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        After 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.

  Captured M262 used for Soviet evaluation. Fate of this machine is unknown  

        Yakovlev 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 embossing tools!

   MiG 9 in mock Luftwaffe colours   

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.


   Yakovlev Yak15   


   Sukhoi Su9   


   MiG9 in Russias` Monino Museum   

(More information on these machines being collated.)


Thanks to Bert Hartmann for the above photographs and the translation from German. Visit Bert`s `Me262-A Legend Lives` from here.



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