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Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS (MiG-5)

Proposed Long-Range Escort Fighter / Heavy Fighter

Soviet Union | 1940

"Several major issues greeted the promising MiG DIS heavy fighter during its short wartime existence - culminating with just two prototypes realized."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/18/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Nearly all world air services of the interwar period entertained the concept of a twin-engined "heavy fighter" intended to escort bomber formations as well as carry out individual, specialized attacks against ground targets. In many ways these were multi-role platforms before the term for aircraft became commonplace and were able to take on all manner of over-battlefield tasks all the while retaining inherent fighter-like qualities. There proved some notable ventures in the heavy fighter category - namely the British de Havilland DH.98 "Mosquito", the German Messerschmitt Bf 110, and the American Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" - while the Soviets attempted several twin-engine types for their part including the oft-overlooked entry coming from Mikoyan-Gurevich - the MiG DIS ("Dalniy Istrebitel Soprovozhdenya").

The DIS was developed to a Soviet Air Force requirement calling for a long-range fighter escort. In time the requirement grew to include several other battlefield roles including bomb delivery, torpedo delivery and fast reconnaissance. Design work began in 1940 and Mikoyan-Gurevich joined Grushin, Polikarpov, and Tairov in attempting to fill the need. The Mikoyan-Gurevich entry became the "DIS-200" and the engine of choice was set to be 2 x Charomskii series M30 or M40 systems. A streamlined fuselage, fitting the cockpit at front, was devised with a split vertical tail fin arrangement at rear. Wings were fitted well-ahead of midships and each given an underslung engine nacelle - the engines driving three-bladed propeller units. The undercarriage relied on a "tail-dragger" arrangement in which the main wheels retracted into each nacelle.

Proposed armament centered on a single 23mm VYa cannon (fitted to a removable ventral pod) with 2 x 12.7mm BS heavy machine guns and 4 x 7.62mm medium machine guns. A bomb-/torpedo-carrying capability was worked in with the load reaching up to 2,205 lb. However, if fitted with this war load, the aircraft lost its ventral cannon pod.

Because the Charomskii engines were not ready in time, the airframe was arranged with 2 x Mikulin AM-37 12-cylinder Vee-type engines developing 1,400 horsepower (each). Ground-running involving the "DIS-T" prototype began in mid-May 1941 which led to a first flight recorded on June 11th but the design quickly proved unsatisfactory performance-wise - its top reachable speed was less than 350 miles per hour. To rectify issues, changes were appropriately instituted which involved drag reduction techniques and use of four-bladed propellers and this work led to a 32mph speed increase. Still not a production-worthy platform, it was recommended that development continue to improve the product. The Axis advance towards Moscow, where the DIS-T was being worked on, forced operations to be relocated further east and delayed the program considerably. Production issues with the AM-37 engine also derailed the impending heavy fighter design (which had secured the "MiG-5" designation by now).

The DIS-200 designation was then used for the second prototype as well - the "DIS-IT". First flight of this model was recorded during January 28th, 1943 and primarily differed in its use of 2 x Shvetsov M-82F 14-cylinder radial piston engines, each outputting at 1,700 horsepower. Armament was modified to 2 x 23mm cannons and 4 x 7.62mm machine guns and performance included a maximum speed of 375 mile per hour.

By 1943, however, the Soviet situation had changed considerably from the time of the German invasion of 1941 and there proved little need for a heavy fighter type in escorting Air Force bomber formations. Instead the aircraft production focus for the Soviets fell to more tactically-minded platforms that could surgically strike Axis formations with greater accuracy. This also meant a relaxation of any range requirements for Soviet aircraft would be operating from bases closer to the enemy in their push towards Berlin. This led to a full cancellation of the MiG DIS project in October of 1943.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS-T Proposed Long-Range Escort Fighter / Heavy Fighter.
2 x Mikulin Am-37 V12 supercharged liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 1,400 horsepower each.
379 mph
610 kph | 329 kts
Max Speed
35,761 ft
10,900 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
1,417 miles
2,280 km | 1,231 nm
Operational Range
3,000 ft/min
914 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS-T Proposed Long-Range Escort Fighter / Heavy Fighter.
36.7 ft
11.20 m
O/A Length
50.2 ft
(15.30 m)
O/A Width
11.2 ft
(3.40 m)
O/A Height
13,536 lb
(6,140 kg)
Empty Weight
17,769 lb
(8,060 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS (MiG-5) Proposed Long-Range Escort Fighter / Heavy Fighter .
1 x 23mm VYa cannon in removable ventral cannon pod.
2 x 12.7mm BS heavy machine guns
4 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns in wing roots

2 x 23mm VYa cannon in removable ventral cannon pod.
4 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns in wing roots

1 x 2,205lb bomb OR torpedo in place of ventral cannon pod.
Notable series variants as part of the Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS (MiG-5) family line.
DIS - Base Project Designation
DIS-T - Initial prototype with 2 x Mikulin inline engines of 1,400 horsepower each.
DIS-IT - Second prototype with 2 x Shvetsov M-82F radial engines of 1,700 horsepower each; other subtle revisions added to improved performance.
MiG-5 - Reserved Soviet air service designation for production-quality aircraft forms (not used).
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS (MiG-5). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 2 Units

Contractor(s): Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB - Soviet Union
National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Soviet Union (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (379mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS (MiG-5)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Mikoyan-Gurevich DIS (MiG-5) Proposed Long-Range Escort Fighter / Heavy Fighter appears in the following collections:
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