Aviation Historian 3
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V.Kotelnikov - The ultimate war prize
The dividend of war - the Jumo 004-powered Messerschmitt Me 262 was Germany’s first operational jet aircraft and captured examples yielded much valuable information for the Allies - including the Soviet Union.
An American soldier clambers over a disconsolate Me 262 at a captured Luftwaffe airfield. As the Allies closed in on Germany in the last months of the war, the race to capture and evaluate German technology was on between the Soviet Union and its notional “allies”, the prize being Germany’s advanced scientific know-how.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau decided on a very different approach from that of Yakovlev for its first jet fighter, twin BMW 003 engines (later RD-20s) being mounted side by side within the fuselage. Seen here is the prototype I-300, which evolved into the MiG-9.
A production MiG-9, fitted with a pair of RD-21s, in May 1947. When Nato was formed in April 1949 the aircraft was allocated the reporting name Fargo. The Yak-15 was similarly given the reporting name Feather.
An early production Yak-15 built at Factory No 31 at Tbilisi, Georgia. These examples were not armed as they were intended to serve only as transition trainers to acclimatise pilots to jet technology.
Showing its piston-engined fighter heritage, the Yak-15 was developed quickly in order to capitalise on the production of the new series of jet engines being produced by the Soviet Union. This example was photographed during State testing of the type.
Один из первых отечественных реактивных истребителей - Як-15 с двигателем РД-10. Созданная на базе хорошо освоенного летным составом поршневого Як-3, машина значительно упростила переход советской авиации на реактивную технику.
Based on the Yakovlev Yak-3 fighter, the Yak-15 was one of only two jet aircraft directly based on a piston-engined fighter to go into production - the other was Sweden’s Saab J21R.
The snug installation of the RD-10 in the Yak-15, in this case an early production example. The engines for these were assembled at Factory No 26 at Ufa from parts manufactured in Germany.
With a somewhat waddling appearance from the rear, MiG’s FT/FT-2/MiG-9UTI was developed as a two-seat trainer, the first prototype FT-1 making its first flight in July 1947.
The Yak-17 was an improved Yak-15, fitted with a strengthened wing and a tricycle undercarriage, although the latter proved problematic. The nosewheel was largely external, being fitted to a faired levered-suspension oleo strut which formed the front half of a ventral bulge when retracted.
A poor-quality but rare photograph of a line-up of Yak-17 single-seat fighters, the vast majority of Yak-17s built being two seat Yak-17UTI trainers. The type entered service with the Independent Air Training Regiment (UTAP) at the end of 1946.