World War II all jet engines and other aviation material found in the
Soviet occupied zone were transported to the Soviet Union, under Joseph Stalin's
direct orders. Additionally, all available production facilities and
qualified personal were taken to the Soviet Union. While examining and
testing the German Junkers Jumo 004 and BMW 003 the Russians found that
these engines could be installed in Russian fighter planes. The Jumo 004
engine was named RD-10 and the BMW 003 RD-20. The Russian
research and drawing offices for jet fighters (OKB) MiG, Sukhoi
and Lavochkin got the order to examine the German jet engine and to
construct suitable fuselage for the new jet engines. The OKB started a
race, as each one wanted to earn the honour for constructing the first
Soviet jet fighter.
used the reliable standard fuselage of the Yak 3 propeller
fighter. The nose was changed in a way, that the engine could be
installed and the jet beam directed under the fuselage. MiG built
for the MIG 9 a complete new fuselage and to increase the
capacity and security of the plane embedded two of the more compact BMW
003 (RD-20) engines in the fuselage. By using the two BMW engines, MiG
surpassed the capacity of the stronger Jumo engine of the Yak 15.
Later tests of a one engine MiG 9 (engine Lyulka TR-1) brought no
results and were suspended. Sukhoi and Lavochkin were not able to keep
pace with the two other competitors. The race of Yakovlev and MiG to win
the honour of the first jet fighter design ended on the same day, the 24th
of April 1946. A Yak 15 as well as a MIG 9 were ready for take off at
the airfield testing area in Chkulovskaja. By casting lots, MiG
won the race to send the first Soviet jet fighter into the air.
Immediately, pilot A.N. Grinschik took off aboard the MIG 9 followed by
the Yak 15. Stalin ordered that both planes were to be produced in
series after that historical double event. Not only the engines of the
first Russian fighters were of German origin. The filler caps of the Jak
17 Uti, exhibited in Krakau (Poland) (the Jak 17 Uti was the two seat
training version of the Jak 15) proved that fact. So for many years
after the war filler caps were produced with German printing and
This mock-up was created for a television program in 1973 `The Last Flight Of The Albatross` depicting the story behind the Me262. The machine is an original, but heavily reworked MiG9 Fighter, with BMW003 engines.
(More information on these machines being collated.)
© 1999 CastleWeb, in cooperation with Sabre Design Group.