MiG-21 versus Mirage III/IAI Kfir and F-4

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Profile picture for user alfakilo

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11 years 8 months

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dont you think that claiming such bs like "engine running extremely hot and reaching critical temperature in engine bay" in the first place was doubled with another one "thus energizing the fire alarm system and ? What does the fire alarm system have to do with engine running hot, when its principle of work is based on the detection of electric conductivity in the flame burning in the air of the engine bay?

That paragraph reads just fine to me. A false fire indication isn't something unusual, and their response to such a warning is exactly correct.

That paragraph doesn't try to link the fire warning to the high temp...it says just the opposite.

You said, "giving false alarms what plagued the whole Mig fleet". The wording in my book is different. The "fleet" refers to MiG-23 since the engine in question is the R-29. You have misrepresented the author.

well, who to blame then? Hopefully I made that clear in my first reply. I do understand the book wasnt about tech stuff, but rather about colorful stories of US jocks flying soviet Migs, but with all respect after reading such arguments I was not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Blame? I don't see what you are talking about.

As the quote in the book suggests, there is nothing unusual about "problem children"...we call them "hangar queens".

This one jet seemed to have a problem. After several attempts to fix the original equipment, they replaced the system with a US system. US fire detect systems operate in a similar way. Once done, problem went away.

That happens with US aircraft as well.

I think you are seeing controversy where none exists.

...at the end you`ll agree that the book is full of nonreasonable stuff which needs further explanation what is polite atleast to say.

Nope. Don't agree with that at all.

Maintenance issues was not the point of the book. You seem to understand that.

The book was written to cast light upon a program that had been shrouded in security to the point where even mentioning the subject might have drawn criticism. Even for those of us who were involved with the program, most details were deliberately left classified. It is an excellent book and covers many of the questions that we had often wondered about. Perhaps it was written too much for a pilot's point of view.

It certainly wasn't written for your point of view.

Profile picture for user alfakilo

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Lastly...since you quoted a former Red Eagles pilot in your post, here is the end of what that pilot had to say. He nailed it then and his words are just as true today.

Read the book and look for the “big picture” and don’t necessarily try to break out the individual pixels that make up that picture. Steve’s book has gotten me back in touch with some friends from that time that I had lost track of and for that alone, I am grateful. I think Steve did a good job with the book. All of the guys that I have spoken with feel the same. I never thought I’d enjoy reading anything about that program but I did, and I learned some things I didn't know before. The bottom line is that in the roughly 10 years the program was in existence, we flew over 15,000 MiG sorties and trained almost 6000 US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corp pilots. I know of no other country that accomplished anything remotely similar.

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That paragraph reads just fine to me. A false fire indication isn't something unusual, and their response to such a warning is exactly correct.

you are misunderstanding, I had no objection on their response taken.

That paragraph doesn't try to link the fire warning to the high temp...it says just the opposite.

No, it links them together, read again
because the R-29A ran extremely hot, the fleet was plagued by false alarms when the temperature sensors in the engine bay of the gangly jet reach a critical temperature , thus energizing fire warning lights in the cockpit
, perhaps you have the second edition where author made some corrections.

You said, "giving false alarms what plagued the whole Mig fleet". The wording in my book is different. The "fleet" refers to MiG-23 since the engine in question is the R-29. You have misrepresented the author.
Again you are misunderstanding, I was talking Mig-23 fleet only.

Blame? I don't see what you are talking about.
As the quote in the book suggests, there is nothing unusual about "problem children"...we call them "hangar queens".

Without having read Ted`s reply you would not be sure what was going on there. I made it easy for you, did I?

This one jet seemed to have a problem. After several attempts to fix the original equipment, they replaced the system with a US system. US fire detect systems operate in a similar way. Once done, problem went away.

Ted explained that quickly, whereas in the book was written the "whole fleet was plagued". I wonder what would you say if I never posted link to Ted`s answers.


I think you are seeing controversy where none exists. Nope. Don't agree with that at all. Maintenance issues was not the point of the book. You seem to understand that.

Ahh, there are many. I remember they were complaining about the system measuring fuel consumption in the Mig-23 when filling it with 400liters of kerosine. Well, the aircraft had its emergency reserve red light on when 600liters was left in the main fuel tank.:D The contradiction above is just top of the iceberg, but if you are unwilling to see them, the end of the world is not going to happen.

Maintenance issues was not the point of the book. You seem to understand that.

I think the book RED EAGLES about evaluating soviet Migs in USA was predetermined in order to deal with both. It is sad, bcs maintainability and maintenance are of interest not only to the military tech stuff but also hundred of aviation enthusiast reading forums around the world.

Perhaps it was written too much for a pilot's point of view.It certainly wasn't written for your point of view.

I agree
Profile picture for user alfakilo

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you are misunderstanding, I had no objection on their response taken.

I'm not misunderstanding anything.

You described the book's discussion of the MiG-23 fire warnings as "bs"...and then, in effect, asked what I thought about that.

I do not agree with your characterization of the book wording as "bs". That's what I think about that.

No, it links them together, read again...
because the R-29A ran extremely hot, the fleet was plagued by false alarms when the temperature sensors in the engine bay of the gangly jet reach a critical temperature , thus energizing fire warning lights in the cockpit
, perhaps you have the second edition where author made some corrections.

No, I have the first edition.

You are making a mistake with how English is constructed. This wording says that false alarms were set off when the engine ran hot.

But you asked "What does the fire alarm system have to do with engine running hot...", and the answer is nothing. That isn't what the book wording is saying. In fact, the wording is saying just the opposite...the high temp caused the alarm, not vice versa.

Again you are misunderstanding, I was talking Mig-23 fleet only.

Your words were "the whole Mig fleet". In this context, that means MiG-17, 21, and 23.

Was this my misunderstanding or your incorrect language?

Ted explained that quickly, whereas in the book was written the "whole fleet was plagued". I wonder what would you say if I never posted link to Ted`s answers.

More problems with English. It was clear that the book was referring to the MiG-23s only.

I think the book RED EAGLES about evaluating soviet Migs in USA was predetermined in order to deal with both. It is sad, bcs maintainability and maintenance are of interest not only to the military tech stuff but also hundred of aviation enthusiast reading forums around the world.

"Predetermined"?

Yep...I definitely think there are some predetermined attitudes on display here.

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Yep, I`ve made my mistake asking you what do you think about it in the first place, but what the heck you asked for it. Unbelievable, you and your talent twisting words upside down are definitely not worth this place, you should be able to get hired somewhere else. Sheer lunacy on display for all to see. Best wishes, no more replying to you.:eek:

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Ah, Levsha, Levsha, do you have any clue what is written on those pages, not sure why pointed out both, when only the first one is describing mishaps and crashes of all Mig-23(U, BN, MF, ML) in former Czechoslovakia. You can count 9 crashes within 25 years of service, just three of them due to a/c malfunction. Does it speak for poor safety record of Mig-23 at all? Try to do some comparison with the Red Eagle praised Mig-21.:rolleyes:

Ah, martinez, martinez, where did I say that both web pages was just one long list of MiG crashes?:confused: Even I would not try to say that the MiG-23 was that bad!;) The crash list is under "Bilance provozu" (I did use Google Translater) - 10 MiGs were wrote off in service. 5 pilots, in all, died flying the MiG-23. 2 planes were lost in a collision, 2 were wrote off without any attempt to repair them.
Is that a bad record?
Well, martinez, the main reason why I also posted the second page of the article is because it both completes the list of all MiG-23s which have served in the Czechoslovak air force, but also it gives a figure on the number of hours flown "nalet" by each aircraft. It would appear that each MiG-23 flew an average of around 90 hours a year during the cold war and that most of the aircraft had flown over 1000 hours at least. Total flying time of the MiG-23 type in Czechoslovak service would be around 80,000 hours - but feel free to provide a more accurate figure!:)
That would give an aircraft loss of 1 for every 10,000 hours or so?:confused: It's certainly a lot better than the Indian AF record, who have lost dozens of MiG-23s and MiG-27s in the last 30 years.

But!

Compare all of the above with the Royal Danish air forces experiences flying the F-16 since 1980, only 2 or 3 years after the Czechoslovak AF began flying the MiG-23. By 2009 the RDAF had completed 250,000 hours on the F-16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/62389760@N06/6777949777/

Here is a record of RDAF F-16 losses: http://f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-16/mishaps-and-accidents/airforce/RDAF/1/ Only 2 RDAF pilots have ever died flying the F-16 (in a collision). 4 were lost in collisions, 1 was lost to a lightning strike, 4 or 5 were lost to mechanical failure.

Is the MiG-23 three times more dangerous and unreliable than the F-16?

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I don't think that anybody is pretending that the MiG-23 has an exemplary safety record, but is it WORSE than the MiG-21 (which is what the original claim effectively was)? Might want to ask India about that aspect of the Fishbed ;)

The MiG-23 (or is it just the 'BN') flew 154,000 hours in IAF service.
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200903061558.htm

http://www.warbirdsofindia.com/Crashes/crpage.php?qacid=61&qafdb=IAF&datesall=ON
33 MiG-23 losses.

http://www.warbirdsofindia.com/Crashes/crpage.php?qacid=66&qafdb=IAF&datesall=ON
32 MiG-27 losses (but only till 2008).

I can't imagine the MiG-21 has a worse record than above?

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Even though the MiG-23 and MiG-25 used different engines I always felt they were the Soviet equivalents to F-16 and F-15. I'm not convinced an upgraded MiG-23 isn't relevant today. I'm surprised they sent the MiG-23 airframes to the scrap heap so quickly after the Cold War ended. HMS aimed Archers and a pair of AMRAAMSKIs mated to a modern radar and a better engine.

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Some people are not looking into important details about that.
Since the 70s we can see a constant drop in fighter-losses per year for every 10.000 flown of each type. Just the technical related ones are comparable in a statistic about that. Politics aside that trend is to see with Eastern and Western fighters. What was a normal attrition rate in 70s was no longer accepted in the 80s a.s.o..
In that book it was claimed that the early MiG-23MS/BN were more difficult to master than the MiG-21 or MiG-17. At least with limited knowledge the USA had about that weapon-systems during that time-scale in general. Maybe not important enough to divert more intel for that. Mainly by Vietnam the USA learned a lot about the own shortcomings in fighter training. Here the book shows a way it was overcome by the introduction with real dissimilar training. The SU learned of that and introduced something similar. All the details still claimed classified in that book about the Russian fighters have nothing to do with the national security any longer. Such details may reveal the lack of knowledge about those weapon-systems to some degree and by that the shortcomings of the people responsible for intel work still alive. I got the impression that the USA had/has no intrest to give all informations to ordinary pilots in general, even when they are time-limited secrets at best. ;)

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The SU learned of that and introduced something similar.

Maybe someone here can provide some info about that.

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I will translate it one of these days, keep meaning to do it.

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No doubt that the quality of the maintenance and inspection cycles played a huge role in improving numbers. That and engines are much more automated today, saving themselves from self destruction in most cases.

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The SU learned of that and introduced something similar.

From the info now provided in this thread, we see that the SU air force did indeed attempt to improve their air combat training in light of what the US was doing.

However, the info only shows that the improvement was to form training squadrons made up of Soviet aircraft...this corresponds to the US Aggressor squadrons that at the time were flying F-5Es. The Aggressor program was not classified and operated in the open. There were Aggressor squadrons based in England and the Philippines as well.

Unfortunately, the new info doesn't say anything about a SU equivalent of the Red Eagles, where the unit would be flying US or western aircraft such as the F-4, F-14, or Mirage (for that time period).

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Most of that testing was done in Achtubinsk at the Volga River.
Google 48°18'43'' N and 46°13'51'' E

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhtubinsk

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9_%D0%BB%D1%91%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE-%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%BF%D1%8B%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9_%D1%86%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%82%D1%80_%D0%9C%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B0_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%8B_%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8_%D0%92._%D0%9F._%D0%A7%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0

http://www.niivvs.narod.ru/

In SU times it was a closed area. By the way the SU was less intrested into the flying capabilities of foreign fighters. Getting hands on a foreign radar-set or avionics was of much greater intrest. Every war in Central Europe would be short in their planning and the own tactical airforce was just an auxiliary force in that. Their main intrest was to give the own fighter a "shoting/hitting" capability or at least their sniper pilots.

For the USA it was the capability to fight air-forces all over the world equipped with Russian fighters and trained by them, when the Russians had nothing similar to that. You can guess about the reason for that. There was never a shortage of foreign F-5s, Mirage, F-4s, F-14s a.s.o. to have such a unit.