E-8 (MiG-21M, MiG-23)

Front-line interceptor-fighter

Well-improved modification of MiG-21PF aircraft for installation of R-21F-300 engine with thrust of 7,200 kg. In 1960 during design phase the airplane had designation as MiG-23 since it was designed for S-23 armament complex. S-23 complex included: «Sapfir-1» radar with pulse radiation (at the second phase – «Sapfir-II» with quasicontinuous radiation), two K-23 missiles, ASP-PF sight, infra-red direction finder «Spektr». In 1961 the aircraft E-8 was designated as MiG-21M since TsD-30TP radar, infra-red sight «Samotsvet» and two K-13 missiles were installed on this aircraft because S-23 armament complex was not ready.E-8/1
The main differences from MiG-21PF aircraft:

  • new R-21F-300 engine with fully-variable eyelid-type nozzle;
  • ventral two-dimensional air intake with variable vertical wedge;
  • nose and rear parts of fuselage are new, fuel tanks is the inseparable part of the air frame (for the first time in the Mikoyan Design bureau history);
  • wing and tail unit are from series MiG-21PF aircraft with modification for mating with new fuselage;
  • pilot recovery system was released without canopy protection, SK-3 seat was installed, side-hingering canopy of windshield type;
  • horizontal tail lowered by 150 mm, canard surface (destabilizer) was installed;
  • non-metallic deflected ventral fin;
  • one speed-brake underneath;
  • one external fuel tank of 600 liters capacity on ventral pylon.

Mikoyan with test pilots and engineers by the E-8/2 aircraft    E-8/1 aircraft was manufactured on January 1962 and on 17 April it performed the maiden flight controlled by test pilot G.K.Mosolov. 25 flights were carried out on the aircraft basically on the program of power plant development and provision of stable operation of R-21F-300 engine. On 11 September the E-8/1 aircraft was crashed and destroyed. The cause of accident was disk destruction of the sixth stage of engine compressor with subsequent destruction of both hydraulic systems and fuel tank resulted in control loss and aircraft fire.
The E-8/2 aircraft was manufactured on May 1962 and on 22 June was handed over for factory flight tests. On 29 June the maiden flight was performed by test pilot A.V.Fedotov. 11 flights were carried out. After completion of the theme the E-8/2 aircraft was used to develop the future MiG-23.

Design OKB A.I.Mikoyan
Type E-8
First flight 17 april 1962
Function Front-line interceptor-fighter
Crew 1
Dimensions & Weight
Length, m без ПВД 14,7
с ПВД 16,9
Wing Span, m 7,15
Take-off weight, kg 8200
Empty weight, kg 5670
Internal fuel, kg 3200
Engines 1 Turbojet R-21F-300
Thrust in afterburner, kgf (kN) 1х7200 (1×70.6)
Flight data
Max. speed, km/h (M=) 2230 (2,1)
Practical ceiling, m 20000
Missiles R-3S or R-23T

Sheme E-8
E-8/2 E-8/2Е-8/2 with K-13 missils
E-8/1Е-8/2 with K-13 missils

References and Credits:

  1. History and aircraft of Mikoyan design bureau / «Wings of Russia», 1999, CD-ROM /
  2. Aviation & cosmonautics 2 1992
  3. «Artem Mikoyan» / M.Arlazorov, 1978 /
  4. Ye-8, Mikoyan-Gurevich / Savin’s RAM /