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    Fate of Russia's old birds.

    Mir
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    Post  Mir Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:08 pm

    TMA1 wrote:
    Grown to be one of my favorite cold war aircraft. We used to make amazing planes back in the day. Ruskies could, too. I always wondered if the mig-23 had a weapons systems officer as well as a pilot if the weapons system would have been a lot more efficient and quick acting. From everything I can read it seemed like the mig 23 pilot had to do what two f4 phantom pilots were doing in their opposing aircraft.

    The F-4 Phantom was supposed to be a air superiority fighter but in the Vietnam War it came up against the Mig-21 that proved to be a better dog fighter than the somewhat sluggish Phantom. The Phantom was better suited in the strike fighter and interceptor role. The Mig-21 inspired the birth of the F-16. The Mig-23 is somewhat similar to the Phantom and was intended as an air superiority fighter but was of a slightly later generation when the swing wing came into fashion. Dedicated strike variants were developed from the Mig-23 into the Mig23B/N and the Mig-27. The Phantom (in it's E variant) was more of a multi-role aircraft than the Mig-23.

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:10 pm

    Isos wrote:
    Indian mig-21 are at mig-21-93 level.  

    Yes the Indian Bison was developed from the Mig-21-93 and I agree the Mig-23-98 had lots of potential back then but with the Checkmate in the mix at a bargain price...not likely to get a rebirth.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:53 am

    Grown to be one of my favorite cold war aircraft. We used to make amazing planes back in the day. Ruskies could, too. I always wondered if the mig-23 had a weapons systems officer as well as a pilot if the weapons system would have been a lot more efficient and quick acting. From everything I can read it seemed like the mig 23 pilot had to do what two f4 phantom pilots were doing in their opposing aircraft.

    MiG-29s and Su-27s had high work load cockpits too, but they could still get the job done...

    The MiG-23-98 should have solved most of the workload problems and be able to carry enough modern weapons to still be dangerous.... but would only make sense if you currently operate Mig-23s... if you didn't then it would make more sense just to buy 29s.

    Good looking but it was a shitty aircraft to fly. Not really manoevrable but its accelerations were the best, impossible to catch up from the back.

    Not what I have heard... it is certainly no F-16 but would be able to match an F-15 with its low drag and high thrust to weight ratio...

    There was a lot of bullshit in the west about how the wing sweep was not as advanced as say the one in the F-14 or F-111 with continuously calculated variable sweep computers, but effectively the three wing settings were simple and obvious... a straight wing for takeoff or moderate speed cruise flying for ferrying, mid angle offers best dogfight and manouver performance, and full sweep is for max speed lowest drag flight.

    I should add that the pilot could also anticipate what he intended to do so he could change wing configurations in advance, so a high speed low drag low level flight into the combat zone, if he intends to slow down and dogfight he can sweep the wing to mid point for best manouver performance and gets his best dogfight performance immediately and does not have to wait for his speed to bleed away for the wings to sweep to a better lift angle for dogfighting.

    It is not something that needed constant monitoring or constant attention, once you are airborne you either want to be able to manouver or you want to fly fast.

    Only last variants were good. They even had a super version with r-77 and Zukh-M radar called mig-23-98.

    There were 93 and 98 models I believe... the 98 model of the MiG-21 replaced that three piece front canopy with a single piece front canopy design without the flat front windscreen.


    Last edited by GarryB on Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:39 am

    STOL was the buzzword in the 60's and everybody tried to build fighters that would have a short takeoff and landing capability. The Soviet Union wasn't going to stay behind and had several flying test beds with lift engines. These aircraft's takeoff looked spectacular but they all proved to be far too heavy and with very limited range and none made it into production, but the variable swept wing solved this problem in the end. They were all displayed at the legendary 1967 Domodedovo airshow and made a huge impression on the West, but were all abandoned shortly after this event. The sad part is that all these magnificent test beds were cut up for scrap in the 80's.

    Mikoyan produced the Izd 23-31 and the Izd 23-01. Both these aircraft were test beds for what eventually became the Mig-23. The Western observers took that these aircraft were destined for production and gave them incorrect designations - the Mig21PD and Mig23PD/Mig23UPV.

    Izd 23-31
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig21p10

    Izd 23-01
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig23p10

    Sukhoi had the T-58VD (incorrectly dubbed Su-15VD in the West) which used the Su-15TM's air frame as a test bed for the future T-6 strike fighter. The first T-6 (Su-24) prototype did use the lift engines but eventually gave up on the idea for the much better variable swept wing design.

    T-58VD
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Su15vd10

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:09 am

    Yes, there was a fear that airfields were fixed locations that were terribly vulnerable and after a couple of hours of WWIII that there would be no airfields left that could be used so only planes like the Harrier could operate.

    The main problem was that most of the first supersonic planes were straight wing WWII designs with their wings angled back for high speed flight... when they went to mach 2 fighters most went for a delta or triangle wing shape, but obviously to be low drag enough to get to mach 2 it had to be very thin so at take off speeds it didn't generate much lift... all sorts of solutions were tried... including blown flaps where high pressure main engine airflow was piped to the flaps like thrust vectoring jet nozzles... on the MiG-21.

    The best ways to get shorter field take offs was to either put lift jets or swing wings so you could use the efficient straight wing for takeoff and landing and swept wing reduced drag and lift for high speed flight.

    The problem was the swing wing was heavy and complex, and the lift jets were also heavy and dead weight for the entire flight.

    The Harrier was unique because it used a single engine, which ironically is safer than the three the Yak-38 used because any one of the three engines failing could be fatal... the two lift engines in the Yak-41 were similar in power to the Su-25s two engines...

    But the best solution was a better designed wing as shown on the MiG-29 and Su-27 that allows low speed takeoff runs and also rather high speed top speed flights.

    It is not a straight swept wing and nor is it a delta wing... and leading edge and trailing edge surfaces could be drooped to change the profile of the wing to give it the lifting force of a much thicker high drag wing but those surfaces can be levelled for a very thin profile low drag surface for high speed flight.

    Such an active wing as also found on western aircraft too obviously mean VSTOL and Swing wing designs have become a bit redundant.

    It should be pointed out that the main undercarriage of the MiG-23 is a marvel of engineering that fits in a tiny space but when deployed has the two main wheels spread very wide apart for a good stable base when the aircraft is on the ground... it should be displayed in art museums... and gives the MiG an excellent rough field performance capability.

    Even the MiG-31 has two main wheels staggered to improve rough field performance and spread the enormous weight of that large aircraft, despite the fact that it is a PVO aircraft that would not be forward deployed very much at all.
    Mir
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    Post  Mir Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:10 am

    Yes practically all Soviet combat aircraft were designed to handle rough terrain airfields.

    The main reason why they went for variable swing wing at the time - and not the lift engines - were that the lift engines took up a lot of space for fuel whilst he swing wing allowed much more space for fuel. Both suffered a weight penalty but at the time the swing wing was the best option.

    Only with the F-16 design did they come up with a much better solution where the wing root was blended into the body that provided the extra lift required. This aerodynamic feature was later perfected in the Su-27 and Mig-29 designs.

    As far as VTOL goes the Soviets displayed the Yak-36 test bed at the same 1967 Domodedovo airshow which was later developed into the Yak-38. It wasn't a great design but it was also not nearly as bad as the West wanted you to believe. VTOL also had it's own weight issues and it can only operate from prepared air strips due to debris issues.

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    Post  Gomig-21 Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:37 pm

    Hard to believe they wouldn't have a MiG-29 available to complete the entire historical lineup.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 FA1-Q4UXIAI7CnR?format=jpg&name=900x900
    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:36 am

    There should be plenty available samples so I think your wish will come true very soon Smile

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:55 am

    Nice.. 9,15,17,19,21,23,25,27,31.

    That isn't the nose of the 29 behind the 31 is it?

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:04 am

    Mig-25P I think?

    Anyway it should be noted that most of the Monino collection are prototypes. Hopefully the Mig-29 is still available?

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig29-11


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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:09 am

    I just had a peek at an old Monino pic and there are no less than 5 Mig-29's surrounding the Tu-144! What a Face

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Monino10

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:17 am

    Four Mig-29's in this recent view.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Centra10

    And one of the Mig-25P behind the Mig-31.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 8-cent10

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    Post  Gomig-21 Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:55 pm

    GarryB wrote:Nice.. 9,15,17,19,21,23,25,27,31.

    At first I didn't see the 27 tucked between the 25 and 31. Also its camouflage tricked me for sure! I thought it was missing also but then I noticed it.

    The other interesting thing is how you can see the wing angle increase from the 15 to the 17 and then drastically to the 19. The sudden jump in design from the 19 to the 21 is classic. Also the 21 looks like either a MF or a PMF or one of those, instead of the first one which IIRC was the F-13. To me, the F-13 is the most beautifully designed fighter jet of all time. It's like a timeless, sexy sports car of aerial death.

    When Egypt was first using them and going to war with that cancerous, land-stealing neighbor to the northeast, they were flying them without any paint or camo, just in that raw metallic color which would reflect the sun easily and give their location. They quickly learned that lesson and started painting them to subdue and eliminate that effect that worked against them, especially in the desert heat and sun.

    GarryB wrote:That isn't the nose of the 29 behind the 31 is it?

    I thought it was too because of the black antiglare cockpit paint which the 25 behind the 31 didn't seem to have like the 4 29s. But seeing Mir's other pics of the top view shows it better and in fact, the 25P behind the 31.

    Mir wrote:Four Mig-29's in this recent view.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Centra10

    And one of the Mig-25P behind the Mig-31.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 8-cent10

    Great find. Monino is a bucket list item for me. The history on display there is like none other anywhere in the world IMO.

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:52 pm

    Definitely on my list as well! Smile

    From your pick >> the Mig-21 looks like the SM variant and the one directly behind it seems to be a Mig-21bis.
    They can certainly do with the F-13 and some PF variants.

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    Post  Gomig-21 Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:12 pm

    Mir wrote:Definitely on my list as well! Smile

    From your pick >> the Mig-21 looks like the SM variant and the one directly behind it seems to be a Mig-21bis.

    So how can you tell it's an SM? Just curious as to the way you guys can identify those specific variants with the ones that are hard to see any real differences. Like between that one and the Bis behind it, I see a difference in the length, the SM seemingly longer and the tail looks a bit larger as well as its spine has a bit more of a taper towards the tail. Other than that, not much for this kid to go by lol.

    You mentioned that most, if not all of those are one of the prototypes of each model. Is that what SM is?
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    Post  Maximmmm Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:34 pm

    Monino is definitely worth the visit. It's also nice and quaint.
    I also had the chance to go to Kubinka twice before the whole Patriot park shabang. That was also great fun.

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:36 pm


    So how can you tell it's an SM? Just curious as to the way you guys can identify those specific variants with the ones that are hard to see any real differences. Like between that one and the Bis behind it, I see a difference in the length, the SM seemingly longer and the tail looks a bit larger as well as its spine has a bit more of a taper towards the tail. Other than that, not much for this kid to go by lol.

    You mentioned that most, if not all of those are one of the prototypes of each model. Is that what SM is?

    A bit later on I will show you the difference between the most important Mig-21 variants. SM was a production version but the aircraft on display was most probably the prototype of that particular version.

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:16 pm

    I am just going to concentrate on the basic Soviet variants.

    The easiest way to identify a Mig-21 is to look at it's spine (most of the time) and the canopy.
    The early Mig-21F and Mig-21F-13 had the forward tilting canopy whilst the other canopies opened to the side.
    The Mig-21F and F-13 looks almost identical. The most notable difference was that the F-13 could carry the K-13 AAM on a very different looking under wing hard point compared to the F variant.

    Mig-21F
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig21f10

    Mig-21F-13
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig21f11


    Last edited by Mir on Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:19 pm

    The next major modification was the Mig-21P interceptor variant of which the PF/PM was the most common. You will see that the spine starts quite thick behind the cockpit and then tapers off a bit further along the spine. Not much difference between the variants.

    Mig-21PF
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2111

    Mig-21PFM
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2112

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:24 pm

    The Mig-2S/SM was another version with a thicker spine that runs through to the vertical tail. The spline looks quite similar to the Mig-21bis but it's slightly thinner. The SMT had the most prominent spine for more fuel but this fighter was very unpopular with it's pilots. Most were rebuild to Mig-21bis standard. The Mig-21R recce version was originally developed from the Mig-21PF but ended up similar to the SM. BTW the one at Monino is the S and not the SM.

    Mig-21SM
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2113

    Mig-21SMT with it's very distinct spine

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2114


    Last edited by Mir on Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:29 pm

    The Mig-21bis was the most advanced version but with a slightly thicker spine than the SM variant but not nearly as prominent that the SMT. The spine also bottomed out slightly deeper into the main body behind the cockpit than the SM. Both the Mig-21bis and S variants had two hard points under each wing instead of the one on previous variants.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2116
    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2115


    Last edited by Mir on Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:59 pm

    Almost forgot about the Mig-21U trainer variants. There were basically two versions - the Mig-21US and the UM. The only obvious difference is that the UM had an antenna near the end of the spine - the US doesn't have one.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Mig-2117

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    Post  Gomig-21 Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:42 pm

    Very nice. Thanks for the detailed explanations and all that work. I didn't expect you to go through all that detail. I was mostly looking for the difference between the SM and the Bis in those pics, but definitely appreciate the thorough explanations of all the ones you listed. Cheers.

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    Post  Gomig-21 Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:32 pm

    Egyptian MiG-17 dropping munitions on Israeli positions behind the barlev line on October 6th, 1973.  That was one of the EAF's favorite platforms and they used it to its fullest potential.  They also painted it in what they called the "Nile Camo" which looked great.

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 FA-WA3lVEAYHCz3?format=jpg&name=900x900

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 MIG-17+EGIPCIO+2728+3

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 EGIPTO_MIG-17_BOMBAS_FUSELAJE_2

    Also visible in this classic lineup is the EAF's classic MiG-21 in the zebra camo of spinach and sand!

    Fate of Russia's old birds. - Page 6 Egyptian-migs-airshow

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    Mir
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    Post  Mir Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:41 pm

    The last one is a great pic showing all the Egyptian fighters including a Mirage III together with the US F14 and F16.
    I think I may have a pic of this lot flying over the pyramids somewhere?

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