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Mystery Crash In The Nevada Desert


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Yes, fiver says it was a Flanker of some description. A similar accident occured in the early 1980s, when a USAF general crashed in the nevada range and was killed, the aircraft he died in not announced. The conspiracy theorists claimed it was everything from a prototype stealth fighter, to a reverse engineered flying saucer.

 

As it turned out, he died in a flat spin in a Mig23.

 

 

 

Ok, hands up who built the model of the F19? :D

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Stuart summed it up so well he basically killed the thread...

 

 

...unless it was one of these:

 

 

Im sorry. I seem to have an annoying habit of doing that. :(

 

The Red Eagles is officially defunct, and has been since about 1988. There have been unverifiable reports of Mig29s flying over the site, even one time a SU27 with Sorbyitsa (im sure Ive spelt that wrong) flying over it. Then, a few months ago, someone photographed this.

 

If anyone hasnt read this yet, do consider getting a copy because its excellent. Particularly the sections on how they acquired and how they kept the Mig-23's operational. Interestingly the author noted that one of the former pilots of the squadron kept an SU27 model on his desk. 'Its not because he thinks its pretty' the author was told.

https://www.amazon.com/Red-Eagles-Americas-General-Aviation/dp/1846039703

 

 

Never built the Mig37 model, though I do recall staring longingly at it in the high street model shop. I never got the Bob Lazar S4 UFO either. :(

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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There was a company in the US that owned a Mig29 and a SU27 supposedly for a Dact contract, but I cant find the link now. I did find this though....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=45&v=d4lE6HcBPxw

 

The US guvmint bought a squadron of MiG-29s back in the 90s from Moldavia, to keep them from preying hands...

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Ah yeah, I remember vaguely reading something about that. Not very clear what happened to them afterwards either. If they have been flying out of Tonopah, it seems to have been fairly irregular. There were reports about 2003-2004, then nothing until last year. Of course maybe they were just keeping things under wraps, but im not quite sure why.

 

 

 

Then, a few months ago, someone photographed this.

 

 

Really nice shot of the Flanker flying past the moon!

 

Flanker can into Space! :)

 

Ive always dug this aircraft since I flew the old eagle dynamics sim of it back in about 1995. Hard to believe DCS has roots that go that far back.

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According to this article, one of leading Russian test pilots was warning Eric Schultz not to try to do some of Russian test pilots maneuvers on Su family fighters - despite highly valuing his skills as pilot, he was lacking knowledge of Russian planes specifics, and it was dangerous for him
https://www.bfm.ru/news/365040

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Yeah that would make sense. The colour scheme on the one above looks most commonly seen on Ukrainian Flankers. Last I heard most of them were grounded for want of parts anyway. ALL the Belarus ones are now apparently.

What use in buying planes that are at least 25 years old? Modern Su fighters are very different...

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Yeah that would make sense. The colour scheme on the one above looks most commonly seen on Ukrainian Flankers. Last I heard most of them were grounded for want of parts anyway. ALL the Belarus ones are now apparently.

What use in buying planes that are at least 25 years old? Modern Su fighters are very different...
Recent Russian Flanker variants may indeed be "very different" but there are a lot of older airframes knocking about around the world and it isn't inconceivable that US pilots will face them in air combat at some point. With that in mind, doesn't it make sense to try to avoid any nasty surprises?

 

Seems pretty reasonable to me.

Edited by ink
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Recent Russian Flanker variants may indeed be "very different" but there are a lot of older airframes knocking about around the world and it isn't inconceivable that US pilots will face them in air combat at some point. With that in mind, doesn't it make sense to try to avoid any nasty surprises?

 

Seems pretty reasonable to me.

 

I am not aviation affairs expert - but seems to me USAF strategy in dealing with both "older airframes" and new Rus planes is long distance shot using advantage of low visibility, superior avionics (including data link to AWACS and other planes) and superior missiles. Being engaged in WWII-style against Su fighter is already indication of "something went wrong", and testing it is like testing "how good is M16 bayonet vs. WWI rifle bayonet".

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Back in the day Tom Cruise did the movie "Top Gun", where they spent the first part of the flick highlighting a bunch of stuff from Vietnam in which the pilots needed to relearn how to dogfight with guns so Tom, Val and the rest march off to the desert to learn air combat maneuver. At the end of the movie Tom goes up against the enemy and proceeds to shoot down everything in sight with missiles while the enemy missiles (mostly) miss the target.

Edited by glenn239
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Yeah that would make sense. The colour scheme on the one above looks most commonly seen on Ukrainian Flankers. Last I heard most of them were grounded for want of parts anyway. ALL the Belarus ones are now apparently.

What use in buying planes that are at least 25 years old? Modern Su fighters are very different...

 

 

Well an SU35 is streets ahead of an SU27, ill grant you. Its about level pegging with a Eurofighter. Which considering the F22 pilots were surprised at how good the Rafale and the Typhoon were when they tangled with the USAF, is pause for thought.... Clearly the RUAF still uses lots of Su27s, so for that matter do the Chinese and many nations around the world. So its not as if such training is valueless.

 

Its worth remembering, most of the time the Red Eagles were operating Soviet aircraft, it was older obsolete types (mainly mig21s and Mig17s), because that was all they could get hold of. Im sure if the USAF similarly today would get SU30s off the peg they probably would. But it would mean a lot of capablities they would never use. What they really want is an aircraft that looks like an existing Russian type (just so the radar can give an accurate response) and handles as close as they can to modern types. If they bought an SU30, they would end up stripping most of the kit out, because what they want is a DACT trainer. When they operated Mig23s, the USAF pretty much stripped them out so they were bare bones with just a radar. I dont htink they even had external tanks mounted on them.

 

From time to time they do borrow more advanced types. I think I read somewhere they had trialled an Su30 they had borrowed from someone (The RAF did the same thing when they tangled with the Indian Air Force), just to get an overview on radar systems and the performance of helmet sights.

 

Is this all somewhat artificial worrying about DACT, when quite clearly we have some advantages in long range shots? Yes... But clearly long range missiles have historically underperformed. Last time the USN used its phoenix missiles against the Iraqis, they all missed. The USAF and USN went into Vietnam believing all the hype on the brochures about how well the missile performed. I dont think they mean to make the same mistake again.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Yeah that would make sense. The colour scheme on the one above looks most commonly seen on Ukrainian Flankers. Last I heard most of them were grounded for want of parts anyway. ALL the Belarus ones are now apparently.

What use in buying planes that are at least 25 years old? Modern Su fighters are very different...

 

 

And only China and India have them in numbers.

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An AIM-9X missed a old Su-22 in Syria this year, so never bet for 100% missile accuracy and reliability. Dogfighting with the actual "enemy" is always an advantage.

Is that right? Id not heard that.

 

And still a beancounter at some point will say again 'Yes, but do you really NEED a gun?'. :D

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"They saw the Su-22 approaching," Navy Capt. Jeff Davis,a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Tuesday, as CNN notes. "It again had dirty wings; it was carrying ordnance. They did everything they could to try to warn it away. They did a head-butt maneuver, they launched flares, but ultimately the Su-22 went into a dive and it was observed dropping munitions and was subsequently shot down."


A US F/A-18E off the USS George H.W. Bush in the Mediterranean then fired an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile at the Syrian jet, but the Su-22 had deployed flares causing the missile to miss. The US jet followed up with an AIM-120 medium range air-to-air missile which struck its target, US officials told CNN.

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Missiles like any ordnance are not perfect and their capabilities are often over hyped by the manufacturer and the people in the know cannot give real world data for Opspec reasons and so it's up to people like us to extrapolate performance from these fairly rare engagements, which we only have limited data for.

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