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I-200 n.01, 02 and 03
last updated on June 18, 2005                                       file name: I-200.html
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The work on I-200 drawings began on 25 November 1939.
It differed from the project X because it had to be equipped with the Mikulin AM-35 engine; this was because the AM-37 was not yet ready for production; the AM-35A  had the same dimensions, but its power was 200 hp lower.
The drawings were completed and were submitted to the authorities on 8 Dec.1939, and on 25 December a mockup was completed and approved; it was used for tests in the TsAGI T-101 wind tunnel. Such tests were concluded on January 2, 1940 and confirmed the good aerodynamic shape of the airframe, even if they judged that the project performances were a bit optimistic.
The war appeared close, and so the government offices gave to Mikoyan the date of July 1st, 1940 as a deadline for state acceptance trial. This would be difficult to achieve because they had started slowly, and the Lavockin I-301 and Yakovlev I-26 projects already had months of advantage in development time.
Thanks to the help of technicians of Zavod 1 and his experience as production technician, Mikoyan divided the I-200 into some sub-assembies that could be produced separately and then easily assembled together by a small number of simple connections; this modular conception was favourable both for mass production and for maintenance, allowing to quickly remove and replace a damaged sub-assembly even in field conditions.
Wide use was made of casted and moulded pieces, which were particularly apt for mass production.
All the detail drawings were completed by February 10, 1940; there were only 2500 pcs, thank to the simplifiation created by the use of moulded parts.

As many other Soviet fighters, the I-200 was made partially of layered  wood; this led to a higher weight than aluminium-alloy structures, but reduced the need for scarce strategic materials. 
The rear fuselage and the outer parts of the wing were similarly constructed.


The mid and aft fuselage were made with a structure of welded steel tubes, covered with aluminium alloy panels fixed by Dzus-type locks. The central part of wing was made of aluminium alloys, integral with the fuselage; the control surfaces were an aluminium alloy strut covered with fabric.

Thanks to a great effort from his bureau, which worked all the days divided into 1,5-2 shifts, the I-200 prototype was completed on March 31, 1940.
Then it was critically examined by A.G.Brunov, senior test pilot of Zavod 1 and leading engineer for the tests, and by Colonel M.I. Martseliuk and Major M.N. Yakushin of VVS.
The I-200 n.01 was first flown on April 5th, 1940 by the test pilot A.N. Ekatov of Zavod 1; on the whole, the test were satisfying, even if there were:
  • a fire on the inlet pipe due to a engine backfire on the 3rd flight;
  • engine overheating;
  • the sidehinged canopy  was  impossible to be opened in flight;
  • unsufficient braking power.

  • On 1st May 1940 Ekatov flew the I-200 n.01 over Moscow's Red Square.
    On May 24 it reached the speed of 648 km/h at an height of 6,900 m; an exceptional performance not only for the Soviet Union: the only faster semi-operative aircraft was the Heinkel He-100.


    These photos represent the I-200 nr.1, characherized by the oil radiator on the left side only.

    The I-200 n.02 was completed for tests on April 25; it was first flown by M.N. Yaskushin on May 9.
    It was externally distinguishable from the Nr.1 for oil radiators on both sides and the presence of slots in front of the windshield.


    from OKB MiG

    Here are some drawings of I-200 nr.2.

    For more complete drawings, see the site
    Here is a detail of the aircraft after a crash.
    The shape and detail of the wheel bays is evident.
    thanks to

    The I-200 no.03 began ground tests of armament with regular syncronizer on May 13, 1940. 
    It was completed on June 1, and was flown on June 6 by M.I. Martselyuk.
    This prototype had metallic outer panels of the wings (rather than wooden, but this modify wasn't followed by subcessive aircrafts) and a new headlight FS-155; later it was equipped with radio device.

    Here are photos of I-200 no.03 during tests at NII-VVS. It was the first one to be painted green and silver, still unmarked.


    The performances demonstrated during the tests were highly satisfying, particularly concerning speed. The I-200 no.1, flown by Ekatov, reached 648,5 km/h at 6900 m in the nominal operating range of the engine on May 24; I-200 n.02 flown by Yakushin reached 651 km/h at 700 m, at nominal power as well. It reached 579 km/h at 2220 m and 605 km/h at 3630 m.
    The fighter reached an altitude of 5,000 m in 5,1 min, and 7,000 m in 7,15 min.

    On May 25, 1940, even before the tests were end, the Committe for Defense and the NKAP ordered the I-200 into production at Zavod 1, where it replaced the bomber BB-22. It was expected than 125 I-200 would be built by the end of 1940. Such a hurry was influenced by the enthusiasm of Stalin for the exhibition on the Red Square on May 1, and for the results of the tests, but the design team knew it was an error. In fact, tests show also that the aircraft was demanding to fly; it was longitudinally unstable and had a neutral lateral stability.
    A list of 112 defects and needed corrections was made; this included mainly:

    The I-200 was first shown to the public at the Tushino Air Parade of August 18, 1940, where the I-200 no.03 flown by Yakushin made a demonstration flight.

    On September 13, 1940, at a meeting between the OKO and NII-VVS to discuss the results of tests, the chief test pilot Suprun  (on the right) commented that the I-200 was the only prototype to pass well the state tests at the first attempt; for comparison, the I-26 (later Yak-1) and I-301 (later LaGG-1) had to repeat the state tests for several times.

    Note: this page is widely based on the article of Arsenyev at
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