|This page is about the Soviet fighter MiG-3-34. For other versions, see MiG-3 (Family).|
The MiG-3-34 was an experimental variant of the MiG-3 series, that tried to address the relatively weak firepower that previous models had. The MiG-3-34 was meant to be a high-altitude fighter, and was one of the few Soviet fighters capable of doing so, but still not at the level of American or German fighters like the P-51 and Bf 109. The MiG-3 suffered from a lot of problems in its development, from negligent quality control in the assembly line to deficient armament and poor oxygen supply. The MiG-3 was caught in a tough spot during Operation Barbarossa: instead of intercepting bombers, it clashed against much more agile Bf 109s. The aircraft was deemed much inferior and quickly phased out in favour of more capable low altitude Yak and LaGG fighters.
Introduced in Update 1.41, the MiG-3-34 is a fairly competitive aircraft for its BR. It should be played similarly to aircraft like the I-185 and I-225, using its good top speed and acceleration. Since it lacks the agility and armament to go toe-to-toe against aircraft like the Spitfire and Bf 109, the MiG-3-34 should climb to high altitudes, especially to intercept enemy bombers. At altitudes above 4,000 m, the MiG-3-34's engine starts to perform at its maximum capacity, and its lack of agility is compensated at higher altitudes when speed and acceleration starts to become more important.
The MiG-3-34 is not a turnfighter, it's a Boom & Zoom aircraft. It is a bit sluggish when turning, although the flaps can be used to turn better. This aircraft has a good climb rate for its BR. Once upgraded, the plane is enjoyable, though it may be a bit challenging to master.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,800 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 350||< 280||< 350||> 370|
Survivability and armour
The plane's protection is average overall. The placement of critical components is good, with fuel tanks being self-sealing and close to the cockpit. The pilot has 8 mm armour in the back of the seat, and 8.5 mm armour under the seat which prevent stray bullets but do not protect against large calibre cannons. The lack of armoured glass and side protection for the cockpit makes it easy to take out the pilot.
Modifications and economy
The MiG-3-34 is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm ShVAK cannons, nose-mounted (200 rpg = 400 total)
Usage in battles
The MiG-3-34 is an interceptor which are mainly used to intercept bombers and strike aircraft, and take them out quickly with its 2 x 20 mm ShVAK cannons which can deal large amounts of damage in close range. Be mindful of bombers with large fuselages which are designed to take large amounts of damage; these can drain your ammo quickly. All interceptors get an air spawn behind the base, use this to your advantage and find a good climb ratio that lets you gain both altitude and speed, and keep in mind that MiG series interceptors work best at high altitudes.
Use the high-powered 20 mm cannons wisely, because they have limited ammo try to aim for critical components such as engines and crew members. Avoid getting in direct line of sight of a bomber, as you can easily get the pilot taken out by defensive turrets on a bomber. Try to intercept from the side and aim for the bomber tail, wing or the pilot.
The plane can to a lesser extent be used as a ground attacker, but it is advised against this due to its lack of armour, low ammo count and the fact that it doesn't have any ordnance.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- 2 x 20 mm ShVAK cannons which are powerful at close range
- Durable construction which can handle high speeds
- A great climb rate of climb for its BR
- Strong flaps which can be used to decrease turn time
- Roll rate is good at high altitudes.
- Limited ammunition
- Not very manoeuvrable in turns
- Pilot and engine are vulnerable due to lack of armour
- No additional armament other than 20 mm cannons
Though riddled with shortcomings, the I-200/MiG-1 fighter/interceptor aircraft proved to be both a popular and capable aircraft with pilots that had experience flying them. To address the oft-cited shortcomings, aircraft designers Mikoyan and Gurevich set out to rectify these issues, not only to make the aircraft more pilot-friendly but to make it a more effective fighter/interceptor.
By utilizing a full-sized model of the aircraft in a wind tunnel, designers quickly set about documenting necessary changes in the aircraft's configuration. The increase of the outer wing dihedral improved the wing's overall stability and lengthening the fuselage by just four inches improved the horizontal stability of the aircraft. By happenstance, the minute change in length created enough space for an additional 66 gallon (250 litres) fuel tank installation behind the pilot seat. Inert exhaust gases were routed to the fuel tanks to help improve the survivability of the aircraft and pilot by reducing the likelihood of fuel fires if enemy gunfire punctured the fuel tanks. Other improvements included strengthening the landing gear, larger main wheels, extending the canopy glazing aft for better visibility, improved gunsight, updated configuration of the instrument panel and an overall increase to 750 rounds of ammunition per machine gun.
After making the recommended updates and changes, the heavily modified I-200/MiG-1 (fourth revision) made its maiden flight on 29 October 1940. The Soviet state accepted this version of the aircraft during December 1940 State acceptance trials and due to the significant changes made to the plane was renamed to MiG-3. Though the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau rectified many of the MiG-1's deficiencies, unfortunately, the resulting aircraft ended up being 550 lbs (250 kg) heavier and reduced service ceiling by 1,500 ft (457 m). They also took approximately a minute longer to reach 16,000 ft (4,900 m) than the original MiG-1s. Two other positive outcomes for the MiG-3 was an overall increase in the aircraft's speed at altitude and sea-level along with an increase in its service range.
Many of the initial MiG-3 airframes pushed out to the VVS regiments which were considered poor quality and unusable. After an inquiry completed, a panel found that the Soviet Air Force Research Institute was negligent in their duty to monitor the quality of the aircraft coming off the assembly line. After several demotions of senior managers and the execution of the institute head, new management set to address the problems with the MiG-3.
Though designed as a high-altitude bomber-interceptor, the MiG-3's pilot's oxygen supply was woefully inadequate, both fuel and oil pumps failed to keep necessary pressure at altitude and pilot inexperience with high altitude flying all played against the aircraft's abilities. Once again, the MiG Design Bureau set out to fix these deficiencies and when complete, the MiG-3 design teams optimized it for high altitude operations above 20,000 ft (6,000 m). Here the MiG-3 boasted almost a 20 mph (26 km/h) speed advantage over the German Bf 109E, though at sea-level, this advantage disappeared and the MiG-3 had roughly the same top speed as the Bf 109.
The weapons of the MiG-3 always seemed lacking compared to other aircraft such as the Bf 109 which typically sported a 20 mm canon along with machine guns. MiG-3s of all iterations only had machine guns in the 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm varieties. Though experiments with wing-mounted gun pods and rockets took place, reduction of airspeed due to them often resulted in the pilots having them removed, one of the few times where fighter pilots prefered streamlined aircraft over firepower. Ultimately the new gun sight was not fit for the task, so pilots often relied on getting as close to the enemy aircraft as possible before opening fire, sometimes within point-blank range to ensure a hit.
Leading up to the German invasion titled Operation Barbarossa, MiG-3s found homes at front-line regiments. Here, they could ideally intercept any hostile bomber or reconnaissance aircraft that flew over such as the German Ju-86P. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the German invasion, the MiG-3, though one of the best fighters available to Soviet pilots, proved to be unsuited for the task at hand. Instead of intercepting bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, they instead fought more agile Bf 109s and such in a fashion which negated all of the MiG-3's advantages, and it struggled. With the Bf 109 being more agile and had better weapons, the MiG-3 fought for a foothold but often lost. It was around this time that other Soviet fighters such as the Yak and LaGG series aircraft were debuting and showing their effectiveness at lower altitude combat with more agility and better weapon options. Forcing the aircraft to work as a bomber and ground attack aircraft proved to be an, even more, less effective than as a low-altitude fighter.
Some Soviet pilots did find success while flying the MiG-3. Aleksander Pokryshkin was one such pilot, as his initial foray into air combat was at the controls of a MiG-3. It was while flying the MiG-3 that Pokryshkin scored several victories against the German Bf 109. However, it was also during this time he realized that Soviet air combat doctrine was outdated, and he took detailed notes of his and other's accounts at air combat to determine a better way to fight. Pokryshkin's experience in the MiG-3 helped shape future Soviet air combat tactics for pilots flying more capable aircraft such as the Yak-1B, P-39K and Lavochkin fighters. Pokryskin was quoted as saying, "The operational advantage of the MiG-3 seemed to be obscured by its certain defects. However, these advantages could undoubtedly be exploited by a pilot able to discover them."
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|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|
|I-15||I-15 WR · I-15 M-22 · I-15 M-25 · I-15bis · Krasnolutsky's I-15bis|
|I-153 M-62 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P|
|I-16||I-16 type 5 · I-16 type 10 · I-16 type 18 · I-16 type 24 · I-16 type 27 · I-16 type 28 · I-180S|
|I-185||I-185 (M-71) · I-185 (M-82)|
|MiG-3||MiG-3-15 · MiG-3-15 (BK) · MiG-3-34|
|LaGG||I-301 · LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-8 · LaGG-3-11 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · LaGG-3-35 · LaGG-3-66|
|La||La-5 · La-5F · La-5FN · La-7 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-7B-20 · La-9 · La-11|
|Yak-1/7||Yak-1 · Yak-1B · Yak-7B|
|Yak-3||Yak-3 · Yak-3P · Yak-3T · Yak-3U · Yak-3 (VK-107)|
|Yak-9||Yak-9 · Yak-9B · Golovachev's Yak-9M · Yak-9T · Yak-9K · Yak-9U · Yak-9UT · Yak-9P|
|Other countries||▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc|
|P-39||▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15|
|P-63||▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5|