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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo) - Soviet Union, 1946

Detailing the development and operational history of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo) Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter.

 Entry last updated on 5/18/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo)  
Picture of Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo)

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.

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.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo) Specifications

Service Year: 1946
Type: Single-Seat Jet-Powered Fighter
National Origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer(s): Mikoyan-Gurevich - Soviet Union
Total Production: 598

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 1
Overall Length: 31.99 feet (9.75 meters)
Overall Width: 32.81 feet (10.00 meters)
Overall Height: 12.99 feet (3.96 meters)

Weight (Empty): 7,540 lb (3,420 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 11,177 lb (5,070 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 2 x RD-20 (BMW 003A) turbojet engines developing 1,746 lb of thrust each.

Maximum Speed: 492 knots (566 mph; 911 kph)
Maximum Range: 782 nautical miles (900 miles; 1,448 km)
Service Ceiling: 44,291 feet (13,500 meters; 8.39 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload

1 x 37mm cannon extending from nose intake divider.
2 x 23mm cannon extending from under sides of nose intake.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

China; Soviet Union

Model Variants

I-300 - Prototype Model Designation; fitted with German-type 2 x BMW 300A turbojets; first flight on April 24 of 1946.
MiG-9 - Base Production Model Series Designation; limited production.
MiG-9F - Fitted with uprated RD-21 turbojet engines.
MiG-9FP - Prototype Model; revised weapons layout.
MiG-9FL - Developmental Model fitted with Lyulka TR-1A engines.
MiG-9FF - Prototypr Model; fitted with RD-20F OR RD-21 type engines with afterburning.
MiG-9FR - Pressurization of cockpit; final production models.
MiG-9UTI - Two-Seat Trainer Model
MiG-9L - Prototype Testbed Aircraft

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