Late in 1942, work was well advanced at the MiG bureau on several aircraft in parallel and referred to as Series "A" prototypes, with which the OKB hoped to fulfil a VP (vysotny perekhvatchik, or high-altitude interceptor) requirement raised earlier in the year. The first of these, the I-220, owed little or nothing to earlier MiG fighters and was of mixed construction, the fuselage being of metal forward of the cockpit and a wooden monocoque aft, and the wings making use of steel main and auxiliary spars with spruce outer panel ribs.
The first prototype, which was rolled out of the factory in June 1943 and was first flown during the following month, was initially powered with a low-altitude Mikulin AM-38F engine of 1700hp. Armed with two synchronised 20mm ShVAK cannon, the AM-38F-powered I-220 achieved speeds of 572km/h at sea level and 630km/h at 7000m, practical ceiling being 9500m. The prototype was then re-engined with a medium-altitude AM-39 affording 1800hp for take-off and flown in January 1944, flight testing continuing until the following August. A second prototype also powered by the AM-39 flew in September 1944, but differed in armament, being the first Soviet fighter to carry four 20mm ShVAK cannon.
The second Series "A" high-altitude fighter and referred to as the 2A, or the I-221.
The programme came to an abrupt end when, during one of the prototype's early trials, a piston rod fractured, the engine seized and the aircraft crashed.
Engine: Mikulin AM-38
Max take-off weight: 3647 kg / 8040 lb
Empty weight: 3101 kg / 6837 lb
Wingspan: 11.00 m / 36 ft 1 in
Length: 9.60 m / 31 ft 6 in
Height: 3.16 m / 10 ft 4 in
Wing area: 20.38 sq.m / 219.37 sq ft
Max. speed: 697 km/h / 433 mph
Ceiling: 11000 m / 36100 ft
Range: 630 km / 391 miles