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Poor man's MiG-29 (Over the MSE Rockies)...

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Thanks to a recent (member) post, we all, know a bit about DCS's incredible MiG-29 "Fulcrum". That (DCS) SIM is actually "designed and tested" by a former MiG-29 pilot, which is a testament to the extreme fidelity of its simulated systems...If you recall, that post had also generated some "Russian" linguistic discussions, and, further, even though, personally, I don't own DCS, there was a (suggestive) note in there, that had attracted my attention:

"Indian Air Force versions of the MiG-29 which you can get for FSX/P3D from FlyFreeStd, actually have English language placarding and Imperial symbology on the HUD. Guess we can thank the British Empire for that one....Those FSX/P3D ones are currently heavily discounted at SimMarket at the moment too, for those of you who like a bargain...."

I do like bargains, and, so, decided to take advantage of it...thinking, what's there to lose for a ~$10 sales offer, and I was not disappointed...! While (obviously) nowhere near its DCS counterpart, the SIM was fun to fly, and most importantly, it did not require me to get an advanced (prior) degree in Russian language...🙂...So, here, below, I'm flying that MiG-29 (btw, there are 2 versions of (FlyFreeStd) MiG-29: First Generation and Next Generation. I opted for the "First Generation", the avionics of which, appeared a bit more "old-fashioned", and, therefore, was more to my liking)...

And, MiG-29, as a fighter aircraft, needs no introduction. (Western) pilots have said, "the MiG-29 is a rocket. It’s as simple as that!". (So, get ready for "virtual" climb-rates of, at least, (6000-7000) fpm!). During this post, I learned a bit more, about this aircraft.

To put things in perspective, I list below the First Flight dates of a few of its (American) contemporaries:

First flight: F-15 Eagle (27 July 1972)
First flight: F-16 Fighting Falcon  (02 February 1974)
First flight: MiG-29 (06 October 1977)
First flight: F/A-18 Hornet (18 November 1978)  

So, we can see the motivation behind its origin, and what (counterpart) aircraft it was meant to compete with...! The Fulcrum was (officially) showcased, for the first time, for the Western audiences, much later, at the 1988 Farnborough Airshow in England, and a year later at the 1989 Paris Air Show. Regarding a pictorial comparison, you may contrast its images from this post to those of my earlier post on (MilViz's) F-15 Eagle. The beautiful (but lethal) MiG-29, indeed, looks much like its larger twin-tail contemporary, the F-15 Eagle. The MiG-29 built a solid reputation as an agile and extremely maneuverable dogfighter, capable of matching the best of modern fighters. An interesting fact about MiG-29, compared to F-15, is its much shorter Range: ~900 miles vs. ~3000 miles. So, the MiG-29, though famous, is not a long-range interceptor - it's a tactical fighter that essentially flies to where it needs to be, does its thing, and immediately comes back! It's, currently, still, in production (over 1600 built), and remains a formidable fighter (its next-level evolution being the MiG-35, with improved avionics and weapon systems).

Notes about the repaint, I'm flying here: This color is a peculiar amalgamation of U.S.- German markings (Luftwaffe "Fulcrum Farewell USA 2003" Tour of North America). In 1991, the former East Germany had 29 Fulcrums (purchased just before the fall of the Berlin Wall) based near the Polish border. When the Iron Curtain fell, after the German reunification in October 1990, West German pilots and technicians began to evaluate their former adversaries (and then integrated them into the Luftwaffe, and made them NATO-compatible).  

Next, a bit about the flight, for this post. I'm flying this MiG-29, from the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (KFNL) directly (and diagonally) south-west across the state of Colorado, to the Durango–La Plata County Airport (KDRO), skimming the tallest ridges of the famous Colorado Rockies. And, the Rockies, I know (and like!), primarily because of my (two) visits to Colorado, and, particularly, of one close encounter, many years ago, with it via the scenic (vehicular) route climbing up into the (very) high altitude mountains in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was in the middle of Winter, with (fallen) snow on the ground, but, fortunately, without any snowfall activity during my visit. The Park Ranger had allowed my name-sake SUV up that well-maintained (mountain) road, with just a few words of caution, to heed all road-side warnings, which, I diligently did. As I recall now, it was an exhilarating experience, being surrounded, by tall mountain peaks, on all sides, and deep (and fresh) snow on the mountain sides...! For this post, as I was overflying the Rockies, here, (please see a few images of it), I was thinking about my past memories of those mountain ranges.

Hope you enjoy these (SIM) pictures of this fast and nimble (Soviet) fighter, (a tad out-of-place, here,...🙂...)...overflying the majestic Colorado Rockies...

[BTW, in the last image, the devices that look like gaping (huge) holes in the front of the aircraft, are actually the Air Intakes, which, during flight, feed air to the engines.]

Thanks for your interest...!!

[FlyFreeStd(MiG-29)/MSE(CO)/REX]

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There's at least one MiG-29 for sale in the West..

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29292/you-can-buy-paul-allens-mig-29-fulcrum-jet-fighter

I'd buy it myself, but the UK CAA tend to be old fuddy duddies when it comes to privately owned supersonic-capable warbirds... (Hence you had to visit Thunder City in South Africa to experience civvy flights in an English electric Lightning!) 😎😄

I've been thinking about FlyFreeStd aircraft - notably the Fulcrum and especially the Flanker as that is one of the most beautiful air superiority fighters ever to light an afterburner - stealth ain't everything..

Thank you for sharing the screenshots.

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Mark Robinson

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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12 minutes ago, HighBypass said:

I've been thinking about FlyFreeStd aircraft - notably the Fulcrum and especially the Flanker as that is one of the most beautiful air superiority fighters ever to light an afterburner - stealth ain't everything..

The Su27 and 33 and the MiG-29 variants are all still on sale for another three days or so at Simmarket, although keep in mind that the DCS MiG-29, Su27 and Su33 are all about the same price as that FreeFlyStd MiG-29's sale price, so if you want to actually shoot stuff in a MiG or Sukhoi, DCS is an alternative which will let you do that for a similar price.

A big difference between the FSX/P3D MiGs and Sukhois and the ones in DCS apart from the obvious combat ability, is that the FSX/P3D ones have clickable VCs whereas the DCS ones are all operated via keyboard shortcuts and joystick commands so that you can keep looking out of the window during a fight. The FSX/P3D ones are undeniably easier to fly straight out of the box, the DCS ones require you to spend a bit of time tuning your flight controls and learning some keyboard shortcuts because of the lack of cockpit clicking in these particular DCS add-ons and the fact that the DCS flight model is a bit less on rails than the one in FSX/P3D. Either way, they're all good fun so it's not like you can go wrong whichever one you have.

With regards to capabilities for any of them, obviously the big Sukhoi is the much more capable of the two main types, having better avionics and being a more sophisticated aeroplane all-round. Probably the closest 'western comparison' for the Sukhoi Su27 and the MiG-29 and their relative differences, would be as the F-15 is to the F-20/F-16, i.e. one is a no expense spared top of the line machine and the other is a cheaper alternative which is able to be fielded in greater numbers owing to its reduced cost, although there is often no truly direct comparison since the Russian stuff is intended for very different purposes to NATO jets. Nevertheless, if you want a basic dogfighter with some good capability, the MiG-29 is great, whereas if you want all that, on steroids and a whole lot more sophistication on top, then the Sukhoi is the one.

The MiG-35 slightly redressed the imbalance by adding fancier avionics (although not so much in the export variants), but more important than the avionics upgrades was the fact that the MiG-29 is noted for having a fairly short airframe life, which was one of the reasons the RAF did not buy it when they were briefly considering it as a possible alternative to the then troubled Eurofighter. The MiG-35 addresses this problem and gives the airframe considerable more hours of lifetime. There are quite a lot of other improvements too, but in fact one of the main reasons the MiG-35 remains in production which people often overlook, is simply to keep the factory where it is made functioning and employing people so the skills do not disappear whilst awaiting the introduction of series production of newer types.

But the short range and endurance of the MiG-29 and the MiG-35 makes more sense when one understands the operational doctrine which was central to their creation, and is sort of similar to the reasoning behind the MiG-21, which is also notable for not having a massive range. They are less costly point defence fighters, intended to be deployed in massive numbers over a widespread range of bases covering a wide area, so that no interceptor has to travel very far to intercept an incoming threat. This is because Russia is of course massive. It is also why the MiG-25 and MiG-31 were designed to be incredibly fast and equipped with really long-range missiles, since this would allow them to speed toward anything which was intent on making it through any gaps which opened up in the defences whilst the short-range dogfighters were doing their thing. So the MiG-29/35's design is part of a combined operational strategy. 

 

 

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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5 minutes ago, Chock said:

...although keep in mind that the DCS MiG-29, Su27 and Su33 are all about the same price as that FreeFlyStd MiG-29's sale price, so if you want to actually shoot stuff in a MiG or Sukhoi, DCS is an alternative which will let you do that for a similar price.

...once one has purchased DCS of course.. 😉

 

EDIT - I thought the free DCS was only for a month... I sit corrected! 😄

Edited by HighBypass

Mark Robinson

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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Mark:

Thank you! Yes, during my post, I'd actually come across the MiG-29, from the MS co-founder, being on sale, but, frankly,  Alan's suggestion to, consider, instead, the "heavily discounted" FlyFreeStd version better suited my (MiG) budget...🙂...

 

Alan:

Great supplementary details and notes...! Thanks...!

"...the DCS ones require you to spend a bit of time tuning your flight controls and learning some keyboard shortcuts because of the lack of cockpit clicking in these particular DCS add-ons..", interesting...!

And, regarding the MiG-35, I just also read that, "Mikoyan first officially presented the MiG-35 internationally during the 2007 Aero India air show..". Also, interesting.....considering, you'd made a reference, earlier, to the need for an English language version cockpit, for the MiG-29...!

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Amazing Shots...What a Colorful/Different Livery also!!

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Patrick

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A fine looking version.  My first view of the Mig 29 was at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage.  'Detente' was fairly new but this Mig was on a goodwill tour and stopped for rest and fuel.  Our FAA approach control was still on the ground floor of EDF tower so we could take the elevator up and see the Mig.  Most surprising was how small it was alongside the F4 which was the resident fighter at that time.

Edited by olderndirt
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Patrick, Oldern, Doering, Daedalus:

Greatly appreciated the additional comments and, and, also, glad, you liked the this $10 MiG...🙂...!

I initially thought this colorful livery must be a "fictitious" one, on the typical "stern" looking MiG....🙂...before I discovered it was a "RW" paint...And, of course, it's an amazing coincidence, too, that one of us, here, had actually a chance to see this particular MiG...(while it was on its goodwill tour in the U.S.)...!!

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