Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MiG-21PF Fishbed-D

MiG-21 on display at Dayton, 2012
MiG-21 on display in the NMUSAF's Cold War Gallery

While the first MiG-21s were basically short-range day fighters, it was obvious that the threat posed by Western types demanded a more capable counter, this leading to the second generation of Fishbeds. The MiG-21PF ("Perekhvatchik Forsirovannyy" or "Interceptor, Improved") had the R-11F2-300 engine, and most had the RP-21 Sapfir (NATO "Spin Scan") radar. This was housed in an enlarged inlet cone, which dictated an enlargement of the forward fuselage. The Fishbed-D was the first MiG-21 to have a large dorsal spine, this being quite wide just aft of the cockpit, but becoming narrower towards the base of the tail. The speedbrake was reduced in size, and antenna for the Odd Rods IFF system was fitted.

Productions MiG-21PFs were preceded by the Ye-7/1 prototype of 1958, which retained the MiG-21F's powerplant, and a small number of MiG-21P service test aircraft.

The internal cannon was deleted, leaving the only armament as a pair of AA-2 Atoll or AA-1 Akalai AAMs carried underwing, although the later MiG-21PFS (also designated by NATO as Fishbed-D) could carry a GP-9 gun pod under the fuselage.

The MiG-21FL export version, built under license in India, had the R-11F-300 engine and the R-2L radar set.

MiG-21PF walk around photos

Article and plans for a Rapier-powered free-flight MiG-21PFM/bis model

Fishbed-D (ex Hungarian AF) on display at Pima

A very nice selection of Hungarian MiG-21 photos, among other types

The Academy 1/48 scale MiG-21PF

Another Academy Fishbed-D, this time finished as a NVAF aircraft 

MiG-21 Bibliography:

John W.R. Taylor "Modern Soviet Aircraft No.8: The MiG-21 Mystery" Air Pictorial December 1962  p.384-385. Includes a 3-view profile.

1/48 scale Fishbed-D plans, with fuselage cross sections and markings detail. Aeromodeller October 1966

"Egypt: An Air Power in Transition"  Air International April 1982. Includes a photo of a camouflaged Egytpian MiG-21PFS.

Photo: "No. 30 Squadron Indian Air Force Disbands"  Air Forces Monthly February 2003  p.14. Camouflaged MiG-21FL.

The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft  p.293: color photo of an Indian AF MiG-21FL of No.8 Squadron

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