Hobby Master HA0104 German Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MF "Fishbed" Fighter - JG-1, December 1990 (1:72 Scale)
"By powerful artillery fire, air strikes, and a wave of attacking tanks, we're supposed to swiftly crush the enemy."
- Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov
The MiG-21 saw frequent action in the Vietnam War and was one of the most advanced aircraft at the time. However, many North Vietnamese aces preferred flying the MiG-17, due to the high wing loading on the MiG-21's. With high wing loading, the MiG-21 was not as agile or manueverable as the MiG-17. Employing a delta wing configuration, it was the first successful Soviet aircraft combining fighter and interceptor in a single aircraft. It was a lightweight fighter, achieving Mach 2 speed using a relatively low-powered afterburning turbojet, and is thus comparable to the American F-104 Starfighter and French Dassault Mirage III.
It was also used extensively in the Middle East conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s, by the air forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq against Israel. The plane was outclassed by the more modern F-15 Eagle (designed primarily to combat the Soviet MiG-25 "Foxbat"), which was acquired by Israel in the 1970s. The Indian Air Force has been one of the largest users of this plane after it was used in the 1971 war with good results. The war also witnessed the first supersonic air combat in the subcontinent when a MiG-21 shot down a F-104 Starfighter. It was also used as late as 1999 in the Kargil War with mixed results, and employed during the early stages of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but was soon outclassed by the newer MiG-23 and MiG-27.
Due to the lack of available information, early details of the MiG-21 were often confused with those of the similar Sukhoi fighters also under development. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1960-1961 describes the "Fishbed" as a Sukhoi design, and uses an illustration of the Su-9 "Fishpot."
This particular 1:72 scale MiG-21MF served with the German Luftwaffe's JG-1 Squadron in December 1990.
Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 3.75 inches
Release Date: November 2006
Historical Account: "Devil's Transgressions" - The East German Air Force, part of the National Peoples Army of the German Democratic Republic, ceased to exist on October 3rd, 1990, the date of the official German reunification.
The "National Volksarmee" used to be amongst the better armed forces of the Warsaw Pact. Its personnel was very well trained, motivated and compensated. The equipment was rather old and mostly outdated, but relatively well-maintained. That didn't help much when the new owners, the West Germans, came and basically dismantled, destroyed, or sold most of the East German material. Only a few aircraft were taken over by the Luftwaffe; mainly transport airplanes and helicopters of the Mi-2 and Mi-8 type. The MiG-29 was the only fighter to be taken over by the West Germans, largely due to its capabilities. It now is the most maneuverable fighter in the Luftwaffe's arsenal and will be until the full deployment of the Eurofighter 2000.
The East German Air Force was entirely organized by Soviet standards which should have been very helpful when flying with the Russians in exercises. The truth was East German pilots never spoke to Russian controllers, except for those very few occasions when they were scheduled to land at one of their airports.
To home their skills, they sometimes flew against each other in exercises, blue against red. Unfortunately, the average East German pilot didn't speak Russian making communications very difficult. The ones that did speak reasonable Russian had taken courses at the Russian Air Force Academy in Moscow so that they could become squadron or wing commanders. They routinely did the communicating between the Russian Command and the German troops, which, naturally enough, led to an arcane system of close cooperation between supposed allies.