Information

Polikarpov I-188


Polikarpov I-188

The Polikarpov I-188 was the last design to be based on the I-185, and was intended to use a smaller, lighter but less powerful engine than the original aircraft. The I-188 was developed early in 1943. The new M-90 engine had a small diameter than the M-71 engine used in the M-185, and would have reduced drag, making up for the loss in power. The I-188 never progressed beyond the design stage.


Polikarpov I-185

The Polikarpov I-185 was a Soviet fighter aircraft designed in 1940. It was flown with three different engines, but all of them were either insufficiently developed for service use or their full production was reserved for other fighters already in production. The I-185 program was cancelled after a yet another engine failure of the favored 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW) Shvetsov M-71 radial on 27 January 1943.


Indice

Il progetto dell'I-185 [N 2] prese avvio nel 1939 (con il numero di "progetto 62") [3] , riprendendo in linea di massima il lavoro già svolto sul precedente I-180. Obiettivo del progettista era di intervenire sul valore del carico alare del velivolo, sia grazie ad un diverso disegno dell'ala, sia grazie alla maggiore potenza disponibile con l'impiego del nuovo motore radiale a diciotto cilindri Nazarov M-90, che si prevedeva capace di erogare 2 000 hp di potenza [3] [4] [5] .

Per massimizzare le prestazioni e migliorare il raffreddamento del motore, Polikarpov aveva disgnato un nuovo cofano motore estremamente aderente che includeva un'elica intubata [N 3] : l'aria dopo aver raffreddato i cilindri veniva espulsa attraverso le alette aerodinamiche generando un supplemento di spinta [4] .

Nel mese di maggio del 1940 [6] [7] il primo prototipo dell'I-185 era pronto ma sia le prove al banco che i primi rullaggi evidenziarono che le attese circa la potenza del motore M-90 erano estremamente ottimistiche [6] [7] .

Venne presa la decisione di installare il motore Shvetsov M-81, ancora una volta in fase sperimentale [6] : la sua potenza, prevista in 1 200 hp [6] [7] , consentì di svolgere solamente un breve volo di prova l'11 gennaio del 1941 [6] . Nel frattempo era stato realizzato un secondo prototipo dell'I-185 equipaggiato con il nuovo M-82 da 1 700 hp [6] [7] , che presentava minor ingombro aerodinamico frontale, riducendo la resistenza dell'aereo a favore della sua velocità massima le prove su questo nuovo prototipo ebbero inizio nel maggio del 1941. Grazie alle minori dimensioni dell'unità motrice, Polikarpov mise particolare cura nel trovare alloggiamento per tre cannoni ShVAK, calibro 20 mm all'interno della cappottatura del motore [6] [7] , per garantire al proprio caccia un adeguato volume di fuoco.

Nel frattempo, un paio di mesi prima, aveva visto la luce una terza variante dell'I-185, questa volta destinata ad alloggiare il motore Shvetsov M-71 con il quale, dopo le prime positive sperimentazioni in volo [8] , venne riequipaggiato anche il primo prototipo [7] .

A causa dell'invasione tedesca, lo studio di progettazione di Polikarpov e l'impianto produttivo "GAZ 51" furono trasferiti a Novosibirsk [8] ed i test subirono ben presto un ulteriore ritardo. In ogni caso gli esemplari con il motore M-71 furono destinati alle prove in volo mentre l'aereo con il motore M-82 fu impiegato per le prove di tiro. I buoni risultati riscontrati nel corso di queste ultime portarono le autorità sovietiche ad obbligare Polikarpov a trasferire i disegni dell'installazione del motore e dei cannoni anche agli OKB diretti dagli ingegneri Artëm Ivanovič Mikojan e Michail Iosifovič Gurevič, Semën Alekseevič Lavočkin e Aleksandr Sergeevič Jakovlev, accelerando di fatto lo sviluppo dei rispettivi progetti, in particolare quello del caccia Lavochkin La-5 [8] [9] .

Sulla base dei riscontri delle prove di volo svolte presso il "NII VVS KA" [N 4] , le prestazioni dell'I-185 con il motore M-71 risultavano migliori rispetto a quelle di tutti i velivoli con i quali era stato possibile compararlo, fossero di produzione sovietica (LaGG-3, MiG-3, Yak-7B), alleata (Airacobra, Spitfire [N 5] ) o nemica (Bf 109F, He 100 [N 6] ) [8] [9] .

Nella primavera del 1941 fu dato inizio alle procedure per la produzione in serie dell'I-185 "M-71" con la costruzione di un esemplare di "pre-serie" questo esemplare fu dotato di una nuova cappottatura del motore che ne riduceva ulteriormente la resistenza aerodinamica e, tra giugno ed ottobre, fu sottoposto ad una serie di prove di volo prima del trasferimento, in novembre, al "NII VVS KA" per le prove ufficiali [9] . Negli stessi giorni i primi tre prototipi dell'I-185 furono assegnati al 728º reggimento aereo da caccia [9] [10] .

Le prove sull'esemplare di preserie evidenziarono considerevoli problemi di affidabilità del motore M-71 che sfociarono nella perdita sia del velivolo di preserie, il 27 gennaio del 1943 [11] [12] , sia del primo prototipo, il successivo 5 aprile [9] . In uno di questi due incidenti, le fonti non sono concordi tra loro, trovò la morte il pilota collaudatore Vasilij Andreevič Stepančonok.

Le autorità sovietiche decisero di attribuire la precedenza sulle forniture del motore M-82 al nuovo Lavochkin La-5 e per l'I-185 non c'era alternativa: benché fossero state studiate due nuove varianti, denominate rispettivamente I-187 e I-188, il suo progetto venne definitivamente abbandonato nella primavera del 1943, malgrado le proteste di Polikarpov [12] .

L'I-185 fu tra i progetti che valsero al giovane ingegnere russo la seconda assegnazione del Premio Stalin nel 1943, un anno prima della sua morte, avvenuta nel luglio del 1944 dopo aver dato vita all'ultimo suo progetto per un aereo da caccia, il Polikarpov ITP [13] .

Cellula Modifica

Discendente in linea diretta, tramite l'I-180, dal caccia I-16 anche il nuovo progetto di Polikarpov era caratterizzato dalla struttura monoscocca in legno "multistrato" della fusoliera che integrava l'elemento verticale dell'impennaggio [4] .

L'abitacolo era di tipo chiuso con cupolino vetrato scorrevole verso il posteriore ed era sistemato in posizione arretrata rispetto al centro della fusoliera.

L'ala era ancora più piccola, in lunghezza e superficie, rispetto a quella dell'I-180, ed utilizzava un profilo dallo spessore estremamente sottile, con valori di poco superiori a quelli del britannico Spitfire (all'epoca il caccia ad impiegare il profilo alare più sottile in assoluto) [6] . La struttura dell'ala era interamente metallica, con doppio longherone e rivestimento lavorante in duralluminio. Sui bordi d'entrata erano presenti slat attuati da un sistema pneumatico, mentre su quello d'uscita vi erano alettoni divisi in quattro sezioni e rivestiti in tela [6] .

Il carrello d'atterraggio era di tipo classico e retrattile: i due elementi principali, imperniati sul ventre alare in posizione non distante dalla radice, erano monoruota e rientravano con movimento rettilineo verso il centro della fusoliera. In coda era presente un ruotino d'appoggio, retrattile, il cui movimento poteva essere bloccato (in genere per la fase di decollo) [6] .

Motore Modifica

Lo sviluppo dell'I-185 fu particolarmente condizionato dalla necessità di reperire un motore sufficientemente potente ed altrettanto affidabile. Inizialmente la scelta cadde, in modo rivelatosi ottimistico [4] , sul radiale a diciotto cilindri Nazarov M-90 allora in via di realizzazione dal quale si sperava di ottenere 2 000 hp di potenza.

Quando, nel maggio del 1940, divenne evidente che l'M-90 non sarebbe stato disponibile per tempo la prima alternativa venne individuata in un altro motore radiale in fase sperimentale, lo Shvetsov M-81 ma i suoi 1 200 hp si rivelarono inadeguati per fornire le prestazioni richieste (e, inoltre, il suo sviluppo venne presto abbandonato) [6] .

La prima soluzione soddisfacente fu rappresentata dal quattordici cilindri, sempre radiale, Shvetsov M-82A che si dimostrò in grado di sviluppare 1 700 hp con un buon grado di affidabilità [6] .

Infine, utilizzato su due prototipi e sull'esemplare di pre-serie, la scelta definitiva parve ricadere sul diciotto cilindri Shvetsov M-71 la cui potenza raggiunse effettivamente i 2 000 hp ricercati fin dal principio [6] . Caratterizzato dalla disposizione angolata di 2,5 cm rispetto all'asse longitudinale dell'aereo [6] , quest'ultimo motore avrebbe dovuto equipaggiare i velivoli di serie, ma alla fine si rivelò l'anello debole del progetto ed i suoi problemi di affidabilità portarono al definitivo abbandono del programma relativo al nuovo caccia di Polikarpov.

Armamento Modifica

In linea con la sua derivazione dall'I-180, anche l'I-185 nacque dotato di armamento costituito da quattro mitragliatrici: due ShKAS calibro 7,62 mm in fusoliera e due Berezin UB calibro 12,7 mm nelle semiali, tutte sincronizzate per sparare attraverso il disco dell'elica [N 7] . L'impiego del motore M-82, di ingombro ridotto rispetto ai motori precedentemente utilizzati, consentì a Nikolaj Polikarpov di studiare la disposizione, rivelatasi particolarmente efficace, di tre cannoni ShVAK calibro 20 mm, camerati per l'impiego di munizioni 20 × 99 mm R.

Nelle varie ipotesi fatte circa le possibilità di dotare l'aereo di armamenti offensivi, nel corso del programma di sviluppo vennero considerate bombe fino ad un massimo di 500 kg oppure otto razzi non guidati del tipo RS-82 in ganci subalari.

I dati sulle versioni sono tratti da "Polikarpov's I-16 Fighter: its Forerunners and Progeny" [14] se non indicato diversamente.

I-185 M-90 denominazione assegnata al primo prototipo dell'I-185, dotato di motore M-90, 18 cilindri raffreddato ad aria da 1 750 hp. Cellula rimasta orfana del motore in quanto al momento della sua costruzione l'M-90 non aveva ancora completato i test preliminari. I-185 M-81 nuova designazione attribuita al primo prototipo, riequipaggiato con motore M-81 con questo motore si ebbe il primo, breve, volo dell'I-185 l'11 gennaio del 1941. I-185-M82A designazione relativa al secondo dei prototipi equipaggiato con motore di serie Shvetsov M-82 da 1 700 hp volò per la prima volta nel maggio del 1941. Superate le prove di valutazione, venne sperimentato anche in operazioni di guerra a partire dal mese di novembre del 1942. I-185 M-71 fu la denominazione assegnata al terzo prototipo, estesa in un secondo momento anche al primo dei tre equipaggiata con un motore Shvetsov M-71 sperimentale da 2 000 hp (sostanzialmente un M-62 "raddoppiato", con i cilindri disposti a doppia stella). Fu portato in volo per la prima volta nella primavera del 1941 ma i suoi test subirono presto un'interruzione a causa dell'invasione tedesca. I-185 M-71 "Эталон" ("Standard") si trattava della denominazione attribuita al quarto esemplare, che avrebbe dovuto fungere da "standard" produttivo andò distrutto nel gennaio del 1943 durante un test di volo. Secondo alcuni storici, la sua designazione per la produzione in serie sarebbe divenuta "I-186". I-187 versione rimasta allo stato progttuale, sarebbe stata equipaggiata con motore M-71F da 2 000 hp ed armata con quattro cannoni (due nel muso, due nelle ali al di fuori del disco dell'elica) e sarebbe stata in grado di alloggiare al di sotto delle semiali otto razzi non guidati RS-82. I-188 ancora una variante che non lasciò il foglio da disegno si trattava di una riproposizione del progetto precedente equipaggiata con motore M-90, più leggero e potente dell'M-71F.


188th Infantry Regiment

Colonel James R. Chamberlain, succeeded by Col. John McMahon, received authority, September 14, 1864 to recruit this regiment, with headquarters at Rochester, where it was organized and mustered in the service of the United States for one year, October 4, 5, 7, 10 and 22, 1864 except Company A, originally Company C, 183d Infantry, which was mustered in at Elmira September 24, 1864.

The companies were recruited principally: A at Villenova, Alfcgany, Madison, Yorkshire, Freedom and Mansfield B at Rochester, Avon, Phelps, Victor, Italy, Penn Yan, Naples and Geneseo C at Italy, Jerusalem, Rochester, Milo, Avon, Middlesex and Spring-water D at Springwater, York, Sparta, Avon, Potter, Portage, North Dansville, Geneseo, Leicester and Mt. Morris E at Livonia, Potter, Portage, Richmond, Avon, Farmington, Jerusalem, Springwater, Seneca, York and Leicester F at Rochester, Corning, Canandaigua, Hornby and Tuscarora G at Springwater, Avon, Gorham, Mt. Morris, Canandaigua, Sparta, Middlesex, Leicester, Italy and Harrington H at Rochester, Sparta, Avon, Dansville and Springwater I at Avon, Nunda, Rochester, Dansville, Livonia, Groveland, Conesus, Mt. Morris, Phelps and York and K at Rochester, North Dansville, Conesus, Groveland, Torry, Milo, Avon and Middlesex.

Seven companies of the regiment, Maj. Christopher C. Davison, left the State October 13, 1864 the other three companies joined later in 1864 the regiment served in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Corps, and was mustered out and honorably discharged under Col. John McMahon, Company A, June 1, 1865 all others July 1, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 23 enlisted men of wounds received in action, 1 officer, 13 enlisted men of disease and other causes, 53 enlisted men total, 1 officer, 89 enlisted men aggregate, 90 of whom 1 enlisted man died in the hands of the enemy.

NYSMM Online Resources

Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to [email protected] with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

Brown, Ira. Letter, 27 March 1865.
2 pages. In part, photocopies.
Letter, 27 March 1865, from Ira Brown (b. 1846), 188th New York Volunteer Infantry, in camp after the Battle of Fort Stedman, at Petersburg, Virginia, to his wife in Almond, New York. Contains descriptions of the Battle of Fort Stedman. Also includes a typed transcript compiled by an undetermined source.
Accession 40893. Located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.
Thank you to Ed Worman for pointing out this resource.

Carpenter, Henry B. Letters (1864-1865).
2 items. Collection Call Number: 20333. These are photocopies of original letters sent to Carpenter's wife regarding the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. The experiences and conditions of trench warfare are vividly described.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Items the museum holds are in bold.

61 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Phone: (518) 581-5100 | Fax: (518) 581-5111


Fake aircraft and aircraft projects (Blacklist !)

I'll start this thread in an attempt to find answers to question as "Is this aircraft real ?" easier.
If you find a type, that has been proved to be a fake, please post it here with a subject telling
the asserted manufacturer and type. In the post please give the source you found it, feel free
to attach a picture, as sometimes the designation alone may not be that clear.
- As posts are sorted chronologically only, I'll start a list at the beginning of this thread, which I'll
complete successively.


List of fakes,
sorted by country of origin and manufacturer:

Bulgaria:
- MiG 15 twin-fuselage fighter bomber


China:
- Stealth fighter, delta canard

Czechoslovakia :
Avia
- Av-52 "Nikola Šuhaj"
- LetovL-115 Delfin
- Czech Lirpa-2010,Advanced Interceptor

France:
Aérospatiale
- F-0104-91 Canard Helicopter

Payen
- Pa.46/6 "Bourrasque" (twin-engined record airacrft/racer)


SNCASE
- SE.8000/SE.8200 Hirondelle

Heinkel
- Heinkel He-162 S-2 (NOT to be mixed up with the He 162 training glider !)
- Heinkel He 117/He 536 /He X

Horten
- Horten Rocket Fighter with Parabolic Wing

Junkers
- Junkers Ju 225 (see Klagenfurt 225)

- Klagenfurt
- Klagenfurt 225 (or Junkers Ju 225)

Krupp-Germania
- Krupp-Germania Ks.Ib

Lippisch
- “Gleiter Bombenflugzeug”

de Havilland
- Fireguard missile

Fairey
- Swordfish Turboprop conversion

Gloster
- G.45 Sea Meteor FSN.6
- SS.39 Gannet
- SS.40 Skipper I
- SS.42 Skipper II


Projektowanie i rozwój

I-185, zaprojektowany na początku 1940 roku , bazował na I-180 , który sam w sobie był rozwinięciem I-16 , ale był praktycznie nowym projektem. Skorupowa kadłuba podobnie zbudowane z „” shpon formowanego sklejki brzozowej, a także miał integralną płetwy, ale był znacząco dłuższy od I-180. Dwu- dźwigar , Metalowe skrzydło było mniejsze i cieńsze niż I-180 w skrzydle, prawie tak cienka jak w przypadku Spitfire skrzydła jest na poziomie 13% w nasady, zwężona do 8% na końcu skrzydła. Skrzydło miało profil NACA-230 i zostało obszyte duraluminium . Zamontowano pneumatycznie dzielone klapy i listwy krawędzi natarcia . Zewnętrzne panele skrzydła miały 3° dwuścienności . Powierzchnie kontrolne pokryte tkaniną zostały obramowane duraluminium. Chronione zbiorniki paliwa o pojemności 540 litrów (119 galonów 143 galony amerykańskie) zamontowano pomiędzy dźwigarami środkowej części skrzydła. I-185 używał konwencjonalnego podwozia z chowanym tylnym kołem. Niesprawdzony 18-cylindrowy, dwurzędowy silnik gwiazdowy Tumansky M-90 o mocy 1492 kW (2000 KM) został zamontowany na spawanych rurach stalowych. Wyposażono go w kanałowy spinner, aby poprawić chłodzenie powietrzem wyrzucanym przez skrzela, tak jak w I-180, aby zapewnić dodatkowy ciąg. Zsynchronizowane uzbrojenie zamontowany na kadłubie dwa 7,62 mm (0,300 cala) ShKAS karabiny i dwa 12,7 mm (0,50 cala) Berezin UB S karabinów maszynowych . 500-kilogramowa (1100 funtów) bomba może być przenoszona w warunkach przeciążenia. Pierwszy prototyp ukończono w maju 1940 roku, ale jedyny dostępny egzemplarz M-90 nie zapewniał wystarczającej mocy do startu. Prototyp został zmodyfikowany tak, aby wykorzystywał inny eksperymentalny silnik, 895-kilowatowy (1200 KM) radialny Shvetsov M-81 , ale nie był on wystarczająco mocny do testów w locie. I-185 (M-81) w końcu wzbił się w powietrze 11 stycznia 1941 r., ale postanowiono nie marnować dalszego rozwoju i czekać na mocniejszy silnik, który miał szczęście, ponieważ M-81 został odwołany w maju 1941 r.

Drugi prototyp ukończono pod koniec 1940 roku z 14-cylindrowym silnikiem gwiazdowym Shvetsov M-82 A o mocy 1268 kW (1700 KM) . Przedni kadłub musiał zostać przeprojektowany, aby pomieścić cieńszy silnik, a uzbrojenie zmieniono na trzy zsynchronizowane działka SzWAK kal . 20 mm (0,79 cala) . Rysunki tej instalacji silnika zostały przekazane Ławoczkinowi i Jakowlowowi, gdzie okazały się bardzo przydatne przy projektowaniu własnych myśliwców z silnikiem M-82, zwłaszcza Ławoczkina Ła-5 . Zbudowano również trzeci prototyp, w którym zastosowano większy i cięższy silnik gwiazdowy Shvetsov M-71 o mocy 1492 kW (2000 KM). Próby w locie obu tych ostatnich wersji zostały przerwane przez inwazję niemiecką w czerwcu 1941 roku, a wszystkie trzy prototypy wraz z całym biurem projektowym Polikarpow zostały ewakuowane do Nowosybirska .

Testy w locie wznowiono na początku 1942 roku, a wersje napędzane silnikiem M-71, które teraz obejmowały przebudowany pierwszy prototyp, okazały się szybsze niż Messerschmitt Bf 109 F o 47 km/h (29 mil/h) na poziomie morza i 20 km /h (12 mph) na 6000 metrów (19 685 stóp) z maksymalną prędkością 630 km/h (390 mph) na tej wysokości. Zalecono do natychmiastowej produkcji, jeszcze zanim rozpoczął próby walki w listopadzie 1942. Wszystkie trzy samoloty zostały przypisane do 728th Fighter Lotniczego Pułku 3. Armia Lotnicza w Kalinin froncie i były ściśle kontrolowane, aby zapobiec utracie prototypów. Na przykład wszystkie loty bojowe musiały odbywać się nad terytorium kontrolowanym przez Sowietów i wymagały wyraźnej zgody personelu 3. Armii Powietrznej na lot. Raporty pilotów były dość entuzjastyczne dowódca 728., kapitan Vasilyaka, napisał: „I-185 przewyższa zarówno radzieckie, jak i zagraniczne samoloty pod względem prędkości. Wykonuje manewry akrobacyjne łatwo, szybko i energicznie. I-185 jest najlepszym obecnie myśliwcem pod względem prostoty sterowania, szybkości , zwrotność (zwłaszcza podczas wznoszenia), uzbrojenie i przeżywalność."

Na podstawie entuzjastycznego raportu NII VVS ( Nauchno-Issledovatel'skiy Institut Voyenno-Vozdushnykh Sil – Air Force Scientific Test Institute) na początku 1942 r. rozpoczęto przygotowania do produkcji I-185 (M-71). W kwietniu 1942 r. zbudowano samolot „ustawiacza standardu produkcyjnego (etalon)” z przeprojektowaną osłoną silnika. Jego masa brutto wzrosła o 144 kg (317 funtów) w porównaniu z wcześniejszymi prototypami, ale dzięki nowej osłonie zmniejszono opór, a prędkość maksymalna wzrosła do 650 km/h (400 mph) na 5000 metrów. Przeszedł on testy producenta od czerwca do października i został przekazany do państwowych testów akceptacyjnych w dniu 18 listopada. Jednak próby w locie zostały przerwane przez konieczność wymiany silnika między 17 grudnia 1942 a 26 stycznia 1943. Nowy silnik uległ awarii następnego dnia i samolot rozbił się 27 stycznia. Rozkazano kontynuowanie testów w locie z oryginalnymi prototypami, aby potwierdzić dane dotyczące zasięgu, ale pierwszy prototyp rozbił się 5 kwietnia, zabijając pilota, gdy próbował lądować martwym drążkiem.

Wszystkie prace nad wprowadzeniem I-185 do produkcji zostały później anulowane, nawet z silnikiem M-82, ponieważ były one wymagane dla myśliwca Ła-5. Innym przytoczonym powodem był fakt, że Ła -5 wykorzystywał kadłub Ławoczkina-Gorbunowa-Goudkowa ŁaGG-3, który był już w produkcji w trzech zakładach i wiązałby się z mniejszymi zakłóceniami na liniach produkcyjnych. Innym czynnikiem mogło być to, że do budowy Ła-5 potrzeba było mniej duraluminium, czego wtedy brakowało.


El I-185 fue concebido originalmente para utilizar el motor M-90 diseñado por el colectivo bajo la dirección de Tumansky. Este motor prometía una excelente potencia y muy magnífica relación peso/potencia. Lamentablemente el M-90 no pudo ser puesto a punto en 1940 y los trabajos de su desarrollo se cancelaron con la evacuación del KB. Sólo en 1942 se pudieron continuar, llevando al motor a una potencia máxima de despegue de 2080 hp. Como aspectos positivos este motor presentaba diámetro reducido en un 11% en relación al M-81 y un peso inferior

Al estabilizarse el desarrollo del motor M-90 Polikarpov decidió desarrollar una versión mejorada a partir de la experiencia acumulada durante las pruebas del I-185. El nuevo modelo fue denominado I-188 y fue presentado de conjunto con el I-187 con motor M-71F.

Más adelante se esperaba dotar al I-188 con el derivado M-95 que presentaba una potencia de despegue de 3300 hp. Con este motor la velocidad del I-188 debía superar fácilmente los 700 km/h.

El armamento del I-188 estaba conformado por cuatro cañones ShVAK de 20 mm, lo que lo convertía en una potente máquina de destrucción aérea.


Operation Barbarossa – Bf 109 Operations I

The German invasion of the USSR, Operation Barbarossa, began on 22 June 1941. Supporting the invasion were a number of Bf 109 units, including II./JG 53 and I. to III./JG 54 (Luftflotte 1 operating on the northern front), II. and III./JG 27, I. to IV./JG 51, II./JG 52, I. and III./JG 53 (Luftflotte 2 operating on the central front), I. to III./JG 3, I./JG 52, II., III. and Ergänzung JG 77, as well as the dedicated ground-attack unit I.(Jabo) LG 2 (Luftflotte 4 operating on the southern front). Although a number of these units, including JG 77, were operating Bf 109Es, most had been re-equipped with the Bf 109F.

The Soviet forces appeared completely unprepared for the German onslaught. One 7./JG 54 pilot, Lt Max-Hellmut Ostermann, recalled the moments before strafing the Soviet airfields: ‘As we flew above the enemy’s country, everything below seemed to be asleep. No anti-aircraft fire, no movement, and no enemy aircraft were present to confront us.’

The first Luftwaffe victory over a Voyenno-Vosdushnye Sily (Soviet Military Air Force, V-VS) aircraft was scored by Oblt Robert Olejnik of II./JG 3. Post-war, Olejnik recalled the initial moments of Operation Barbarossa:

On 19 June, the complete II./JG 3 left with all its Bf 109F-2s for the airstrip at Dub, some 8 km from the Polish town of Zamosc, which lay 80 km south-east of Lublin, and about 50 km from the nearest Russian soil. On the occasion of the Midsummer Night celebrations, we lit a huge bonfire and had the usual cold drinks. Then around midnight there came a telephone call from the Geschwader: ‘All unit commanders immediately to the command post.’There each received an envelope with a mission order, but it was only to be opened when the code word ‘Barbarossa’ was given. It was impossible to think about sleep though we all lay down in our tents to rest, we were excited and full of tension. On 22 June 1941, at about 02.30, the password came through. I opened my envelope and found that an attack against the Soviet Union was about to begin.

Everybody in the Geschwader knew that I was an early riser and that I liked the first missions at dawn, so I made the first take-off. About 03.30, I took off with my Rottenflieger to reconnoitre Russian airfields near the border, watching for enemy fighters. In doing so I discovered that on every enemy airfield two or three Russian fighters were stood at the ready. After flying over several airfields, and on the way back, I again flew over the first airfield I’d seen. As I got nearer I saw that two aircraft were already manned by pilots. At a height of 700–800 metres I flew a wide turn round the airfield and watched closely. After one and a half circuits, I saw the Russians start their engines and taxi out, then take off immediately. As they were obviously looking for a fight, I attacked the first ‘Rata’ with a height advantage of 300–400 metres, and succeeded in shooting it down with only a few rounds in my first attack. Comparing times with my Rottenflieger later, this happened at 03.58 on 22 June 1941. The second fighter was probably shocked by seeing one of his unit going down burning and flew away, because I could no longer find him. Returning over our own airfield, I waggled my wings three times. Unbelieving, my comrades shook their heads—most of them had only just woken [up] and were peering sleepily from their tents.

Although modern fighters such as the LaGG-3, MiG-3, and Yak-1 were beginning to enter service, the V-VS was still operating huge numbers of Polikarpov I-153 and I-16 fighters. Similarly to the Luftwaffe, the V-VS was essentially a tactical air arm, with operations being concentrated to supporting army units. This meant that most air combat took place below an altitude of 3,000 metres. Interestingly, much effort had been devoted during the 1930s in establishing a strategic bomber force, with a limited strategic bombing capacity remaining throughout the war.

During the first day, a staggering 1,489 aircraft were claimed destroyed during strafing attacks, with another 322 being shot down by fighters and flak. An incredulous Göring, prone to grand exaggeration, ordered a recount. In the event, on the airfields captured by the advancing German panzer columns, in excess of 2,000 destroyed aircraft were located. According to Soviet sources, nearly 4,000 aircraft were lost during the first three days of the invasion. As had been the case in Poland and France, the Jägdwaffe Bf 109 units transferred between different airfields with the aid of Ju 52/3ms, which hauled mechanics and ground support equipment.

The battle was not entirely one-sided, though. Even if the Polikarpov I-153 and I-16s equipping the majority of the V-VS fighter units lacked the overall performance of the Bf 109, the Soviet fighters were more manoeuvrable in a turning dogfight. One of the Luftwaffe pilots lost on the first day of the invasion was the Geschwaderkommodore of JG 27, Maj. Wolfgang Schellmann. While attacking an I-16 Rata, Schellmann’s Bf 109 was hit by shrapnel, forcing him to bale out over Soviet-held territory. It is presumed that Schellmann was executed by the Russians, who treated all German troops as war criminals. By mid-July, the Luftwaffe had lost nearly 1,300 aircraft destroyed or damaged, resulting in many units being severely decimated.

On 15 July 1941, Werner Mölders achieved his 100th and 101st victories, having earlier been the first Luftwaffe pilot to reach and surpass the score of the famed Great War ace Manfred von Richthofen. Mölders was also the first Luftwaffe fighter pilot to reach 100 victories during the war. As related earlier, Mölders had accumulated fourteen victories during the Spanish Civil War. Mölders was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Swords and Diamonds and was immediately grounded as he was deemed far too valuable to lose in combat. Mölders was promoted to Oberst, being appointed General der Flieger (Inspector General for Fighters). Upon returning to Germany to attend Erich Udet’s funeral in October 1941, his He 111 crashed near Breslau, killing him and the crew. In his honour, JG 51 would become known as Jägdgeschwader Mölders. Soon after Mölders death, rumours appeared claiming that he had, in fact, been killed because of his severe criticism of the Nazi regime.

Little more than two-and-a-half months into Operation Barbarossa, the number of victories accumulated by individual Jägdwaffe pilots had risen considerably. Indeed, JG 51 pilots reached 2,000 victories during late August, with JG 3 pilots reaching 1,000 victories on 30 August. It seemed as if the Blitzkrieg tactics would once again tip the scale in the German’s favour. German forces were fast approaching Moscow, St Petersburg, and other Russian cities, with millions of Soviet troops becoming prisoners of war.

Having scored relatively few victories on the Western Front, the JG 52 pilots began to find success over Russia in June 1941. On 2 December 1941, Oblt Johannes Steinhoff of 4./JG 52 became the first JG 52 pilot to reach fifty victories. In the event, JG 52 would end the war as the most successful fighter unit of all time, scoring in excess of 10,000 victories.

By December 1941, roughly two-thirds of the Luftwaffe’s combat strength was serving on the Eastern Front. The arrival of the Russian winter resulted in severe difficulties for Luftwaffe operations. With temperatures reaching below minus-40° Celsius, the Bf 109 engines seized, resulting in barely operational units. In January 1942, the pilots of one Bf 109F unit, II./JG 52, were ordered to fight as regular ground troops when Russian forces approached their base at Klin. When Klin was captured, six unserviceable Bf 109Fs were found.

The problem of having engines seizing due to the freezing temperature was eventually solved by diluting the engine lubricating oil with petrol. Although this increased the risk of fire when starting up the engine, it worked well enough, with any remaining petrol quickly evaporating. Apparently this method was introduced follow the interrogations of captured V-VS pilots and mechanics. Another high-risk method of starting the engine was to place a tray of petrol underneath the engine and then set the petrol alight the heat generated by the burning petrol assisted in getting the engine running. Machine-gun mechanisms were equally affected by the Russian winter, with the lubricating oil or grease having to be wiped clean using either petrol or boiling water. It is highly likely that these methods increased the wear and tear on both engines and armament.

Other Jägdwaffe units were more fortunate. Based in the Leningrad area, I./JG 54 claimed ninety-nine Soviet aircraft shot down during 1,152 sorties in January 1942. Protecting the Ju 52/3m airlift into the Demyansk pocket was assigned to I./JG 51, which flew countless escort and ground-support sorties between January and April 1942.

A new tactic was introduced during the spring of 1942, which involved catching V-VS fighters during take-offs or landings. As recalled by a LaGG-3 pilot:

The Germans blocked our airfields … They flew in pairs, particularly near the fighter regiment’s airdromes at Gremyachevo, Serebrennitsa, and Budogoschch … It’s hard to talk about this today, but our commander took no counteractive measures to counter the blockade of our airfields … Our passivity encouraged the German pilots, and they became most impudent … We paid a high price for poor command planning… On one of those days I witnessed the death of Kapitan Thikomirov (of the 41 IAP Fighter Squadron) over the airfield at Gremyachevo. He was returning to base after completing a mission and was out of ammunition when the hunters fell upon him. Thikomirov was a very skilful and experienced pilot, but without any ammunition there wasn’t much he could do against the Me 109 hunters.

This Luftwaffe tactic was similar to that employed by the RAF in early 1945 to catch Me 262 jet fighters during the landing phase. The spring of 1942 brought with it severe operational difficulties both for the Luftwaffe and the V-VS. The airfields became muddy strips, reducing operational effectiveness considerably. In spite of Soviet counter-offensives along the 3,000-km front line, the German High Command were planning to advance into Caucasus, where a large percentage of the Soviet oil fields were located, as well as the industrial city of Stalingrad on the banks of the Volga River. Reaching the latter objective was deemed of utmost importance both for strategic and psychological reasons. By this time, new Soviet fighters such as the La-5 and Yak-9 were reaching the V-VS fighter squadrons. The performance of both the La-5 and Yak-9 largely matched that of the Bf 109F-4 and Bf 109G-2 variants. One of the most dangerous of all Soviet aircraft however, was the Polikarpov U-2. A low-powered two-seat biplane dating back from the late 1920s, the U-2 was used in night-harassment raids. Often flown by female crews, dubbed Nachthexen (‘night witches’) by II./JG 52 pilots, the U-2s caused comparatively little material damage. However, being unable to light fires to stay warm and the inability to fall asleep comfortably affected the morale of the German troops.

On 8 October 1942, a new replacement pilot joined 7./JG 52, based in the Stalingrad area. Following an inauspicious beginning, the pilot, Lt Erich Hartmann, scored his first victory, an Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, on 5 November. Hartmann would finish the war with 352 victories, all while flying successive variants of the Bf 109G.

Having occupied parts of Stalingrad, German troops were unable to reach the Volga and stop Soviet reinforcements from arriving. On 17 November, a Soviet counter-offensive resulted in the German 6th Army inside the Stalingrad pocket becoming encircled. Supplying the troops required many tons of materiel airlifted into Stalingrad by Ju 52/3ms and other transport aircraft. For the protection of the airlift, a small detachment of Bf 109s, led by Hptm Rudolf Germeroth, was based at Pitomnik. This was named Platzschutzstaffel Pitomnik (Local Protection Squadron Pitomnik) and consisted of aircraft drawn from JG 3. Other units were committed to escorting and clearing the way for the Ju 52/3m transports. One II./JG 52 pilot later recalled that the Ju 52/3m crews seemed unable to trust the Bf 109 escorts, claiming that the Ju 52/3m pilots preferred to fly at extreme low level, literally hugging the ground, and then climbing to an altitude of 1,000 metres upon reaching the front line.

On 15 January, seventeen Soviet aircraft, including five Lisunov Li-2s, were claimed as shot down over Stalingrad. The following day, five Bf 109s were flown from Pitomnik to Gumrak ahead of Soviet tanks. A dozen unserviceable aircraft had to be left behind. Upon reaching Gumrak, four of the five Bf 109s crashed when attempting to land on the unprepared runway.

On 2 February 1943, the German 6th Army surrendered the seemingly invincible German forces suffering a humiliating defeat. The outcome of the battles of Stalingrad and El Alamein a few months earlier finally saw the tide turn in favour of the Allies. Even with the introduction of the improved Bf 109G-6, the Jägdwaffe units on the Eastern Front found themselves unable to contain the increasing number of V-VS fighters and bombers.

The Kuban peninsula was where German forces attempted to stem the Soviet push westwards. Intense Soviet air attacks resulted in many Jägdwaffe pilots adding to their scores. However, there was a price to pay. The crack Jägdwaffe unit JG 52 lost twenty-three pilots killed or missing, and fourteen wounded, between April and June 1943. The, final, major German offensive (as it turned out) on the Eastern Front, Operation Zitadelle, resulted in the largest tank battle in history. Aerial activity was great, with some 400 Soviet aircraft being claimed as destroyed in the air on 5 July, the first day of Operation Zitadelle. The top-scorer was the Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 52, Hptm Johannes Wiese, who claimed no less than twelve V-VS aircraft shot down. Nevertheless, with North Africa abandoned and Allied troops wading ashore on Sicily, Hitler reluctantly ordered the end of Operation Zitadelle. From then on, the Red Army would be continuously on the offensive toward Germany.


Versión con M-71

Para este momento el KB había recibido dos motores M-71 (el primero el 16 de febrero de 1941 y el segundo el 15 de marzo). Uno de ellos fue destinado para sustituir al M-81. En avión pasó a denominarse I-185 M-71 (No.6202) y su primer vuelo tuvo lugar el 29 de mayo de 1941. Unos días antes, el 9 de abril había realizado su primer vuelo el tercer prototipo (No.6204) equipado con el otro motor. Este avión realizó 23 vuelos de pruebas en el período de dos meses y el 28 de julio fue volado por Loginov desde el Aeródromo Central a la base del LII en Ramenskoye, donde continuaron las pruebas. Los resultados obtenidos eran muy esperanzadores. Con un motor M-71 experimental, aún sin pulir, la velocidad de vuelo del I-185 era de 620 km/h.

El ejemplar No.6204 fue utilizado también para el desarrollo de las pruebas de comportamiento en barrena. Luego de algunas modificaciones se logró que el I-185 fuese totalmente seguro en esta maniobra.


Liste der MiG-Typen (ohne I-. )

MiG-3
Standardjäger. Siehe Seite zur MiG-3 bei http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/mig3/mig3.htmlMiG-3/M82 . Weiterentwicklungen: Zeitweise Bezeichnung der MiG-9 / I-210. Weiterentwicklung MiG-3U als I-230 und I-231

MiG9 / I-210 M-82A / MiG-3/M82, MiG3, MiG3

MiG-8 Utca
Versuchsflugzeug in Entenbauweise und als einfach zu fliegender Ersatz für die Po-2 (1013)




MiG E-152 Flipper
Reihe verschiedener Versuchsjäger. Unterlagen an China verkauft, dort als Shenyang J-8 in Serie gegangen.

F8 II Finback-B (1/144)