Author(s): R. A. Belyakov, J. Marmain
When the story behind the Soviets’ most secret aircraft design bureau and the fighter planes it produced was made public in France in 1991, the world of military aviation was abuzz with its phenomenal revelations. Indeed, the Aero-Club de France heralded the original version as best document of the year. As the authors make clear, the efforts of the MiG design bureau became landmarks of technical progress on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. During the cold war, MiG always had to find a way to counter the latest American program-whether it was the MiG-9 versus the F-80 Shooting Star, the MiG-15 versus the F-86 Sabre, the MiG-19 versus the F-100 Super Sabre, or the MiG-25 versus the Lockheed A-11. Among its groundbreaking developments are the afterburning chamber, the Soviet air-to-air missile, the sweepback wing, pressurized and air-conditioned cockpits, tricycle landing gears, automatic brakes for gear wheels, and ejection seats. MiG aircraft have set fifty-five world records, twenty-one of which are still standing as this book goes to press. Filled with photographs, drawings, specifications, and performance characteristics never before released, such as illustrations drawn from the MiG design bureau archives, this book is a tour de force in military aircraft history. It is the only firsthand account of some of the world’s most famous aircraft, setting standards for accuracy as it reveals the secrets of the most important design bureau in the Russian aircraft industry, right up to the MiG-29 Fulcrum and MiG-31 Foxbat. This translation provides readers of English with the most complete reference work on the subject ever published and offers an extensive interview with R. A. Belyakov as a prelude to the documentation.