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In 1945 the Soviet Union issued a requirement for a rocket-powered point-defense interceptor, similar in concept to the German Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. The Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB responded with the Zh *, which received the military designation I-270. The design was influenced by the capture of a Junkers Ju 248 (Messerschmitt Me 263), but unlike the Me 163 and Ju 248, the I-270 was a fairly conventional design. It did have the distinction of being the first Soviet aircraft to be equipped with an ejection seat, and also utilized a near-laminar flow wing and a pressurized cockpit. The powerplant consisted of a bi-propellant RD-2M-3V rocket, designed by L. Dushkin and V. Glushko, with two chambers: the main chamber provided 2,315 pounds of thrust, and a smaller cruise chamber gave 882 pounds of thrust for a total of 3,197 pounds. Armament consisted of two 23 mm cannon and eight RS-82 rockets, installed only in the second prototype.

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Mikoyan-Gurevich I-270.
Via Eric Bond

The first prototype, which had ballast in place of the never-installed powerplant, was used for unpowered flight trials in 1946, being towed by a Tupolev Tu-2. One source does state, contrary to this, that the first prototype never actually flew and was destroyed during ground testing. The second I-270 had the rocket installed, and made its first powered flight in early 1947. It was apparently scrapped after a crash upon landing after a subsequent flight. The first aircraft had to make a wheels-up landing shortly thereafter, and was never repaired. The I-270's short endurance and high wing loading when fuelled were not encouraging to further development, and the crashes only provided further reason to halt the program. Development of the surface-to-air missile rendered the somewhat dangerous, inefficient rocket-powered point-defense interceptor effectively obsolete.

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Specifications I-270
Designer(s) ?
Mission Type Point-defence interceptor
Powerplant 1 x 3,197 lb (1,450 kg) thrust Dushkin-Glushko RD-2M-3V or -3W bi-propellant two-chamber rocket
Span 29 ft 5 in (7.75 m)
Length 29 ft 3 in (8.91 m)
Height 10 ft 1.25 in (3.08 m)
Wing area 129.17 sq ft (12.00 m2)
Empty 3,408 lb (1,546 kg)
Loaded 9,083 lb (4,120 kg)
Gross --
Max --
Max speed 621 mph @ sl (1,000 km/hr)
559 mph @ 16,404 ft (900 km/hr @ 5,000 m)
577 mph @ 32,808 ft (928 km/hr @ 10,000 m)
582 mph @ 49,215 ft (936 km/hr @ 15,000 m)
Cruise speed --
Initial climb rate --
Time to 32,810 ft (10,000 m) 2.37 min
Time to 49,215 ft (15,000 m) 3.03 min
Service ceiling 55,775 ft, 57,750 ft or 59,055 ft (17,000 m, 17,602 m or 18,000 m)
Range --
Endurance Both rocket chambers: 4.25 min
Cruise chamber only (882 lb [400 kg] thrust): 9.05 min
Armament (installed in second prototype only) 2 x 23 mm NS-23 with 40 rpg in fuselage
8 x RS-82 rockets under wings
Crew One
Number built Two (Zh-1, Zh-2)
Construction Numbers ?
Serial Numbers ?
Test Pilot V. N. Yuganov

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I-270, first prototype
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I-270, second prototype

I-270 prototypes comparison
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In addition to having a rocket engine installed, the second I-270 prototype also had armament installed and an enlarged nose wheel.

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Mikoyan-Gurevich Zh, I-270; unpowered first prototype
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Mikoyan-Gurevich Zh, I-270; second prototype

Additional Information

Web Links


  1. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters: An illustrated encyclopedia of every fighter aircraft built and flown. Salamander Books, London, 1994. ISBN 0-86101-643-2
  2. Gunston, Bill. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft: 1875-1995. Osprey, Bath, 1996. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
  3. Updated Information and other Sources:

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© 1997-2011, Robert Beechy
Originally posted 29 May 1998
Modified: 12/27/2017