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MiG 25, the fastest fighter jet aircraft, were developed for both interceptor and reconnaissance missions. On March 6, 1964 a MiG 25 prototype first took to the sky. In 1969 a reconnaissance MiG 25 became operational, with the interceptor following in 1972.
The MiG 25 originated in the 1960's when the Soviet Union felt that they needed a high speed, high altitude aircraft, capable of intercepting fast heavy bombers being developed by the West at that time.
In April of 1965, the Soviet Union announced that the MiG 25 prototype had set a new world's closed circuit speed record. Up until then, the aircraft project was a secret.
Although capable of high speeds and altitudes, the MiG 25 is limited by its short range with lack of in-air refueling, and a lack of maneuverability in close combat. The MiG 25 can only operate from fields with long runways. The red-line speed of the MiG 25 is limited to less than maximum to prevent engine overheating. In November 1971, a MiG 25 trying to evade pursuing enemy aircraft was clocked at speeds in excess of Mach 3.2, about 2,170 mph.
MiG 25 aircraft attempted to intercept the SR-71 Blackbird. Ground control guided the MiG 25 to their target, until the on board radar of the MiG 25 acquired it. The long rang AA-6 "Acrid" air-to-air missiles of the MiG 25 were fired at their target numerous times, never scoring a single hit. The missiles were about 19 1/2 feet long, had a 50 mile range, and used either infra-red or radar homing.
Reconnaissance MiG 25 aircraft were stationed in Egypt in 1971. Their mission was to overfly Israeli held territory in the Sinai. Israeli aircraft were unable to catch them. MiG 25 aircraft also flew reconnaissance flights over Iran.
During the 1980 to 1988 Iran - Iraq War, Iranian F-14's are confirmed to have downed two Iraq MiG 25 aircraft in air-to-air combat. Iraq claimed a total of 19 Iranian fighter aircraft downed by the MiG 25.
Between 1981 to 1983, three Syrian MiG-25 aircraft were downed by missiles fired from Israeli F-15 aircraft.
The MiG 25 saw combat during the 1990 Gulf War where it scored the only Iraqi air combat victory of the war. It shot down a F/A-18 Hornet on the first night of the war and fired missiles at other aircraft. Another MiG 25 fired 3 missiles at EF-111 electronics warfare aircraft forcing them to abort their mission. Two other MiG 25 aircraft attacked two American F-15 Eagles. F15's, the fastest U.S aircraft, evaded the MiG's missiles and then gave chase. They were joined by two additional Eagles and fired a total of ten missiles at the MiG 25 aircraft. All of the missiles fired by the Eagles missed.
In order to withstand the high heat generated by the speeds at which the MiG 25 flies, special alloys are used in the airframe and its covering. Nickle steel comprises most of the MiG 25 airframe, while the leading edges of the wings and tail are made from titanium.
Among the most distinguishable features of the MiG 25 are large engine exhausts of almost 5' diameter. The fuselage is over 78 feet long, almost 14 feet longer than the F-15. To improve low speed handling, two "fences" run the top of each MiG 25 wing surface.
The MiG 25 carries its fuel in a total of 8 tanks that occupy about 3/4 of the interior room of the aircraft. Internal fuel is about 32,000 lbs. with about an additional 9,575 lbs. carried externally.
Various versions of the MiG 25 have advanced side looking radar, and can be equipped with up to four anti-radiation missiles. Latest versions carry look-down shoot down radar, and an infrared search and track system.
Rather than solid-state electronics, vacuum tubes power the MiG 25 avionics. In extreme temperatures and nuclear radiation, these vacuum tubes have actually been proven superior to solid state technology.
The vacuum tube driven radar of the MiG 25 has been able to penetrate even modern electronic counter measure systems.
The MiG 25 was exported to Algeria,, India, Libya, Syria and Iraq. It remains in limited service in Algerian, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Syria.
A total of about 1,190 MiG 25 aircraft were built until production ended in 1984.
J.D. Enterprise MiG 25.
Pictured above is a rc MiG 25 from J. D. Enterprise. The kit is of all fiberglass construction for .65 - .91 DF engines. Length is 85" with a wingspan of 55". It has weight of about 17.5 lbs.
MiG 25 from Parkjets plans.
If you would like plans to build a rc MiG 25 from foam, you can find them at Parkjets. com. The pusher prop radio control airplane pictured above has a 32" wingspan.
MiG 25 by Matt of RCGroups.
The rc MiG 25 built from Depron foam by Matt of RCGroups has a wingspan of 20" and a length of 29". Matt powers it with a single 5,800 kV Feigao motor.
On September 6, 1976 Russian Lt. Viktor Belenko landed his MiG25 in Japan, defecting to the West.
The aircraft was analyzed by the best technicians of the West. It was returned to Russia after 67 days.
Analysis of the aircraft showed that although some rivet heads of the aircraft were left exposed, they were in places not affecting performance.
Rather than titanium being used as the primary building material, it was nickel steel alloy. However, titanium was employed on the leading edges and other heat sensitive areas of the MiG 25.
The MiG 25 is redlined at Mach 2.8. Maximum G rating is limited to 4.5 G's although aircraft engineers believe a number closer to 6.0 G's is more realistic. Maximum range of the aircraft on internal fuel is about 750 miles.
On Aug. 31, 1977 a MiG 25 model E piloted by Alexander Fedotov set a "zoom" absolute altitude record by pushing the plane to maximum speed, then climbing, trading speed for altitude. After the engines flamed-out the plane continued in a sort of ballistic trajectory to an altitude of 123,523.58 feet. The aircraft then dropped to a lower altitude where the engines were restarted.
Tony Nijhuis Design MiG 25.
Tony Nijhuis Design has the rc MiG 25 as plans. It has a wingspan of 24" and length of 32 1/2". Construction is all balsa. All up weight is about 1 1/2 lbs.
The Electric Jet Factory has a rc MiG 25 that has a 35" wingspan and is of balsa and foam construction. You will need a motor and 90 mm EDF unit for power.
Dick Terry of Tuscon, AZ writes:
"The MiG 25 from Parkjets.com is really nice to build and fly. The plans and instructions were easy to follow. The MiG 25 builds quickly and easily, and flies wonderfully. It can be flown with any number of electric motors. It lands slowly and it will perform just about any scale like maneuver in fine fashion. I think that it will be very popular and expect to see quite a few of them around. I will be flying mine too!"
If anyone would like to recommend their favorite MiG 25, please email us.