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Old 26th July 2009, 18:14   #16
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Jimmy, Nice report! Do they come in Biege interiors ? The one I came closest to was a model at SSPMS ground Pune, and a crashed one MIG in Viman Nagar Pune.
It would be nice to have a comparo between the 21 and the Su.
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Old 26th July 2009, 23:06   #17
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Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
Nice review, did you fly one of these yourself?

Just a few corrections -- the MiG-21 was not a dedicated interceptor. It was multi-role, aerial combat as well as interception. No chance it was built to take on the U-2, because it had its maiden flight BEFORE the U-2. The MiG-25 Foxbat, on the other hand, was built with the sole purpose of intercepting the U-2.

Also, not all Western fighter aircraft have the F prefix. It is only for operational USAF fighter planes. RAF/European aircraft have different nomenclatures. F replaced the WWII P, which stood for Pursuit. Like the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang.
The Devil's in the small print, sir! I mentioned 'like' the U-2. If I am not wrong the whole idea was to execute the 'Zoom climb' to exceed the service ceiling of the MiG and get to the U-2. Of course there are various versions of what really happened to poor Gary Powers and why he was shot down, including one which said that the altimeters were fiddled with to over read and hence he was actually flying much lower. That of course would be the US version - they wouldn't like to admit that they underestimated Soviet capability. Most probable cause would be the SA-2 or what is called the Dvina. If you are in Delhi you will come across some of them strategically located on a few lawns!

As regards the MiG 21 not being a 'dedicated interceptor' - the trick is in 'designed as'! Multi role is what it became eventually. I would go so far as to say that the 'true' multi role fighters only came about much later with the likes of the F 16, 15, Tornado and the like. In fact the Tornado had the 'badging' MRCA for Multi Role Combat Aircraft. One of the reasons why the MiG 21 is maligned is the fact that a basic interceptor design was being made to perform low speed combat roles necessitated by its now 'multi role' tag! A contemporary of the MiG 21 was the F 104 - also given the sobriquet of 'widow maker' especially in the Luftwaffe - it was notorious for having 'the gliding characteristics of a brick.' Another high altitude interceptor gone bad due to it's employment.

True, the usage of the word 'West' to imply the US was loose. The US has a strong influence on us - what was that line? - 'If the US sneezes, the world catches a cold!' Not really going back to WW II - hence even my numbering of the MiGs stopped at 15. It should technically go back to 1939 when the first MiG-1 came out.

PS. I did fly a couple of MiG-21 variants.

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Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Jimmy, Nice report! Do they come in Biege interiors ? The one I came closest to was a model at SSPMS ground Pune, and a crashed one MIG in Viman Nagar Pune.
It would be nice to have a comparo between the 21 and the Su.
I think they did come in beige - OK I am not really sure - most common are the ones as depicted i.e green and of course standard grey.
Su is a very general term. The closest Su you should compare with would be the Su-7. The Su-9 looked pretty similar though! Talking of the Su-9, and refer Gary Powers in his U-2 above, there was a brand new Su-9 (unarmed) on it's delivery flight in the same area as the U-2. It was apparently ordered to ram the U-2 but didn't succeed!
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Old 27th July 2009, 00:13   #18
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And whats the FE? .
Jimmy, nice review. Now waiting for Su...
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Old 27th July 2009, 00:19   #19
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Really an unusual review on T-BHP and such a profound description of the Fishbeds.
My day has been made going through the thread.
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Old 27th July 2009, 00:55   #20
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Totally awesome review dude!!

this totally revived my interest in aircrafts.

btw I was wondering unlike most(all) of US planes, this one is totally manual.
so, technically our fighter pilots are more trained than theirs!
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Old 27th July 2009, 09:58   #21
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Jimmy, can you give a breif discription of the difference between teh Mig 21 BIS and the Mig 21 Bison.

AFAIK, teh Bison has BVR missiles and isreali avionics and there are some unconfirmed reports of it also being fitted out with AESA radars. Would love to have your inputs if you have had a chance to fly the bison.

Cheers
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Old 27th July 2009, 11:11   #22
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How is A. S. S of Mig 21s? How is parts cost compared to other fighters? It seems A. S. S. of Mig is not good at all in India that is why it is mostly referred as "Flying Coffins". Many of the talented Pilots died in this fighter.

EDIT: Remember "Rang De Basanti" movie.

In India technology does not advance it is stagnant at least in defence. We do not produce still any fighter when we are capable of sending satellite to space as well as Moon.

LCA is still not reality. What the hell? It is suffering due to red-tapism. We ourselves cannot produce gun similar to Bofors (Howitzer) guns. We are way short of these guns. Remember the most used artilliary in Kargil were Bofors Guns.

Last edited by anujmishra : 27th July 2009 at 11:16.
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Old 27th July 2009, 11:21   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
How is A. S. S of Mig 21s? How is parts cost compared to other fighters? It seems A. S. S. of Mig is not good at all in India that is why it is mostly referred as "Flying Coffins". Many of the talented Pilots died in this fighter.

In India technology does not advance it is stagnant at least in defence. We do not produce still any fighter when we are capable of sending satellite to space as well as Moon.

LCA is still not reality. What the hell? It is suffering due to red-tapism. We ourselves cannot produce gun similar to Bofors (Howitzer) guns. We are way short of these guns. Remember the most used artilliary in Kargil were Bofors Guns.
get your facts right dude.

LCA is undergoing operational clearance and has already flown over 1200 sorties. It has a full glass UI and composite body- state of the art in both cases. The first batch will be inducted in the IAF by early 2010 and independent observers at Aero India are already comparing it with the best 4th gen fighters out there. Upon being kitted with AESA radars, it will be comparable to any 4.5th Gen aircraft in the world today.

As per the initial requirement of the IAF, the fighter was developed to produce 6 gs and now the IAF has moved the goalposts to 9gs and hence the hunt for a more powerful engine leading to delays (last heard EADS -the people who supply engines to the Eurofighter typhoon, will be developing a new engine for the LCA)
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:59   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
How is A. S. S of Mig 21s? How is parts cost compared to other fighters? It seems A. S. S. of Mig is not good at all in India that is why it is mostly referred as "Flying Coffins". Many of the talented Pilots died in this fighter.

EDIT: Remember "Rang De Basanti" movie.

In India technology does not advance it is stagnant at least in defence. We do not produce still any fighter when we are capable of sending satellite to space as well as Moon.

LCA is still not reality. What the hell? It is suffering due to red-tapism. We ourselves cannot produce gun similar to Bofors (Howitzer) guns. We are way short of these guns. Remember the most used artilliary in Kargil were Bofors Guns.
- I presume A.S.S means 'After Sales Service' - comparing fighter aircraft to automobiles? There is a service after every flight - it is inspected, refueled and re-armed. Parts are not changed when they fail, but much before that depending on their life, in number of hours flown. In peace time flying, and for that matter in operations too, Flight Safety is paramount.
- Cost of parts are variable - they will reflect on the original cost of the aircraft. The cost of spare of a Rolls Royce will be different from that of a BMW. They may both be reliable but will be suited for the machine it is intended.
- Unless you have access to the reasons behind each and every accident of the MiG 21, you can't generalise!
- Statistically, it has been the aircraft operated in the largest numbers by our AF - the accidents would also reflect this. Over the years, Boeing 737s have had 129 accidents as against one for the Concorde. Yet more people still fly the B-737 - but the Concorde was withdrawn after that one solitary accident! Every pilot of the AF is 'talented' (sic) - and the loss of even one is a regrettable loss to the nation.
- Basing your conclusions on what is portrayed on screen is illogical! There are many in the West who still think that fakirs and elephants roam the streets of India - on the basis of movies like 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!'

- Pakistan spends close to 3.6% of their GDP on defence. We spend 2%. Would you rather our nation progress or our defence related R&D? The US spends close to 5% - their Defence expenditure is pretty close to half of our GDP. Put more money into it and we can build better LCAs faster and more Bofors too! To use your analogy, a few days back the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing - we have yet to send a man into outer space. The Russians put a satellite in space 50 years back - it took us another 20 years to use our own launch system.
- Himanshu Goswami has already commented on your LCA perceptions.
- Re: building similar guns to Bofors - self sufficiency in defence equipment is required but at what cost? Sometimes, building your own weapon system may not be advisable - why re-invent the wheel?

This thread has been played out!
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Old 29th July 2009, 00:32   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_iaf View Post
- I presume A.S.S means 'After Sales Service' - comparing fighter aircraft to automobiles?
=============
This thread has been played out!
Nice info there. I have heard that a lot of accidents in the Migs could have been avoided if we had a Jet trainer like Hawk that we are buying from UK now.

It is said that the court of inquiry into many accidents have found that most of them were caused by "human errors" and could have been avoided if the pilots were trained on a Jet trainer instead of graduating to Supersonic Migs from Kirans which barely touches 700 Kmph. I am not faulting the brave pilots here but I am sure that most of these accidents could have been avoided if the babus in the Defence Ministry hadn't taken 20+ years to decide on buying a Jet trainer.

From the info available we can assume that the accidents are probably caused by the following reasons.

1) Non-availability of a Jet trainer
2) Unavailability of quality spares since the break up of Soviet Union
3) Occasional Pilot errors

Jimmy - I have not flown a plane and I might be completely wrong here, pls feel free to correct me.
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Old 29th July 2009, 00:37   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
The MiG-25 Foxbat, on the other hand, was built with the sole purpose of intercepting the U-2.
Correct!

Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
Also, not all Western fighter aircraft have the F prefix. It is only for operational USAF fighter planes. RAF/European aircraft have different nomenclatures. F replaced the WWII P, which stood for Pursuit. Like the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang.
But they do.

F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, F-117 - current serving fighter / interceptors
A-10 - Ground Attack
P-3C - Pursuit (of submarines)
B-1, B-2, B-52 - Bombers

I think EA is for electronic warfare, K is for tanker, C is for cargo etc.
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:21   #27
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it is unfair to dub the Mig-21 a "flying-coffin" and for that i blame the media which is clueless about most things related to aviation.

The mig-21 is a fine design that does the job it was meant to do. Hundreds of airforces operate the Mig-21 variants without the kind of issues the IAF faced. The reason ofcourse is not far off. The problems in the Indian Mig-21's can in 99% of the cases be traced to the engine: an indian designed engine of the K-series, designed by GTRE in Bangalore and manufactured partly in Nashik and Kanpur. The babus in the Defence Mnistry took the decision to replace the original Russian designed engine with this "new" engine during scheduled overhauls to 1. give the GTRE a flying operational testbed for their designs and b. to keep the Russians from jacking up prices.

Though the new indian design is more fuel efficient and "advanced", and uses experience derived from the Kaveri engine, it was susceptible to a condition called flameout in certain conditions. Whatever our babus might say, it is strange coincidence indeed that all the Mig-21's that flamed out and killed our pilots had the "new" indian designed engines.

So lets not blame the Mig-21.
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:03   #28
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Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
get your facts right dude.

LCA is undergoing operational clearance and has already flown over 1200 sorties.
Yes, but at what cost and time involved in it. At the time it will get operational clearance it will be obsolete. You have already explained in your reply. LCA was about to induct into airforce way back than 2010.

Flowing 1200 sorties should have completed way back than now. I am not against of any LCA but it is question of meeting deadlines.
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:26   #29
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First up , Great Writeup and good fun to read , the rest of the posts seem to be done by reading the internet and hence spoil the initial taste of reading the review.

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Originally Posted by jimmy_iaf View Post
-
- Pakistan spends close to 3.6% of their GDP on defence. We spend 2%. Would you rather our nation progress or our defence related R&D? The US spends close to 5% - their Defence expenditure is pretty close to half of our GDP. Put more money into it and we can build better LCAs faster and more Bofors too! To use your analogy, a few days back the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing - we have yet to send a man into outer space. The Russians put a satellite in space 50 years back - it took us another 20 years to use our own launch system.

Anyways , I think it would be wrong to compare Russia with India. India is a country which is still in it's nascent stages when it comes to defence. I agree we should spend more money on defence , but it would be amazing if all Indians stopped taking bribes which would improve the country as a whole which would reduce the amount of spending the Govt has to do in feeding the needy , half of which goes into other people's pockets.

This is way of track but just felt I need to write it
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:38   #30
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Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
LCA is undergoing operational clearance and has already flown over 1200 sorties. It has a full glass UI and composite body- state of the art in both cases. The first batch will be inducted in the IAF by early 2010 .....
It's good to know that the LCA is finally nearing induction. If I remember correctly, Kota Harinarayana was one of the key architects of the project---he later retired and moved on to be the VC of Hyd Central Varsity.

BTW that was a fantastic review, Jimmy_iaf! I've been a fan of fighter planes since childhood and reading your review added a wealth of information.
I've lived close to a secret IAF base in Orissa for nearly 16 years, but could never spot any darn jet fighter. But I did have a field day to whet my appetite while on my way back from Gangtok a decade ago. While waiting for our IA flight at Bagdogra, we had a free show of a dozen MIG 21s that were involved in a practice session. I still remeber the deafening sound they made during take off and landing, and each of them was of a different colour.
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