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MIG-21PD E-7PD FISHBED-G
(Pobyomnye Dvigatyeli / Lift Jet) experimental STOL aircraft

The first experiments with aircraft of type V / STOL in America, France and especially in the UK forced the relatively conservative Soviet Unionto reconsider its position. After the introduction of the British Harriers in operational service raised the urgent task of developing effective equivalent of the aircraft. This effort resulted both in a project Yak-38, which came into squadron service, but much less known are attempts to modify existing aircraft by adding additional lift motor on the standard tables.

The first such aircraft became the MiG-21, which was in the mid-60s redesigned version of the PD. The main task was to test the chosen propulsion system for the upcoming MiG-23-01. For this purpose, he received two Kolesov RD-36-35 lift engines, located in the center of gravity. Because of this must be added an additional section behind the cockpit, bringing the total length of the aircraft to 14.1 meters. Main engine nozzle was slightly shifted forward.

Lift engines were used only during takeoff and landing, so the air inlet at the top of the nozzle as well as protect the foldable deflectors. At maximum thrust tilts the entire top cover upward and backward. The first flight took place on June 16, 1966. The improvement flight characteristics during takeoff and landing, however, was not sufficient to justify a reduction in capacity and range, and therefore the development was discontinued.

In September 1962, the design bureau OK-155 started to design the new MiG-23PD (article 92) aircraft. The development of the fighter started after the CPSU Central Committee issued a decree, under which such variants had to be considered. The Ye-7PD made its maiden flight on 16 June 1966 with test pilot PM Ostapenko. The Ye-7PD (23-31) aircraft demonstration at the Domodedovo Air Parade in 1967 was its moment of glory. The takeoff and landing device found use in the Yak-38 aircraft. After the researches were finished, the 'MiG' was given to the Airplane Design Department of the Moscow Aviation Institute as an educational aid.

The aircraft was powered by the RD-36-35 lift engines and by the R21F-300 and R27F-300 power jet engines. The MiG-21 PFS was modified into the experimental Ye-7PD to test the engines. In addition to the main engine R-13F-300 aircraft was equipped with two lift engines RD-36-35 with a thrust of 2350 kg, which were placed behind the cockpit in the center of mass of the aircraft. To accommodate the lifting engines was made 900 mm extended insertion section. Air supply was carried through the air intake rising. Since the aircraft was only supposed to investigate the landing modes, the landing gear was non-retractable. The fuselage became 900 mm longer to house the two jet lift engines mounted after the cockpit.

In September 1962, after the cessation of work on the E-8, the OKB-155 started to design a new aircraft, which later became widely known under the designation MiG-23PD. Officially, the development of tactical fighter-interceptor MiG-23 started in accordance with the decision of the CC CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers on December 3, 1963 document instructed to consider options for the aircraft to lift engines and marching RD36-35 R21F-R27F-300 and 300, as well as "a piloted version of the aircraft with variable sweep wings."

The plane was supposed to be equipped with the weapon system S-23, which included a radar sight "Sapphire 23", IR sensor[teplopelengator - English Russian French heat direction finde] TP-23, optical sight ASP-23 and medium-range air-air guided missiles K-23 and X-23 air-surface missiles with radio command guidance. In 1964, the requirements were clarifiedand decided: "The development of weapon system S-23 lead with the following additional features that greatly expands the combat capabilities of the aircraft:

  • Detection, tracking and target destruction on the earth background, including flying at low altitudes, provided an introduction to the "Sapphire-23" selection system moving targets and radar homing missiles K-23 on the principle of continuous radiation.
  • Increased noise immunity weapons systems through the use of continuous-wave and infra-red channel.
  • Nonsynchronous aiming when firing unguided rockets with "Sapphire 23".
  • Overview of the Earth's surface by special radar mode for navigation and approach.
  • Joint pilot display on the reflective glass optical sight with radar, optical and infrared techniques.
  • MiG-23 engine build with R27F-300 (8500 kg thrust) instead R21F-300 and two lift engines. In this embodiment, the take-off and landing distance is reduced to 250-300 m with the ability to use unpaved airfields with soil strength of 5 kg/cm2."

The future MiG-23 was flying at a speed of up to 2700 km / h. Like the MiG-21PFM the gun armament was located in pod. The development of small-sized, with an extremely high power density motors lifting RD36-35 engaged in Rybinsk in 1962 on its own initiative. Installing them on the aircraft allowed in 2.4-4.0 reduction in the take-off and landing distance. Apparently, this circumstance was decisive when deciding on the establishment of aircraft short takeoff and landing, but as to who owned the idea, history is silent. The same method was applied in OKB-51 PO Sukhoi, developing the T-6 attack aircraft.

For working the RD36-35 lift engines and verification of the proposed concept of the future MiG-23 (article 23-01), a MiG-21PFS was modified as the E-7PD (article 23-31). For this the fuselage was lengthened by 900 mm, cockpit for setting a pair of lifting turbojet thrust of 2350 kgf. The air was fed to the engine via shutters opened on takeoff and landing. Despite the extension of the fuselage, the machine had significantly limited supply of fuel, due to which the flight would not exceed 15-17 minutes. The fuselage had fixed landing gear, as the studies were carried out at low speeds, typical of takeoff and landing. The bottom surface of the fuselage at the location of the additional propulsion were shutters, deflecting gas jets at angles from five degrees to the front, to ten at the back.

The first flight of the E-7PD piloted PM Ostapenko took place June 16, 1966 was then connected to the test BF Orlov and AV Fedotov. "Taking off and landing on the machine" - said BA Orlov - "were uneasy, with exhaust jet engines lifting from the earth spreading to the sides, creating a suction effect under the wing With the speed change and the influence of the height of the gas jets affected in different ways and on the lift of the aircraft, and its stability and controllability. If take-off problems were less, only a small rebalancing at a fixed control handle, which parry after the separation is not difficult, then landing this "leak" is further evoked vigorous reduction of the machine and the same braking. Therefore, immediately before the landing had to increase the traction of the main engine to "MAXIMUM" and sometimes even included Fast and the Furious."

MiG-23PD first flew under the control of PM Ostapenko, April 3, 1967 was a leading engineer for machine VM Timofeev. Like the E-7PD, the aircraft "23-01" was shown at the air show in Domodedovo in 1967. The high point of the aircraft "23-31" was the demonstration at the air show in Domodedovo in 1967, visual effect, of course, was great. By that time it was tested in full swing completely different plane - with variable geometry wing, but retained the designation predecessor. The research landing gear was used on the Yak-38 vertical take-off and landing. "MiG" after the completion of the research was transferred to the department of aircraft of the Moscow Aviation Institute, where it was used as a teaching tool.

Modification MiG-21PD
Wingspan, m 7.15 - 7.2m
Length m 14.10 - 14.7m
Height, m 4.71 - 5.15m
Wing area, m2 23.00 - 28.9m2
normal takeoff weight: 8200kg
engine's type
march 1 turbojet R-13-300
lifting 2 TRD RD-36-35
Thrust, kgf
march 1 x 6490
lift 2 x 2350
Maximum speed km / h 1300
Practical range, km 1050
Practical ceiling, m 16500
weaponsno
Crew 1









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Page last modified: 03-10-2016 17:21:53 ZULU