Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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5 March 2018

The world’s first serial airplane which managed to reach the milestone speed of 3000 km/h is the MiG-25 long-range supersonic high-altitude third generation interceptor. It was designed by Mikoyans’ Bureau together with TsAGI scientists.

They started to develop the aircraft in 1961. The task was to create a flying machine capable of reaching high supersonic speeds (Mach numbers ≈ 3).

Preliminary studies in TsAGI showed the feasibility of a supersonic leading-edge wing. It was recommended to have a moderately swept wing with leading edge sweepback of approximately 42 degrees, with a reduced maximum profile thickness and a very small leading-edge radius (to reduce shock wave drag during supersonic flight). This arrangement could also lead to more suitable takeoff and landing characteristics.

In accordance with the MiG-25 flight mode engines, TsAGI scientists designed side-mounted, pressed-to-fuselage supersonic variable side-wedge compression intakes. It greatly improved the fighter’s flight characteristics.

During the MiG-25’s creation, the domestic aviation industry resolved the long-duration or prolonged aircraft surface heating problem while in flight. At Mach 3 the total heat temperature of the MiG-25’s leading edges ran up a temperature of 300-350 degrees C. To ensure design integrity the Mikoyan’s Bureau specialists created a unique airframe of steel (80%), titanium (8%) and other materials (12%). TsAGI held aerothermal load strength tests.

The MiG-25’s maiden flight was March 6, 1964. Dozens of world aviation speed, altitude and climb, including absolute records were set with this aircraft. Some of them still stand, for example, the dynamic ceiling, surpassing the static ceiling.

The substantially modified MiG-31 was created based on the MiG-25. This type of interception aircraft currently has no equivalents in the world.

TsAGI Press Service
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