A look back at the MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-2 1 is one of the world’s best known and most used interceptors and its operational career on the front line was exceptionally long. The project of the MiG-21, who was born in part from the experience in combat of the MiG-15 during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, also emerged from studies conducted by engineers at MiG in the field of combat aircraft to high performance. A formal request was clarified in the Soviet Union in 1953 – 1954 for the creation of an interceptor equipped with various capabilities that fly above Mach 1. This specification was ambitious at the time and MiG replied with two different prototypes. One was with a heavy arrow in wing and the other wing of a conventional delta with specified stabilizer. This aircraft, which was originally designated Ye-4 made its first flight in June 1955. At that time, many studies focused on the materials used on aircraft capable of flying at supersonic as well as reactors light enough and powerful enough to provide the thrust necessary to reach supersonic flight. This research led to the development of other planes including the Ye-5, which made its first flight in 1956 and was the forerunner of the family MiG-2 1. Its development gave the Ye-6, actually the type of pre-production of the MiG-2 1, which made its first flight in the first half of 1958. The first real MiG-21 series was the MiG-21F curiously called “Fishbed” in NATO code. The first deliveries to the army took place late 1958, early 1959 for operational evaluation and commissioning in the Soviet air force, officially entering the aircraft in service in its version of MiG-21F-13 (Fishbed-C) in the early 1960s. This was the starting point for many types of aircrafts Mig 21 for the Soviet Union and many export markets. The MiG-21 remains one of the best successes of the Russian air force.