|This page is about the Soviet jet fighter MiG-9. For other versions, see MiG-9 (Family).|
In February to April of 1945, after the capture of vast quantities of German jet technology at the end of the war, the design bureaus in the Soviet Union began developing the first jet powered aircraft of the USSR. Shortly after, a official directive called for a twin engine fighter-interceptor with heavy armament. Mikoyan stepped up to the task with their I-300 prototype, a simple pod-and-boom design with two RD-20 (reverse-engineered BMW 003 jet engines), armed with either a 57 mm or a 37 mm in addition to two 23 mm cannons. The aircraft was ready to fly on the same day as its main competitor, the Yak-15, and a simple coin flip between the two development teams on the airfield that day decided that the MiG would take off first that day, making it the very first Soviet jet aircraft to fly in history. Eventually, the 57 mm design was dropped after a few prototypes due to unreliability, weight issues, and the gases from the 57 mm gun firing (which was mounted in the center of the "nose") going into the intake and causing compressor stalls and engine flameouts. In the end, the 37 mm + 2 x 23 mm variant was chosen for production as the "MiG-9".
The MiG-9 has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. Being a very early pod-and-boom fighter powered by captured german axial-turbojet engines, it suffers from the same disadvantages as most early Soviet jets: Terrible acceleration, subpar manoeuvrability, and the tricky low velocity guns with a small ammo pool. However, when mastered, the MiG-9 is a force to be reckoned with in boom-and-zoom engagements, utilizing its higher speed than most adversaries and hard-hitting guns to shred unsuspecting planes with its altitude advantage. One must be wary of their energy state at all times, as this plane's horrible acceleration makes it difficult to recover lost energy.
When looking at this fighter, a pilot may complain at the lack of ordnance options available, being only limited to a single 37 mm and two 23 mm cannons with what seems to be only a handful of ammunition rounds between them. Without the addition of suspended ordnance, the flight model will not change due to added weight of bombs, missiles, rockets or gun pods, since none are available and the aircraft wasn't designed to use them.
As such, this fighter was built almost like a rocket, needing to get to bomber altitude as fast as possible and intercept inbound bombers. The limited ammunition prevents the pilot from just 'spraying-and-praying', but instead requires trigger control to maximize rounds on target. This is especially important in realistic and simulator battles where after the ammunition is expended, the pilot must return to base to reload.
The MiG-9 has enough speed to get to 5,000 m within about 4 minutes, however once there, it is best to either target bombers and go higher if needed (13,500 m is maximum altitude for the fighter) or to then turn the MiG-9 into a diving fighter and going for quick hits before zooming back up. Immelmanns and Split-S manoeuvres are recommended to change directions as this fighter is a very slow turner, taking about 30 seconds to make a complete circle. It is important to keep the speed up on this fighter due to when it becomes slow, it then becomes an easy target for enemy aircraft.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 550||< 600||< 720||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Klimov RD-20A-2||2||3,640 kg||271 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||12m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||40m fuel|
|670 kg||Axial-flow turbojet||4,027 kg||4,281 kg||4,601 kg||4,929 kg||5,044 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||12m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||40m fuel||MTOW|
|Optimal|| 800 kgf
Survivability and armour
- 55 mm bulletproof glass - canopy windscreen
- 12 mm steel plate - just in front of the pilot, between the instrument panel and the 37 mm magazine
- 12 mm steel plate - just in front of the 37 mm magazine
The MiG-9, unfortunately, is not built like a tank and as a bomber interceptor, it had to be constructed like one, sacrificing armour for speed. The aircraft does feature 55 mm of bulletproof glass on the canopy windscreen and two 12 mm steel plates on both sides of the 37 mm ammunition magazine, but that is it for aircraft protection. All the protection is in the front which is meant to offer defence from any defensive gunners on enemy bombers. From the front profile, the armour plates and glass do a good job of shielding the critical components, however, from just about any other angle, the pilot, engines and fuel tanks are clustered in the centre of the aircraft and are all vulnerable from machine gun, cannon, missile and rocket damage.
Modifications and economy
*It's highly recommended to research Flight Performance modules first. The Engine upgrade significantly improves the quality of the plane.
The MiG-9 is armed with:
- 1 x 37 mm N-37D cannon, nose-mounted (40 rpg)
- 2 x 23 mm NS-23 cannons, chin-mounted (80 rpg = 160 total)
To fulfil the role of a bomber hunter, the best weapons for mid to late 1940s aircraft was rockets and cannons. Bombers were typically large aircraft and machine guns would not do the job. Bomber interceptors needed to get to the target and spend the least amount of time on target not only for their own safety but to be able to intercept multiple targets before needing to return to base to refuel or rearm. The N-37D and NS-23 cannons centrally mounted on the MiG-9 virtually nullify the need for messing with convergence, allowing the pilot to sling both ammunition types at bombers at 690 m/s. In a high speed pass only so many rounds could be fired off before the MiG was zooming past and needed to set up for another run if they missed.
Having the 37 mm and 23 mm cannons helped ensure if the critical areas are hit, only one pass is needed. Without rockets or missiles to provide backup or alternative weapon options, proficiency with the cannons is a must. Air Target ammunition belts provide a large amount of HE ammunition, which will critically damage enemies, even without a precise hit
Usage in battles
The MiG-9 requires altitude to be most effective in either of its two main roles. While flying full thrust into the middle of the map may seem like the noblest thing to do, it may end your piloting career faster than you care for, not allowing you to reach your full potential during the match. Best bet for this fighter is to start side climbing on the map or working on gaining altitude away from where the main group of aircraft are flying as this provides you with a relatively safe area to climb and allows you to see any enemy aircraft which may be gunning for you and give you enough time to respond or dive away. It is important to begin your side climb at an angle of about 8-10° until the fighter reaches speeds of about 400-500 km/h when the climb angle can be increased to about 15°.
When you reach an altitude of where the bombers are at, you can then begin to patrol and set up for any attack runs. Typically it is best to have some altitude over the bombers as this will allow you to gain more speed when driving and make it that much more difficult for the defensive gunners to hit you. Flying towards the rear of the bomber is the worst angle to come at, while it makes it easy for you to line up the target, you will actually be flying into bullets fired at you causing them a chance for deeper penetration into your jet than if you came from another angle. Due to the limited amount of ammunition, controlled bursts are best especially when aimed at engines, cockpits or fuel tanks. Carefully aim at these critical components and let the ammunition do the rest for you. It is best not to linger around a target, instead, add full power and zoom away until you are at least a kilometre or two away and outside of the range of any defensive turrets before manoeuvring for another run.
If there are no bombers to attack, either because they have all been destroyed or waiting for more to spawn (in arcade battles, some pilots tend to leave their attackers/bombers as late match reserves), then when at altitude, you can patrol and look for unsuspecting fighters or you can work to lure aircraft up into a stall fight. From your perch, you can start to dip down towards a fighter as if you are going to pounce on it, if they take the bait and climb to meet your MiG-9, then pull up as if you 'chickened-out' and are running, begin a moderate climb with your speed and watch as they follow up, especially watch for the condensation trails coming from their wings, this is a good indication that they are beginning to stall and are an easy target. The MiG-9 has a rather larger rudder and can make use of it for a wing-over manoeuvre which will put you in line with the stalled out target allowing for you to get a quick shot off before returning to your patrol altitude.
Pros and cons
- Powerful armament allows it to hunt bombers effectively
- All armour is in the front of the aircraft to protect against defensive weapons
- Engines do not overheat at 100% throttle
- Is able to land quite well on engines like in the Me-262
- High rip speed for an early Soviet jet (a little over 1,000 km/h)
- Two different trajectories for both guns
- Limited ammunition of 160 (NS-23) and 40 (N-37D)
- No access to bombs or other payload options
- Underwhelming acceleration
- Unimpressive climb-rate
- Control lock starts at around 800 km/h
- Loses a lot of speed during turns
- Very bad turn rate even compared to some jet bombers
- Difficult jet for beginners (hard to use due to its weapons and flight characteristics)
During the 1930s, the turbojet engine was developed in both Germany and Great Britain and began the prototype jets of the day. In the early 1940s test aircraft now flew built by Gloster, Heinkel, Messerschmitt and Bell aircraft companies. At this point, the USSR was still ambivalent towards the turbojet engine and focused on other technologies. It wasn't until 1944 when all of the Soviet aircraft design teams were brought together and were tasked with producing a 'jet air force' with early designs coming from prominent companies at the time like Mikoyan-Gurevich, Yakovlev and Sukhoi. It wasn't until later in 1945 that pressure was put on both Mikoyan-Gurevich and Sukhoi do design and develop a single-seat jet fighter utilizing two captured German BMW 003 engines. These BMW engines are the same type which was utilised in the HE 162 and the Ar 234C. The Soviet military had seized the blueprints to the engines in Germany and had been in the process of building them to use with their new jet fighters.
Initially, Mikoyan-Gurevich was tasked to develop a single-seat fighter, however, in attempting to build it around the BMW engines; they came up with a pod and boom prototype in which the pod housed the cockpit and engines with a single tail boom. The pod did not run the entire length of the boom but instead terminated as short as possible as not to lose any unnecessary pressure or thrust. To accommodate this unusual configuration, MiG designed the fighter with tricycle landing gear which allowed for both better visibility during takeoff and landings but also maintained better airflow through the air intakes at lower speeds. Though the aircraft was all metal, there were constant issues for years where the metal plating after the engines constantly warped and buckled causing vibrations and other problems during flight. The wings were upswept, however, they were outfitted with Frise ailerons and slotted flaps to help with manoeuvring much like the American F-86D bomber interceptor.
Initially, the MiG-9 was configured with two 23 mm NS-23 cannons and a single 57 mm N-57 cannon, however, due to the off-gassing when firing the 57 mm cannon, many times it choked out the jet engine and caused it to flame out. Later the 57 mm was replaced with a 37 mm cannon which did not produce as much off-gassing and did not cause problems with the engine. The weapon configuration of the MiG-9 was simple, as a bomber hunter, it maintained its cannons in the centreline of the fighter, therefore the pilot did not have to worry about the convergence of the weapons when lining up his shot.
Test pilots noted that the MiG-9 was a very stable and easy jet to fly and was very responsive to the pilot's input. While the rate of climb and cruising speeds were average at best, the aircraft maintained manoeuvrability in a dive, however, difficulties with the aircraft's heat shielding, lack of ejection seat and an unpressurised cockpit continued to plague its early production.
By 1947, the MiG-9s which were rolling off the assembly line had some of their problems taken care of such as a improved lateral stability due to a larger and reinforced vertical tail and reworked rear fuselage contoured to smooth the flow of air from the engine exhausts and help prevent the overheating and skin buckling problems experienced on earlier aircraft. By the end of 1947, 243 MiG-9 fighters had been produced and by the end of 1948 another 302 were constructed. Unfortunately, at this time, the MiG-15 which began to fly in late 1947 was easily outperforming the MiG-9 in all aspects causing its obsolescence. While the MiG-9 was no longer the front runner jet in the Soviet air force, it remained in service and was subjected to further tests.
In the 1950s, the Soviets transferred 186 MiG-9 fighters to China to defend its cities against the Nationalist Chinese and train Chinese pilots who were new to jet aircraft operations. When training was complete, all of the MiG-9 fighters were handed over to the People's Liberation Army Air Force.
An all-metal, single-seat cantilever monoplane with two turbojet engines, mid-mounted wings, and retractable tricycle landing gear.
It was clear by the end of World War II that the piston-engine-and-propeller combo had reached the limit of its potential. Soon it would be necessary to switch to new engine types.
Jet aviation in the USSR changed for the better at the very end of the war when captured German turbojet engines, particularly the BMW-003, arrived in the Soviet Union. The engine was studied in the shortest time possible, and a Soviet copy, the RD-20, was launched into mass production.
In the end of 1945, the Mikoyan Design Bureau began the development of a jet fighter with two BMW-003 engines (producing 800 kg of thrust). On 24 April 1946, test pilot A.N. Grinchik first flew the prototype I-300 (F-1), the first Soviet fighter with a turbojet engine. The plane reached a speed of 920 km/h and had powerful armament: a 57 mm N-57 cannon and two 23 mm NS-23 cannons.
In 1946, the I-300 began full-scale production and was accepted for service with the Air Force under the designation of MiG-9 (Product FS). Before producing it on a full-scale basis, the designers of the Mikoyan Design Bureau reworked the fighter's construction (particularly its fuselage) from scratch to adapt it to production in large quantities.
The power unit of production MiG-9s consisted of two RD-20 turbojet engines producing 800 kg of thrust apiece. At first, planes of this model had RD-20A-1 engines, with a service life of 10 hours. Actually, these engines were captured BMW-003s, reassembled in the USSR. Subsequently, MiG-9s featured only Soviet-produced turbojet engines: the RD-20A-2, with a service life of 25 and 50 hours, and later the RD-20B, with a service life of 75 hours.
The armament of the production planes differed from that of the prototypes. The MiG-9 (Product FS) had one 37 mm Nudelman N-37 cannon with 40 rounds and two 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23K cannons with 80 rounds each.
In 1947, it was decided to equip the MiG-9 with RD-21 uprated engines producing 1,000 kg of thrust. The engine was uprated due to increased gas temperature and turbine revolutions.
A prototype I-307 (Product FF) aircraft was built and tested with these engines in 1947. The testing showed that the I-307 had higher flight characteristics than production MiG-9s. The I-307 remained a prototype, since in March 1948 a decision was made to start the full-scale production of the more advanced MiG-15.
The last production aircraft were handed over to the Air Force in December 1948, and in factories they were supplanted by a new plane from the Mikoyan Design Bureau, the MiG-15. A total of 602 MiG-9 fighters were produced.
The MiG-9 was the beginning of the jet MiG's history. The success of the MiG-15 fighter all over the world would have been impossible without the experience gained in the processes of design, building, testing, mass production, and operation of the first Soviet jet fighter, the MiG-9.
As new fighters were received by the Air Force, some MiG-9s would be delivered to China. These planes became the first jet fighters of the People's Liberation Army Air Force of China.
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (Микоя́н и Гуре́вич Опытное конструкторское бюро)|
|Fighters||MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34|
|Jet fighters||MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l)|
|MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH|
|MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis|
|MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD|
|MiG-27M · MiG-27K|
|MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT|
|Export/Licensed||␗MiG-9 · ␗MiG-9 (l)|
|◊MiG-15bis · J-2*|
|MiG-17AS · J-4* · Shenyang F-5*|
|◊MiG-19S · J-6A*|
|◄MiG-21 SPS-K · ◊MiG-21MF · ◊MiG-21 "Lazur-M" · ▄MiG-21bis · ◊MiG-21bis-SAU · J-7II**|
|◊MiG-23BN · ◊MiG-23MF · ◊MiG-23MLA|
|◊MiG-29 · ◄MiG-29G|
|*Licensed and domesticated with Chinese designations.|
|**Unlicensed, reverse-engineered and domesticated with Chinese designations.|
|See Also||Shenyang · Chengdu|
|USSR jet aircraft|
|Yakovlev||Yak-15 · Yak-15P · Yak-17 · Yak-23 · Yak-28B · Yak-30D · Yak-38 · Yak-38M · Yak-141|
|Mikoyan-Gurevich||MiG-9 · MiG-9 (l) · MiG-15 · MiG-15bis · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17 · MiG-17AS · MiG-19PT|
|MiG-21F-13 · MiG-21PFM · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-21SMT · MiG-21bis|
|MiG-23M · MiG-23ML · MiG-23MLD · MiG-27M · MiG-27K|
|MiG-29 · MiG-29SMT|
|Lavochkin||La-174 · La-15 · La-200|
|Sukhoi||Su-9 · Su-11|
|Su-7B · Su-7BKL · Su-7BMK · Su-17M2 · Su-17M4 · Su-22M3|
|Su-25 · Su-25BM · Su-25K · Su-25T · Su-39|
|Ilyushin||IL-28 · IL-28Sh|