vasu_ray wrote:can they not install an FBW on the Mig-21? With hundreds of sorties being made by IAF they could generate the requisite data in less than 2 years time by instrumenting 10-20 Migs or few from operational squadrons in different climate zones
rookie pilot on a Mig-21 while landing has some computer help
integration into landing aids resulting in all weather operation
the transition from LCA to UCAV can be fraught with crashes if recent UAV crashes are to go by, Mig-21 can serve as the guinea pig
Kaveri can be mounted on a Mig-21 for that fighter envelope testing
Migs in UCAV mode can still hide behind a Su for the stealth attack, even surprising is a suicidal Mig
Agreed, if we went back 10 years in time, perhaps this thought would have been more saleable
Vasu Ray I don't have an exact answer but I have some views. One of the reasons for using FBW is to have an unstable aircraft that is prone to doing some wild maneuvers that would make it go out of control without FBW. That is why FBW aircraft can be made super-maneuverable. The LCA is one such unstable platform.
The MiG 21 is basically stable but designed for speed and maneuverability and one of its biggest problems is that it has a high approach speed for landing. It's landing speed is like the top speed of a Dakota. Here is what late Wingco Suresh wrote about the MiG 21http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/I ... uresh.html
MiG-21, although a high demand aircraft, is docile and has no aerodynamic vices. It has excellent handling characteristics and has served to provide very valuable flying experience to a large number of IAF pilots. Some like the previous and the present CAS swear by the aircraft. It is the docility of the aircraft that not only generates a good bit of confidence but also encourages forays into exceeding the limits of the stipulated flight envelope. In air combat maneuvers, many inexperienced pilots have got into trouble without realizing it. At high angles of attack, the induced drag increases sharply and unless the angle of attack is quickly reduced, the aircraft develops a high rate of descent, which cannot be arrested with the power available (even with reheat). Added to this, there is no protest from the aircraft like severe shudder, wing rocking. etc, prevalent in other types of aircraft. This gives a feeling of well-being and a number of pilots did not recognize the danger in time to take recovery action or eject.
You ask if FBW can be retrofitted on the MiG 21. I don't know the answer to that question. I suspect a major redesign would be needed, and if a major redesign is done it is perhaps best to come up with an entirely new fighter. Just my guess.
I would not worry about the recent UAV crashes. They can and do occur. All flying machines can crash especially UAVs that are being used in suboptimal weather and suboptimal launch and landing conditions that are risky or impossible for regular aircraft and often being flown by trained but non flying army/navy men
I personally think the LCA to UCAV idea would be far easier, cheaper and quicker than MiG 21 to UCAV. Once could use a scaled down model of an LCA with the same aerodynamic characteristics and largely similar software to carry PGMs on hazardous SEAD missions. I love the idea.