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MiG-31 Foxhound Flight to the Edge of Space - Moscow, Russia

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F-111 C/C:
Wow Shawn, what an experience! If you find the time, I'd like to hear a little more of the details in the -27 and -29 flights. I've flown in the F-111, F-4, Cobra gunship and the OV-10 Bronco and the Bronco made the sickest, believe it or not! We were literally flying 'knife-edged' between trees!!

shawn a:
Wait a moment, I didn't fly in a -27, but I did fly in the -31 and the-29. Ejection training was simple-"if you hear "eject,eject, eject" it's serious--pull your legs and arms back as quickly as you can, and if nothing happens, reach down and pull the striped handle between your legs" supposedly, the seat will supply oxygen until it gets to a lower altitude, whereupon it will kick you out and your 'chute will open. A simple "constricting" pressure suit will inflate at altitude, and keep your blood from boiling. I was wearing that pressure suit and gloves(leather), and boots that were supplied-- I probably would have gotten frostbite on the way down! The plane flew without a hiccup, like I said, effortlessly to 70,000 ft. It sure didn't seem like a "junk box" to me! It was a MIG-31-E. We pulled a 3-4 G supersonic 180 degree turn, and then started climbing. There was no pause of any kind as we went to Mach 2.3 and FL 700. It was as smooth as the smoothest airline flight you've ever been on.
After the "Max altitude, Max speed" portion, I was invited to take the controls, but due to a perfunctory preflight briefing, as I tried to do an aileron roll, the pilot said "I've got it", and stopped me before we rolled. It seemed I tried to use a bit of rudder, as in the Pitts and Extra, and that was a No-No! We came back to the airstrip and did a low afterburner pass, AND I MEAN LOW! over the runway, and then, with 'burners still lit, did a roll over the town (Nizhny Novgorod)!Can you imagine if that were an American town? Lawsuits would be filed!
Isn't it wierd that the most memorable flights involve lots of Gs and maneuvering, more than speed and altitude?
I would LOVE to fly in a -111 or a Phantom, and actually, the A-4 seems like it would be more fun than either of them!
If you are coming out west, give me notice. We'll go down to King City, give you a barf bag, and strap you into a Pitts! Knife-edge is cool, but it pales in comparson to a Lomcevak, or a Centrifuge! They do things safely there, no flying between the trees!
Preperation is simple and fun, we go to the boardwalk, eat mucho junk food, and go on the most radical rides they have! If there's no puking, you're good to go!!

Dear friends!
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2. Amazing Flight to stratosphere (22 km) + Aerobatic flight on MIG-29
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General Director
Country of Tourism, Russia

F-111 C/C:
Are these the people you flew with Shawn?
My 'junk' reference was the MiG-25 on which the -31 is based. I'm sure the -31 is greatly improved over the -25. You sound like you had (and have) a great life Shawn. I will definately look you up next time I plan to go out that way. I'll pass on the Pitts as I get airsick watching them from the ground! Those guys and gals are really something that pilot those planes and ones like it.

shawn a:
Hi, 'Vark,
No, these are not the people I had arrange the tour, but maybe these folks are the ones I flew with in Russia.
Oddly enough, there is another post from one of the people from MIG Sokol on this wonderful site we use, and I did meet him at MAKS '07, and 4 days later at Nizhny Novgorod when we flew.
I have a bit of high blood pressure from a long-ago surfing accident, and my blood pressure was quite high during the pre-flight physical- I told my wife this, and when she looked at the video,and saw our interpreter, she said "I'm not surprised your blood pressure was high with a hottie like that standing next to you!" Our interpreter WAS a lovely young lady!!!
You know, if you fly in a Pitts or Extra, you don't HAVE to fly radical aerobatics. (he, he)


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