Mikoyan-Gurevich I-310 - MiG15
Jets45 Histories

Mikoyan-Gurevich I-310 (Mig 15)

The third prototype I-310 (S-03)

Specification for I-310 (S-03)
    Engine: 1x Rolls-Royce R.B.41 "Nene"-2 centrifugal-flow turbojet making 5,100 lb of thrust
    Wing Span: 10.085 m
    Length: 10.102 m
    Weight: Empty 2,955 kg/ Loaded 4,806 kg
    Maximum Speed: 1,031 km/h
    Ceiling: 15,200 m
    Range: 1,530 km
    Crew: 1
    Armament: 1x 37 mm N-37 cannon / 2x 23 mm NS-23 cannons
The design of the aircraft which would make Mig a house hold name throughout out the world began in March 1946, at a meeting of all the major fighter constructors in the USSR, were a program for a new jet powered interceptor with swept wings, able to operate from rough air fields, reach Mach 0.9, have good maneuverability and have at least one hours flight endurance was instigated by the Kremlin. Out of all the aircraft designed and built to meet this specification, the Mig I-310 was not the considered the best overall (that was the Lavochkin La 168), however the rugged Mig won the day and was accepted for mass production as the legendary Mig-15.
The Mig's main competitor the Lavochkin La 168
The Mig I-310 was of a conventional layout, heavily influenced by German research on aeronautics and considered to be the best compromise by the Mig OKB, however it was a indigenous Soviet design. It consisted of mid mounted 35 swept wings, with the main undercarriage fitting into them, a short circular section fuselage which housed a pressurized cockpit with an ejection seat, engine and a large T-tail, the only real problem was the engine. The choice was between an Axial-flow design based on a German design and a centrifugal design based this time on the British "Nean" engine (VK-1PO). In the end the centrifugal engine was chosen.
The Mig-UTI trainer

Fortuitously as it turned out, as in September 1946 the British agreed the export 10 "Nean" engine to the USSR at once, with a further 15 in March 1947 and more to follow. By the end of October 1946 the Soviets were issuing production drawing of the "Nean" to No 45 Production Factory for production (the "new" engine being designated RD-45 after the factory) with Mig receiving full installation drawing for the engine by February 1947.

The first prototype (S-01) was finished on the 27/11/1947 with the first flight being on the 30/12/1947, flown by Vikitor Nikolayevich Yuganov. A number of changes were made such as the increasing of the tail plane sweep to 40 from 35, the cutting back of the rear fuselage to shorten the the jet pipe by 320mm. The second prototype (S-02) was fitted with the more powerful Nean-2 engine, with the third aircraft (S-03) having all of the above modification as well as airbrakes installed to the rear of a strengthened fuselage and hard points under the wings and armament fitted. This aircraft took to the air on 17/6/1948 and was extremely successful in testing and in August 1948 the design was given the go ahead for production, by 1956 a staggering 12,000 had been made in all versions and it was in use in the 1990's around the world as a trainer, the Mig-15 UTI.

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