Air Enthusiast 1971-08
R.Braybrook - MiG-21: Air Superiority Soviet Style
The Fishbed-J, seen in service with the Czechoslovak Air Force, is the latest development in the MiG-21 series to see widespread service, and is a dual-role model embodying both structural and aerodynamic redesign.
A stage in the evolution of the MiG-21PF is illustrated by the aircraft here, presumably the Fishbed-E, with extended vertical fin accompanied by a new bullet-type parabrake housing, the latter being introduced on some late production Fishbeds-Ds.
A Fishbed-F taking-off with the assistance of JATO rockets.
The Fishbed-D, or MiG-21PF embodied a redesigned forward fuselage with enlarged air intake and fixed conical centrebody to house Spin Scan search and track radar. Other changes included enlarged mainwheels and revised canopy and aft fairing.
The accompanying drawings depict (from top to bottom) the Fishbed-C with centreline drop-tank which may be carried by all MiG-21 variants and UV-16-57 pods (containing 16 55-mm rockets) on the wings; Fishbed-D which introduced the enlarged nose, larger main undercarriage members, deepened dorsal fairing and redesigned forward speed brakes; Mongol-A which combined original intake with the larger main undercarriage members and a single centrally-mounted forward speed brake; Fishbed-E which combined repositioned para-brake with broader rudder; Fishbed-F which introduced a side-hinged canopy with fixed windscreen and quarterlights, and Mongol-B which had the broader rudder and repositioned parabrake, plus a slightly deeper dorsal fairing.
The MiG-21F alias Fishbed-C with underwing UV-16-57 rocket pods
These drawings illustrate the novel semi-encapsulated escape system used by all Fishbed fighters prior to the Fishbed-F, to protect the pilot from blast effects until the seat has slowed down under the action of a drogue chute.
The accompanying drawings depict (from top to bottom) the Fishbed-C with centreline drop-tank which may be carried by all MiG-21 variants and UV-16-57 pods (containing 16 55-mm rockets) on the wings; Fishbed-D which introduced the enlarged nose, larger main undercarriage members, deepened dorsal fairing and redesigned forward speed brakes; Mongol-A which combined original intake with the larger main undercarriage members and a single centrally-mounted forward speed brake; Fishbed-E which combined repositioned para-brake with broader rudder; Fishbed-F which introduced a side-hinged canopy with fixed windscreen and quarterlights, and Mongol-B which had the broader rudder and repositioned parabrake, plus a slightly deeper dorsal fairing.
The initial training variant, the Mongol-A being an adaptation of the Fishbed-C with the enlarged mainwheels first employed by the Fishbed-D.
The Mongol-B tandem two-seater embodies some of the refinements introduced by later Fishbeds.
The accompanying drawings depict (from top to bottom) the Fishbed-C with centreline drop-tank which may be carried by all MiG-21 variants and UV-16-57 pods (containing 16 55-mm rockets) on the wings; Fishbed-D which introduced the enlarged nose, larger main undercarriage members, deepened dorsal fairing and redesigned forward speed brakes; Mongol-A which combined original intake with the larger main undercarriage members and a single centrally-mounted forward speed brake; Fishbed-E which combined repositioned para-brake with broader rudder; Fishbed-F which introduced a side-hinged canopy with fixed windscreen and quarterlights, and Mongol-B which had the broader rudder and repositioned parabrake, plus a slightly deeper dorsal fairing.