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MiG-3 Advice

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So I recently gave this aircraft another crack and I really like it. It constantly tries to kill me on take off and landing but I really like the overall field of view (despite the poor forward facing view), the layout of the instrument panel and its various quirks like mixture controlling its boost. I understand from wikipedia that it performed best at high altitude but was outclassed in every respect below 4-5000m, a problem which was only compounded by being outgunned.

 

Anyway, whats the best way to get the most out of this aircraft?

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Go high and stay high. Your relative performance is best  at above 5-6k. Do not make the mistake o thinking that you can outperform G2s and G4s at high alt. It is the best Russian fighter at altitude, however not THE best...

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What are the problems you are having with take off and landing? 

 

On take off don't just slam the throttle forward. Get the aircraft rolling at quarter throttle or so and then transition to full throttle. This will reduce the sudden on-set of torque from the propeller which will try to push you to the right. If you hold some gentle left rudder and stick full back she will track straight down the runway. You'll want to get the tail off the ground at around 100kmh which will let you play with the rudder more.

 

When it comes to combat, the Mig is a decent energy fighter and retains energy very well (It will hold 700kmh after a dive a lot longer than a 109 will). It has a pretty poor climb rate though and prolonged fighting in the vertical will mean that after a few minutes it will be co-energy with a 109. Once that happens you better have an exit strategy or friends because the 109 will start building an energy advantage over you very quickly as it has much better sustained climb and better acceleration.

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What are the problems you are having with take off and landing?

Over corrections on the rudder, a bit too much imput and the tail wheel spins freely. I'm getting the hang of it though, gently does it.

 

Thanks for the tips so far though, I've never really flown energy fighters, prefering my safe space with tight turns (this does not work..) strikes me as a much more disciplined and tactical style.

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I find takeoff is pretty manageable if you do it by the book. That is: (1) Hold the brakes; (2) hold the rudder at about 50%; (3) increase throttle to 80%; (4) when the engine is at max RPM (it will start to move on unpaved runways) release brakes, then add full throttle. You can still screw things up by overcompensating with rudder once you're rolling, but I find this method much easier than applying throttle gradually.

 

Tactically, I like the MiG-3, but you have to fly it like an American-style pursuit fighter. Use displacement turns (high yoyos etc.) when you're on someone's tail. On the defence, you have a very fast dive, and you can pull more Gs than a 109 once you get your speed up to about 550-600kph, so a diving barrel roll or split-s will put you in a position where you can simply pull away from a 109 that tries to follow you and then extend or try to counterattack. 190s are dangerous, but you can outturn and (sort of) outclimb them.

 

Also, I don't buy into the idea that the MiG is no good at low altitude. So long as you have 1-2km altitude to work with, the same tactics apply. There are very few situations where you can simply outperform the Luftwaffles in any case, but your speed is competitive enough and your energy retention good enough that it rarely matters.

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So I recently gave this aircraft another crack and I really like it. It constantly tries to kill me on take off and landing but I really like the overall field of view (despite the poor forward facing view), the layout of the instrument panel and its various quirks like mixture controlling its boost. I understand from wikipedia that it performed best at high altitude but was outclassed in every respect below 4-5000m, a problem which was only compounded by being outgunned.

 

Anyway, whats the best way to get the most out of this aircraft?

The best way is to fly with a wingman and keep your speed up.

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Taking off seems a lot easier in VR...feels more natural. I usually take off from a 40% power roll now, once I get in a straight line keep it, key is accelerating quickly and never over-correcting. (easier said) trim elev down ~20+  "stabbing" the pedals lightly for the very slightest of corrections. trim up at takeoff ..Also, I notice that I tend to really focus forward on the reticle and use peripheral vision to keep my bearing. 

 

Other than that yes, speed, height and wingman. re:outgunned - no head ons 

 

awesome plane for 41

Edited by katdog5

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All the following is what I *should* be doing but don't always remember ;-)

 

Speed above all else as once you get slow you will struggle to get the speed back.   

If you have 6 then scissors is your best option for survival.  A wingman is better.

Never pull heavy Gs in turns. If he is out turning you then either use maneuvers that turn speed to alt, allow you to turn when slower then back down again (High Yo-yos,  Lag rolls etc.) or  just climb away and reset. 

If you have dived low to get a kill then don't stick round looking for more kills,  try to exit and recover some altitude. 

Many people recommend loading the two 50cals (12.7mm) and not the 20mm because the 50 cals have less drop and have tracer.  Others recommend the 20mm because they hit hard and because there is no tracer to give you away. It probably depends on whether you like taking long deflection shots or like to get close & personal and kill with the first shot  Both are valid tactics.Take your choice :-)

 

Mig oddities:

The engine is designed to operate with 50% mix and 100% rpm during normal operations.   Increasing the mix to 100% (with full rpm) engages Boost which lasts about 10 minutes (Boost actually engages above 80%)

In my experience,   using boost when at altitude actually slows you down a bit but maybe I am wrong.

 

If you end up in a low speed turn fight you will need flaps but....the Mig flaps need to have been set up in advance or you will only be able to choose 0% & 100%.   

If you think you may need to use 20 degrees in combat then before you take off (it can also be done in flight) look at the flap preset indicator on the floor behind the stick.  It is marked from 0 to 50(?) degrees.

Hold the 'raise flaps' key down and an indicator will start rising. Stop at 20 degrees.     Now when you press the 'lower flaps' button briefly they will only drop to 20 degrees.

If you want to get full flaps again for landing then hold down the 'lower flaps' button until the indicator shows 50.  The flaps will not lower while you do this until you press the button briefly when you actually need flaps.

The flaps are also affected by airspeed so if you did try to drop 50 degrees flaps at high speed the airflow would not allow them to extend fully. Note this can cause problems if you lower them while flying too fast in the landing circuit as they will only extend partially then come out fully as you slow down which might catch you out.

Edited by 56RAF_Roblex
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Thanks for your advice .. I am new to the BoS world, and decided to fly for VVS. But it seems that learning will be hard and painful..And Mig 3 is the plane that is the biggest mystery for me.

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Thanks for your advice .. I am new to the BoS world, and decided to fly for VVS. But it seems that learning will be hard and painful..And Mig 3 is the plane that is the biggest mystery for me.

 

Well as general guide.  The Yak-1B is probably the best fighter but the Spitfire comes a close second once you get a grip on it.  The Yak-1b is more of an all rounder at energy and turn fighting and is very forgiving The spit is less forgiving but better in a turn fight and the guns are extremely lethal at short to medium range, Don't just spray as the ammo runs out fast but if you aim well it only takes a short burst to get the kill. The Yak-1 is 'quite' good but not as good as the Yak-1b and does not have the 1Bs superb visibility.  The La-5 is best flown as an energy fighter similar to a Fw190 but has good roll and good turn rate so can still do some turn fighting as long as you don't stay in the turn too long or pull too many Gs. It is very fast on the deck and is the only VVS aircraft capable of overtaking a 190 that is running as long as the 190 is not using boost (which it can only do for a short period) The Lagg-3 is underpowered but can carry a gun capable of killing tanks and has a good roll rate.   The P40 is disliked by many because it is heavy and not very nimble and the engine has to be treated very gently or it just blows up.  On the other hand once you learn to look after the engine the P40 is particularly fast and controllable in a dive,  nimble enough most of the time and the guns are not only very powerful with a flat trajectory, you also have a lot ammo so can fill the air with lethal bullets at long ranges and large deflections. Many a LW pilot who thought he was far enough away and a big enough angle to be safe has had  a nasty shock.  The P40 can also carry a huge bomb so can allow you to bomb a target then fight after (though ideally you need time to climb again before dogfighting) The P40 and Lagg-3 are the best bomber killers the VVS have.  

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As Roblex said. I would also add the I-16, which might seem a crazy idea at the first sight, but it's very agile and can be a real pain in the A for LW pilots.

If you feel overwhelmed by the complexity of BoS airplanes, start with the Yak or the I-16, they are very easy to fly and land. Next come the LaGG and the La-5, then the Spit and the MiG, while the P-40 is clearly the most sophisticated crate.

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Roblex knows this plane far better than I, but the other point I dont see mentioned is that deflecting the rudder +/-40% will unlock the tail wheel. So particularly if you use a rotator joystick as rudder control which gives poor range of movement rather than rudder pedals you could be unlocking the tail wheel when taking off. Also if you taxied to runway you may well have unlocked tail wheel, which will make it pretty hairy/unstable. When you get to end of runway, centre rudder and roll forwards straight ahead10-20yards to relock it in central position.

Mixture 100% gives boost as stated, 50% is auto mixture setting, <50% will give economic cruise (leaner setting). Not sure that the boost is altitude limited, if it is 'increasing mixture' then that probably makes performance worse at high altitude. It is noticeable in the performance spec it only gives boost performance values at sea level.

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Yes I forgot the I-16.   Great fun to fly. Extremely agile so it can be very frustrating for the LW pilot trying to get his guns on it in a turnfight and if they try B&Z the I-16 can dodge with ease.  Also gives 109 F2 pilots a shock when they try to climb away and find out the I-16 has almost the same climb rate!  Effective guns so if it uses its greater agility to get behind a 109 or 190 with equal E then they are in big trouble as they cannot out turn it and even the later fighters don't have enough advantage in the climb to get out of gun range fast enough.   The downside is that it is slow so while it is great at defending itself it is not good at hunting.

 

I forgot the problem with the Mig-3 rudder because it rarely causes a problem on take-off due to the fact  that you would not normally be applying heavy rudder while taking off.  It is more likely to be an issue on landing so keep it straight until you are at walking speed (though if someone is landing behind then a gradual drift to get off the runway is still safe)

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The Mig 3 requires a steady hand and coordinated movement, otherwise it will be very beasty. That being said I wouldn't say this should scare beginners off since flying the Mig 3 is a good challenge to overcome but rewarding.

 

On Takeoff it's important to get you checklist right. things that should be considered are

 

- aircraft alinged to runway and centered

- tailwheel straighened out

- elevator trim in takeoff position (my preferrence is +50% nose up)

- rudder trim in takeoff position (my preferrence is -40% left)

- on short runways flaps set to takeoff position (12° / 20% do the trick) and adjust elevator trim accordingly

- mixture set to 50%

- radiators fully open (summer)

- RPM to max.

 

During acceleration you should pull the stick back until reaching 100 km/h to keep the aircraft in line easier. Upon reaching 100km/h let the stick center slowly to enable the tail to come up. At 180-200km/h return the rudder to neutral and gently pull back the stick to get the aircraft airborne. Mind you that you might have to adjust your trim at this stage depending on the situation (wind, speed, turbulence). Retract gear and than flaps in that order and continue the climbout.

 

In midflight watch the ball carefully. As airspeed increases the aircraft required less yaw trim to fly straight. Adjust trim on regular basis by observing the ball to ensure coordinated flying.

 

Never pull back on stick harshly but progressively. It's not a turn fighter so there's no gain in trying. If cought in a turnfight remember to stay at comat speed (300km/h). Below the aircraft is unstable and worse performing. Use flaps (~12°/20%) to help reducing your turning circle only in emergency. Try diving a little while turning to ensure your speed does not bleed off.

 

When diving don't exeed 700km/h. Beginning at 650km/h it gets difficult to recover and at 700km/h it reaches it's point of structual failure.

 

On landing use a steep approach from ~ 300m height to ensure better view on the runway. Use a bit of throttle and flaps accordingly to remain on the glideslope. Don't try to crab it in low with power since the lack of vision will ruin your landing. If you end up too low go around and repeat the landing process. Landing speed should be kept around 180-200km/h. Touchdown speed is 150km/h. When flaring out you need to apply nearly full stick back to reach the proper angle for 3 point landing. 2 point landings are not recommendable due to danger of prop strike.

 

Most issues of the Mig-3 can be overcome with good preparation, which also counts for other aircraft that are not 'beginner friendly'. Learn each the procedures (either your own or those recommended) and memorize them for every flight to master the challenges the Mig imposes.

Edited by 6./ZG26_5tuka
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I am reminded to post one more tip as it has just caught me out yet again  :rolleyes:     Beware of the high speed stall low down.  If you are down low and try a split-S or wingover and a hard pull through the chances are that your Mig will just refuse to co-operate and you mush down into the ground.   This morning was the third time I have had an enemy as good as dead then tried to wing over onto his tail for the coup-de-gras and just ended up making an involuntary crash landing.   Perhaps 'high speed stall' is inaccurate;  more like 'The mig loses more altitude than you might think in a split-S'  :dry:

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I seem to have this very destructive love/hate affair with it. All in all I'd say the lagg is the better aircraft, but that's when comparing performance as in roll rate, low alt speed/climb, energy bleed and high speed behavior. All this has been mentioned here previously though. However, the Mig has three important things going for it that on a full real server can mean more than performance numbers and are easily under estimated.

 

-Visibility from cockpit. Both front and rear view is comparable to later war aircraft making it much easier keeping track of your enemy than in the early yakovlevs and la's.

 

-No tracers. The 2x 20 option is tracer less. Makes gunnery difficult if one is not used to these ballistics. But more importantly you can strike (or miss) like a ninja. And your bad gunnery won't be a beacon for every other enemy in the area.

 

-Flaps limiter. Use it! My preferred settings is around 50%. Lower than that I feel they produce drag but don't do that much good, personal choice really. Used sparingly this gives the seemingly heavy mig that needed edge at the top of maneuvers, when exiting a dive or when you need a few extra degrees for that snapshot. You pay with energy so don't forget to close them after a few seconds.

 

These three things may seem not that significant but have saved my arse over and over.

 

Other good to knows:

 

Keep an eye on water/oil and adjust separately. The amount needed for these fluctuates with outside temperature, a lot.

 

The 109 out rolls it easily at anything above 500kmh. Good news is that full rudder at these speeds helps roll rate. Not as much as before the fm revision but every ounce extra counts in these situations. So make the rudder your friend.

 

God I wish it had a two stage supercharger... If not an am-38

Edited by a_radek

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Per another post, I think Der Sheriff has about the most comprehensive advice on the Mig-3.  I have extracted as much as I could to the attached PDF file, with references to Sheriff's YouTube video, also Bismarck's and Requiem's.  Requiem (The Air Combat Tutorial Library) is also excellent, although focused on start-up, takeoff and landing.  (Don't remember whether he covers taxi in this one.  Always a walk on the wild side with tail-dragger/no toe brakes, but the Mig has a few special features.  The creative tail-wheel lockup is always good for a few laughs.)

Mig-3 per Sheriff and Bismarck.pdf

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