The MiG-29 was the most successful Soviet fighter aircraft of the late 20th century. Mikoyan Design Bureau developed the powerful and highly-maneuverable MiG-29 to challenge American jet fighters of the 1970s. Named “Fulcrum” in NATO’s coding system, the MiG-29 first flew in 1977. The plane was designed for air-to-air combat but improved versions could engage and destroy ground targets and even to carry tactical nuclear weapons.
MiG-29s went into service with squadrons of the Soviet Air Force in 1983 and later with Eastern European nations, as well as Cuba, India, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Peru, and North Korea. MiG-29s have been flown in combat, including actions over Kashmir, the former Yugoslavia, and during the first Persian Gulf War.
History of the Artifact
The Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum’s fighter is a MiG-29UB, “trainer for combat.” The two-seat version of the fighter held the pupil in front and the instructor behind. The MiG-29UB first flew in 1981.
This aircraft served with the Ukrainian Air Force. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became the world’s second-largest MiG-29 operator, retaining over 200 of the type.
The fighter was acquired and shipped to the U.S. in 2008. In Arlington, Washington, the MiG underwent an extensive restoration to flying status ending in 2009. The fighter is one of only a small handful of privately-owned MiG-29s in the world today.
Did you know?
Fulcrum, the NATO code name for the MiG-29, was quickly adopted as a nickname for the fighter and was even a moniker used by Soviet MiG pilots themselves.