TsAGI centenary in the history of aviation: the MiG-21
15 February 2019
The Ye2 took its first flight from the airfield in Zhukovsky (Moscow region) in February 14, 1954. It was the first prototype of the future supersonic third-generation jet fighter MiG-21. The test pilot G.K. Mosolov flew the aircraft. A year later the second prototype Ye-4 took its flight.
Specialists of the Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) offered important constructive solutions. They developed a delta wing for the Ye-4 and justified its effectiveness to achieve supersonic speeds at Mach number equal to 2. The MiG-21 itself is obliged to Institute’s scientists for its high-speed wing airfoil, as well as flaps.
The boundary layer handling studies were conducted in TsAGI even during the Great Patriotic War. They greatly improved takeoff and landing characteristics of the aircraft, in particular increased its lift and lowered the landing speed. The full complex of wind tunnels and facilities, established in TsAGI in the postwar years significantly increased the quality and capabilities of aircraft testing. So, the MiG-21 had wind tunnel tests as well as static strength tests at the Institute.
In general, the fighter soaked up the advanced designs of its time. The MiG-21 has a delta wing. The sweep angle on the leading edge is 57°. It is fitted with flaps, slats and ailerons (later-spoilers to prevent the dangerous phenomenon of aileron reversal.) Today the MiG-21 is recognized as the top supersonic aircraft in history and the most popular third-generation fighter aircraft. The established in 1976 monument to the aircraft became the hallmark of Zhukovsky.