MiG-23MLD vs F-16

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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basher54321

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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 00:29

Twin seaters have a draggier canopy and were probably carrying drop tanks (assumed) - not always heavier remember carried ~900 lbs less internal fuel.

I will say again - don't be surprised if there is a significant difference between the 2! - even just the large thrust and weight difference will assure this - and no it was not the same airframe - shorter vertical tail, Wing root and nose vortex generation, automatic high lift slats added to the wings. The addition of an AoA limiter would have helped things no end.

This doesn't mean it turned it into a superfighter regarding turn rates but it was better than the M as I keep telling you.

Regarding turn rates at 3200 ft the ML with 2 x R-23 had around 20% higher over the M - a max 16.7 degree instantaneous and 14 degree sustained at 421kts. Wing sweep was manual it would appear but best around 33 - 45 degrees for this.

Don't get hung up on the rate / radius thing.
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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 01:17

I believe it had 3 manual settings: 16, 45, 72.

72 is obviously not for ACM. 45 would be similar to the Tomcat (meaning performance still is not optimum, it's losing trailing edge full span), 16 means slow speeds.

I understand it is better than the prior versions. But once again, A Super Flogger or a Super Phantom are no 4 gen jets.


Losing 3k in weight is not going to make it approach 21.5 on a F-16A. One report said it is "still slightly" inferior in the horizontal to the F-16A. Which is still complete nonsense-



I do not know the validity of this chart or the load out:

https://ibb.co/ceZ2Ka

Could be complete BS.





Yes, it is the ML version. But once again, what advantage is gained, it still has a very, very long way to go to even approach the F-16A. And it would be completely outclassed by a Block 30 big mouth.



Even with the F110 upgrade, the B/D tom never gained over 3 dps in STR.
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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 01:54

The strengthened wing on the MLD meant they added a 33 degree sweep - the pilot needed to get experienced on the different handling vices in each position obviously.

Not seeing any real basis for comparison with the F-14 outside of a VG wing - my only word would be (being OT) suspect even the Block 25 was more than capable against the F-14AD in that arena despite what a few isolated variables on an EM chart might show you.
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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 02:11

Actually the B/D tom was lucky if it gained almost 2dps over the A model (I have the charts but am tired of F-14D and HAF Block 50 data, I could care less-)

And this was from a "Massive Thrust" increase that all the Tomcat fanboys are always referring to. How on God's green earth could the MLD even gain over that? It is just too, too far away from the F-16A.

VG died out for a reason.


[In 1982, an upgrade program was authorized for the MiG-23ML/MLA fleet, with the upgrade to provide enhanced aerodynamics, better countermeasures, and improved avionics. The modified aircraft were designated "MiG-23MLD", where "D" stood for "dorabotannyi / upgraded". The changes included:

Small strakes or "vortex generators" attached to the side of the nose pitot tube and a distinctive notch at the leading-edge root of each wing glove, both innovations intended to create vortexes over the flight control surfaces of the aircraft and ensure controllability at high AOA. However, the notches imposed a drag penalty.

******A stronger wing pivot system and a new, fourth sweep setting of 33 degrees for combat maneuvering -- though it was tricky to use and was generally only employed by experienced pilots.

An SOS-3-4 automated flight limiting system, obtained from the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter, to prevent the aircraft from being pushed outside of its maneuvering envelope and so preventing departure from controlled flight.

Two six-round KDS-23 chaff-flare dispensers integrated into the centerline pylon. Most aircraft also had two BVP-50-60 upward-firing 60-round chaff-flare dispensers tacked onto the back of the rear fuselage. These dispensers were prominent, resembling large strakes, and were on the draggy side.

A still further improved Sapfir-23MLA-11 AKA N008 radar, with greater range -- about 70 kilometers (44 miles /38 NMI) for a bomber-sized target -- plus a new close-combat mode, and general enhancement of earlier features.

Improvement of other avionics and aircraft systems, including the SAU-23-18 flight control system; a new Beryoza RWR; a new Klystron digital tactical radio and automatic landing system; an improved nosewheel steering scheme; and a crash-resistant flight recorder.
All weaponry carried on earlier variants could be carried by the MiG-23MLD, and from 1984 it could also carry the R-73 (NATO AA-11 Archer) heat-seeking dogfighting missile, with one fitted to each fuselage pylon while the wing glove pylons carried R-24R/T AAMs. There was some follow-on effort to fit the MiG-23LMD with an RF jammer -- either the Siren jammer (not to be confused with the Sirena RWR) or the improved Gardeniya jammer -- but though trials were performed, no operational MiG-23 fighter ever carried an RF jammer. About 500 upgrades were performed. NATO gave the type the reporting name "Flogger-K".]


So they added more vices to a jet that already had inherit ones??? :(
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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 13:45

f-16adf wrote:So they added more vices to a jet that already had inherit ones??? :(



Better words would be acceptable compromise, they got better high AoA handling for more drag, and improved survivability for more drag - fair to say pilots would prefer the expendables over a small drag increase.

As you mentioned earlier modifying the F-4 - with the F-4E they added a gun but had to reduce radar range and exposed it to higher vibration. The added slats added drag but improved AoA handling and G onset rate - the end result was preferable.

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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 19:48

Basher,


I saw the Phantom vid a while ago, but thanks for posting it.


I understand what you are saying. However, I don't have any issues with you. The issue that I have is this:


[If the MiG-23 and its defects had likely produced more than a few alcoholics among Mikoyan's engineering staff, they still worked with impressive persistence in trying to fix the machine. The next stage of fixes focused on producing a lighter, stronger, and more reliable machine, resulting in the "MiG-23ML". Initial flight of the MiG-23ML prototype was on 21 January 1975, with Mikoyan OKB test pilot Aviard Fastovetz at the controls. The variant quickly went into production, with NATO assigning it the reporting name of "Flogger-G".

The most important feature of the MiG-23ML was a re-engineered fuselage, with improved aerodynamics and 1,250 kilograms (2,755 pounds) of weight trimmed off, partly achieved by removing a fuselage fuel tank. The MiG-23ML could be distinguished from its predecessors by the fact that the dorsal fin fillet on the tailfin had been substantially trimmed back. The length of the nose gear strut was also reduced, resulting in a less prominently nose-up posture on the ground.

The MiG-23ML featured a new Tumanskiy R-35F-300 turbojet with dry thrust of 83.8 kN (8,550 kgp / 18,850 lbf) and afterburning thrust of 128 kN (13,060 kgp / 28,800 lbf), as well as much improved specific fuel consumption. An auxiliary power unit was fitted in the fuselage near the front of the tailfin.


MIKOYAN MIG-23ML "FLOGGER-G":
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

spec metric english
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

wingspan (open) 13.97 meters 45 feet 10 inches
wingspan (closed) 7.78 meters 25 feet 6 inches
wing area (open) 37.27 sq_meters 401 sq_feet
wing area (closed) 34.16 sq_meters 368 sq_feet
length with probe: 16.71 meters 54 feet 10 inches
height 4.82 meters 15 feet 10 inches

empty weight 10,230 kilograms 22,560 pounds
normal loaded weight 14,770 kilograms 32,570 pounds
MTO weight 17,800 kilograms 39,250 pounds

max speed at altitude 2,500 KPH 1,550 MPH / 1,350 KT
service ceiling 18,600 meters 61,000 feet
range (clean) 1,450 kilometers 900 MI / 825 NMI
_____________________ _________________ _______________________

The avionics system was comprehensively updated, including:

A new Sapfir-23ML or "N003" radar, which was lighter, had greater reliability, and featured improved capability over its predecessor.

A new Type 26SH1 IRST.

A new ASP-17ML HUD / gunsight.

An improved Lasour-23SML datalink, with all commands displayed on the HUD.

A much improved Polyot 23-21 navigation system.

Improved radar altimeter; and modernized flight control system.
The updated weapons control system allowed the MiG-23ML to carry an R-23R and R-23T AAM on the same flight, and also permitted the carriage of a 23-millimeter cannon pod on each wing glove pylon. All earlier stores, including a tactical nuclear weapon, could be carried as well.

Although some of the structural weaknesses of the wing box system lingered in early MiG-23ML production, later production featured a stronger box, and with the introduction of improved flight control technology -- such as a "stick pusher" that restricted the aircraft's AOA -- the MiG-23ML eliminated the worst handling problems, though some restrictions remained. VVS pilots felt confident that they could outfly US Phantoms. The new General Dynamics F-16 and McDonnell-Douglas F-15 were tougher customers; the F-16 was seen as an even match, but in a one-on-one fight the MiG-23ML was seen as being well at a disadvantage against an F-15.

* The MiG-23ML was quickly followed in production by the "MiG-23MLA", which was identical in terms of its airframe and engine but featured a better avionics suite. Its centerpiece was a modestly improved Sapfir-23MLA radar, with incremental enhancements in range, reliability, and electronic counter-countermeasures capability. The updated radar also was able to operate on different bands, allowing multiple MiG-23MLAs flying together to use their radars without interference. In addition, the MiG-23MLA supported the new R-24R and R-24T AAMs, which were enhanced derivatives of the R-23R and R-23T respectively. The new AAMs had improved seeker systems, better aerodynamics and maneuverability, longer range, and a heavier warhead. They retained the NATO reporting name of "AA-7 Apex". An improved R-60 / AA-8 Aphid variant, the "R-60M", with a better seeker, was also introduced.

Initial flight of the MiG-23MLA was in 1977, with the variant going into production in 1978. It retained the NATO reporting name of "Flogger-G". Export versions were shipped from 1981, replacing the MiG-23MF and MiG-23MS on the export production line. Warsaw Pact countries obtained a slightly detuned MiG-23MLA variant, while other Soviet client states featured a more substantially stripped-down variant. About a thousand MiG-23MLs and MiG-23MLAs were built.

* The Soviet Union had an entirely separate military service, the "Protivo Vozdusdushnoi Oborony (PVO / Homeland Air-Defense Organization)" to operate radar networks, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and interceptors to deal with airborne intruders. The PVO operated the MiG-19P/PM and Sukhoi Su-9/11 interceptors well into the 1970s, but by the end of the decade these aircraft were showing their age, and a better solution was required.

The MiG-23ML was very attractive, its good performance and BVR look-down / shoot-down missile capability being exactly what the PVO needed, while its deficiencies in maneuverability were not a major concern in the pure interceptor role. The PVO was strongly oriented towards automated CGI operations, and so the service obtained a variant of the MiG-23ML with appropriately optimized avionics, designated the "MiG-23P" -- the "P" standing for "perekvatchik (interceptor)". Once again, it retained the NATO reporting name of "Flogger-G".

The primary change was the incorporation of an SAU-23P autopilot / flight control system, which was integrated with a Lasour-M GCI datalink to permit intercepts almost completely under ground control, the pilot only handling the throttle as instructed by the system. At least 500 MiG-23Ps were built for the PVO from 1978 into 1981, and the type became a mainstay of the Soviet interceptor force in the 1980s. Upgrades were provided in service to support the R-24R/T and R-60M AAMs.

BACK_TO_TOP
[1.6] MIG-23MLD FLOGGER-K

* In 1982, an upgrade program was authorized for the MiG-23ML/MLA fleet, with the upgrade to provide enhanced aerodynamics, better countermeasures, and improved avionics. The modified aircraft were designated "MiG-23MLD", where "D" stood for "dorabotannyi / upgraded". The changes included:

Small strakes or "vortex generators" attached to the side of the nose pitot tube and a distinctive notch at the leading-edge root of each wing glove, both innovations intended to create vortexes over the flight control surfaces of the aircraft and ensure controllability at high AOA. However, the notches imposed a drag penalty.

A stronger wing pivot system and a new, fourth sweep setting of 33 degrees for combat maneuvering -- though it was tricky to use and was generally only employed by experienced pilots.

An SOS-3-4 automated flight limiting system, obtained from the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter, to prevent the aircraft from being pushed outside of its maneuvering envelope and so preventing departure from controlled flight.

Two six-round KDS-23 chaff-flare dispensers integrated into the centerline pylon. Most aircraft also had two BVP-50-60 upward-firing 60-round chaff-flare dispensers tacked onto the back of the rear fuselage. These dispensers were prominent, resembling large strakes, and were on the draggy side.

A still further improved Sapfir-23MLA-11 AKA N008 radar, with greater range -- about 70 kilometers (44 miles /38 NMI) for a bomber-sized target -- plus a new close-combat mode, and general enhancement of earlier features.

Improvement of other avionics and aircraft systems, including the SAU-23-18 flight control system; a new Beryoza RWR; a new Klystron digital tactical radio and automatic landing system; an improved nosewheel steering scheme; and a crash-resistant flight recorder.
All weaponry carried on earlier variants could be carried by the MiG-23MLD, and from 1984 it could also carry the R-73 (NATO AA-11 Archer) heat-seeking dogfighting missile, with one fitted to each fuselage pylon while the wing glove pylons carried R-24R/T AAMs. There was some follow-on effort to fit the MiG-23LMD with an RF jammer -- either the Siren jammer (not to be confused with the Sirena RWR) or the improved Gardeniya jammer -- but though trials were performed, no operational MiG-23 fighter ever carried an RF jammer. About 500 upgrades were performed. NATO gave the type the reporting name "Flogger-K".]




THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, .... PURE INTERNET GARBAGE:

"The MiG-23ML eliminated the worst handling problems, though some restrictions remained. VVS pilots felt confident that they could outfly US Phantoms. The new General Dynamics F-16 and McDonnell-Douglas F-15 were tougher customers; the F-16 was seen as an even match, but in a one-on-one fight the MiG-23ML was seen as being well at a disadvantage against an F-15."



First, this paragraph is referencing the ML version as "pilots felt confident that they could outfly the US F-4 Phantoms."

THEN:

It later states "the F-16 was seen as an even match."

THEN:

"In a 1v1 fight the F-15 could beat it."



It boggles my mind how they "think it could outfly the Phantom, be even with a Viper, and lose to the F-15."


Now, yesterday I will admit that I was mistaken in saying that Sierra Hotel spoke of the MLD. But I know for a fact that the author says (who had almost 10 years F-15 experience/commanded a squadron I believe) that WVR the F-16 beats the F-15, and easily beats the Phantom.

Fulcrmuflyer has even said the same thing: that the F-16 WVR beats the F-15.

I think the book "Viper Pilot" says the exact same thing, ((but I am just too lazy to pull it out of my closet)).


So my point is that some of the data in this article on various Flogger versions that I posted is wrong or they are just plain lying. How could they think they are now even with a Phantom, beat an F-16, and lose to the F-15? It's a nonsensical illogical deduction. ....anecdotal fallacy....



Later, (with the MLD version) it had to gain weight over the ML because of the further air-frame/aerodynamic improvements. I can tell you the Viper did in its evolution. Why wouldn't the MLD? So dare I say that the MLD has a weaker T/W ratio over the ML??? And I think they both use the same engine??


I just don't see even with the improvements how it could close that wide margin between it and the F-16A???


If the F-14B added over 13K additional thrust with the F110 and it was still not "F-16 like". I am perplexed that people think the MLD could do the same thing with less??? :doh:
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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 22:19

Don't worry about Internet Garbage and try to stick to good sources of Information that will provide us with something useful. Even published books from years back have been filled with X is better than Y because of authors total lack of understanding and information - This is a very complex subject.


Now you posted that graphic before and you are right it is total BS because even though those ITR/STR figures are in the ballpark nothing can be based on a few STR & ITR figures at a single altitude - compare any EM charts and that big difference can drastically change at other speeds & altitudes (Note the MiG-21bis and MiG-23ML were both 8.5G airframes subsonic AA - but this again does not suddenly turn them into good dogfighters)

The given empty operating weight for the MLD was heavier - I have missed that - only ~1500 lbs lighter over the M.




After Bekaa Valley in the early 80s the Soviet Air Force published a supplementary air combat manual called Aide-Memoire for the MiG-23MLD Pilot on Air Combat vs F-15A, F-I6A, F-4E and Kfir C.2, - this was translated by Mladenov back in 2003 for airforces monthly.com - this is basically the version Syria and Bulgaria had which was a new build MLA airframe with MLD avionics.

Firstly this was information for the actual pilots so unless they were making some pretty wild **** guesses - the information can only have come from Human Intelligence sources! - I will just put the parts more relevant to BFM:


However, the MiG-23MLD's air combat performance, as quoted in the manual, is cited as definitely inferior to the McDonnell Douglas F-15A and General Dynamics F-16A. There are only a few areas within the MiG-23MLD's envelope where it could boast performance equal to, or slightly better than, the third generation US fighters.

The manual's authors claim that in comparison with the F-4E (though whether they mean the slatted or non-slatted sub-version of the Phantom is not clear), the MiG-23MLD has superior sustained turn performance throughout the entire envelope, excluding the range between 377 and 540kts (700 and 1,000km/h) below 21,000ft (6,400m). It also has the edge over the Phantom II in zoom climb performance at all altitudes and speeds, excluding the true airspeed range between 485 and 647kts (900 and ,200km/h) above 18,000ft (6,000m).
Compared with the F-15A, the MiG-23MLD's only notable advantage is in zoom climb performance at speeds above 620kts (1,150km/h). However, the manual asserts that compared with the F-16A, the Soviet swing-wing fighter produces a somewhat better sustained turn performance above 15,000ft (5,000m), at speeds close to the maximum, as well as better zoom climb performance at true airspeeds exceeding 590kts (1,100km/h).



The Soviets listed the F-16A as having better acceleration from 324 kts to 594 kts at 3000ft and a better climb rate (figure given is 14,000 fps lower than actual best for a light F-16A ) however they list the same F-4E figures as lower than the MiG.


I am not going to list any of Mladenovs assumptions just the actual manual data - so we can see that the Soviets thought there were parts of the envelope where the MiG-23MLD had better STR - and this is quite possible as I said before - there might be small parts of the envelope where it had better STR but without the MiG-23 EM charts there is no way to disprove this - however is it relevant? Not really.

The manual assures MiG-23 pilots that the F-15A or F-16A have no valuable advantage in their close air combat weapons. However, these US new generation fighters are regarded as being much more manoeuvrable, and could consequently achieve a weapons employment solution in their turning engagements much easier and earlier than the MiG-23MLD. In view of this, MiG-23MLD pilots are strongly advised that prolonged turning engagements against F-15As and F-16As, both
offensive and defensive, should be avoided by all means
.
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Unread post16 Jul 2017, 23:04

Good, readable series of posts, even for a old dinosaur like me.

I remember seeing an F-15 squadron end-of-course presentation plaque at the 4477th that said simply....

...."We don't need no stinking lag."

I'm just curious if any of the USN Viper guys ever flew the thing in Cat 3? Or was it safety-wired in Cat 1 for the Navy? :mrgreen:
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 00:05

It would be interesting to compare the F-16A to the F-15A/C charts. I just cannot find a F-16A -1-1 manual supplement anywhere. The only thing on the net are estimations. USAF has not flown the A model in years, don't understand why they still consider its performance numbers classified.

When they (the sources that I listed) say the F-16 was better WVR vs F-15, I imagine it was "normal" DACT altitudes; probably 25K and under? I think the Eagle did best the F-16A in certain (few) areas of the envelope above 30K.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 13:31

outlaw162 wrote:
I'm just curious if any of the USN Viper guys ever flew the thing in Cat 3? Or was it safety-wired in Cat 1 for the Navy? :mrgreen:


Ha reminded me of this from an interview with Paul Nickell but no mention of Cat used when playing MiG-23s - wonder if 35_aoa did something similar.

The beauty of the F-16N was that it could simulate all of these threats well if flown properly by the adversary pilot. To simulate the MiG-17 or a similar threat, we simply flew the F-16 full up, except we never used the afterburner. To simulate the MiG-21, we flew it full up, except we would select more than zone two (zone five being the max) afterburner. To simulate the MiG-23 we flew the F-16N at the speed of heat and made no turns greater than about four G. On top of that, we could simulate the fourth generation Soviet fighters, the SU 27 and MIG 29, if we flew it full up, full burner and at any speed.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 13:32

Common people, be professional.

The fact that an aircraft is stressed for 8 or 9G tells you nothing about its dogfighting abilities.

What really matters is at what speed can it pull this load. If they are not telling you this, they are BSing you.

In order to out-turn an opponent you need to be pulling the same amount of G at a LOWER speed. This requires a lower stall speed for an instantaneous rate advantage, or a more efficient wing (ie a higher L/D ratio) for a sustained rate advantage.

[Recall that sustained load factor is computed as the product of the T/W ratio times L/D ratio. T/W varies with height, L/D varies with speed and height]

So if you think the MiG-23M/ML/MLD/MLSD (Snoopy Update) has a lower stall speed or better wing efficiency than any of the other types that were mentioned above, well you may also believe I am as big as a horse.

Further you should use caution with regard to the "areas" of the "Envelope" where their a/c is supposedly superior...If they claim suppremacy in areas not used in combat, they are again BSing you.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 14:07

viper4ever wrote:Further you should use caution with regard to the "areas" of the "Envelope" where their a/c is supposedly superior...If they claim suppremacy in areas not used in combat, they are again BSing you.



Errr - suggest going back and reading it again - you appear to be a few miles wide of the conversation.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 14:14

My friend I just saw that you made a reference to the instructions given to Russian MiG-23 pilots, in an effort to boost their moral, after the syrian Mig-23s were blown to smitherins in 1982.

Could you enlighten us on how did the Russians arrive at these conclusions? Where did they find a VIPER/EAGLE/PHANTOM to test it against their aircraft? I do not recall any incidents involving US pilots defecting to Soviet Russia.

Clearly the entirety of the document is light-years of the truth, let alone the topic, don't you think?

Now this document refers to parts of the envelope where the Mig-23 is supposedly superior. IMO people should read this with caution. There is indeed a lot of garbage on the Internet.
Last edited by viper4ever on 17 Jul 2017, 14:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 14:24

viper4ever wrote:My friend I just saw that you made a reference to the instructions given to Russian MiG-23 pilots, in an effort to boost their moral, after the syrian Mig-23s were blown to smitherins in 1982.

Could you enlighten us on how did the Russians arrive at these conclusions? Where did they find a VIPER/EAGLE/PHANTOM to test it against their aircraft? I do not recall any incidents involving US pilots defecting to Soviet Russia.

Clearly the entirety of the document is light-years of the truth, let alone the topic, don't you think?




Well okay we know that - I will repeat what I stated above for you - they were either making wild **** guesses or the Information was from Human intelligence (e.g. KGB).
The author does note that the VVS and KGB have omitted or did not know about Python 3 (or the F-15C ) - both were used in 82.

Can you provide any useful information on the VVS MiG-23MLD such as a full set of EM charts ?
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Unread post17 Jul 2017, 14:33

Mr Cavano can provide you with the info you require. May be he could give you a ride as well...

http://www.warbirdsofdelaware.com/Airpl ... fault.aspx

The MiG-23 has been flight tested by US and allied pilots. The consensus is that a flight in this a/c is the worst thing that may happen to you.
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