THE MIG-21 “FISHBED”
A light-weight, single-engine fighter, the MiG-21 was used in Viet Nam and against Coaltition forces during the Gulf War. The MiG-21 entered service in 1959. Nearly 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21 and the jet still services many nations more than a half-century after its inaugural flight.
Capable of speeds in excess of Mach 2, this multi-role fighter is known as a Russian test pilot’s first love. The aircraft’s simple controls, weapons, engine and avionics are typical of Soviet-era military designs. Although technologically inferior to more advanced fighters, the MiG-21’s low production and maintenance costs made it a favorite of nations buying Eastern Bloc military hardware.
This supersonic fighter jet is the most produced fighter jet in aviation history. The MiG-21 is not currently available for civilian flights in Russia, but several are now flying under private ownership in the US. In the US, FAA regulations prohibited selling rides in the MiG-21.
The single-engine fighter once provided a “value option” for those unable to afford the cost of flying the twin-engine MiG-29. The only drawback to the MiG-21 is its cockpit size. The jet was not built for “super-sized” passengers and has stricter height and weight restrictions than the newer MiG-29.