German Ikoyan MiG-29a ( Fulcrum )

Walter Colvin

Showlow, United States

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German Ikoyan MiG-29 ( Fulcrum ). 3d fine art render Post work with photoshop.
Model by Lockon.

The Mikoyan MiG-29. NATO reporting name: “Fulcrum”) is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the German Ikoyan MiG-29 in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other nations. The NATO name "" was sometimes unofficially used by Soviet pilots in service.

The MiG-29, along with the Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new American fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Armament for the MiG-29 includes a single GSh-30-1 30 mm cannon in the port wing root. This originally had a 150-round magazine, which was reduced to 100 rounds in later variants. Original production MiG-29B aircraft cannot fire the cannon when carrying a centerline fuel tank as it blocks the shell ejection port. This issue was corrected in the MiG-29S and later versions. Three pylons are provided under each wing (four in some variants), for a total of six (or eight). The inboard pylons can carry either a 1,150 litre (300 US gal) fuel tank, one Vympel R-27 (AA-10 “Alamo”) medium-range air-to-air missile, or unguided bombs or rockets. Some Soviet aircraft could carry a single nuclear bomb on the port inboard station. The outer pylons usually carry R-73 (AA-11 “Archer”) dogfight missiles, although some users still retain the older R-60 (AA-8 “Aphid”). A single 1,500-litre (400 US gal) tank can be fitted to the centerline, between the engines, for ferry flights, but this position is not used for combat stores. The original MiG-29B can carry general-purpose bombs and unguided rocket pods, but not precision-guided munitions. Upgraded models have provision for laser-guided and electro-optical bombs, as well as air-to-surface missiles.

The MiG-29 was designed as a replacement for the MiG-21, MiG-23, Su-15 and Su-17 fighters. While its overall appearance is similar to that of the American F/A-18 Hornet, the MiG-29 incorporates much larger and deeper leading-edge root extensions (LERX) for good maneuverability at high angles of attack. A series of auxiliary intakes are mounted on the upper surface of the LERXs allowing the engines to draw in air when the two main inlets are closed. These features are used during ground taxiing to prevent debris from being sucked into the engines. The large nose of the MiG-29 houses a single-seat cockpit for the pilot as well as a large pulse-Doppler look-down/shoot-down radar, laser rangefinder, infrared seeker/tracker system, and a helmet-mounted target-designation system. Though initial production models were not equipped with a fly-by-wire control system, the MiG-29 Fulcrum has shown exceptional agility that has earned great admiration in the West.
The MiG-29S model was upgraded with new avionics moved to the upper part of an enlarged fuselage. This modification allows a greater fuel capacity. One of the most advanced variants is the MiG-29M that includes a fly-by-wire control system and a more advanced HUD plus glass-cockpit displays. This model also disposes of the auxiliary engine intakes on the earlier models to make room for additional fuel, short range being the primary disadvantage of initial variants.

The Soviet Navy also considered deploying the MiG-29 aboard its Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier, and a navalized MiG-29K was developed and tested. However, the Su-33 was eventually chosen instead. India, however, has purchased a variant of the MiG-29K to be carried aboard a former Russian aircraft carrier being converted for the Indian Navy.

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