MIG-21F (Fishbed-C) - (scan - 1996)
The museum's MiG-21 is a real mystery ship--The USAF gave it to NASM in
1991, but they won't say where they got it! Some writing in arabic was
found behind the ejection seat, providing a clue as to its origins.
Developed on basis of experience of air combat in Korea and
eventually became most widely used fighter in the world. Initial production
version, MiG-21F, Fishbed-A, built only in limited numbers. First series
aircraft, -21F, Fishbed-C, was clear-weather fighter with IR air-to-air homing
missiles. Some of more important variants--Fishbed D through N--as follows:
The MiG 21 was the most widely-used fighter aircraft of its time;
remained in front-line service into 1980s.
MiG-21 PF: limited all-weather version of F
Fishbed-E: similar to C with provisions for underbelly gun pack housing 2 23
MiG-21 FL: export version of late model MiG-21 PF series
MiG-21PFM: Fishbed-F, incorporated all improvements introduced on PF and PFS
Fishbed G; experimental STOL version of PFM with 2 vertically mounted lift
engines in lengthened center section
MiG-21 PFMA, Fishbed-J: multi-role version basically similar to PFM
MiG-21M: similar to PFMA with internal gun pack
MiG-21R: Fishbed-H, tactical recce version basically similar to PFMA but
with more powerful and lighter Tumansky R-13-300 engine, entered service
Soviet AF 1970
MiG-21RF: Fishbed-H, tactical reconnaissance version of MF
MiG-21SMT; Fishbed-K, similar to MF but with more fuel and ECM capability
MiG-21bis: Fishbed-L, third-generation multi-role air combat/ground attack
version with updated avionics and improved construction standards
MiG-21bis: Fishbed-N, advanced version of L, standard equipment of Soviet
Air Force for several years
Mig-21U (Mongol): 2-seat training version
MiG-21US Mongol-B: 2-seat trainer counterpart of MF. Versions of MF,
especially prepared for record breaking established max level speed of M =
2.1, and max low-level speed of M = 1.06.
Click on the picture to get a full-screen, high-res photo!