At the Sokol airbase you can learn more about the history of aircraft industry and the history of the MiG-29 specifically. It is one of the most advanced fighter jets in the World and it is equipped with the gas-turbine jet engine, also it has a superior power/weight ratio, excellent aerodynamics and a wide view from the cabin that guarantees the unforgettable impressive views for the tourist.
The MiG-29 (NATO code "Fulcrum") is one of the most advanced combat airplanes in the Russian Air Force representing the 4th generation jet fighter aircraft. It was designed for gaining air superiority for the Soviet Union during the early 80s. It became the first aircraft in the world, of it’s class, that combined unsurpassed efficiency in agility (dog-fights) and the ability to attack using middle and short range missiles. While the MiG-29 was only designed, numerous modification capabilities for aircraft’s improvement were built into its initial structure which made it possible to modify and add a large number of changes, enhancing an already impressive and powerful fighter jet.
The Fulcrum, or MiG-29, is probably the most well-known fighter jet amongst military officers. It is one of the most advanced airplanes in the world, it has turbojet engines, possesses a superior ratio of power over mass coupled with excellent aerodynamics and a wonderful wide view from the cockpit. It is equipped with two RD-33 turbofan engines and it is the world's first aircraft fitted with dual-mode air intakes. This means that during its flight, air is fed directly into the engines; but while moving on the ground, the air intakes are closed and the air is fed through the upper surface of the wing to prevent the ingestion of foreign objects (rubbish and debris) from the runway. All these characteristics make the aircraft the most effective in any aerial combat. The basic version of the MiG-29 aircraft is made for destroying attacks using missiles and built-in guns against all types of air targets in fair and adverse weather conditions, in look-up and look-down situations including jamming conditions. This aircraft is capable of destroying ground targets using rockets within the pilot’s field of vision. To prepare and train MiG-29 pilots the MiG-29UB two-seat combat trainer was developed and since 1985, mass-produced on the template of the one-seated combat fighter. Airborne radar is not installed in it and it provides simulation mode in order to practice the use of deploying missiles with radar homing heads. The MiG-29 is about the same in size as the American F-16 and F/A-18 fighters and they share similar combat specifications.
The MiG-29 Fulcrum has become the favorite jet fighter in the Russian Air Forces with different modified versions currently operating in more than 25 countries around the world (such as Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and many others). In most of these countries, it has become the main choice of a light front-line fighter for their respective national air forces.
There are several current MiG-29 upgrade programs in operation conducted by the Russian Air Force which include: upgrading the avionics suite to comply with NATO / ICAO standards; extension of the aircraft service life for extra 4,000 flight hours (40 years); upgrading combat capabilities and reliability and safety enhancements.
In 2005 the Russian Aircraft Corporation "MiG" started the production of the new unified family of multi-role 4th generation fighters which include: the aircraft-carrier based MiG-29K, the front-line MiG-29M and the MiG-35 fighters. Please click here to read more about the brand-new unified family of fighters and the MiG-29 upgrade programs.