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bop1701

Flogger Maneuverablility

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I think the ThirdWire sim is fantastic - recently upgraded to SF2.  But one thing I've been curious about for years:  the MiG-23's turning ability in both SF1 and SF2.

I like to think I've read a lot about mil aviation, especially Cold War era aircraft.  The Flogger didn't have a great reputation.  See "Red Eagles" by Davies, among other works.  Fast, very fast.  But a twitchy bird with poor handling in many flight regimes.  I'm lucky enough to have a friend who flew F-4's in the 70's and 80's, and flew against MiG's at various Red Flag exercises.  I've spoken to him about it, and he's said it was a early attempt at a BVR  fighter; a hit and run slashing bird, not a turning knife fight machine.   But in both SF1 and 2, it's there, turning like a pro.  Not really complaining as I like the knife fight, but I'm curious since so much effort was made for realism.  Any comments from the brain trust would be appreciated.

Thanks

B

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AI flight models weren't always tweaked as well as they could have been, but a MiG-23 should more or less turn like an F-4, particularly at typical Mach 0.5 to Mach 0.9 dogfight speeds with the wings in the middle position. The final MLD variant was improved much like the slatted F-4E. The MLD was modestly superior to the slatted F-4E in maneuverability and way ahead in specific excess power (i.e. climb/acceleration). In that form, it wouldn't be too bad. Good enough to fight F-15s WVR.

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11 hours ago, bop1701 said:

I think the ThirdWire sim is fantastic - recently upgraded to SF2.  But one thing I've been curious about for years:  the MiG-23's turning ability in both SF1 and SF2.

I like to think I've read a lot about mil aviation, especially Cold War era aircraft.  The Flogger didn't have a great reputation.  See "Red Eagles" by Davies, among other works.  Fast, very fast.  But a twitchy bird with poor handling in many flight regimes.  I'm lucky enough to have a friend who flew F-4's in the 70's and 80's, and flew against MiG's at various Red Flag exercises.  I've spoken to him about it, and he's said it was a early attempt at a BVR  fighter; a hit and run slashing bird, not a turning knife fight machine.   But in both SF1 and 2, it's there, turning like a pro.  Not really complaining as I like the knife fight, but I'm curious since so much effort was made for realism.  Any comments from the brain trust would be appreciated.

Thanks

B

Try these:

https://combatace.com/files/file/16990-sf2-cold-war-prop-and-flogger-fm-tweaks/

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The overall design shows that initially it was built mostly for PVO needs, which means that the aircraft should take off, guided by GCI stations accelerating and climbing very fast reaching the intercept area in short time and then use BVR missiles to attack the target. Later versions (ML, MLA, MLD) were more maneuverable but still inferior to F-15, F-16. 

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11 hours ago, bop1701 said:

I think the ThirdWire sim is fantastic - recently upgraded to SF2.  But one thing I've been curious about for years:  the MiG-23's turning ability in both SF1 and SF2.

 

Very difficult to summarise such a complicated subject.

The Red Eagles flew a Gen 1 MiG-23 or the MiG-21MS (Flogger E) which was a terrible export version of the MiG-23MF but was still very fast in a straight line.

The Gen 2 MiG-23s (mainly MiG-23ML/MLA/MLD ) had a few improvements to make them a bit better in a turn fight. Looking at a recent analysis of the ML flight manual (the lightest) it had a better turn at slow speeds (rate and radius) with the wings out.............but at typical fighting speeds was closer to the F-4E etc. At higher speeds turn performance using traditional metrics puts it around the F-4E and others of the 3rd gen era.  Accel and climb put on par with F-4E Block 41  but the ML seems to be slightly better than its contemporaries in the oblique plane.

 

 

 

 

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The main problem with MiG-23 was, that this plane had always to flown with continous autopilot support. Without support the plane became dangerous for the own pilot very quick. This happend with MiG-23MS in Nellis. The egyptians sold only the planes, but not the documentations. So the US pilots tried to fly the MiG-23MS usually without autopilot support, which caused some crashes.

The autopilot systems of the MiG-23 were improved very much during the times. The first generation autopilots were operating often to slow. This caused dangerous flight incidents. In the LSK (East German Air Force) the MiG-23BN had had such first gen autopilots. IIRC nearly all MiG-23BN which we lost, crashed because the autopilot failed. The MiG-23MF autopilot was much better but the plane was still a pure interceptor with outstanding acceleration and poor agility. The MiG-23ML had a much improved autopilot, was much lighter and stronger. While the MF was limited by 7g, the ML was limited by 8.5 g. The best agility the plane got with the "unofficial" swing wing position of 30°, not 45 as officially demanded. With this wing setting the plane was able to do a 360° turn in less than 22 seconds (or was it 23 seconds?). The MLD had a further improved autopilot and the dogtooth on fixed wing, which improved the agility even more.

In 1990 the USAF recieved a gift by the german government. It were nearly all MiG-23ML of the LSK and the complete documentation. The planes were used in Nellis and afterwards the complaining about the MiG-23 stopped.

MiG-23ML at Ramstein AFB shortly before handed over to the americans.

5debbbcc55692_letzterGangMiG-23MLinRamstein.jpg.df48a81d811313b91b52cdc9d45ecfd8.jpg

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I never cared for the MiG-23 very much. The MiG-21 was generally better for WVR fighting and the MiG-23's BVR capability was limited to two missiles that were roughly AIM-7F equivalent (for reference, Israel was very disappointed with the AIM-7F). However, the radar was pretty cool, and if you are a Phantom Phanatic like myself, this is the Soviet equivalent to the F-4E, minus one engine, 2 SARH missiles, and one crew member. If a MiG-21 and an F-4 had a baby, this plane would be it. After flying the SF series for so many years and having extensively researched and flown all of the Soviet aircraft available for it, the MiG-21 remains my favorite, but the MiG-23 is a close 2nd place. I love flying the MLD, which strongly resembles a MiG-21bis with decent radar and even more power. I can't wait for RAZBAM's MiG-23 for DCS World. It won't be an MLD, but it is being modeled after a Cuban MLA. It should be the best the MiG-23 has ever been modeled in a combat flight sim. I can't wait!

Edited by streakeagle

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ML / MLA

There were only about 200 ML aircraft .. still with old gunsight and R-23 missiles.

Then came the MLA .. (1100+ aircraft .. cant recall exact #) with better radar, new gunsight and R-24 missiles. And it was this MLA of which export variants were sold to all the many export customers .. Cuba/Angola, Iraq, Syria, NK, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and others.

The Russians seem to have never changed public info to "MLA", they continued to use the "ML" designation .. and thats why the many exported aircraft are usually referred to as "ML" when they really are a improved MLA variant.

Iraq received one of the last produced MLA batches in '84.

The further improved MLD were all (and only) modifications from RuAF MLA's. None of the original ML's were modified.

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