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.
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.
To summarize: ‘Murica
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.
LOL! Delusional guy. :-)
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!
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.
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.
The Luftwaffe Fulcrums were export models but were at least better than those sold to Arab countries.
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?
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.
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”.