MiG-25 for the Polish Aviation.

Kraków 2009-09-10

The would-be purchase of MiG-25 fighters for the Polish Aviation.

MiG-25 nb 38 in 1980. Photo of Magazin WWS
MiG-25 nb 38 in 1980. Photo of Magazin WWS

We do not know how it happened, but Poland did not buy MiG-25 fighters and from today's perspective it should be said that it is very good. Undoubtedly, those who had something to say on this subject correctly assessed the aircraft and prevented the wrong spending of taxpayers' money. The Kremlin's pressure on the purchase of MiG-25 aircraft by the University of Warsaw was considerable. This plane was to fight spy planes reaching speeds of Ma> 3.

Since 1964, the Americans knew about the existence of a Russian machine capable of flying at three times the speed of sound. But they knew very little about it. It aroused great interest in the US military. The Americans have put a reward on whoever provides them with the plane. The showpiece of this machine were the records set by it, under the designation E-266. Despite the fact that the Russians put about 400 machines into service in the 1970s, no one in the West knew the flight parameters, and did not even look at the machine up close, until the flight of Bielenko's pilot officer.

On September 6, 1976, the pilot of the red army, Wiktor Bielenko, hijacked to Japan one of the most unusual MiG-25 aircraft in the world, a copy of which was produced and put into service only in March 1976.

The Americans had this plane in their hands for 67 days. With Bielenko's help, they learned all the parameters of t-t. They took it apart. Returning the plane to the Russians, they did not even bother to put it back together. They gave it back packed in a dozen or so wooden boxes.

And now the most interesting excerpt from this article.

The plane in the cabin had a button marked danger. According to the instructions, the pilot was required to use it before launching himself or landing on enemy territory. After its activation, explosive charges will be fired within a few minutes, neutralizing important systems and devices of the aircraft; radar station, automatic pilot, computer, electronic security, on-board weapon control system. According to Bielenka's account, the pilots were afraid of this button because they did not trust their superiors. They suspected that the button worked instantly, detonating the charges without delay, so the pilot was killed too. This suspicion resulted from the talks conducted by the superiors, who were more afraid that the plane would fall into enemy hands than of the destruction of such expensive equipment. The pilots' suspicion was confirmed. The rulers of the Kremlin have always had nothing to do with human life, in the past, today and in the future. It won't change.

Bielenko and his plane were stationed in a regiment in the Far East. The deserter had planned his escape well. He descended to a height of 30-40 m. This made it impossible to track the machine and the possible use of SAM missiles. He started the radio, signaling that he was in danger, and turned it off. He turned off the radar and other redundant devices. This was to convince control that the plane probably had crashed. He flew towards Japan without increasing the altitude above 45 m and watched with fear as the fuel was depleting at a terrible pace. He was afraid of a catastrophe, because for the crashed plane he would not have received the prize promised by the Americans. He found the Hakodate civil airport. He used braking parachutes during landing, but there was no RWY length anyway. Fortunately, the plane was intact.

The Americans transported the machine to their Hyakuri base, also in Japan, and performed all the activities there. American airplane studies alternately evoked admiration and mockery. People laughed at the electron tubes used in electronic components, for example, when transistors were already standard. However, they were surprised by the internal structure and its execution. The fact that the structure is based on ... fuel tanks made by welding.

The engines caused a great stir. Their design was simple, even overwhelmingly simple. They burned huge amounts of fuel. They were tricky because they tended to involuntarily increase thrust. Therefore, the Russian pilots flew much slower than it was possible for the airframe and the powerplant. But the bigger problem was the overheating of the powertrain. Bielenko revealed that engine fires were relatively frequent. Ultimately, they were summed up as ineffective.

On the Americans, the plane made a good impression on the topics of: aerodynamics, simplicity of design, ease of use, speed of operational readiness recovery, radar station. It has been found that the radar is difficult to disrupt because it has a very strong signal. But at the same time, it cannot be used below the ceiling of 500 m, as there are large disturbances from the ground. So the plane is blind to targets flying below 500 m. The respect was evoked by the flight parameters, but in the final conclusion it was stated that the MiG-25 is not so dangerous for the reconnaissance (espionage) SR-71. In addition, Bielenko claimed that the MiG-25 with two missiles reaches a ceiling of 24,000 m, with four missiles 21,000 m, and the missile itself is effective in use up to 27,000 m in height.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the commune village carried that the Russians were selling us (Polish Aviation) only the old technology, and they did not want a new one. The truth was a little different. The Russians would probably sell us everything that they allowed to fly. But our decision makers did not want everything "new", because the new was not always better than the old. There are several examples; Jak-27 R to replace Ił-28 R, MiG-23 MF to replace MiG-21 bis, MiG-23 MB to replace Su-20, Su-25 to replace Lim-6 bis with the perspective of Polish PZL I-22 Iryda.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman