Born: 1905-08-05. Died: 1970-12-09.
Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan, brother of Stalin's foreign minister, was named head of a new aircraft design bureau in Moscow on 8 December 1939. 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 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 bureaus, Korolev began discussing development of a winged space launcher with Mikoyan. Lozino-Lozinsky was placed in charge of development of the resulting ambitious Spiral OS reusable space launch system. Mikoyan did not live to see the test flights of the spaceplane in the 1970's.
The Soviet leadership attends a secret exhibition of Soviet rocket technology in a sporting hall at Pitsunda, on the Black Sea. The Chief Designers offer competing designs. It is decided that the R-16, R-9, UR-200, UR-500, and N1 will go forward. Yangel's R-56 is rejected. Additional Details: here....
Gagarin, Belyayev, and Leonov are preparing for a meeting with Brezhnev. Nothing controversial is to be raised. The real issue now is to develop a winged, manned orbital spacecraft, and a winged booster stage for space launches. This will be essential to future manned military activities. Mikoyan's MiG bureau has been working on the orbital spaceplane, and Tupolev the winged booster stage. Titov, Filipchenko, and Matinchenko and a few other cosmonauts will coordinate with Mikoyan on development of the spaceplane design.
Kamanin reviews the Spiral manned spaceplane program with Goreglyad, Frolov, and cosmonaut Titov. Work on the KLA orbiter began in 1961-1962. In the following eight years Kamanin has tried to push the leadership many times to accelerate the project, but without result. Still, the work is proceeding, albeit very slowly. Mikoyan has decided the first phase of the project will use rocket launch only - the air-breathing winged first stage will only be introduced later. Afanasyev has finally responded to the project, only to declare that the KLA must be not only for military missions, but serve as a transport shuttle for civilian space missions as well. Dementiev is holding the whole project up because he doesn't want to overburden the aircraft design bureaux and factories. And Kutakhov won't push the program without Dementiev's support.
Meeting with the Spiral spaceplane cosmonaut training group. Mikoyan and Dementiev (son of the MAP Minister) have been working on this project for four years. Many in the leadership (Grechko, Zakharov, Krylov, etc) are against the concept and hinder the project in any way the can. Grechko considers it 'a fantasy' and Kutakhov does not support it energetically. Engineer-Colonel Sokolov-Sokolenik is the head of the unit (having replaced Titov, who is now in staff school). The United States has hundreds of flights on the X-15, which they have taken to 90 km altitude and 7000 km/hour airspeed. In the Soviet Union, all such work has been frozen for a decade.