reply to post by Daedalus3
Finally I seen a bunch of videos on youtube about the MiG 29.. they're in Russian unfortunately..They seem to be very informative and IIRC,
the video itself makes many references to the US F-16 while explaining the MiG 29 story.
IF someone could translate those videos for us, I would be glad to direct him/her to them. I feel them to be quite interesting.
Give me the links and I’ll see what I can do to translate. Text is one thing but speech s another.
As for comparisons, Fulcrum is NOT a strand alone design. In order to even begin to make any kind of assessment, the history of Russian Great
Patriotic War has to be addressed, and how VVS fought the Luftwaffe, because to this day Russian air force faces the same issues as back then.
The biggest problem is the VAST territory to control, and naturally the fluidity of the front lines.
To make it simple, Russians always seem to categories and then develop purpose specific designs, and do so to this day.
WWII Russia fighters/interceptors.
Fastest/highest alt interceptor of 1941 – MiG-1/MiG-3.
Until the very end of the war MiG-1/3 had the highest kill to loss ratio of ALL Soviet fighters all while being sent on dangerous and specific
Yaks – light, water cooled, extremely maneuverable FRONT LINE FIGHTER, which through out the war “hopped” from one airfield to another as the
front line moved back and forth.
LaGG-3 a failed attempt to manufacture a true fighter out of laminated wood do to shortages of strategic materials, but it did lay down the foundation
for the greatest work horse of the war, LA-5.
LA-5 – extremely rugged, radial powered fighter/interceptor with heavy firepower, good range and ability to take tremendous damage and still make it
to home base.
Anybody sees a pattern here?
MiG-1/3 = Su-9/11/15/ MiG-25/31
Yak 1/7/9/3 = MiG-9/La-15/MiG-15/19/21/23/29
LA5/FN/7/11/ = SU-27
MiG-29 is a Front line fighter, and in order to understand what Russian requirements for a FLF is, one has to look back in history and find out how
they did it in WWII.
Another clear example is the La-15 and its La-168 La-176 variants, which completely outperformed the MiG-15, but because they was more complex and
difficult to manufacture, less performing MiG-15 was chosen.
La-15 entered limited service in 1949, and in December of 1948, La-176 became the first combat ready supersonic fighter in horizontal flight. No
Horizontal Mach 1.02 was achieved by pilot I.E.Fedorov, in a FULLY LOADED La-176 which is armed with twin 23mm cannons plus a single 37mm cannon.
See how interesting History can be? In 1948 we have our Chuck Yeager in experimental, bomber launched rocket powered X-1 reaching Mach 1.07, same
year Soviets have their history with Fedorovs combat ready Mach 1.02 La-176, and the Germans have their Hans Guido Mutke that broke the sound barrier
while diving in Me 262 all the way back in April 9 of 1945.
It’s just how it is, and when comparing something as complicated as fighters, it is VITAL to understand the whole history behind the entire
For example, with just a little looking into, one will quickly find out that Russians do not always built the bet that they can, and more often then
not they build with just enough to do the job.
La-176 verses MiG-15 is a good starting point, Kalashnikov verses Korobov is another example, and so on with EVERY single type of military
While Western propaganda conditioned our minds to think that Soviet/Russian industry stupidly stamps out cheap crap in massive numbers in order to
simply outnumber the West, the reality is that Soviet/Russian design beuros were ALWAYS in fierce competition withy each other and the winner was
announced only after exhausting field testing and trials.
At the same time the winners were not always the best performers, and if the absolute edge was not necessary, Soviets/Russians never hesitated to
sacrifices a bit of performance for ease and lower price of manufacture.
Absolutely the same principle applies to MiG-29. Yes it’s radar is weaker then its counterparts, but not because Russians were not able to make a
better one, its because it was cheaper to make in MASS quantities required for FLF. Fulcrum did not have a full FBW, it had a HYBRID system which was
cheaper to produce, and at the same time could absorb massive damage from enemy fire.
For the Fulcrum system survivability is crucial because being a FLF it meant that it was going to take the brunt of the battle.
It is a fact that Fulcrums RD-33s exhaust left smoke trails, but that’s because they can burn what Russians call “dirt”, or lower grade kerosene
and not pure jet fuel.
That ability is absolutely vital because on the front lines a steady supply of clean jet fuel simply can not be guaranteed, and in order to stay
operational sacrifices need to be made.
With RD-33s those sacrifices are shorter life span and unavoidable smoke trail when burning dirt. Notice though, even on YouTube you’ll find plenty
of clips where Fulcrums are not leaving a smoke trail, and that’s because they are burning clean fuel, it’s that simple.
Fulcrums maintenance is said to be a total nightmare, and that was said by Western techs that got to the Fulcrums after 1991.
On the contrary, just as with most Soviet equipment, Fulcrums maintenance is incredibly simple, yank out the broken part/unit and replace it with a
factory fresh one.
Field maintenance is ENGENEERED into the total design, and that means easy and fast access to entire systems so they can be totally swapped out with
new ones, instead of having to perform complicated rebuild/repair under enemy fire.
Fulcrums engine housings are designed to allow for a full swap with in 30 minutes. That’s the point, burn the engines out, tear it out, push in new
ones, throw the bird back into the air and send the spent engines back to the factory for a total rebuild.
At the same time, Soviets/Russians traditionally and purposefully over engineered and underrated tolerance thresholds of everything they built.
If a gear is supposed to operate at 100% stress level for its calculated life span, they built it to hold 150% stress level with additional 30% life
“Kit it up” in the field is another Soviet/Russian favorite. They engineer the basis with an ability to kit it up if necessary.
Soviets have been doing it this was since WWII, it’s so simple, and I just can’t get why people spend their time arguing about such elemental
things with out taking a minute or two to flip back a few pages of history.
Back in WWII typical water cooled Soviet fighter engine resource was only 50 hours. Why? Because they opted for swapping the entire engine for a new
one rather then wasting time on keeping a napkin clean maintenance shop simply because they might be overrun by German ground forces over the night.
How did they swap it? By sending in the ENTIRE fighter to be safely overhauled in the factory, and that’s why Soviet fighters didn’t have
distinctive markings on them. The pilots replaced their fighters so often they didn’t even bother to paint their kill marks. Sometimes they
painted a squadron strip, that’s about it.
Why did they send the entire fighter? Because other then required overhauls, fresh pilots had a chance to safely pick up some solo flight hours after
I can’t stand when people attempt to compare war machines like a family sedan to a pickup truck. This one got cup holders, but this one got bigger
War is a matter of survival, not cup holders and tire size, and unless somebody knows what survival mode is, they’ll never understand how one has to
think to survive.
I’ll put it in my own way, and I will not hide my resentment for the Falcon because it lost more pilots in failure crashes then to enemy fire.
To me MiG-29 is just like the AK-47. Both with very clear designed purpose. Simple, rugged, crude, out there to get in your face and kill you while
knee deep in the mud of war.
To my knowledge and correct me if I’m wrong, not a single Fulcrum pilot died in failure/ejection crash.
F-16 to me is exactly like the M-16. Unnecessary “high tech” bells and whistles / flash and glitter, unclear “interim” mission parameters
which are continuously “redefined” and “adjusted”, delicate, fussy “clean freaks”, kills you instead of the enemy by breaking down when
you need it most, and in all cases repeatedly over hyped in order to cover up the never ending string of massive failures.
I remember how the Phantom pilots were tearing out their “warning” receivers because they were randomly and constantly whining bussing and
flashing and only ending up in distracting the pilot from that obsolete MiG-19 that’s rapidly climbing up his tail and already lining up his
Just my two cents, as usual.