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Technical Fridays: The MiG-21, "Best and Worst fighter you would've ever seen to fly"
Knossos
post 26 Jul 2013, 14:26
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NATO Designation: Fishbed
Flight Range: 1,210 km (751 miles)
Service Ceiling: 17,800 m (58,400 ft)
G-forces limit: 8.5Gs Note: Originally 7Gs


Personal analysis:

This is one of the best combat flyers available to any second-rate country. A design from the rocking 50's, it is still being improved upon, and it could effectively fight an F-16A or a Block 52 F-16 version adequately, assuming the fight isn't BVR. It's delta wing allows it to have a very high speed (maximum of Mach 2.00) and a very high service ceiling, even exceeding the specified service ceiling of an F-16 Block 30.

It's worst weakness?

Lack of endurance.

In Vietnam, several Navy pilots that flew there commented that although the Fishy is a very capable opponent (even eclipses the venerated F-4 Phantom, even in select missile engagements), the Achilles' Heel of the fighter is that its combat radius (the amount of space it could fight on with complete ordnance) is just 400 miles, or a flight time of an hour at most when defending a city airspace like Hanoi. Another strange characteristic of the Fishy is that the centre of gravity (the heaviest part of the aircraft) shifts when a significant amount of fuel has been burned, further reducing its actual combat time to an estimated 40 minutes.


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"The biggest problem of humanity is that it sees the failures first before the successes."

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Rade
post 26 Jul 2013, 21:22
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Here is a interesting version of the MiG-21MF which is equipped to use the American made LORAP (Long Range Aerial Photography) recon pods. Back in the 2006, while I was in the army I've actually served in the unit which operated these airplanes, sadly last one of these MiGs was retired latter that year.


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Knossos
post 27 Jul 2013, 5:37
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QUOTE (Rade @ 27 Jul 2013, 4:22) *
Here is a interesting version of the MiG-21MF which is equipped to use the American made LORAP (Long Range Aerial Photography) recon pods. Back in the 2006, while I was in the army I've actually served in the unit which operated these airplanes, sadly last one of these MiGs was retired latter that year.




Recon versions of the MiG-21. Best source of info for any battlefield commander.


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