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Mig "product" 33

hs1216

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The Mig Product 33 “AKA single engine mig29” has come to my attention over the past few months. From what I understand it was designed as cheap exportable LWF. But the specifications, dimensions, and performance figures of the aircraft are very sketchy. Can anyone help shed light on this little fighter?
 

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mrdetonator

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A design bureau like the RSk Mig does have hundreds of so called "pocket" projects, although most of them never passed beyond the outline design stages or scaled down wooden models. These projects such as the "Mig Product 33" or the single engine "sukhoi S-37" were there to fool and mislead west intelligence services about actual work carrying at Mig and Sukhoi plants. I never paid much attention to these "pseudo" projects, they were still light years away from realization.
 

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mrdetonator said:
These projects such as the "Mig Product 33" or the single engine "sukhoi S-37" were there to fool and mislead west intelligence services about actual work carrying at Mig and Sukhoi plants. I never paid much attention to these "pseudo" projects, they were still light years away from realization.
I have always assumed that the peculiar Sukhoi S-37 canard delta was a genuine project? After all, this proposal was revealed at Dubai at a trade show, with an improbable if genuine attempt selling the unbuilt design to potential partners. It does seem incredible that the S-37 had advanced so close to the hardware stage before it was publically revealed, but the Soviet Union was very much a security paranoid, closed society.
 

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S-37 was a very real proposal, and much further along in design than the "33". However, the design team behind it was Babak's Su-25 "Sturmoviks" team who fell definitely out of favour within Sukhoi in the post-Soviet era. Also there were lingering doubts about a single engine aircraft within the VVS, and there was a later project "237" with twin (developed RD-33) engines. Sukhoi's Antonov rated it highly as a design.

Izdeliye 33 was only a preliminary study and abandoned very quickly due to (well-founded) doubts about reliability of a single engine aircraft with RD-33 in the early 80s.
 

hs1216

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I don’t think that the S-37 was designed to replace the Su-25. If you look at the specifications of the S-37, it seems more likely it was conceived to replace the SU-22, and Mig-27. The S-37 was a supersonic, armor plated, tactical fighter, with excellent short and unpaved runway performance. Other then a increased air to air capability, the S-37 is the same basic concept of the Mig-27/Su-22.
 

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AFAIK Sukhoi never designed a tailess canard-delta aircraft before. He had no experience with that kind of aerodynamics layout. Has someone ever seen single-engined S-37 scaled-down model tested in wind tunels, full scale mock-ups or even something like a tailess technology demonstrator? This would at least provide some evidence that the concept is in early stage of development, as it was in case of the Sukhoi forward-swept wing FSW.
It is even more absurd to think that a tailess canard-delta layout, aerodynamically clearly seen as an air-superiority design(Soviet MFI, etc) would replace once the Su-25 in the close air support role. In other words, why design a delta aircraft suited for supersonic speeds, when most of the time the aircraft would fly loaded with high-drag bombs?
The Su-25 design is not for fancy, it is for function!
If Mr. Babak had ever been charged to develop a successor of the Su-25, I think his concept looked different. Realize what military aircraft design bureau on the world want to sell an aircraft which is still on paper? No doubt the most desperate one. ;D
Also I suppose the single engined S-37 has been used to cover much more perspective concept called early S-32, later S-37 and today the Su-47.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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You can think what you like ;D

If you are old enough to recall the 1980s you may remember a lot of debate whether slow attack aircraft like A-10, Su-25 were obsolete- the US were looking at buying "A-16's" to replace the A-10, for example.

In the USSR there was a similar debate within the Sh-90 program for a new attack aircraft. One faction wanted a straight Su-25 replacement, others felt that was too vulnerable and a supersonic plane was the better option. The Sukhoi T-12 and Su-25T represent the first strand of opinion; the S-37 the second. It still had armour to protect the pilot and other protection measures.

In practise, yes, it was supposed to replace not just Su-25, but also Su-17, MiG-23/27, and potentially sell overseas in the F-16 "Jack of all trades" role. That doesn't alter the fact that Babak was the chief designer.

I'm not sure what happened to Zyrin (Su-17 designer) - did he retire?

More on the S-37 here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,94.0.html
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Martin - the S-37 was in the early stages of development when the USSR collapsed. Sukhoi showed it at Dubai 1991 when it was only a few years into development, as funding had dried up and they needed foreign cash to go anywhere. That doesn't mean it wasn't a serious project. No, there wasn't a prototype being prepped at Zhukovsky, but that doesn't mean its somehow "hot air". Most of the projects discussed here didn't get built - thats why its called "secretprojects" and not "wellknownprojects" forum. ;D

And as to the canard delta layout being wrong for its mission - you have heard of Lavi, right? ::)
 

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hs1216 said:
The S-37 was a supersonic, armor plated, tactical fighter, with excellent short and unpaved runway performance. Other then a increased air to air capability, the S-37 is the same basic concept of the Mig-27/Su-22.
Excuse me please, but It makes any sense what you are talking there. Why need armor plating (add weight) for a supersonic tactical fighter like those nuclear ones you`ve mentioned. Does the Su-22, Mig-27 have an armor plate at all?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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MiG-27 does have armour protection for the pilot, though not to the extent of the Su-25. Its scabbed onto the fuselaged sides on some versions.
 

mrdetonator

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overscan said:
the S-37 was in the early stages of development when the USSR collapsed. Sukhoi showed it at Dubai 1991 when it was only a few years into development, as funding had dried up and they needed foreign cash to go anywhere. That doesn't mean it wasn't a serious project.
..this is exactly what I`ve been talking about. They had many "pocket" proposals, this is the one they showed at Dubai airshow and wanted to catch a "rich" fish. ;) Real projects are kept in secret, even when funding is inadequate.
overscan said:
Most of the projects discussed here didn't get built - thats why its called "secretprojects" and not "wellknownprojects" forum.
I`m aware what this forum is ment for, but I`m getting feelings that people are discussing here "BS" projects rather than those secret ones. Anyway thanks, I can think what I like, the S-37 was one of "BS" projects. :D
overscan said:
And as to the canard delta layout being wrong for its mission - you have heard of Lavi, right?.
yes I`ve heard about it, a jewish replacement of american F-16(LWF). I`m sorry, but I can`t follow you exactly. You can toss bombs from any flying vehicle, if this is what you have in mind?
overscan said:
MiG-27 does have armour protection for the pilot, though not to the extent of the Su-25. Its scabbed onto the fuselaged sides on some versions.
thanks, probably the Mig-23 BN has it too. I`m going to check it out.
overscan said:
If you are old enough to recall the 1980s you may remember a lot of debate whether slow attack aircraft like A-10, Su-25 were obsolete- the US were looking at buying "A-16's" to replace the A-10, for example.
I think we both played with toys during that time, so I`m not remembering any debate about replacing A-10, Su-25. ;D ;D
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I was a child with an early interest in planes :) There was a lot of debate about whether any subsonic plane could survive in a modern IADS environment.

The Lavi was specifically designed primarily for air-to-ground missions, yet has a canard delta planform. If you care to look at Sukhoi T-60 bomber projects I think you will find at least one canard delta version. Look at early (1981-83) ATS/ATF work in the USA, when many firms were looking at canard deltas for attack & interdiction misions.

My point was that you can't dismiss it because a canard delta isn't suitable for the mission.
 

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mrdetonator said:
I think we both played with toys during that time, so I`m not remembering any debate about replacing A-10, Su-25. ;D ;D
There most certainly was a very aggressive proposal to replace the A-10 with a CAS-optimized version of the F-16 that mounted a lightened version of the GAU-8 gun in an external pod under the Pave Claw program. The GAU-13 was a four-barreled version of the GAU-8. The New York Air National Guard carried out the Pave Claw testing and found the pod a ridiculous idea as accuracy suffered due to vibration from the pod vibrating with the gun was fired.

The proposed A-16 variant would have had increased armor protection along with the Pave Claw pod. There was even an F-16 flown by GD that wore European One camouflage, but I'm not exactly sure if that demonstrator was specifically part of the A-16 work.
 

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mrdetonator said:
It is even more absurd to think that a tailess canard-delta layout, aerodynamically clearly seen as an air-superiority design(Soviet MFI, etc) would replace once the Su-25 in the close air support role. In other words, why design a delta aircraft suited for supersonic speeds, when most of the time the aircraft would fly loaded with high-drag bombs?
The Su-25 design is not for fancy, it is for function!
1. FBW solved the problems of delta wing low speed handling in the 80's.
(Mirage 2000, Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen)
2. Last time I looked the Saab Gripen which has a similar canard delta layout
possesses a significant ground attack, and strike capability.
 

mrdetonator

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overscan said:
I was a child with an early interest in planes :) There was a lot of debate about whether any subsonic plane could survive in a modern IADS environment.
My point was that you can't dismiss it because a canard delta isn't suitable for the mission.
Paul, you`re forgetting that a twenty years ago we both lived in different worlds divided by the iron curtain. In mid-eighties, aircrafts like Su-25K, Su-22M4 were brand new and kept in secrecy from insiders/outsiders. We got SU-25K in year 1984 and I still have magazines in my house from that time depicting Su-25K for the first time ever. I doubt you even knew how the Su-25 looked like in 1985, not to mention a discussion about its successor. ;D Just in comparison of children with early interest in planes. I have climbed my own Mig-29 in 1990 for the first time, whereas first pics of it(also Su-27) I got from east-german magazine "Flieger revue" in 1986(been there two weeks in a pioneer camp). :D :D
This is really strange, because I do remember a well-heated debate in mid-nineties when subsonic light-weight attack planes like ALCA, HAWK,.. etc came into fasion here and were forced instead of aging soviet built Mig-23,Su-22,Su-25 or even the Mig-29. There were plenty of discussions whether we need a supersonic aviation at all. The AERO was forcing the ALCA aircrafts, our government wanted the british HAWKs200, but Mr.Graham Wardel canceled the planned deal tragically. I have seen also YAK-130 prototype in my hometown back in 1995. Even then I do not understand the point behind replacing a subsonic plane with a supersonic one for the CAS role. In my understanding the close air support means the aircraft flying some tenths to hundreds of meters above the ground and giving the land forces fire support. Realize, you wont be able to go much more than 1300km/h(M1.1) speed at ground level anyway. I`ve never said the delta-canard patforms like Gripen,Rafale,Eurofighter,Mirage being not able to perform strike attacks. With advanced sensors, avionics and the PGM, any wing platform (swept, swing-wing, delta, etc ) performs the task with no problem at all. But still, this is different to CAS aircrafts like the Su-25, A-10. IMHO best suited for that role are still helicopters.

overscan said:
If you care to look at Sukhoi T-60 bomber projects I think you will find at least one canard delta version. Look at early (1981-83) ATS/ATF work in the USA, when many firms were looking at canard deltas for attack & interdiction misions.
IIRC the Sukhoi T-60 should be a supersonic strategic bomber with an internal bomb bay, not a CAS aircraft. Most of the time, it would fly high altitude and supersonic, so choosing delta for it makes sense.
Yes, I remember those artist impressions from Northrop, McDouglas, LM, Boeing...etc companies depicting delta-canard everywhere. Now you know how accurate they were after the real YF-22, Y-23 came out for the first time. I think none ever expected that after. They were bluffing, because everyone does. ::)
 

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I think you are missing the point. The idea was that loitering around the battlefield in a traditional Close Air Support role was suicide, so the role would be replaced with fast movers armed with PGMs, with additional crew protection.

You are also incorrect about canard deltas- it wasn't purely disinformation. In the late 70s/early 80s, canard deltas were heavily studied in the US. Several official responses to the early ATF RFI used canard layouts. If the ATF was built in 1979, it might well have been a canard delta. By 1986, with RCS requirements increased several orders of magnitude, it was no longer a viable solution.

The canard delta is still a reasonable solution if stealth isn't an issue - see early Lockheed work on the JSF predecessors.
 

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overscan said:
I think you are missing the point. The idea was that loitering around the battlefield in a traditional Close Air Support role was suicide, so the role would be replaced with fast movers armed with PGMs, with additional crew protection.
It`s quite a strange idea to put "dead weight-armour" on air-superiority fighter (delta-canard plane) simultaneously destroying its flying qualities. Well, please correct me if I`m wrong but have we seen a product of this idea yet?
overscan said:
You are also incorrect about canard deltas- it wasn't purely disinformation.
You missing my point now, I never told that they were not studying deltas, but they just were not giving(by masking) exact information how it will look like. The real YF-22, YF-23 planforms remained secret until first flight I think.


hs1216 said:
FBW solved the problems of delta wing low speed handling in the 80's.(Mirage 2000, Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen).
They have still miserable shielding of vital aircraft systems against enemy infantry and anti-aircraft artilery attacks. Anyway, those aircrafts with low wing-loading are not well suited for low level flying.
 

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overscan said:
I think you are missing the point. The idea was that loitering around the battlefield in a traditional Close Air Support role was suicide, so the role would be replaced with fast movers armed with PGMs, with additional crew protection.
I really want to know, how it can be useful for example in Afghanistan. Maybe you can do it at european battlefield during 3. world war fully packed with thousands of tanks an armored vehicles, but CAS still means CLOSE air support.

The most useful thing for CAS that was ever here was Ka-50 above the Spis castle ;)
 

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Matej said:
I really want to know, how it can be useful for example in Afghanistan. Maybe you can do it at european battlefield during 3. world war fully packed with thousands of tanks an armored vehicles, but CAS still means CLOSE air support.

The most useful thing for CAS that was ever here was Ka-50 above the Spis castle ;)
There’s a big difference between Afghanistan and WW3 Europe. In Afghanistan the Mujahideen main anti-air weapons were stinger missiles and 12.7mm/14.5 heavy machine guns. The armor on a Su-25 is enough to protect the aircraft from those weapons with relative effectiveness. In any European war a CAS pilot would have far more to worry about, 20mm cannons, multiple stingers, large numbers of fighters, SAM’s, and large concentrated numbers of heavy machine guns. The fact is that a European Battlefield more crowded, does not give a CAS aircraft more targets, but more potential threats. In that case I’d rather have speed than armor or a MiG-27 over a SU-25.
 

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it seems that this discussion leads to no conclusion, therefore I recommend to go back to the topic, the Mig "product" 33. I'm sorry if I've spoiled this thread. ;)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The first pic, the nose is distorted by the page not being flat. It isn't that shape in profile.
 

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Do you know the dimensions of the “mig-33”?
 

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Regarding the Canard Delta configuration, it doesn't have anything to do with stealth. There have been stealthy canard planforms flown (The X-36 for one, although it's stealth wasn't flight tested to my knowledge). The main purpose for going with a delta-canard configuration, regarding a CCV configuration, is you can make a smaller aircraft for a given mission when compared to an aircraft with a conventional tail. Of course smaller aircraft also have limited growth potential. A smaller aircraft means less weight which means less cost. That's why most of the European 4th generation fighters are delta-canards, to minimize costs. In fact, there was a good articile regarding this in Inter-Avia back in the mid to late 80's.

However, one of the draw backs of a delta canard, based on what has been in some of my engineering papers, is it doesn't have the control power/trim range of a conventional tail over the entire flight envelope and especially at very high alpha. In fact, it's my understanding that is precisely why the two ATF contenders both had conventional (in the behind the wing sense) tails.
 

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Getting back to the "Product 33", it appears to my eye to be an evolved derivative of the Ye-8, without the canards, powered by a RD-33. It's clearly influenced by the aerodynamics and other developments that came about during MiG-29 development.

If it had gone as far as production, it would've been a good replacement for F-5s, A-4s, and similar aircraft, as well as MiG-21s.
 

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elmayerle said:
If it had gone as far as production, it would've been a good replacement for F-5s, A-4s, and similar aircraft, as well as MiG-21s.
I completely agree. The “MiG-33” was most likely developed as export fighter, with the intent of replacing the MiG-21. The MiG-29, despite being cheap compared to the western fighters, is still a pretty expensive aircraft. So a cheap single engine 4th generation fighter like the “MiG-33” would be perfect for many third world countries searching for a MiG-21 replacement. Most of these countries don’t have the twin engine preference of the Soviet/Russian air force. It would have also served as a excellent single engine complement to the MIG-29 in many countries, for example India.
 

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hs1216 said:
Do you know the dimensions of the “mig-33”?
I second this question. But as there have been no answers, I presume we only know its powerplant, and not a single piece of dimensional or performance information?
 

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well, since it was powered by a single RD-33 engine, I'd have to guess maybe 15 meters long, But I hope some one would have a more offical or concrete info.
 

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According to Piotr Butowski, this well known model combined different left and right hand sides, with one side having dogtooth on tail and notched LERX, the other side lacking them. The notched side represents the later configuration.

Drawing by Matej. Front fuselage is too "fat" in my opinion.
 

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In " Flugzeuge der Welt " 2007 "Motorbuch Verlag it is said that the chinese "Chengdu FC 1 "is based on the MIG 33
 

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overscan said:
Drawing by Matej. Front fuselage is too "fat" in my opinion.
All drawing is not very accurate. I made it from two pictures disorted during the scanning, so it affected the result.
 

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Here's my attempt to drawn the MiG-33. Its my first aircraft drawing so its not so fancy. Also its in the colours of my imaginatory Novgorod's airfoce but the drawing is however closely following the orginal linedrawing.

 

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821-33 should be a useful reference for general planform, it was derived from the "33" configuration.
 

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gollevainen said:
Here's my attempt to drawn the MiG-33. Its my first aircraft drawing so its not so fancy. Also its in the colours of my imaginatory Novgorod's airfoce but the drawing is however closely following the orginal linedrawing.

Looks a lot like the side profile of the Chinese J-10. I'd had read that the FC-1 was China's resurrected version of the MiG-33, but it's always possible that the '33 influenced the J-10 as well. Still the Lavi lineage is very strong in the J-10.
 

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gollevainen said:
Here's my attempt to drawn the MiG-33. Its my first aircraft drawing so its not so fancy. Also its in the colours of my imaginatory Novgorod's airfoce but the drawing is however closely following the orginal linedrawing.

Hey very nice !! ... any chance for a complete 3-side view ??

Cheers, Deino
 

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Hey very nice !! ... any chance for a complete 3-side view ??
Well I'm curently tied to drawn mostly ships but most likely there will come a point that I need to take a break from the seas and perhaps then focus more on planes..
 

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Photos from the MiG museum from http://pilot.strizhi.info/photos/v/museum+MiG/?g2_page=1
 

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