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New VVS Research

August 2003  topic : MiG-3 fuselage length
It seems inevitable that new research will make itself available just after some author has written a book. So we have here with some new material on the MiG-3.

The long held interpretation has always been that the MiG-3 aircraft was manufactured with a length of 8155 mm in the 'early' versions, and 8250 mm in the 'later' models. The terms " long nosed" and "short nosed" have even been coined in this regard. However, new research by Alexey Matvienko and Alex Ruchkovski--based on the work of MiG curator/historian E. Arsen'ev--has cast considerable doubt upon that hypothesis.

I will not try to summarize their work again here; it is best to read their article itself. However, after some considerable discussion, I believe that the major points pertaining to the MiG programme and the length of the MiG fighter are these:

These findings should be seen to correct the original text in my book's current version. An amendment incorporating these new findings will appear in any future editions.

August 2003  topic : New I-16 spinner
Whilst completing the artwork for the book, my artist (Chris Banyai-Reipl) and I discovered a number of hitherto unknown or unseen detail features. One of these was a curious new type of spinner on certain I-16 fighters.

One of the colour profiles for the book demonstrates this spinner, as a matter of fact. The profile of I-16 Type 24 "White 71" on page 106 is one of these. The photograph of this aircraft appears on page 118.

Essentially, it seems that this spinner is comprised of the usual flared base for use with the M-63 and AV-1 propeller. However, the 'cap', or forward portion, is blunter than usual. As well, this spinner stands away from the face of the cowl to a very noticeable degree, something that all other I-16 spinners do not do.

It seems likely that this spinner was used only in manufacture at Zavod 153, and only during 1941. No other I-16s have been spotted with this type of unit to date. Nothing further is known about this type of spinner at this time.