TsAGI CENTENARY IN THE HISTORY OF AVIATION: MiG-23 fighter
13 June 2018
The first flight of the Soviet multi-purpose fighter MiG-23 took place on June 10, 1967. The new aircraft was destined to improve combat effectiveness of the USSR Air Force. The variable-sweep wing was the main distinguishing feature of the aircraft.
The aircraft’s creation was preceded by an extensive series of research in the field of aerodynamics, stability, controllability and strength which were conducted in close cooperation between TsAGI’s specialists and A. I. Mikoyan Experimental Design Bureau specialists. So, by use of a low sweep and a high wing aspect ratio with powerful high-lift, respectively, the scientists managed to reduce significantly the takeoff and landing distances and airspeed. Due to a sweep of 35°—45°, good aerodynamic, and maneuvering performance, the aircraft achieved high aerodynamic efficiency at transonic speeds. High supersonic flight speeds at high-altitude flights was reached at angles of 60°—75° due to reduced drag. This configuration is also required for low-altitude flights at high airspeeds. Thus, the adjustable outer wings guaranteed multi-mode performance of the multi-purpose frontline fighter.
The MiG-23 has become the most mass-produced swing-wing aircraft in world aviation history. All in all, more than 5000 aircraft of this type had been manufactured until the end of production in 1985.