Friday, July 01, 2005

Did You Know...

The 46th Paris Air Show, “Bourget 2005” ended not long ago. It reminds me of a great fighter aircraft which I guess not many people know about it because when talk about aircrafts with my friends, they will only tell me F-16, F-18, Eurofighter… Hence, I decided to have this post to provide an avenue about records breaking combat aircraft – Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25.

The MiG-25 was the Soviet answer to the US bomber B-70. It is an interceptor aircraft for countering air targets in all weather conditions, by day and by night, and in dense hostile electronic warfare environments. It is produced by RSK MiG which is based in Moscow and Sokol Aircraft Manufacturing Plant Joint Stock Company at Nizhni Novgorod in Russia.

"At 70,000 feet we reach Mach 2.5 and are still climbing. The sky has turned a very deep blue and the Earth below is distinctly curved. At 80,000 feet, the sky is cold black and a translucent-blue hue hangs over the curvature. By God, that is the entirety of the atmosphere, I think. I'm astonished by its thinness." – Writer and professional adventurer James M. Clash, Forbes Magazine.

On August 31, 1977, the MiG-25 set a record by reaching speed of Mach 3.2 (3,390km/h or 2,110mph) at 13,000m (42,650 feet). The MiG-25 also holds a record of absolute altitude, reached the altitude of 37,650m (123,524 feet). In order for you to get an idea about the performance of the MiG-25, let’s compare it to other modern combat aircrafts.

Eurofighter Typhoon
Max speed: Mach 2 at 11,000m
Ceiling: 18,290m (60,000 feet)

Dassault Rafale
Max speed: Mach 2 at 11,000m
Ceiling: 19,810m (65,000 feet)

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
Max speed: Mach 2.05 at 12,190m
Ceiling: >15,000m (50,000 feet)

Mc Donnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Max speed: Mach 2.5 at 10,975m
Ceiling: 30,840m (100,000 feet)

Finally, I would like to end this post by introducing the 2 fighter jets that are in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

The MiG-29 Fulcrum was designed to be a single-seat supersonic, all-weather, air superiority fighter. The mission of the MiG-29 is to destroy hostile air targets within radar coverage limits and to destroy ground targets using unguided weapons in visual flight conditions. The MiG-29 is internationally recognised as a high-performance combat aircraft, and has often been compared to the F-16.

The F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, single-seat (A, C and E models) or two-seat (B, D and F models), twin-engine, all weather, night, combined fighter/attacker aircraft and can be refueled in flight. The F/A-18 is able to do various missions: air superiority, reconnaissance, suppression of enemy air defenses, fighter escort, air support, and day/night missions. It can operate from either land bases or aircraft carriers.



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