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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29

Like its western counterparts of fighters designed in the 1970s the MiG‑29, NATO code name Fulcrum, has double vertical stabilisers, wedge shaped air intakes and bubble canopy. In case of the Fulcrum the vertical stabilisers are not tilted and have a triangular top, like other MiG fighters. The air intakes are under the forward fuselage and wing leading edge extensions. This makes that the forward fuselage is above the wings and the middle and rear fuselage below, thus a mid wing configuration.The forward fuselage is about half of the total length.

There is space in between the intakes, in which the two-wheel nose gear retracts backward. The space between the air channels and engines extends to the end of the fuselage. Although short, the wings can be regarded more as swept wings than (cropped) delta wings.

The front view shows the wedge shaped air intakes under the fuselage, with the space in between where the nose gear retracts.

Top view of the Fulcrum showing the swept wings and leading edge extensions. The majority of the forward fuselage takes up about half of the total length.

The twin tails of the MiG-29 have a triangular, pointed top. There is no cone extending from the rear fuselage in between the exhaust.

Different versions

How to recognise the different versions of the MiG-29 will be added later.

Confusion possible with

Sukhoi Su-27 family

su 27p1m

The other major Soviet fighter from the 1970s/1980s is also the one that resem­bles the Fulcrum the most. Differences include the nose gear of the Flanker retrac­ting forward and the longer nose. The forward fuselage droops a little, while that of the MiG-29 is straight. Finally, the Su‑27 has a characteristic stinger tail, extending from the rear fuselage in between the engines.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG‑25/MiG-31

mig 25rbk

The vertical stabilisers of the MiG-25 and MiG-31 are similarly shaped as the MiG‑29. Also these aircraft have wedge shaped air intakes, but at the side of the fuselage. Finally, they have no bubble canopy.

McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle

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The F-15 has the same basic characteristics as the MiG‑29, with one big difference: the wedge shaped air intakes are at the side of the fuselage instead of under­neath. Also the engines are next to each other.

Grumman F-14 Tomcat

f 14b

The similarities between the MiG-29 and F-14 are limited to a double tail and much space between the engines. The F-14 however has air intakes at the side of the fuselage, variable sweep wings and a two seat cockpit as standard.