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How Ukrainian Pilots are Still Contesting Russia in the Air

Published May 9, 2022

What appears to be an Su-24 bomber makes a pass over friendly troops just seconds after completing a bombing run. You could hit the cockpit with a rock because of how low the pilot is.


I don't care what anyone says about the Ghost of Kyiv anymore. Right now, every Ukrainian pilot still in the air can call themselves the Ghost of Kyiv. By all rights, these guys should have been out of the air-superiority contest within the first week of the conflict. Russia has more pilots, more planes, and better technology than the Ukrainian Airforce by a longshot. Yet, here we are, three months into the conflict, and yet still, here they are, flying close air support missions for their troops in contact against all odds.


If you're wondering how this is even possible, take special note of this video. The Ukrainian Pilot is easily flying under 100 feet in this video. Almost every video we've seen of Ukrainian air power has the pilot just off the deck flying at mach Jesus. Why does that matter? Well, to the uninitiated it probably wouldn't seem like it matters at all, but to anyone who knows anything about the MiG platform, it's pretty obvious.


For all intents and purposes the MiG should be renamed to the PiG. The platform is almost entirely blind below the aircraft, and like a pig, this blindness is a major weak point in the system. If you stay low to the deck, it becomes almost impossible for the MiG to see you. The MiG was designed with one purpose in mind, and that purpose was to go faster than the American jets of the same era. If the plane could outpace an F-14 Tomcat, that's all that was needed.


The reason behind that is that all the MiG needed to do to be a threat to the American Navy at the time was get past the Tomcat. It didn't need to beat it in a dogfight, because it could outpace the Tomcat and attack an American Carrier Strike Group while the Tomcat was trying to make up time behind it. Sure, the Tomcat would most likely shoot a MiG down before that happened, and it did in Libya when a flight of Tomcats took down two Libyan MiG-23s in 1989, but still, the theory remains and the problem persists with all MiG aircraft to this date.


Big engine. Bad radar. Stay low to the ground and you can beat a MiG. That's how the Ukrainians are staying in the air-superiority contest. I'm sure someone with a much better understanding of aircraft will chime in down in the comments section, so make sure you go check it out.


josh brooks

Published May 9, 2022

What appears to be an Su-24 bomber makes a pass over friendly troops just seconds after completing a bombing run. You could hit the cockpit with a rock because of how low the pilot is.


I don't care what anyone says about the Ghost of Kyiv anymore. Right now, every Ukrainian pilot still in the air can call themselves the Ghost of Kyiv. By all rights, these guys should have been out of the air-superiority contest within the first week of the conflict. Russia has more pilots, more planes, and better technology than the Ukrainian Airforce by a longshot. Yet, here we are, three months into the conflict, and yet still, here they are, flying close air support missions for their troops in contact against all odds.


If you're wondering how this is even possible, take special note of this video. The Ukrainian Pilot is easily flying under 100 feet in this video. Almost every video we've seen of Ukrainian air power has the pilot just off the deck flying at mach Jesus. Why does that matter? Well, to the uninitiated it probably wouldn't seem like it matters at all, but to anyone who knows anything about the MiG platform, it's pretty obvious.


For all intents and purposes the MiG should be renamed to the PiG. The platform is almost entirely blind below the aircraft, and like a pig, this blindness is a major weak point in the system. If you stay low to the deck, it becomes almost impossible for the MiG to see you. The MiG was designed with one purpose in mind, and that purpose was to go faster than the American jets of the same era. If the plane could outpace an F-14 Tomcat, that's all that was needed.


The reason behind that is that all the MiG needed to do to be a threat to the American Navy at the time was get past the Tomcat. It didn't need to beat it in a dogfight, because it could outpace the Tomcat and attack an American Carrier Strike Group while the Tomcat was trying to make up time behind it. Sure, the Tomcat would most likely shoot a MiG down before that happened, and it did in Libya when a flight of Tomcats took down two Libyan MiG-23s in 1989, but still, the theory remains and the problem persists with all MiG aircraft to this date.


Big engine. Bad radar. Stay low to the ground and you can beat a MiG. That's how the Ukrainians are staying in the air-superiority contest. I'm sure someone with a much better understanding of aircraft will chime in down in the comments section, so make sure you go check it out.


josh brooks

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