Aviation of WWII
HomeCustom Search Russian
Glossary USSR Mikoyan MiG-1 MiG-3 MiG-3 AM-38 Armament MiG-3 MiG-5, T MiG-5, IT MiG-9 MiG-9E I-230 I-231 Photos & Drawings

MiG-3 with AM-38 Engine

Fighter (prototype)

Mikoyan, Gurevich

MiG-3 # 3595 with AM-38 engine, at august 1941.

MiG-3 # 3595 with AM-38 engine, at august 1941.

One weak point of the MiG-3 was its poor performance at low altitudes, where most air combat took place. To remedy to this, aircraft n.3595 was equipped with an AM-38F engine with a take-off power of 1600 hp and a AV-5L-110A propeller. The aircraft made its maiden flight on July 31,1941, and tests were conducted for the following 12 days. Test pilots Y.K. Stankevich and chief engineer K.N. Mkrtychan were assigned to the test program. The greater power improved the aircraft's performance significantly, particularly maximum speed, up to an altitude of 4,000 m.

The aircraft was tested in two configurations:

• the first one was the original made by Zavod 1;

• the second one incorporated some modifications proposed by the chief designer: a new design of the exhaust stacks fairings, bomb shackles removed and inert gas system installed.

In the first configuration the aircraft reached 582 km/h at 3400 m, while in the second configuration it reached 592 km/h. While the AM-38 F engine could easily replace the AM-35A without structural modifications, the cooling system proved to be insufficient for this more powerful engine, and this limited the operation of the aircraft to temperatures not higher than 16°C on the ground. After the tests in Nil, the aircraft returned to Zavod 1 for modifications, but after this the aircraft gave problems with the supercharger, and during a flight the aircraft suffered deformation of the fuel tanks. After 22 flights, on September 22 the aircraft returned to the factory for repairs. On October 4 the aircraft flew again on the airstrip of Zavod 1, but the following day the aircraft crashed, killing the test pilot N.P.Baulin. An investigation showed that the cause of this was combat with an enemy aircraft. Due to the shortage of AM-35A engines, some units conducted their own experiment with the AM-38. Two aircraft of 402 IAP were modified during November 1941, and were tested by the regimental Commander Major K.A.Grudzev, and squadron commander captain B.G. Boroday. The former shot down two enemy bombers while testing modified aircraft n. 4184.

MiG-3 Specification
MiG-31 MiG-32
Crew. 1 1 1 1 1
Length, m 8.25 8.25 8.25 8.25 8.25
Wing span, m 10.20 10.20 10.20 10.20 10.20
Wing area, m² 17.44 17.44 17.44 17.44 17.44
Engine AM-35A AM-35A AM-35A AM-35A AM-38
Power, hp 1350 1350 1350 1350 1600
Reduction 0,902 0,902 0,732 0,732 0,732
Airscrew VISh-22E VISh-22E AV-5L-123 AV-5L-123 AV-5L-110A
Empty weight         2,780
Loaded weight 3,355 3,285 3,299 3,299 3,325
fuel 463 335 335 335 330
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 495 462 472 466 547
at altitude 640 603 621 615 592
m 7,800 7,800 7,800 7,800 3,400
Time to altitude 5000m, min 6,5 6,8 7,1 7,1 5,84/4000
Time to altitude 8000m, min 10,28 11,4 12,4 12,4 -
Time of turn, sec/at altitude m 25-25/4000 23/1000 22/1000
Service ceiling, m 11,5005 10,850 11,500 11,500 -
Service range, km/at altitude m 820-857/7,860 - - 628/7,250 -

1 MiG-3 #2107 and #2115.

2 Without slats.

3 Without slats.

4 With slats. With AV-5L-110 airscrew. The airplane has shown maximum speed near the ground 475 km/h and at the altitude 8100 m - 619 km/h. Taking - off and run have made 380 m and 415 m accordingly

5 Flights are higher than 8000 m were not executed because of pressure drop of oil below allowable.


  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/
  • "Planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • "The Soviet planes" /Alexander Yakovlev/