Artem Mikoyan

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Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan (Armenian: Արտյոմ (Artyom) Հովհաննեսի Միկոյան or Անուշավան Հովհաննեսի Միկոյան; Russian: Артём Ива́нович Микоя́н) (5 August [O.S. 23 July] 1905 — December 9, 1970) was a Soviet aircraft designer of Armenian descent. In partnership with Mikhail Iosifovich Gurevich he designed many of the famous MiG military aircraft.


Early life and career

Mikoyan was born in Sanahin, Armenia.[1] He completed his basic education and took a job as a machine-tool operator in Rostov, then worked in the "Dynamo" factory in Moscow before being conscripted into the military. After military service he joined the Zukovsky Air Force Academy, where he created his first plane, graduating in 1937. He worked with Polikarpov before being named head of a new aircraft design bureau in Moscow in December 1939. Together with Gurevich, Mikoyan formed the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau, producing a series of fighter aircraft. In March, 1942, the bureau was renamed OKB MiG (Osoboye Konstruktorskoye Büro), ANPK MiG (Aviatsionnyy nauchno-proizvodstvennyy kompleks) and OKO MiG. The MiG-1 proved to be a poor start, the MiG-3 was misused[clarification needed] and the MiG-5, MiG-7 and MiG-8 Utka were effectively research prototypes.

Jet Aircraft Designs

Early post-war designs were based on domestic works as well as captured German jet fighters and information provided by Britain or the US. By 1946, Soviet designers were still having trouble in perfecting the German-designed, axial-flow jet engine, and new airframe designs and near-sonic wing designs were threatening to outstrip development of the jet engines needed to power them. Soviet aviation minister Mikhail Khrunichev and aircraft designer Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev suggested to Joseph Stalin that the USSR buy advanced jet engines from the British. Stalin is said to have replied: "What fool will sell us his secrets?" However, he gave his assent to the proposal, and Artem Mikoyan, engine designer Vladimir Klimov, and other officials traveled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin's amazement, the British Labour government and its pro-Soviet Minister of Trade, Sir Stafford Cripps were willing to provide technical information and a licence to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene centrifugal-flow jet engine. This engine was reverse-engineered and produced in modified form as the Soviet Klimov VK-1 jet engine, later incorporated into the MiG-15 (Rolls-Royce later attempted to claim £207m in licence fees, without success).

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