Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter
Despite its impressive appearance - no doubt made possible by captured German research following World War 2 - the MiG-9 was a heavy aircraft prone to accidents.
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The MiG-9 (NATO codename of "Fargo") was only the second attempt by the Soviet Union at designing and producing a viable jet-powered fighter platform. Design was undertaken by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Bureau and - though hardly a successful design - the MiG-9 formed the basis and forerunner to the excellent MiG-15 "Fagot" aircraft popularized by its use in the Korean War (1950-1953). With German turbojet design readily apparent in this Soviet addition, the MiG-9 was nevertheless produced in nearly 600 examples and in several variants.
There is little doubt that the MiG-9's appearance influenced the upcoming 1947 design of the MiG-15 - and future Mikoyan-Gurevich creations throughout the Cold War - as all were seen with the highly identifiable nose-mounted split-type intake (feeding the twin turbojets running about halfway into the fuselage) and high vertical tail surface. The cockpit of the MiG-9 was fielded forward as was the case with the MiG-15 and beyond. In an interesting note, the armament of the MiG-9 was equally indicative of its influence over the MiG-15 in that both sported a single 37mm cannon and twin 23mm cannons all in the nose. Whereas the MiG-9 Fargo was designed with straight wings, all later Mikoyan jets were fitted with swept-back wing designs. Power was derived from a pair of German-based BMW 003A turbojets masked as Soviet RD-20's.
Though development of the MiG-9 began in 1935, the prototype I-300 series was not to fly until 1946 with deliveries beginning in the last month of that year. By 1947, the aircraft was refitted with a more powerful RD-21 type engine in the MiG-9F though overall the series till proved to be a heavy aircraft to fly convincingly in combat when compared to the initial Soviet jet fighter attempt in the Yak-15. With turbojet design mechanics and tactics still in its relative infancy, the MiG-9 was also a design that was inherently prone to engine and airframe failures.