany either bombs or rocket pods, air-to-surface missiles, six-barrel 30-mm guns, and many other front­line air support weapons. With every modification the MiG-23 became lighter. For instance, the takeoff weight of the MiG-23M (1971) was 15,750 kg (34,715 pounds), while for the MiG-23ML (1976) the compa­rable figure was 14,500 kg (31,960 pounds).

The rapid pace of advances in electronics and optoelectronics made it possible to produce new types of sensors related to outward sight, detection, IFF capabilities, computation of target coordinates, and the like. The power and capacity of the Sapfir radar improved sig­nificantly, and ground clutter was cleaned up. The radar was given new operating modes: separation of mobile targets in the lower sector, automatic and simultaneous tracking of several targets, and detection of small ground targets. The MiG-23P’s automatic flight control system (SAU) featured a digital computer unit to control the aircraft’s flight path.

MiG-23s were mass-produced in many versions until the early 1980s and are still operated in many countries, including Russia and the other republics. Today it is widely recognized that the MiG-23 rep­resented an important step in the development of fighter and tactical air command in the USSR.


Experience acquired with the MiG-25PD and PDS interception ver­sions demonstrated that the aircraft could be operated at low and medium altitudes provided that they could be equipped with active jammers and IR countermeasures One aircraft was modified and referred to as the MiG-23PD SL but did not go beyond the prototype stage.

1D1IW Multirole Twin-Engine Aircraft

This lightweight twin-engine was designed to carry passengers or cargo to and from any unpaved strip 400 m (1,300 feet) long and having a minimum strength of 5 kg/cm2 (71.1 pounds per square inch). The air­craft was intended for around-the-clock, all-weather use. Its APU sup­plies the necessary power for all loading and unloading operations.

Its power unit—two TV7-117 turboprops rated individually at 1,840 kw (2,500 ch-e)—and fuel system were specially designed to allow a limited use of diesel oil. The engines drive reversible-pitch propellers. The aircraft can fly and land with one engine inoperative, and it can be equipped with floats or skis. The twin-boom architecture with a high – set tailplane was used for ease of entry to the rear fuselage; the rear end opens upward, clearing the way for direct access to the cargo hold: length, 4 m (13 feet, 5.4 inches); width, 1.48 m (4 feet, 10.3 inches); height, 1.6 m (5 feet, 3 inches); volume, 6 m;i (211.89 cubic feet). At 1.5 m (4 feet, 11.1 inches), the sill height of this hold permits direct trans­fers to and from truck beds. All other loading problems are handled by the integral ceiling hoist.

The 101M was created to handle five basic missions:

—transport of field hospitals that can be set up quickly in case of emergency (disasters, accidents, epidemics)

—evacuation of casualties and the critically ill

—transport of supplies, medicines, and relief workers in the affected areas

—transport of geological expeditions and the like to remote or inac­cessible locales —forest fire extinguishment

To fulfill its purpose, the aircraft could carry a variety of loads:

—everything required for a complete airmobile field hospital in eight containers attached to the underwing store stations, plus the nec­essary medical staff (ten to twelve persons); total weight, 2,000 kg (4,400 pounds)

—eight to twelve sick or wounded persons on stretchers, plus the medical assistant; medical personnel, survivors, badly burned per­sons, and the like; total weight, 1,000 kg (2,200 pounds)

—various other loads, solid or liquid

Loading a stretcher holder with a ceiling hoist. (A) Electrical hoist on rail. (B) Stretcher holder (two or three persons).

For the first layout, the following setup times were planned: 30 minutes to install the eight containers; 15 minutes for aircraft turn­around; 10 minutes for a quick change of the cabin layout to evacuate wounded persons; 10 minutes for a quick change of the cabin layout to transport loads; and 15 minutes to load eight wounded persons on stretchers.

The airmobile field hospital created for this aircraft includes:

—four inflatable-frame tents at 50 m2 (538.2 square feet) apiece —four electronic monitors, surgical instruments, stretchers, oxygen tanks, and other medical equipment —the emergency power unit that burns kerosene out of the aircraft’s supply to provide the necessary overpressure, lights, and climate controls in the tents

—eight to twelve stretchers, monitors with the appropriate connec­tions for the stretchers, anesthetics, various life-support devices, and other evacuation materiel

The tents, medical equipment, and emergency power unit (but not the monitors or the stretchers) are carried in eight standardized con­tainers set in pairs under four wing store stations. Those containers can be either lifted or transported on wheels. The field hospital and all of its equipment weighs 1,200 kg (2,645 pounds) and takes up 200 m2 (2,150 square feet). The first tent can be erected in fifteen minutes; and it takes one and one-half hours to set up the entire hospital, which can be heated or cooled to a constant 22° C (plus or minus 5° C). The hos­pital is self-sufficient between five and six days with six to eight med­ical attendants and four technicians.

Loading directly out of a truck bed.


Span, 13.5 m (44 ft 3.5 in); overall length, 12.45 m (40 ft 10.2 in); height, 4.4 m (14 ft 5.2 in); wing area, 33.53 m2 (360.92 sq ft); takeoff weight with 2,000-kg (4,400-lb) payload, 9,000 kg (19,835 lb); max pay – load, 4,000 kg (8,800 lb); max fuel, 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).

Design Performance

Economical cruising speed for range of 2,700 km (1,680 mi), 530 km/h at 11,800 m (286 kt at 38,800 ft); economical cruising speed for range of 1,300 km (810 mi), 530 km/h at 200 m (286 kt at 650 ft); max cruis­ing speed for range of 1,800 km (1,120 mi), 670 km/h at 7,000 m (362 kt at 22,960 ft); takeoff/landing roll, 150-200 m (490-655 ft).

UTI MiG-9 / I-301T / m

As mentioned above, the need to train pilots for the MiG-9 forced the OKB to design a two-seat version of the aircraft. An UTI MiG-9 (Ucheb no-trenirovochniy istrebityel: fighter-trainer) became a priority as soon as the WS adopted the single-seater—there was no other dedicated air­craft available.

Design of the two-seater MiG-9 was started at the OKB during the summer of 1946, and on 30 October the preliminary design was agreed upon. It was a tandem two-seater, and to make room for the


The earliest Soviet ejection seats, developed by MiG, were tested on the FT-2 by the use of mannequins at first.

second seat in the airframe one of the two fuel tanks in the fuselage had to be removed and the capacity of the other one had to be reduced by one-third.

The front student-pilot cockpit and the rear instructor cockpit were separate and had their own sliding canopies. The aircraft had dual controls, and the instructor could use an intercom system to communicate with the student The I-301T no. 01 (or FT-1) was assembled with two German BMW 003 engines, a German K-2000 generator, and the wheels and shimmy-damper of an American Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter.

The first ejection seats developed by the MiG ОКБ were due to be installed in this prototype. An emergency escape was supposed to work this way: (1) front canopy jettisoned, (2) rear canopy jettisoned, (3) rear pilot ejected, and (4) front pilot ejected. The prototype was also equipped with a new instrument, a Mach indicator (also called a Mach – meter). The two-seater had the same armament as the single-seater: one N-37 cannon whose muzzle was 1 16 m (3 feet, 4.6 inches) away from the engine air intake, and two NS-23 cannons whose muzzles were 0.5 m (1 foot, 7.7 inches) away from that spot.

The FT-1 left the factory in June 1947 and was flown by Gallai in July. In August it underwent its certification tests but failed because of the restricted view from the instructor’s cockpit in the rear. The air­craft could not meet the requirement for which it was designed, pilot training. The prototype was later used for improving various MiG-9 sys­tems and developing underwing fuel tanks.


Span, 10 m (32 ft 9.7 in); length, 9.83 m (32 ft 3 in); height, 3.225 m (10 ft 6.7 in); wheel track, 1.95 m (6 ft 4.8 in); wheel base, 3.072 m (10 ft 0.9 in); wing area, 18.2 m2 (195.9 sq ft); empty weight, 3,584 kg (7,900 lb); takeoff weight, 4,762 kg (10,495 lb); fuel, 840 kg (1,851 lb); oil, 35 kg (77 lb); gas, 7 kg (15.5 lb); wing loading, 261.7 kg/m2 (53.6 lb/sq ft).


Max speed, 900 km/h at 4,500 m (486 kt at 14,760 ft); max ground speed, 830 km/h (448 kt); climb to 5,000 m (16,400 ft) in 5 min; to 10,000 m (32,800 ft) in 10 min; service ceiling, 12,500 m (41,000 ft); landing speed, 190 km/h (103 kt); endurance, 50 min; landing roll, 780 m (2,560 ft).