Encyclopedia Astronautica
MiG


Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau, Russia.

The MiG bureau was established in Moscow on 8 December 1939 as the Prototype Design Section of Aviation Plant 1. Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan, brother of Stalin's trade minister, headed the bureau. Together with Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich, Mikoyan designed and manufactured a series of relatively unsuccessful high-altitude MiG fighters during World War II. Following a six-month evacuation to Kuibyshev, the bureau returned to Moscow in March 1942 but at a different location and renamed OKB-155.

OKB MiG already undertook studies for a copy of the Me-163B rocket fighter in 1944, using a Soviet engine by Dushkin/Glushko, but no construction was begun before the war ended. Post-war Soviet technical teams discovered the more advanced Ju-248 (Me-263) design, including one prototype airframe, and the decision was made that MiG would copy this design. The resulting I-270 rocketplane had a more refined aerodynamic form than the Me-263 and lower gross weight. A powered prototype first flew in March 1947. But in the meantime the British government had foolishly sold to the Soviet Union a small quantity of their Nene turbojet engine. This was duly copied and put into production. The combination of the Nene engine, the I-270 airframe, and a German swept wing design resulted in the faster and much longer ranged turbojet-powered MiG-15. This was a world-beating design and spawned a series of light fighter aircraft that were heavily exported throughout the Cold War.

Mikoyan was able to wrest design and production of cruise missiles from Chelomei in 1952, resulting in a missile series based on the MiG-15 aerodynamic layout. In the early 1960's, following the dissolution of the Tsybin and Myasishchev design bureaux, Korolev began discussing development of a winged space launcher with MiG. Lozino-Lozinsky was placed in charge of development of the resulting ambitious Spiral OS reusable space launch system that resulted in the build of the MiG 105-11 prototype and the BOR-4 subscale space vehicles in the 1970's. When the decision was made in 1976 to instead copy the American Space Shuttle Design, Lozino-Lozinsky was given his own NPO Molniya design bureau for that purpose.

MiG again briefly dabbled in space themes with the design of various hypersonic aerospace vehicles in the 1980's in response to the American X-30 project.

AKA: OKB-155.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Mikoyan Mikoyan, Artem Ivanovich (1905-1970) Russian Chief Designer, brother of Stalin's foreign minister, headed MiG design bureau, preeminent manufacturer of light Soviet fighters. Dabbled in rocketplanes and built and flew the MiG-105 Spiral spaceplane. More...
  • Belyakov Belyakov, Anatoli Mikhailovich (1923-1986) Russian officer. Colonel, served at Kaputsin Yar from April 1947, at Baikonur from 1957. Key person in integration of pioneering spacecraft, including the early Luna probes, Vostok, Voskhod, and Salyut. Authored over 170 papers. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • I-270 Russian manned rocketplane. Flown 1947. The MiG I-270 rocketplane began as a post-war copy of the German Ju-248 (Me-263) design. The resulting rocketplane had a more refined aerodynamic form than the Me-263 and lower gross weight. More...
  • Spiral OS Russian manned spaceplane, developed 1965-1980s, including subscale flight article tests. Evolved into the MAKS spaceplane. The Spiral was an ambitious air-launched manned space system designed in the 1960's. More...
  • MiG 105-11 Russian manned spaceplane. 8 launches, 1976.10.11 to 1978.09.15 . Atmospheric flight test version of the Spiral OS manned spaceplane. The 105-11 incorporated the airframe and some of the systems of the planned orbital version. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-500 Russian surface-to-air missile. MiG design for an equivalent to the US Bomarc extremely long-range surface-to-air missile. Never got beyond the design stage. More...
  • Spiral 50-50 Russian winged orbital launch vehicle. The Soviet Air Force had an enduring interest in a horizontal takeoff/horizontal landing, manned, reusable space launch system that could ferry crews and priority supplies between earth and space on the same basis as conventional aircraft. Between 1960 and 1976 Mikoyan developed this manned partially reusable space launch system. It consisted of a reusable hypersonic air-breathing booster; two expendable rocket stages; and the reusable Spiral manned spaceplane. The effort was never properly funded by the government, and by the mid-1970's had only reached the stage of flight tests of subscale versions of Spiral. Development was discontinued in 1976 in favor of the Buran, a copy of the US space shuttle. However it was resurrected in improved form in the 1980's as the MAKS spaceplane. More...
  • Mikoyan 301 Russian intermediate range cruise missile. The 301 was designed as a military bomber, with a Mach 4 / 4,250 km/hr cruise capability at 25,000 to 27,000 m altitude. It was equipped with two turboramjets, had a gross takeoff mass of 80 tonnes, of which half was fuel. It may be related to the first stage of the MIGAKS two-stage vehicle. More...
  • MiG-2000 Russian sled-launched winged orbital launch vehicle. Sled-launched single stage to orbit vehicle with air-breathing propulsion to Mach 5 (subsonic combustion). The sled would accelerate the launch vehicle to Mach 0.8. Propellants wer slush hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The vehicle would have a 3000 km cross-range on re-entry. More...
  • MIGAKS Russian winged orbital launch vehicle. Turbojet/ramjet-powered two stage to orbit horizontal takeoff / horizontal landing vehicle. Mach 6 stage separation. The orbiter had a 2000 km cross-range capability with landing on airfields with runways of 3500 m length or more. More...
  • MiG-31NS Russian air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Orbital launch vehicle air-launched from a MiG-31 fighter. More...

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