Tag Archives: Mikoyan MiG-29

All the pros and cons of Poznan Aerofestival 2016 airshow in Poland

Last weekend we have attended the second edition of the Poznan Aerofestival air show. And here’s a report.

After the last year’s moderate fiasco, with numerous organizational problems, many people were highly skeptical that the Aeropact company, collaborating with Poznan International Fair, would be able to tackle the challenge of organizing an international air show at a normally operating airport.


The ticket prices were lowered, in comparison with the last year’s event and this, supposedly, was to attract the disappointed audience, which had lost its trust in the Poznan show.

The organizers planned to squeeze the dynamic show in 720 minutes: the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, long before the show, issued several arrangements, according to which three blocks of flying were to be expected, with landings of the airliners between the display time slots.


The flight display was quite impressive, with the F-16 fighter jets dominating it.

Notably, the F-16 Falcon jet of the Polish Air Force attended the static display: this is an interesting highlight, since for the first time in 10 years of operational use of the jet, the fighter made a full-stop landing at Poznan-Ławica International Airport, arriving for the show.


The Viper’s maneuverability was widely demonstrated by several solo display team, including the Polish Tiger Demo Team, Belgian Air Component Solo Display and Soloturk, that operated from the Krzesiny Air Base, due to the maintenance requirements of the airframes.

Most probably, the logistical side of the air show was also easier to handle, having a fully operational F-16 base at hand.


When it comes to the Falcon demos, they were entirely different. The Turkish one seemed to be the most dynamic, since it had quite a flat profile, throughout most of its length. It also featured many flares. The Polish Tiger team, on the other hand, has shown more of the F-16’s power and spatial capabilities.

Additionally, looking at the Polish Air Force’s participation in the dynamic part of the show, one of the highlights was the Su-22 Role Demo Team, with the Fitters wearing the new, gray camouflage scheme.

Obviously, the Su-22’s display was not nearly as spectacular, especially when compared to the Falcon.

The Polish Air Force has also sent F-16, CASA C-295M, W3-R Sokół and M-28 Bryza aircraft, all of which formed the modest static display at the Aerofestival Air Show, together with Viggen and Saab 105 of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight team (both of which also flew dynamic displays).

A few sentences should be written about the Viggen too. The jet gave a spectacular demonstration of its capabilities exhibiting its capacity to astonish; even though it is a historic aircraft, the raw power and noise made by the Volvo RM8 engine constitute a great highlight, that needs to be witnessed for appreciation.



Also from Scandinavia, the Grumman Ag-Cat Bi-Plane of the Scandinavian Airshow team performed a poetic and romantic display made even more interesting by the smoke coming out from the airplane, in red and white colors, corresponding with the Polish national colors. The smoke gave an impressionist appearance to the spectacular show formed by the great piloting skills exhibited by Jacob Hollander.

Another highlight of the show was the TS-11 Iskra display, with the Iskra coming from the Polish Air Force Academy. This aircraft, usually flown in a formation demonstration by the White-Red Sparks aerobatic team of the Polish Air Force, performed a solo display, handled by Sławomir Hetman.

The Polish Air Force also sent its Orlik Team to Poznan that was also stationed at the Krzesiny airbase.


The show also featured historic aircraft, including Yak-3 or Texan Trainer, both of which constituted an interesting added value, that contributed to the variety of the show.

When it comes to the aerobatic teams, the Aerofestival featured several smaller teams flying propeller driven aircraft, such as 3 AT-3 or The Victors, as well as the Baltic Bees Jet Team, showing some new formations and new flying programme which was premiered at Ławica.

Notably, the Żelazny Aerobatic Team, formed by Extra 330LC and Zlin aerobatic airframes, along with Fox sailplane, also took part in the dynamic display over Poznan.

When it comes to the show schedule, the only highly anticipated highlight that missed the event was the MiG-15, which could not attend the Aerofestival, due to the technical problems.

The organizers have solved most of the issues that occurred during the first edition of the show and added numerous highlights, including the fighter jets demonstration teams. The show announcer was also well prepared and provided substantial information to the spectators, without making any errors.

The only deficiency this year is the fact that the static display was quite modest.

Moreover, the air show was blessed with good weather.

If the tendency we have witnessed at Poznan is maintained, the organization continues to improve and the flying program becomes more attractive year by year, Aerofestival may become an important point on the European air show map.


Image Credit: Jacek Siminski
Orlik Team Image Credit: Agata Olech-Świadek (spfl.pl)

Watch the shock wave move on the wing of MiG-29 Fulcrum as it breaks the sound barrier

This video shows the shock wave of a MiG-29 Fulcrum flying past Mach 1.0 during an Edge of Space flight.

The following was shot by famous aviation video producer Artur Sarkysian for MigFlug, a company that offers fighter jet flying experiences during a Edge of Space mission with their MiG-29 Fulcrum.

Sarkysian attached 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.

One of these cameras caught the shock wave on the Fulcrum’s wing as the aircraft thundered past Mach 1.0.

The pressure wave is visible in the form of a line that moves over the right wing of the MiG-29 until it disappears behind the aircraft:  when an aircraft passes through the air it creates a series of pressure waves around it similar to the bow and stern waves created by a boat on the water. These waves travel at the speed of sound. As the speed of the aircraft increases, the waves are forced together, or compressed, because they cannot get out of the way of each other. Eventually they merge into a single shock wave, which travels at the speed of sound.

Beware: as mentioned on the Youtube page, the readings of speed on the video are not completely reliable as they are taken by the GoPro camera and not fed by the aircraft instruments. Anyway, at 40.000 feet Mach 1.0 equates to a CAS of 312 kts and a TAS of 573 kts, hence not too far from the IAS calculated by the device.

The characteristic “sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound.







Here’s the schedule of the Polish Air Force domestic training exercises this year

2016 Domestic Training Schedule For The Polish Air Force

As the Polska Zbrojna outlet reports, a few days ago, General Mirosław Różański has presented the domestic training exercises schedule of the Polish Air Force.

The plan covers year 2016, preceding the major Anakonda-16 exercise.

The operations have a joint character and they will, besides the air force, involve land forces, Polish Navy and the special operations component of the Polish Army.

The main goal of the events  is to prepare the Polish Air Force units for the Anakonda-16 exercise which is going to be the largest, international training initiative organized within the territory of Poland this year – involving almost 30 thousand soldiers in total.

“Raróg” series exercise, organized by the 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing from Krzesiny, planned between Apr. 25 and Apr. 29 is the first out of the planned operations.

The goal of this event, as Polska Zbrojna reports, quoting Col. Piotr Próchniak of the 2nd Wing, is to verify the level of logistical and command and combat components readiness of the soldiers and equipment which is expected to be involved in the operations carried out by the NATO Response Force.

The exercise is to involve 450 soldiers, hailing many from the Polish Łask and Krzesiny bases. The assumption is that the aviators, within the scenario, operate over a foreign land, on a 24 hours/day basis.

The pilots will fly intercept, air-to-air combat, ground attack and close air support sorties. F-16 jets are going to play the role of own forces, acting against the enemy simulated by MiG-29, Su-22 and Casa C-295M aircraft.

1st Tactical Aviation Wing, as Polska Zbrojna claims, is getting ready for a large “Kondor-16” operation which is going to be realized both at the base of the unit, as well as within the Ustka and Nadarzyce ranges.

Besides the elements of the 1st Wing, Polish 21st and 22nd Airbases, 12th Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Base (Mirosławiec), Special Forces JTAC component, 6th Airborne Brigade Reconnaissance Platoon and chemical elements are also going to be involved in the exercise.

Several MiG-29 and Su-22 fighters are going to stay in the air simultaneously during the operation, realizing bombing runs and rocket attacks against ground targets.

The chemical units will also be trained within the scope of decontamination of the aircraft, realized in case of a potential chemical warfare attack. It is also assumed that ground airbase defensive operation is  going to be a part of the exercise too.

Moreover, 4th Training Aviation Wing of the Polish Air Force is going to carry out the Halny-16 operation, a command staff exercise. The main aim of the operation is to prepare the participants to plan reconnaissance sorties and quick deployment of the air assets, in a way which would allow the combat aviation units to use the Dęblin airbase, usually dedicated to training purposes.

All of the above events may be interpreted as a prelude to the Anakonda-16, one of the NATO initiatives undertaken in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, the aim of which is to reinforce the alliance’s eastern flank.

The said exercise is going to involve more than 25,000 soldiers: 12,000 troops will be provided by Poland and 10,000 troops will be deployed from the USA. The remaining troops are going to come from other NATO member states and partner nations, as Głos Wielkopolski, quoting Lt. Col. Szczepan Głuszczak, spokesperson for the Polish General Command of the Armed Forces, reports.

According to Głos Wielkopolski, the operation planned to take place between Jun. 7 and 17 is going to involve, among other units, the Krzesiny and Powidz airbases, the involvement of which is going to be visible to a large extent.

The aviation assets will be used to conduct airborne operations and reception of the allied forces.

Anakonda-16 scenario is going to assume a hybrid conflict takes place. Civilian crisis management centers and reserve component of the Polish Army are also going to make their contributions to the undertaken operational activities.

The Air Force is probably also going to take part in some operations abroad, such as the NATO Tiger Meet or Frisian Flag exercises, usually attended by the Polish aviation assets. The above outline refers solely to the domestic operational activities with focus placed on the Air Force operations.

Image Credit: Jacek Siminski

Do you notice anything weird in this cool shot of a Mig-29 rolling above Russian aircraft carrier?

That’s a weird place to install a (handheld) GPS device.

The image in this post was published by the official Twitter account of the Russian «Strizhi» (Swifts) aerial display team.

The team fly 6 Mig-29 Fulcrum jets painted in the typical white, red and dark blue color scheme and they are part of the “Kubinka Diamond,” the Russian Air Force display team made of five  Su-27 Flankers of the “Russian Knights” and the four Fulcrums of the “Swifts.”

The photograph, most probably taken with a GoPro-like camera shows one of the team’s Migs rolling above the Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. But what is really interesting is the somehow unusual use of a GPS device just below the HUD (Head Up Display) of the aircraft.

Actually, it’s not the position of the GPS to be surprising, as some second-generation Mig-29s carry that system in the same place, but the fact that the device installed in the cockpit of the Swifts Fulcrum seems to be a handheld device (you may see the small antenna on the right).

Mig-29 Swifts on Kuznetsov

Image credit: Strizhi



How two F/A-18s brought their pilots home after colliding mid-air during air combat training

The risky business of being an adversary pilot.

Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) is one of the most important parts in the training of modern fighter pilots. At the same time, an air combat maneuvering (ACM) session, where friendly and (simulated) enemy fighters fly against each other, can be one of the most dangerous training environment.

Although quite rarely, mid-air collisions do occur, sometimes with fatal results.

The evidence DACT can be quite dangerous is in the following photos, taken after a mid air occurred on Apr. 22, 1996 between two F/A-18As (BuNo. 162454 and BuNo. 162475) from VFC-12 Fighting Omars.

The two Hornets, along with another F/A-18, were playing the MiG-29 role during a Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP) sortie. Flown by the Flight Lead LCDR Greg “Stubby” Stubbs and his two wingmen, LCDR Greg “G.I” Anderson and LCDR Cal Worthington, the three F/A-18s engaged two VF-41 F-14s that were escorting an EA-6B Prowler.

Almost immediately the two Tomcats scored two kills with simulated missile shots at eight miles out against LCDR Stubbs and against LCDR Anderson.

The three Hornets remained in formation together until the merge point (where friendly fighters meet enemy fighters) and following the rules of engagement the two “MiGs” killed by simulated shots, executed aileron rolls to give the students a visual indication of which Bandits were killed and which one they should attack.

It was in the middle of the second aileron roll that Stubbs and Anderson collided, as explained by LCDR Stubbs himself to Rick Llinares and Chuck Lloyd for their book Adversary: America’s Aggressor Fighter Squadrons.

The nose of the Hornet flown by Anderson ripped through Stubbs F/A-18’s left wing and clipped off half of the vertical tail, while Anderson Hornet’s nose cone along with his canopy and his drop tank were lost. One of his engines was damaged as well.

The “Knock it off” (the signal given by the pilots to stop a training air engagement) of the furball was called and someone said on the radio that a mid-air had occurred. LCDR Worthington called Stubbs asking him if he could control his F/A-18. Stubbs applied right stick, right rudder and started pulling the power back a little bit and the nose came up. He answered to Worthington “yeah, I have it.” In the meantime also Anderson called to say he was fine, even if the sound of the wind filled his radio communications.

F/A-18A 1

Both the damaged Hornets headed towards the coastline, with Stubbs assisted by Worthington, while the F-14s were trying to communicate with Anderson. Since the Tomcats weren’t able to contact LCDR Anderson because of a radio problem, Stubbs said to Worthington that he had to join up with Anderson since he was facing more serious problems: in fact Anderson had lost his probes during the collision and his airspeed and altitude indicators didn’t work.

Even though the Coast Guard station in Elizabeth City was the nearest airfield, it lacked an arresting cable system and so Stubbs and Anderson decided to go to Oceana. Not only did the aircraft configuration make a standard approach almost impossible, but Stubbs also discovered that his Hornet entered in dangerous left rolls if the speed descended below 200 knots. So the long runway and the arresting cable system available at NAS Oceana were the best option for them.


After consulting with a McDonnel Douglas representative Stubbs decided to land without lowering his remaining flap. Two more Hornets, flown by LCDR Bertran and Bowman, joined up with him while he was preparing to lower his landing gear.

The damaged Hornet touched the runway at 200 knots, a speed that exceeded both the arresting gear engagement speed limit (175 knots) and the speed limit beyond which the hook might be ripped off (182 knots).

Few moments later also Anderson came to landing: his F/A-18 had lost the whole canopy aft of the windscreen (hence the sound of the wind that filled his radio communications) and wires were flapping out of the nose, beating against the side of the jet, but he was able to safely land.

midair 2

After two months, both pilots returned to flight status. Among the lessons learned in the mishap there was the need to put more emphasis on how pilots have to come out from the merge during the pre-flight briefing.

Conversely this accident was a significant testament to the sturdiness of the F/A-18: in fact although both the fighters were written off, the two Hornets were able to bring back home their pilots safely even after sustaining huge damages shown in the photos above.

Image credit: U.S. Navy via aircraftresourcecenter.com