steman wrote:Apart from the APU inlet, what other differences do you see that make you say they look quite different?
VSMUT wrote:Lower one looks like a prototype. Top looks like a production aircraft.
As I understand it, the original MiG-29 was developed into the improved MiG-29M, featuring among various upgrades a bigger wing and elevators. This version never found any customers. At one point it went under the MiG-33 designation. It was then developed into the MiG-29K, which likewise didn't find a home. In the 90s, India selected the MiG-29K as the basis for a new carrier fighter, the second MiG-29K, which most notably features the new nose and canopy design. This version was in turn made into a land based fighter, the second MiG-29M, which also features the new nose and canopy. The twin seat version of this is known as the MiG-29M-2. The second MiG-29M has been further refined into the MiG-35.
Not confusing at all
ThePointblank wrote:Also, the Russians have a habit of taking air frames already produced, but not finished, and reworking them into new air frames later on. So a late production aircraft could in fact be an early production air frame that was stored and subsequently reworked years later as a different aircraft model, but not all the changes may be made to the older air frame except for the big important changes.
There's also two aircraft factories producing MiG fighters as well; Moscow Aircraft Production Organization (MAPO) and the Sokol Aircraft Plant. So there are even production differences as a result of being produced at two different factories...
ThePointblank wrote:There's also two aircraft factories producing MiG fighters as well; Moscow Aircraft Production Organization (MAPO) and the Sokol Aircraft Plant. So there are even production differences as a result of being produced at two different factories...
VSMUT wrote:ThePointblank wrote:There's also two aircraft factories producing MiG fighters as well; Moscow Aircraft Production Organization (MAPO) and the Sokol Aircraft Plant. So there are even production differences as a result of being produced at two different factories...
ANZUS340 wrote:Very interesting. I wonder if that is why there are different rear sections in the aircraft photos above too.
sovietjet wrote:Here is the best explanation I can give .
sovietjet wrote:Here is the best explanation I can give, however I will have to introduce a new nomenclature. In Russia, aircraft are often given an internal designation index, or "izdeliye". For the MiG-29, the classic versions we all know that were mass produced in the 80s and until the mid 90s were the "izdeliye" 9.12 and 9.13. In this case the 9.13 was only for the USSR and featured a slightly enlarged spine (though nowhere near the size of SMT). While 9.12 was also for USSR, it was supplied to all the export nations.
In the late 1980s, MiG was trying to develop the MiG-29 further. This led to the first MiG-29M, also known as izdeliye 9.15 which represents the second generation in the MiG-29 family and it differs from earlier machines in many respects. In the design of the airframe, composites were used more intensively. Maximum effort was aimed at increasing the internal volumes of the airframe for the placement of additional fuel and avionics, while the task was not to go beyond the dimensions of the airframe of the "old" MiG-29. Thus, the size of the aircraft increased very slightly: approximately 40 mm in the height of the cockpit canopy and 200 mm in the length of the fuselage. The area between the engine nacelles was redesigned and the air brake was redesigned (one large brake on upper fuselage, brake on lower fuselage was removed). “Teeth” appeared on the front edges of the stabilizer and instead of one brake parachute with an area of 17 m2, two smaller parachutes with an area of 13 m2 were installed - for better braking when landing a heavy. Blocks of electronic equipment and 120 flares were installed in the slightly enlarged spine. The pilot's downward-forward visibility has been improved due to the higher position of the ejection seat under the new cockpit canopy. An antenna for the automatic radio compass is installed at the rear of the canopy. The wing has ailerons of increased area, which improved roll control at low speeds and large angles of attack. The wing structure was reinforced to accommodate loads on the underwing pylons with a total weight of up to 4,500 kg, the number of pylons is increased from six to eight.
The designation MiG-29ME or MiG-33 was assigned to the export version of the MiG-29M aircraft. It featured a simplified EW suite and a simplified version of the Zhuk radar. The project was not successful, however MiG-29M with tail numbers "155", "156" and MiG-29S with tail number "331" participated as the “MiG-33” or MiG-29ME at exhibitions and shows. It was known as izdeliye 9.15E. The Mig-29K, also known as izdeliye 9.31, was basically a carrier version of the MiG-29M izdeliye 9.15. It featured folding wings, reinforced landing gear, tailhook, etc. Two prototypes were built but it never entered production.
Here is where it gets confusing. In 2004, due to interest from India, the MiG-29K program was resurrected. The eventual result is the MiG-29K we know today. It featured a huge amount of changes. RD-33MK engines, increased internal fuel capacity, Zhuk-ME radar, liquid-crystal displays, GPS, totally new avionics suite, new fly-by-wire system, etc. Some major external changes included an enlarged wing, intakes that no longer closed off when the aircraft was on the ground, revised spine (again), and a standardized front fuselage between the single seat and two-seat versions. This new MiG-29K is known as izdeliye 9.41, and it is very different from the “first” MiG-29K izdeliye 9.31 mentioned earlier. But, confusingly enough, they are both called MiG-29K. The two-seat version of the new MiG-29K is the MiG-29KUB, also known as izdeliye 9.47. As I mentioned, the single-seat and two-seat version are externally identical. They have the same cockpit canopy as well, despite one being a single seat aircraft. However, the single-seat MiG-29K has a 400-liter additional fuel tank in the place of what would otherwise be the rear cockpit seat. You can see it through the canopy in pictures. So, to summarize – “new” MiG-29K is izdeliye 9.41, and two-seat MiG-29KUB is 9.47. Now that the MiG-29K/KUB was in production for India, the Russian Navy ordered it for themselves as well, likewise receiving izdeliye numbers 9.41R/9.47R. The difference is only internal, with the Russian Navy aircraft having replaced all Western avionics with Russian made avionics.
Keeping up? Ok, here is where it gets REALLY confusing. In 2000, in an effort to win the order for the new Malaysian fighter, MiG converted one of the MiG-29M izdeliye 9.15 aircraft into a two-seater version. It featured a variety of changes such as fly-by-wire system, in-flight refueling capability, RD-33 series 3M engines, Zhuk-ME radar, avionics with MIL-STD-1553B standard, etc. It received the designation MiG-29M2 or MiG-29MRCA. Eventually though, it didn’t win the Malaysian order. The same aircraft, was later in 2006 modified (AGAIN!), as a demonstration prototype for the MMRCA Indian fighter competition. It again received changes to the avionics and engines. Although the MiG-29M2 designation was technically the same until then, in a marketing effort it was renamed to MiG-35. Let me remind you again that at this point (2007) the MiG-35 existed as a dual-seat aircraft, and only this one prototype existed. Later, by 2009, the program was developed further. Now, there was ALSO a single seat version of the MiG-35. Confusingly enough, the designations SWITCHED(!!). The single seat version was now the MiG-35, and the dual seat version was the MiG-35D. One MiG-35 (single seat) and two MiG-35D prototypes were made. The single seat MiG-35 was converted from a MiG-29K izdeliye 9.41 (which I described above) and in essence was structurally and externally identical to it (with the external changes of 9.41 I described before) but without the folding wings and tailhook. One of the two MiG-35D aircraft was simply the “previous” MiG-35 (circa 2007) which before that was called MiG-29M2 or MiG-29MRCA for the Malaysian fighter bid, which was converted from a Mig-29M. Lost yet? Good. The second MiG-35D was converted from a MiG-29KUB izdeliye 9.47 and was again externally the same as that minus folding wings and tailhook. If you’re paying close attention, you’ll realize that the two MiG-35D prototypes in fact are externally different. The two converted from 29K/29KUB had the larger area wings while the one converted from M2/MRCA/M still had the smaller area wings. A few years later, following the end of the Indian saga, the two aircraft that were converted from MiG-29K/KUB were converted back to their original versions so they were no longer “MiG-35/35D”.
Now, by 2013 the Russian air force had expressed interest in acquiring the MiG-35. Two NEW prototypes were made, one was a single seat aircraft, oddly enough receiving the designation MiG-29M and a dual seat aircraft again oddly enough called the MiG-29M2. These were seen at MAKS 2013. The izdeliye designations are unknown. It is important to keep in mind that these MiG-29M/M2 are now the “second use” of this designation. The MiG-29M shown at MAKS 2013 was externally again basically a MiG-29K izdeliye 9.41 and likewise the MiG-29M2 was basically a MiG-29KUB izdeliye 9.47. Both obviously no longer had the folding wings and tailhooks though, and likely had some small avionics differences. In December 2014, the Russian air force ordered two preproduction aircraft, with the designation changed AGAIN to MiG-35S (single-seat based on this “second” MiG-29M), and the MiG-35UB (dual-seat based on the “second” MiG-29M2). These two preproduction aircraft were unveiled in January 2017. Earlier this year, the first two production aircraft were seen.
So, there you have it! To summarize:
“First“ MiG-29M: Izdeliye 9.15 – 4 aircraft built
MiG-29ME/MiG-33: Izdeliye 9.15E. Export version based on “first” MiG-29M.
“First” MiG-29K: Izdeliye 9.31. Naval version based on “first” MiG-29M.
“Second” MiG-29K: Izdeliye 9.41. New naval version initially developed for India in 2004.
MiG-29KUB: Izdeliye 9.47. Two seat version of “second” MiG-29K.
“First” MiG-29M2: Two seat upgraded version converted from single seat “first” MiG-29M for Malaysia. Also known as MiG-29MRCA.
“First” MiG-35: Converted from MiG-29MRCA for Indian competition in 2007. Later in 2009 redesignated as MiG-35D.
“Second” MiG-35: Single-seat version of the MiG-35 for Indian competiton.
“Second” MiG-29M: Revised single-seat version of “second” MiG-35, but for Russian air force, and airframe based on “second” MiG-29K.
“Second” MiG-29M2: Revised version of MiG-35D, but for Russian air force, and airframe based on MiG-29KUB.
MiG-35S: Revised and redesignated version of “second” MiG-29M.
MiG-35UB: Revised and redesignated version of “second” MiG-29M2.
ANZUS340 wrote:The aircraft in the first photo I posted in my opening post is MiG-35D? Converted from a MiG-29KUB. Here is a picture of the same aircraft I believe with Mig-35 painted on the side. And later that Mig-35 written on the side was removed and 747 painted on the side of the engine.
ANZUS340 wrote:And the second photo in my opening post is of Mig-29 9.15
ANZUS340 wrote:Now I think I understand why Rosoboronexport are showing two different aircraft under the heading "Mig-35D."
The first is actually converted MiG-29KUB.
The second is converted from the Mig-29MRCA and repainted with Mig-35.
sovietjet wrote:ANZUS340 wrote:The aircraft in the first photo I posted in my opening post is MiG-35D? Converted from a MiG-29KUB. Here is a picture of the same aircraft I believe with Mig-35 painted on the side. And later that Mig-35 written on the side was removed and 747 painted on the side of the engine.
First photo in opening post is the "second" MiG-29M2, shown for the first time during MAKS 2013. But yes, it is also the same aircraft as the one you showed with "MiG-35" written on the side. I suppose the airshow appearances and marketing ploys led to that decal being applied, although I can't say what, if anything, changed internally or otherwise before and after the "MiG-35" writing was applied.ANZUS340 wrote:And the second photo in my opening post is of Mig-29 9.15
Technically yes, although in your photo is was already converted to the "first" MiG-29M2 aka MiG-29MRCA.ANZUS340 wrote:Now I think I understand why Rosoboronexport are showing two different aircraft under the heading "Mig-35D."
The first is actually converted MiG-29KUB.
The second is converted from the Mig-29MRCA and repainted with Mig-35.
Exactly. But you have your chronological order mixed up. The first MiG-35 is from the MiG-29MRCA and the second is from the MiG-29KUB.
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