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.
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.
A Fishbed-F taking-off with the assistance of JATO rockets.
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 Mongol-B tandem two-seater embodies some of the refinements introduced by later Fishbeds.
The initial training variant, the Mongol-A being an adaptation of the Fishbed-C with the enlarged mainwheels first employed by the Fishbed-D.