This New Video Shows What It’s Like to Fly to the Stratosphere at Supersonic Speed in a Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum

Sep 12 2016 - 22 Comments

Here’s what it’s like to prepare and fly to the Edge of Space in a MiG-29 Fulcrum.

The following footage was shot by famous aviation video producer Artur Sarkysian for MigFlug, the company that offers fighter jet flying experiences to their customers. Among them, the Edge of Space mission takes people who want to experience a kind of flying reserved to fighter pilots (or, in same cases, astronauts), with their MiG-29 Fulcrum.

According to MigFlug, the Edge of Space Flight – or Stratosphere Flight – has several unique features unavailable elsewhere:

– It’s the only possibility for everyone to break the sound barrier
– Supersonic flying with a top speed up to MACH 1.9
Altitude up to 20km/65,000ft altitude
– Aerobatics with G-Forces up to over 9g (!)

Noteworthy, the MiG-29UB climbs to such altitudes with a climb at the maximum speed in a huge parabola that helps “overshooting” the service ceiling of the famous famous Soviet-era jet (still serving in Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Poland, Syria and Iran, among the others).

Although the flight gives also “backseaters” the opportunity to control the aircraft, the experience does not only include the supersonic zoom to the limit of the stratosphere, as customers are introduced to the mission on the ground, provided the required briefing and flight gear, and then filmed during the sortie with various cameras.

For instance, the video below shows the flight as well as the preparation to it of Canadian Ferrari racecar driver, Ferrari club president and entrepreneur Josh Cartu.

If you don’t want to see the ground part, including the preparation for the flight, skip to min. 04.00.

The flying segment of the video was shot by Artur Sarkysian, a famous aviation video producer who attached a GoPro cameras to the two-seater Mig-29UB’s outer surfaces in such a way they could withstand speed up to 2450 km/h and a load factor of 9g!

Interestingly, in a clip we have published recently, the cameras even caught the shock wave on the Fulcrum’s wing as the aircraft thundered past Mach 1.0.

 

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  • leroy

    RAC-MiG must be really desperate for money. Pity that they now only good for carnival rides.

  • Tomcat

    Do I see loose debris in the cockpit at 5:38?

    • Mani

      Yes, looked like the plastic piece for adjusting a strap like on his GoPro mount.

  • Pepe Le Cox

    what an experience! good video!

  • Marco

    Nice jet, it amassed its a number of combat scars.
    The MiG-29 in its basic versions is a simple jet fighter. Over the world it amassed a limited action, limited meaning time in combat compared to Western F-16s, F/A-18, Tornadoes. However it is a highly diversified combat action, with several different users, often with limited support from other assets and limited logistics. When I visited Moscow, I remember its raw finishing in its basic versions. They were hand painted and the cockpit is indeed badly outdated. Due to its roghness, it is one of my favorites, I wish a better luck for these jets.

  • leroy

    You always read someone praising the glories of the MiG-29, but if my memory serves I don’t think it has much if any of a combat record. It certainly is inferior to the Typhoon, Rafale, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. It would be a duck-in-a-barrel to F-22 and F-35. So what can you say about MiG-29? Well, it was the beginning of the end for the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau. That’s its only point of notoriety. But as a fighter? It was never destined to achieve glory. All it’s good for now are joy-rides.

    • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

      “The Federation of American Scientists claims the MiG-29 is equal to, or better than the F-15C in some areas such as short aerial engagements because of the Helmet Mounted Weapons Sight (HMS) and better maneuverability at slow speeds.[89] This was demonstrated when MiG-29s of the German Air Force participated in joint DACT exercises with US fighters.[90][91] The HMS was a great help, allowing the Germans to achieve a lock on any target the pilot could see within the missile field of view, including those almost 45 degrees off boresight.”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-29

    • Pepe Le Cox

      All the operational history of the MIG-29 is based in the MIG-29B, which was the worst export version that the Soviets gave to the friendly countries (Iraq, former yugoslavia, etc), nothing more far than the MIG-29S and later versions with improved radar, SA, more range/fuel capacity, avionics and R-77 missiles

    • Mongee Phase

      You comparing Planes that have no virtually no budget, “In April 2006, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) assessed the F-22’s cost to be $361 million per aircraft, with $28 billion invested in development and testing.”
      Star wars type of technology compared to the Russians but they don’t have Unlimited money like we do. Last I heard the Russkies military budget is like 50billion a year compared to the U.S.(about 300billion) Mig-Su is cheap, simple and it works with little maintenance. The f-35 is a real drama queen.

    • Marco

      You’re missing the point. I am not going to tell you the MiG-29 or any MiG is a combat marvel. Its cockpit is messy, its finishing is rough, its sensors are suffering.
      But it is simple, mechanical, rough. Where I say simple, I not saying simple in engaging a combat aircraft, but simple as it takes off, drop some bombs and comes back.
      All of that done without much support. You think it is not much right? Well, the Western jets seems marvelous due to all the circus that supports them, directly and indirectly. The MiG pilot is just a guy who jumps in a cockpit and he is nearly on his own and his ride’s sensors.

      It is ironic the fact that you read “the MiG-29 was conceived to work closely with ground control and in big numerical superiority”, while you think Western jets under siege by tons of MiGs working with their own higher quality sensor suite to gain the upper hand. The reality that came out was the opposite. Few, scarse, lonely MiGs faced tens of Western jets which could count on the support several other assets, AWACS included.
      The MiG has no fault. Soviet/Russian military doctrines proved faulty and irrealistic. They wanted to overwhelm the West with cheap jets… their cheap jets were overwhelmed by expensive Western ones.

      I know the MiG fights alone without much support. Will it lose against NATO style cohordinated attacks? Sure as hell. Can it drop a cheap bomb against a target? Sure as hell. What else do you (Thirld World Country) need?

      What would Sudan, or South Sudan or most of those states who employ the MiGs need? a uber expensive F-16I? A bumba-rumba-jango-mango Typhoon? with all that electronics and stuff? and who you think would fix it on the ground when it gets broken? And what about if you, as per your way of dealing affairs want to go a little bit to the extra mile and lose political support of the US/West? can you fix your F-16s and Apaches? well, Venezuela and Iran had some taste of what putting Western stuff back in the air without Western support means. and that was stuff from the Seventies… Imagine a F-35…

      Libyans are putting back in the air MiG-21s and MiG-23s which did not fly for the last 15 years… that tells something about what you can do if a MiG gets broken.
      Russian stuff is junk… by Western standard. You have to hammer it back to working status… and you have to do that several times. BUT YOU CAN DO THAT.
      Western stuff simply cannot be hammered back to working status, but rather you have to spend your precious dollars and refurbish properly.

    • Marco

      ah and by the way, you may want to review your feeling about the combat efficency of Western air assets against real world enemies. Just try to figure out how much a single IS man costs to the West. Several months ago, some stats were published. according to the official Western source they were staying well below one guided bomb per single Enemy KIA. and that’s claim… imagine the truth. A conservative guess can easily say that we (the West) spend at least 1,000,000 USD to kill a single terrorist. In a real shooting war… is that affordable?

  • leroy

    Below is my favorite MiG-29 video. Oh I know it’s just an airshow, but one can clearly tell that the big, fat, heavy, dirty MiG-29 could never shake off a small and nimble F-16 even if its life depended on it. Honestly? If NATO had ever faced Russian in a shooting war (who knows, the way Russia is acting they still may), F-16 would clean any MiG-29’s clock! There is no doubt in my mind that other Western fighters would do the same. This is why MiG pretty much died as a manufacturer of marketable fighter jets:

    I know most of you have seen this, but to refresh your memory go straight to 02:44. The MiG is obviously trying, but you can see the physics involved. The -29 just is not able to shake the amazing Fighting Falcon. God what Eagle, Hornet, Typhoon or Rafale would do to it close-in! We won’t even bother discussing what its chances would be against U.S. 5th gen. At both WVR and BVR it would die an inglorious death.

    • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

      To summarize: ‘Murica

    • Pepe Le Cox
      • rats123

        Interesting but a biased point of view from an American pilot. Nonetheless he does give credit to the Mig 29 for WVR, which is what the plane was designed for.

        Soviet doctrine was always to get numbers up in the sky and close the gap for a gun fight. That’s what their fighters were designed to do. Once the gap was closed your AWACs, BVR etc, advantage is no more.

    • rats123

      LOL! Delusional guy. :-)

      http://www.16va.be/mig-29_experience.htm

      This is what an export model Mig 29 did to you beloved F-16

      “But when all that is said and done, the MiG-29 is a
      superb fighter for close-in combat, even compared with aircraft like the
      F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. This is due to the aircraft’s superb aerodynamics
      and helmet mounted sight. Inside ten nautical miles I’m hard to defeat,
      and with the IRST, helmet sight and ‘Archer’ I can’t be beaten. Period.
      Even against the latest Block 50 F-16s the MiG-29 is virtually
      invulnerable in the close-in scenario. On one occasion I remember the
      F-16s did score some kills eventually, but only after taking 18 ‘Archers’.
      We didn’t operate kill removal (forcing ‘killed’ aircraft to leave the
      fight) since they’d have got no training value, we killed them too
      quickly. (Just as we might seldom have got close-in if they used their
      AMRAAMs BVR!) They couldn’t believe it at the debrief, they got up and
      left the room!

    • David James

      Except the Mig-29 actually had HOBS at the time, so the F-16 would need to maneuver for a good shot.

      I also think SU being Putin Favorite and the success of the SU-27 airframe is why Mig is not as big now not that they make bad jets, they are first rate man.

  • FlyingBarrister

    It it always amusing to read the internet posting of armchair aviation experts that don’t even have as much as a pilot’s license. The MiG 29 was and is a pretty good jet. It had its limitations, with one being its range making it more of a defensive than offensive weapon. But it is relatively cheap to own and operate versus many other jets in the world and fairly durable, with devices such as anti-FOD doors in the intakes. With a good maintenance program it was kept serviceable by Germany, Poland, etc., but there is always the issues of parts. There was always and issue of parts availability even for client states back when the USSR existed; communism is not a system characterized by efficiency or punctuality.

    I flew a MiG 29 about 16 years ago and thought it handled pretty well. It is/was the assessment of most that it was a capable adversary for the F-18 Hornet. In fact, the East German and Polish models had HOBS systems before the US fighters did, and was part of the benchmarking used for the Super Hornet. The Fulcrums were lethal against legacy Hornets at close range. What I am saying was documented by the Discovery Wings program, see “Red October” on youtube or or a demand streaming service.

    • rats123

      The Luftwaffe Fulcrums were export models but were at least better than those sold to Arab countries.

  • sglover

    Sigh…. No mention of the price of one of these flights? I’m curious about the order of magnitude — does it cost thousands, or tens of thousands?

  • Marco

    The political inability to do so, the intrinsec unwillingness to kill who is perceived as innocent and to take losses in its ranks, let it be right or wrong, impairs any combat efficency of the West at war.

    Its military doctrines are suffering from this of the dead-less war doctrine that came out with together with the realtime war shown by CNN in 1991.

    Sorry, but the military doctrines are as much important as the tools you use probably more. As the MiG showed.

  • Holztransistor

    The pilot and tactics are important. It’s not the plane alone. The above example was from German Luftwaffe with well trained pilots.

    Off-topic note: The Russians are developing an air defense system that can be dropped in airborne operations with a parachute. That will be the next stage of “access denial”.