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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.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 5/18/2016
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1946
Manufacturer(s): Mikoyan-Gurevich - Soviet Union
Production: 598
Capabilities: Fighter;
Crew: 1
Length: 31.99 ft (9.75 m)
Width: 32.81 ft (10 m)
Height: 12.99 ft (3.96 m)
Weight (Empty): 7,540 lb (3,420 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 11,177 lb (5,070 kg)
Power: 2 x RD-20 (BMW 003A) turbojet engines developing 1,746 lb of thrust each.
Speed: 566 mph (911 kph; 492 kts)
Ceiling: 44,291 feet (13,500 m; 8.39 miles)
Range: 900 miles (1,448 km; 782 nm)
Operators: China; Soviet Union
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.


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

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon

Variants / Models

• 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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