The MiG-3 or Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 was a single seat, liquid cooled, Soviet fighter that was used during World War II.
It was designed to replace the older MiG-1. It had several modifications including a moved up engine and extra fuel capacity, 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.
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, 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, aimed via a PBP-1 gunsight. The aircraft could also carry about 6 rockets and 2 bombs. 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. Despite small differences in production, there were no official variants.[N 1]
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. 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.
- Five examples of an enhanced version, designated Mioyan-Gurevich I-230 (MiG-3U), were passed to 1 GvIAP on the Kalinin front for evaluation.
- Scale Aviation Modeller International 1998 Page 438
- Scale Aviation Modeller International 1998 Page 436
- Aircraft of The World Card Collection Group 13 Card 17 - MiG-1 and MiG-3
- Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 1-84065-269-1 Page 387
- World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 205 Sheet 1 (Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-1/MiG-3:A dynasty is founded)