Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Mig-21

The word I heard was that the MiG-21 had hydraulic systems. So you could shut the thing down and, once everything had spun down, you could set the flaps and whatnot to the takeoff position. The idea was that a fully-armed jet could be parked near the end of the runway and, if an alter was given, it would be rolling down the runway 90 seconds after the engine was started.


Old NFO said...

Somebody was having fun! :-)

BadTux said...

This looks like a later MiG-21 with the enlarged shock cone for the (still too small) radar antenna in the later marks. MiG-21's were pretty much optimized for the interceptor role as short-ranged intercepters and were intended to be ground controlled, thus why no provisions for a radar antenna in the first marks. They were also designed to be operated from rough dirt runways and have low maintenance requirements, thus why they are still extremely popular in third world countries despite their fundamental limitations of short range, no space for a modern radar, and poor visibility out of the cockpit (especially with that big hump behind the pilot, which is an attempt to increase the range but at the expense of visibility). China was still building MiG-21's through the 1990's, though they finally quit and started buying / building more advanced fighters during the previous decade. They are reputedly *not* fun to fly -- the range is very short so you only get a few minutes flight time, the controls are very heavy, visibility is very poor out of the cockpit, subsonic handling characteristics are mushy due to the delta wing. It really wants to be flying supersonic but that requires afterburners which in turn means you're out of fuel that much quicker.

The F-16 to me has all the advantages of the MiG-21 in terms of being cheap and easy to maintain without any of the disadvantages (short range, poor dogfighting due to poor subsonic handling, poor visiblity, lack of space for a decent radar antenna, etc.). Not surprising, since the design of the YF-16 was explicitly intended to create a MiG-21 killer. And succeeded quite well at that, thank you very much.

Cujo359 said...

Shortcomings aside, it's a beautiful aircraft. I've always liked this one, because it's an elegant solution to what was a tough problem back then - flying at Mach 2 to intercept something.