The MiG 21 is a true legend in the world of aircraft industry. At our airbase you can experience that which no-one has been able to before. The MiG 21 is Russia's most outstanding second generation jet fighter of the 60s and 70s. This fighter jet is constructed according to normal aerodynamic design with triangular low-set wings and arrow shaped fins.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21 (NATO codename "Fishbed") is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed and built by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed "balalaika", from the aircraft's plan view resemblance to the famous Russian musical stringed instrument. Early versions are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters. Some 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG 21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter has the distinction of holding a number of modern aviation records; it was the most produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history, the most produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of any combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 including all marks).
The MiG-21 jet fighter was a continuation of Soviet jet fighters, starting with the subsonic MiG-15, MiG-17, and the supersonic MiG-19. A number of experimental Mach 2 Soviet designs were based on nose intakes with either swept-back wings, such as the Sukhoi Su-7, or tailed deltas, of which the MiG-21 has been the most successful.
The delta wing, while excellent for a fast-climbing interceptor, meant any form of aerobatic combat led to a rapid loss of speed. However, the light loading of the aircraft meant that a climb rate of 235 m/s (46,250 ft/min) was possible with a combat-loaded MiG 21 Bis... not far short of the performance of the later F-16A. Given a skilled pilot and capable missiles, it gave a good account of itself against contemporary fighters. It was replaced by the newer variable-geometry MiG-23 and MiG-27 for ground support duties. However, not until the MiG-29 Fulcrum would the Soviet Union ultimately replace the MiG 21 as a maneuvering dogfighter, to counter new American air superiority types.
The MiG-21 was widely exported and continues to be used well past the time where it should have been considered obsolete. The aircraft's simple controls, engine, weapons, and avionics were typical of Soviet-era military designs. While technologically inferior to the more advanced fighters it often faced, low production and maintenance costs made it a favorite of nations buying Eastern Bloc military hardware. Several Russian, Israeli and Romanian firms have started to offer upgrade packages to MiG 21 operators, designed to bring the aircraft up to modern standards, with greatly upgraded avionics and armaments.
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