But KPI, wouldn't these be crew allocated nicknames rather than genuine type names? Especially in the case of the MiG 25?
True enough but under the 'better the user community than some git in Washington' category:
Rhino (The F-4, NOT the F/A-18E/F!)
I'm sure there are others but the point is that while some are 'personal' as a function of affection or disgust, many go on to become official
beyond the DOD/Manufacturer's designation.
I for one find 'Flanker' to be both meaningless and accountantlike nomenclature for while the Su-27 is indeed one of the world's longest ranging
fighters, it's flying-SAM-site weapons load and lack of LO/supercruise doesn't suggest the need or ability to 'out flank' something so much as
motor right over it.
OTOH, Crane is a /cool/ name because cranes can indeed fight and their hunting method is a long downwards stabbing _precise_ motion which is both
graceful and perhaps indicative of the Su-27 having the first really capable LDSD and longrange BVR 'fighter' radar weapons system capability in the
Soviet lineup. It also is cross-associative of the Crane fighting style in martial arts which everybody knows of if not exactly /how/ it works from
Now that we know them better, it would be interesting to see magazines start, at least interchangeably, to use 'Su-27 Crane' with 'Flanker' to
familiarize the public with the fact that various other states are not quite the unknowable marching robots the ASCC system would have them be but
have their own 'style' as it were. I doubt if it would catch on but it might.
I know that in a lot of cases the crews nicknames for their aircraft are much more apt and entertaining than the official ones, 'Harmonious
Dragmaster' is one of my favourites which was allocated to the Gloster Javelin, and when you look at it you can see why, and also why Gloster never
produced another plane after it.
Indeed. I always liked the large semi-delta wing form (as compared to the 'bent boomerang' of the Lightning for instance). Reminds for some reason
of the Cutlass. The T-Tail however... I don't really like that, even on the 'Zipper'.
Of course you then get into problems with 'which country nick do you use?'. And is it for significant variations of function or equipment standard
or only for local-to-theater national reference discriminatory use?
I like the Indian name 'Baaz' over the semi-official 'Striji' or Swift for the MiG-29. But Baaz is roughly the same name (Hawk or Falcon as I
recall) employed by the IDFAF for the F-15A/B. While Buzzard or Akef is the F-15C variant designator and Ra'am or 'Thunder' is that employed for
Thunder(bolt) I dig over 'Strike Eagle', simply because the usage in our language is pretty strained (An animate is not really considered the
possessive of an action form unless that is /all/ that it does and even then it is generally assumed).
Buzzard however connotes a bird which feeds on the kills of others rather than making it's own. So there is a danger in allowing oneself to be
subject to other's nicks, even when -your- equipment in /their/ use.
'The Soviet Union Did Not Assign Official Nicknames...'