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Early Soviet jet / rocket aircraft developed near the end of second world war and shortly after 1945 were heavily based on information obtained from German jet aircraft, some of them being captured and analyzed. (This was also the case for the American development of jets by the way).
Aircraft such as the German Messerschmitt Me-262 and Me-163 Komet and various jet prototypes were used, and more importantly, their engines studied, duplicated and adopted.
Mikoyan, Gurevich, Yakovlev and Tichonravov were the Soviet pioneers in this area.
Models of early soviet jets in 1/72 scale covered:
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1. Bereznjak Isajev BI-1
This aircraft was a rocket propelled aircraft that flew already in May 1942. It was very small, linen and wood was used in several parts. The rocket was a D-14-1100 of 1,406Kg trust. The experiments gave data that were used in other Soviet designs.
The wingspan was about 6,48 m, length 6,4 m and empty weight 960 kg and a usual flying weight of 1680 kg. Max estimated speed was to be about 990 km/hr!
First some fliding flights were made to know the handling characteristics with the aircraft being pulled to height usually with a Pe-2. Overall performance was good and over 675 km/h was reached and a very fast climb but endurance was not very long. The BI-1 was also modified with two tip mounted air breathing engines. During a test March 27, 1943 with probably 800 km/hr reached, the plane crashed, killing its pilot. It was never used in combat.
( Beginning 1946 a BI-1bis was made with improvemnets and a different engine).
Express kit (no. 72203 ) in 1/72 scale has about 40 short run injection
plastic parts and it is a very small model. The kit was I believed originally
issued by VES model , Voronez from Biela, Russia
and the Pioneer kit is probably the same mould. Accuracy seems to be quite
good, a plane is in the Monino museum.
Gear attached and the "end plates"
to the stabilizer. The cockpit is very small but some nice details are
provided in the kit. Cockpit was added with some white glue to fill the
Exterior colours are dark and medium green (Humbrol 159 and 120) upper surface and common light blue Humbrol 65 ? lower finish.
Red Stars had tiny white edges supplied in the kit; these stars were all cut out with scissors and applied. Be carefull as they are very thin and tend to break up.
2. Tikhonravov I-302P (1943)
Designer M.K.Tikhonravov was asked to investigate rocket propulsion for aircraft in the early 1940's and he came up with a design for a small plane with a rocket in the tail and what seems to be two ramjets under the wingtips.
An unpowered glider was flown in 1943 to test the flight characteristics.
It was not flown with the envisaged engines as they could not be delivered. So the I-302 never materialized into the envisaged rocket plane.
(kit no 7220) in 1/72 scale has about 15 parts
and is short-run. It represents the flown test glider. It is a limited
edition short run kit and needs some parts cleaning up.
Colours applied were upper green of
Humbrol 105 and the lower surfaces Humbrol 65 light blue.
3. Mikoyan Gurevich Mig-9 / NATO Code name : "Fargo"
Developed after the second world war, the Mig-9 (prototype known as I-300) became the first operational fighter of the Soviet air force. It first flew in April 1946. Between 1946-1948 about 600 of them were built. Some were also donated to China later on.
I-301T/«FT» - The I-301/I-301T - Mig-9L: was a two-seat trainer development of the MiG-9. Two built.
I-305 - Version of the MiG-9 with two Lyulka TR-1 engines. One built.
MiG-9F/I-307 - A development of MiG-9 with two RD-21 engines.
MiG-9FR/I-308 - The recco modification of MiG-9. Two RD-21 engines.
(kit no 7206) in 1/72 scale has issued a model
of this little jet and it is short run which requires some cleaning up
of the plastic parts.
There is some
detail in the basic cockpit with a tub and seat. It is very small and not
much can be seen later on. Panels are engraved but a bit rough. With some
work a nice little model can be made. Putty is required at the joints and
especially at the wing roots. I strengthened the wing-fuselage joint with
some small metal pins with holes drilled in the appropriate locations.
The Mig-9 got as all other models a grey base coat. It was discovered that there is some plastic shrinkage ("irregularities") op the upper wings and the fuselage spine needs some extra sanding.
Final colour used was an overall grey coat of light grey using Humbrol 128. It was decided to put a cover on the intake to added some colour and to mask the very rough model intake.
It was found later that the cockpit glass had a step at the windshield. A small thin piece of card to have a smoother step.
Unfortunately to prevent tail sitting,
a very thin metal wire was required below the exhaust area.
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Back to Soviet aircraft models.......
OKB MiG , a history of the design bureau and it aircraft, Butowski & Jay Miller
Dutch magazine "Luchtvaartkennis 1974-04" about the BI-1.
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July 8, 2005