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MiG-3s during winter 1941/42
Last modified on November 21, 2003
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The late, long-nosed version of MiG-3 replaced the early version on production line during the late summer of 1941, probably in August; it is predominant over the late version in photos taken after the late autumn 1941.
The late MiG-3 version is easily distinguishable in photos from early short-nosed version  via the first exhaust pipe, which is covered by a cowling, by long gun barrel covers over the nose, and from thin triangular plates on the outlets of side oil radiators.
The radio set presence can be usually recognized from the visible radio mast and wires, but some examples show no radio boxes protruding under the canopy even if they have the mast and wires.
Usually the MiG-3s were flown with  the sliding part of the canopy opened (or, sometimes, removed), because of radiator heat and gas infiltrations from the engine, and the fear to be imprisoned if the aircraft should be shot down; in fact, the canopy was hard to slide at flying speeds above 400 km/h.
The rockets, set on triple launchers 3ROB-82, can be used both against ground targets and air targets during bomber interception.
They are regularly used since winter 1941/42, particularly in the Moscow area.
The tail wheel doors are usually bulged, but there is some exception to this rule. The tail wheel retraction mechanism was subject to malfunctions, so it was often locked in open position on the late examples; the doors were replaced by a canvas cover with various shapes.
The slats were usually present on late examples; there are some exceptions to this rule. The closed flaps are difficult to see on photos, but their presence is recognizable from the underwing pitot probe, while their absence is associated with a leading edge mounted one.
This example was of Lieutnant I.F.Golubin of 16 IAP, Moscow area, winter 1941/42. Golubin was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union on March 4, 1942. 
He scored 12 victories before being killed in action in October 1943. 
The aircraft is an early type MiG-3, but with slats. 
 From Red Stars, old edition

Another shot of an all-white aircraft during the winter of 1941/42. Note the opacity of the rear glass due to condensation or ice. 
Photos of early type MiG-3s during the winter 1941/42 are relatively rare, the later version was by far more common on this period.

Another example during the winter. It is without the sliding canopy, and bears a small red star on the spinner. 
The unit and place are unknown. 
The photo has been colourized by the author. 

Three photos showing a line of MiG-3s on the Vnukovo airport.
Photos were taken on March 7 1942 when the 120 IAP of the Moscow Air Defence (PVO) was made a Guards Regiment as 12 Gv.IAP as a reward for its merits. 

from OKB MiG


The line shows both white-painted and camouflaged aircraft, all armed with rocket launchers. 
These photos are a good source of beautiful profiles. 
from Red Stars (old edition)

from "Unknown battles on the Moscow skies" of Hazanov

This image shows aircrafts of 12 Gv.IAP ready to fly; red 39 is recognizable here again. 
On these days, the maintenance services of 120 IAP were able to rearrange many flyable MiG-3s from damaged examples.

from "Unknown battles on the Moscow skies" of Hazanov

Here is an example with a roughly brushed white winter layer on the Moscow front, winter 1941/42. 


from "Unknown battles on the Moscow skies" of Hazanov

This photo shows a partially dismounted aircraft. 
The visibility of the internal structures is noteworthy. 
The aircraft shows some rough repainting.

from Batailles Aeriennes


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