Created By: Wings of Eagles Discovery Center
Type: All Weather Fighter-Interceptor (former Soviet aircraft)
Wingspan: 23'6" Length: 51'9" Height: 15'9"
Gross Weight: 18,080 pounds
Power Plant: One Tumansky R-11F2-300, 13,492 lbs of thrust
Maximum Speed: 1,300 mph
Service Ceiling: 60,058'
Range: 400 miles
The MiG-21F (Mikoyan--Gurevich-21F) was originally designed to be a short-range day fighter-interceptor. It was the first major production version of the popular MiG-21 series. The E-50 prototype of the MiG-21 was first flown in 1955, and made its first public appearance during the Soviet Aviation Day display at Moscow's Tushino Airport in June 1956. Its original purpose was to be an air-to-air missile platform to defend the Soviet Union from the United States intercontinental bombers like the B-36, B-52 and B-58. Later versions added capabilities such as radar and guns.
More than 30 countries, including nations friendly to the United States, have flown the MiG-21. At least 20 versions of the MiG-21 have been produced, some outside the former Soviet Union. Estimates place the number built at more than 8,000, a production total exceeding that of any other modern jet aircraft.
In the spring of 1966 the North Vietnamese Air Force (VPAF) began flying the MiG-21 where it quickly proved to be a worthy opponent of the USAF's F-4 Phantom. Even so, between April 26, 1965 and January 8, 1973, USAF F-4s and B-52s downed 68 Mig-21s.
The aircraft on display is a MiG-21PFM. PFM: P=radar equipped interceptor, F= afterburner, M = modified for export. It was built in the Soviet Union and flown by the Polish Air Force. It was purchased (along with a MiG 17) from Poland by Wings of Eagles Discovery Center (WEDC) Member Jon Blanchette, who donated it to WEDC in return for hangar space to restore the MiG-17 to flight status, an event which happened during the summer of 2008.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Wings of Eagles Discovery Center: Outdoor Aircraft Walking Tour