Tag Archives: Mikoyan MiG-29

Impressive video: Syria flexes muscles with live firing exercise including Mig-29s, Mig-23s, Mig-21s, Su-24s and gunship helicopters

The recent downing of a Turkish RF-4E (provided it was really gunned down or shot down with a SAM and it did not crash because of a technical failure) is just the most evident sign of the Syrian military capabilities.

Indeed, even if they were not used much since the beginning of the uprising last year, most probably to prevent the enforcement of a No Fly Zone (as well as defections by experienced pilots), aircraft of all types belonging to the Syrian Arab Air Force put in place an authentic show of force during recent drills that included live firing activity.

Footages of the Syrian planes at work are quite rare, as the secrecy maintained by the Syrian regime in regard to its military is very high.

That’s why the following video showing Mig-21s, Mig-23s and also, Mig-29s and Su-24s firing rockets and dropping bombs in the desert, along with Mi-25s, Mi-17s and Gazelle operating at low altitude and firing at mock targets is particularly interesting.

Although the footage does not help to judge the actual strength of the Syrian Air Force, it shows that Assad’s armed forces are still alive and kicking, and most probably capable to pose a threat to the surrounding nations.

Mig-29 crashes during Bulgarian – US Air Force exercise: a dramatic photo sequence shows the mishap

On Apr. 26, 2012, a Bulgarian MiG-29UB (“11” white), involved in the Thracian Star 2012 exercise with the U.S. Air Force F-16s from Aviano, crashed into a river between the southern villages of Tsarimir and Golyam Chardak near Plovdiv, in Bulgaria.

The two pilots, Maj. Doychinov and Capt. Metodiev, ejected safely from the aircraft, and no victims or injured have been reported on the ground.

A photographer, Stoian Stoianov, caught the entire scene on photographs that were posted on a Bulgarian website.

All images: Stoian Stoianov via Pan.bg

Did you know Saab J35 Drakens could perform the "Cobra" maneuver?

The Sukhoi Su-27 became famous all around the world for doing an aerobatic maneuver, named after the Soviet test pilot Viktor Pugachev, who performed it publicly in 1989 at the Paris Le Bourget air show: the “Pugachev’s Cobra” (or simply “Cobra”).

In a Cobra, the plane suddenly raises the nose to the veritical position (or beyond) before dropping it back to the normal flight, maintaining more or less the same altitude through the entire maneuver.

Image credit: Wiki

The Cobra, that can be somehow useful during a dogfight to suddenly slow down the speed (more or less as Maverick does in Top Gun movie), is not only performed by the Su-27 and subsequent variants: even the Mig-29 and the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor are capable to perform such maneuver, with the latter highly facilitated by thrust vectoring engines.

Actually not only modern thrust vectoring or canard control surfaces give a plane the pitch control authority required to perform the Cobra. Indeed, quite surprisingly, even the Saab J35 Draken, a fighter plane manufactured in the ’50s (and retired from active service in 2005)  could be perform the Cobra as the following video (that has been around for a few years but was revived on FB lately) shows:

Most modern planes with thrust vectoring are capable to perform an even more effective and spectacular maneuver: the Kulbit.

Some (rusty) Iranian Mig-29s on display at Tabriz airbase in new images released by IRNA news agency

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) has just released some quite interesting pictures of an exhibition of IRIAF planes and equipment that took place at Tabriz, in northwest of Iran.

Among the images made public by the news agency, some depict some (quite “rusty”, or at least dirty) Mig-29s, along with F-5Es and “Saeqeh” (Thunder) an indigenously modified version of the American F-5 Tiger, whose twin tails and blue colour are loosely reminiscent of the Blue Angels.

Generally speaking, the flying F-14s and F-4s recently exposed in the Russian Knights pictures taken during the return trip of the team from Bahrain International Air Show seemed to be in better conditions than these Mig-29s: at least one of the Fulcrum on display is unserviceable (it lacks both engines).

Image credit: IRNA news agency