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First appearence og MIG-29 at Farnborough '88

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First appearence og MIG-29 at Farnborough '88

Old 6th Dec 2015, 13:39
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First appearence og MIG-29 at Farnborough '88

Came past this article: https://news.google.com/newspapers?n...96,74675&hl=fi
Contrary to todays highway of information, in '88 one had to be lucky to have a buddy who had a worn VHS copy of foreign airshows and I was such fortunate around the '88 Farnborough show and enjoyed especially the presense of the MIG-29 wich had an amazing take-off where it just barely had lift when the gear was retracted :-o Common stuff on Youtube today but amazingly to experience in '88!
As the article describes I remember that the arriving MIG's was intercepted and folloved by a couple of RAF Tornado's, but I recall there was some twist with that escort without specific remembering what it was :-(
Does anybody remember the tell-tales from then?
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Old 6th Dec 2015, 15:33
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At the time the rumour was that the Tornados had to request the Migs descend to a lower cruising level so that they could accompany/escort them: IIRC something like a FL530 cruise was mentioned. Like I said, though, only a rumour.
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Old 7th Dec 2015, 01:26
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I was tower controller at Farnborough when the Mig 29s arrived. One of the duties of the accompanying Tornados was to relay ATC instructions to the Migs. We all assumed this meant in Russian, but in actual fact the relay was in English so what was the point?
I was briefed that on arrival, one of the Migs would be doing a short impromptu display. The only unusual point of this was when coming in to land, he streamed his brake 'chute when he was still about 20ft agl!

Last edited by chevvron; 7th Dec 2015 at 13:16.
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Old 8th Dec 2015, 08:56
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GLASNOST

I flew the VC10K carrying the international press for this event, with Ray F Knowles (RIP) as co-pilot. I was ordered to keep the whole thing confidential and not even to tell the squadron boss - so the only people who were 'in on it' were the crew, my flight commander and 'Melons', the rather delightful station POC with MoD PR. I did rather too good a job as the station commander only found out the day beforehand out that the Director of PR was intending to come! Fortunately he changed his mind as he had something of a reputation... And if I'd told the boss, he'd have pinched the trip anyway!


We RV'd with the F3s over the North Sea and led them off to the inbound MiG 29s. The F3s wanted to do rather more than the original brief, but the intercept went fine and we headed off towards the UK with the TV crews and aviation journos taking turns on the flight deck to get their photos for the evening news and publications various, despite one F3 which didn't follow the brief and kept getting in our way.

The weather was such that the planned descent over land wasn't possible as a complete formation, so we had to let the F3 and MiG 29 formation do their own thing, whilst we followed at a discrete distance amused by the chaos caused by the F3 leader plunging down with the formation through the Daventry sector amongst the airline traffic.

We caught up with them as they ran in towards Farnborough, then broke off to fly back to Brize. Shortly after we left, an RAE Canberra flew over as though on a practice diversion; in fact it was taking IR photos to assess the fuel on board the Mig 29s. Throughout the week the spooks recorded the MiG fuel uplift, trying to get an overall assessment of the MiG 29 fuel burn. But the good old Sovs frustrated that by doing their final refuelling from their accompanying Antonov. Nice one Boris!

Last edited by BEagle; 8th Dec 2015 at 10:31.
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Old 8th Dec 2015, 10:28
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Jogged my memory there Beags; I don't recall a Canberra doing a PD just after they landed but I do remember a Puma helicopter doing one soon after. I thought at the time it must have had some clandestine reason because we didn't normally accept PDs during the 2 weeks of Farnborough Airshow but in this case I was told it was 'an exception'.
Edit to add:
I've remembered the Canberra now. Whereas the Puma did a PAR and go around at DH (150 ft for a heli in those days which he maintained for most of the runway before climbing away) the Canberra didn't make an approach, just a single pass at circuit height along the line of the runway.

Last edited by chevvron; 8th Dec 2015 at 11:22.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 09:53
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I happened to be standbuilding on the day and was taking a break at the Greasy Spoon when the weather seemed to turn black over towards the east, and an aircraft with huge headlights was spotted on the approach.

I had a strange feeling...

Rushed into the hall to grab my camera and out the airfield side down to the apron, where the aircraft were taxying in. I too wondered what the Canberra was doing, seemed somehow out of place, but all would be explained later.

I simply joined the throng and took what shots I could. The excitement of the occasion increased a few days later with the arrival of the An-22 ostensibly with a replacement engine for the one that went kaputt on the 124. John Blake drew me a doodle of the An-22's sideways touchdown for my visitor's book, which I managed to 'retain' but can't put my finger on right now.

I bumped into the three Russian crewmembers on several occasions later, culminating in a very 'wet' reception in the 'Control Tower' at MAKS '95.

Happy days!

May I invite you to view the hastily reworked photos on my humble website here: Farnborough SBAC Sept 1988 - English-for-Flyaways

I shall add descriptions and names by and by.

brgds and Happy Holidays,
Alan
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 11:48
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Alan, is that Anatoly Kvochur, left on pic 12? Must have been the following year he demonstrated the MiG's ejection system at Paris after a bird ingestion!

I nipped down to see the AN-22, stopped off at a friend's place in Frimley on the way back - we heard it take off!
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 14:55
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It is indeed, Tredders! I remember there was a bit of a barney going on, probably about where to go or what to do next, and he was a bit pi**ed. I don't know who the chap is next to Duncan Simpson, but he obviously had his hands full.

The other two, if we take a look at photo 10/12 (or SBAC 1988_7) are, on the left, navigator Yuri Ermakov, and on the right, MiG test pilot Roman Taskaev.

Yuri was one of that select band of special navigator/escorts tasked with accompanying military flights out of the country, or foreign military flights into Russia, very often with the pickup in Copenhagen. I believe it was Anatoli in the single seater, Roman and Yuri in the -UB.

Anatoli stepped out at Le Bourget the following year, and I believe yet again over the Crimea, after which he switched to the Sukhoi 27, whether by design or just part of the job at Lii I dont know. One of the two pilots who had the nasty at Fairford in '93 was his wingman when he was in the air force based at Damgarten.

Roman is well-known for his (FAI) record climb in a MiG-29 to 27,460 meters (90,092 feet) at Aerodrome Akhtubinsk in 1995. There was also something involving the MiG-AT...

I must apologise for the quality of the photos, but they are ages old scans at 300 dpi, before I knew what that meant, and also carried an incorrect email address. I also didn't want to hijack the thread with a dozen photos!

best wishes,
Alan
p.s. I owned the helmet 'Toli was wearing at Le Bourget, but it found a new and more suitable home just last year.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 17:53
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I also didn't want to hijack the thread with a dozen photos!
My posting didn't foresee the amount of remembrances in word and photo and IMO it cannot be hijacked with photos. So bring 'em on!
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 18:53
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atb 1943.
On top of all that, Anatoli lost his wife not so long after.
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Old 9th Dec 2015, 21:29
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Believe you're right Haraka, seem to recall hearing about it at MAKS in '95. Was visiting friends in Zhukovsky one evening after the show and his apartment just across the way was pointed out, together with something about a car accident.

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Old 9th Dec 2015, 22:23
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Talking

@Flybiker

I'll have to learn how to all over again; tomorrow methinks, somewhat too much водка

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Old 10th Dec 2015, 10:48
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'an RAE Canberra'

I don't think so!
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 12:06
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FL575

Perhapos you were flying it from RRE?
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 13:39
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@FL575 Not sure where 'RAE' has been mentioned, but the lovely long-nosed RRE Canberra WH953 did appear on 6 September according to 'Farnborough Spotter' referring to it as a 'low level photo shoot'. Time of day is seldom mentioned so I wonder what that was about.

Any idea John?

btw, the 5 Sqn pilot in the photos is Dave Bennett
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 14:15
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At Farnborough 88 I went out of my way to make personal contact with the MiG pilots. CTP Valery Menitsky, Anatoy Kvotchur and Roman Taskaev However this was not easy because the Berlin Wall was not consigned to history until 13 months later. Consequently minders were very much in evidence whenever one met the pilots and since any conversation required an interpreter, the whole exercise lacked the easy informality that normally exists between pilots at airshows.

It will be difficult for youngsters today to appreciate the atmosphere of suspicion and fear that existed between the east and west during the cold war. Therefore, make no mistake, both the Russians and the Brits were very much feeling their way during personal contacts in 1988.

Right from the beginning of my contacts with the MiG team, I had reasoned that they had no more control over their political circumstances than we as pilots had over ours. Suffice it to say that I invited the MiG pilots to the traditional dinner for the Red Arrows in the BAe chalet on the Sunday evening after the show. Things progressed further at Paris the following year such that I felt able to write to their chief designer, Michael Waldenberg, to ask if I could fly the aircraft at the next Farnborough. This resulted in a telex (those were the days) in which he agreed to talk about it at the show.

PS Sorry dunno anything about the Canberra
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 14:19
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Originally Posted by FL575 View Post
'an RAE Canberra'

I don't think so!
It didn't call the tower frequency (nor did the Puma, that went straight from talkdown back to approach) so I have no idea who operated it, I was just told not to launch anything as there would be a Canberra passing through the overhead, however as I said, (as far as I recall) it didn't come below circuit height.
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 14:44
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If it wasn't 'RAE', then it was a raspberry ripple Cranberry operated by someone else...

The 5 sqn 'pilot' in the photo with the MiG mates is a navigator not a pilot! He is Dave Bennett, a hugely competent fightergator QWI on the F-4 with whom I was privileged to fly on 56(F) squadron before his move to add quality to the F3 world.

Last edited by BEagle; 10th Dec 2015 at 16:05.
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 15:34
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The 5 sqn 'pilot' in the photo with the MiG mates is a navigator not a pilot! He is Dave Bennett, a hugely competent fightergator QWI on the F-4 with whom I was privileged to fly on 56(F) squadron before his move to add quality to the F-3 world.
Whoops! Thanks for the headsup!
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 16:04
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Head? Head! Who said 'head'? I'll take some of that!
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