In 2000, when the general aviation community was shown the new MiG 1.44 MFI (multipurpose tactical fighter), who was the pilot experimental layout Russian fighter of the 5th generation, many aviation experts noted that the assembly machine than either serial recalls South American fighter F -16. While only a few aviation experts at representing the older generation, noted that this is not entirely true. The new Russian fighter really has similarities with the F-16, but at the same time the South American fighter repeats exterior features an experienced fighter Mikoyan E-8, which came into existence in fact 15 years before the F-16. Experimental fighter E-8 back in the 60s was a plane that for many years ahead of its time.
Experienced interceptor E-8 was designed as a profound modernization serial MiG-21PF, but had so many new design features that he has on the initial stage of design in 1960, it was decided to assign the future MiG-23 index. Originally it was planned that the new fighter will change in the production MiG-21P and would be a massive plane. Creating modern machines was conducted in accordance with the decision of the commission of the MIC 30 May 1960 on the development of fighter-interceptor MiG-23. The aircraft was a development of the MiG-21PF, kitted newest weapon system C-23, developed on the basis of the radar «Sapphire-1» Infrared finder «Spectrum», also 2-K-23 missiles with extended range. New E-8 fighter designed to engage airborne targets both in front and in the rear hemisphere at any time of the day under normal and adverse weather conditions.
The main problem with the upgrading of the aircraft was that the diameter of the radar antenna «Sapphire» in its own initial version was significantly superior to the diameter of the radar antenna CD-30T, which is why place it in the nose cone serial MiG-21 was unreal. This fact led to the rearrangement of not only the forward fuselage, and all fighters in general. From the baseline model, except tail, wing and main landing gear (and not in its entirety), virtually nothing has been preserved. Moreover, the increased take-off weight of the new aircraft claimed the installation of a more massive compared with the R-11F-300 engine, the new aircraft needed in a power plant with a thrust of at least 800-1000 kgs more than its predecessor. With all this new engine had to possess dimensions prior to relaxed to take his place.
Fascinating fact that the new engine was not created «native» OKB-300 SK Tumanskiy and KB at the production plant, led by NG Metskhvarishvili. With all this way designers used small increments of the main characteristics of the basic model of aircraft engines: a little increment width by running the compressor and speed, increased compression ratio, changed the profile of the blades, use the new high-temperature alloys for the production of turbine blades. The new engine was designated R-21F-300 (also a fairly common name of its lightweight R-21-300). This engine had the same system as the R-11F-300, including de-icing system of the input, the oxygen feeding pilot burners (You can achieve growth starting altitude). With all this weight and dimensions have changed slightly.
Experimental fighter E-8
The new engine bench tests successfully passed all the required properties for the project were obtained at 3-m aircraft engine instance. Creators managed to increase its thrust on the highest mode of operation 3950 to 4700 kgs, and in afterburner mode with 6175 to 7200 kgf. Due to this, when takeoff weight fighter E-8 6800 kg thrust it could exceed unity.
Middle of the main aerodynamic features of the experimental E-8 can be divided into three more significant. First — an extraordinary view vozduhopoglotitelya. 2nd — folding landing gear during ventral ridge which then was used in the serial MiG-23. Third — the presence of the front horizontal tail (GTO or «destabilizers») in a big way in the 2.6 meter, with all this PGO had control mechanism. At subsonic flight fighter frontal horizontal tail feather is in free mode, and the supersonic flight at M> 1.5 it was fixed horizontally parallel construction fighter, allowing the focus to move the car forward, compensating for its movement backwards when moving speed of sound. This solution allows to increase the lift coefficient by more than 2 times at speeds that meet or exceed M = 1.5 and 2 times — at speeds equal to M = 2.0. At a speed of 2 «maha» at an altitude of 15 km maximum permissible overload was to grow from 2.5 to 5.1, which is an indication of improving maneuverability machine properties.
Another novelty fighter E-8 was that all the fuel tanks in the fuselage were not rubber (loose) tanks, as all pre-existing serial versions of the MiG-21. New tanks are included in the design of the aircraft and in the upcoming have proliferated at all without exception fighters OKB «MiG». In total fighter pilot E-8 could take in their tanks — tanks-5 fuselage compartments, and 4 wing tank — 3200 l. fuel. In addition to the E-8 fighter was created by the system blowing boundary layer flaps during landing.
Also on the fighter was mounted recovery system «SK», made in OKB Mikoyan. But if the first production MiG-21 in the ejection seat exit from the cockpit was carried out in such a Makarov that the pilot was protected from the oncoming airflow canopy, then E-8 lamp is no longer defended the pilot (He leans to one side and was discharged separately) . For this reason, the ejection speed was limited to 800 km / h
The main differences between E-8 fighter MiG-21PF by:
— brand new power plant on the basis of the P-21F-300 with a two-step vserezhimnym nozzle;
— new head and tail of the fuselage, the aircraft fuel tanks (for the first time in the practice of EDO) were part of the fuselage;
— Availability flat ventral vozduhopoglotitelya with adjustable vertical wedge;
— tail and wing with serial MiG-21PF with modifications under the new fuselage and dock with it;
— lantern type visor with the opening to the side seat mounted SC-3, pilot rescue system implemented without protection canopy;
— established frontal horizontal tail (destabilizer), horizontal tail lowered to 150 mm;
— one brake plate underneath;
— tiltable ventral ridge;
— pole can be installed under the fuselage 1 drop tank 600 liters.
By September 1961 the new fighter project E-8 was one hundred percent ready, but the creators of C-23 could not pass the fit test any missiles or radar, because at E-8, it was decided to temporarily install a mundane weapons system CD-30TP, two serial missiles K-13 and infrared sight «Gem.» Cannons fighter pilot was not foreseen. With all of this fighter began labeling, as the MiG-21M. Altogether, two flying machine instance: in January 1962 was ready to E-8/1, and in May of the same year — E-8/2.
Both layouts were mounted radar instead of mass-size models and ACA. First flight of a fighter E-8/1 took place April 17, 1962, the aircraft was flown GK Mosolov test pilot OKB-155. In this and the following test flights, in addition to defining features of agility and endurance fighter, removing high-rise and high-speed performance, CHR mechanism is being followed, refined management techniques vozduhopoglotitelem also solve other puzzles. In general, the newcomer machine encouraging creators. At the same time all ports unreliability latest powerplant. Virtually every flight recorded overheating, surging etc. 6 times more engine fighter spontaneously stopped.
September 11, 1962 during the execution of 40 fighter flight E-8/1 suffered tragedy and crashed 60 kilometers south-east of the airfield. Engine fighter collapsed at an altitude of 10,000 feet at a speed that is consistent with M = 1.7. Inspection of the wreckage crashed car revealed that the disaster was the destruction prerequisite disk 6th stage of the compressor. Shard this stage struck and damaged body aircraft engine fuel tank and two hydraulic systems that led to the loss of control of the car and fire. Then splinter struck the right aileron, destroying it and let the plane fall into a spiral. Test pilot managed to eject from the Mosolov inverted fighter at an altitude of about 8 km, damaging all this leg and arm. Upon landing, he was even more traumatized. Pilot was found in only 2.5 hours after the tragedy and languid state hospitalized. Doctors barely managed to save the life of test pilot.
July 29, 1962 for the first time flew E-8/2, piloted by AV Fedotov. By September 4 this fighter was made 13 test flights for removal flight to hell with suspension layouts missiles K-13 and to the development of the power plant, research shaking destabilizer. The aircraft was made in the ceiling of 19,650 meters, also the highest rate of 2050 km / h at an altitude of 15,000 meters. But after losing the first instance of a fighter flying on E-8/2 were terminated. After some time due to the lack of reliability of the propulsion system, also due to the fact that mirror the latest radar «Sapphire» was able to significantly reduce and enter into a cone serial MiG-21, the project was canceled. Long period of time after which a fighter E-8/2 stood idly on the flight station bureau in Zhukovsky, was then used for ground testing of a number of parts coming MiG-23.
New fighter could be raised to the required level of reliability, but at that time in the bureau already underway worked on the design of a completely new MiG-23, which was equipped with a variable sweep wing. At the same time near the beginning of the 1960s a new fighter E-8 could become a machine air combat maneuvering, similar to modern fighter aircraft F-16 and MiG-29
The performance properties of the E-8:
Dimensions: Wingspan — 7.15 m, length — 16.9 m
Wing area — 23,12 m. m
Normal takeoff weight of the aircraft — 6800 kg., Maximum take-off — 8200 kg.
Engine type — Turbojet R-21F-300, thrust 7200 kgf.
The highest speed — 2230 km / h (M = 2.1).
Service ceiling — 20,300 m
Time to climb — 18 000 meters — 5.9 min.
Armament: suspension points — 2, SD air-P-3C or P-23T.
Crew — 1 person.