Speaking of the canopy; it is easier, production-wise, to keep the 2-seat canopy configuration for the single seat and 2 seat variants but isn't it a disadvantage to the operator?
For the operator it means one canopy type so if it gets damaged then you can swap it out with any you have in stock rather than the one or two seat ones you have available.
It also means consistency in view outside the aircraft... the shape of the front position is the same when you train in the two seat (with the instructor in the back) or when you are on your own in the single seater.
Knowing that the canopy contributes to increasing the AC's RCS, it's better for the buyer to have 2 separate canopies for that purpose.
I am not so sure it would effect the RCS from the front... certainly from the side, but then most are gold lined which reduces RCS.
I would suspect the two models are interchangable in the sense that the fuel tank can be removed and instruments and a second seat could be installed if needed.
Some missions suit two crew and other would be more efficient with one crew... being able to choose offers the best compromise IMHO.
With both aircraft being otherwise the same it means both are fully combat capable with the two seater offering at the very least the ability to be an advanced trainer as well as front line fighter bomber.
The Americans use the smoky tinting on the 2-seaters for at least the front canopy since there's obviously no other way around reducing the glass, but I don't recall ever seeing the Russians do something similar to their glass canopies to reduce RCS, have you?
Yes... a fine coating of gold is used, which absorbs a very small amount of radio waves (converts them into tiny amounts of heat... not enough to make it visible on an IR sensor, but enough to be useful to hide the contents of the canopy).
I think it's too bad that they used the double canopy for the two variants, but it is what it is and I would like to see them come up with some solution for that.
It is just based on experience... with the MiG-29UB which was pretty much a ranging only radar equipped trainer I think it cost them some export orders compared with the Su-27UB fully operational fighter bomber... which later turned into the successful (for export and domestic use) Su-30 family of two seater aircraft.
It is cheaper and easier to make one airframe/canopy design and to adapt it to single or two seat use. the extra fuel gives performance advantages to the single seat option without punishing the two seater alternative too much.
Why is it not the MiG-35? Why is it designated as MiG-29M/M2 or just M2 when it's exactly what MiG corporation designated it at the unveiling as the MiG-35?
The MiG-35 is not really fully ready yet... it will have AESA radar and lots of other new bits and pieces.
As I mentioned previously the MiG-35 is not fully ready yet so with Egypt buying it if they want it any time soon the MiG-29M2 has the same physical design but different internals... they can have the M2 now and the 35 bits fitted later as they become available.
It gets it into service quicker.
I also read somewhere that they dropped the M2 designation and now refer to it as the MiG-35. Why the crazy confusion and what makes you say it's not the MiG-35? I'm just curious and not trying to give you a hard time (if it comes off that way, I apologize ahead of time), not my intention. I'd just like to get to the bottom of this needless confusion and move on, lol.
Marketing... the MiG-35 sounds better and Egypt want to buy 35s... it is just that they are not actually ready yet, so they will call it 35 even though under the skin they will be M2s until some upgrade date.
Think of it as Typhoon tranche 1... Tranche 3 will be MiG-35... Tranche 1 is MiG-29M2.
Well that is my take on the situation anyway.