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Basic equipment for Polish pilots in the Air Policing mission are MiG29s fighters

MiG-29 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft designed for fighting air targets at medium and small distances, by day and by night, in all weather conditions, and to some extent, ground-based and water objects. It is equipped with pulse Doppler radar capable of detecting, tracking and fighting air targets. OEPrNK-29 short-range optoelectronic sighting system is made up of KOŁS optoelectronic system with ladar. Helmet-mounted sight system greatly enables targeting air objects.
After Poland’s joining NATO, MiGs were upgraded to perform flights in the international airspace. The aircraft now has navigation and communications systems from Rockwell Collins ANV-241 MMR VOR/ILS and AN/ARN-153 (TCN 500) TACAN, (civilian) GPS Trimble 2101AP receiver, Thompson-CSF SB-14 radar warning receiver, Polish-made Radwar IFF system SC-10 Supraśl, and Unimor-Radiocom RS 6113-2 VHF/UHF radio with new R-862 control panel and new anti-collision lights.

Armament (version 9.12A in service in PAF)
- single GSh-30-1 30 mm cannon in the port wing root, with 150 rounds magazine;
- two medium range radar guided R-27 air-to-air missiles;
- infra-red air-to-air missiles R-60 and R-73;
To target water objects, aircraft is equipped with bombs and unguided rocket missiles.

Basic performance data
- wingspan – 11,36m;
- length – 17,32m;
- max takeoff weight – 18 500 kg;
- max speed Ma 2,3 at 12 000m height;
- max range: 1500 km; extended 2100 km with additional fuel tanks;
- rate of climb: 19 800 m. per minute (333m/s)
- ceiling: 17 500 m;
- gravity load: +9 at 0,85 Ma
- powerplant: 2× Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofans, 8300 kgf (approximate 81.4 kN) each

 

Polish MiG-29 gallery

 


Pilot's equipment


Before the pilot gets into the aircraft’s cabin, he must fit himself with individual equipment in order to conduct a safe flight. Let’s have a look at the pilot’s personal equipment.

 



ZSz-5 helmet

Apart from its primary function – protecting the wearer’s head during ejection – it fulfills multiple additional functions such as: acting as a communication device due to built-in speakers. The helmet is equipped with a filter-shield to protect the pilot’s eyes from intense sunlight and glare projected off the top cloud layers. In case of ejection – the shield protects the pilot’s face from the air rush.

 

KM-34M Oxygen-mask

The mask provides the wearer with oxygen but it also has a built-in microphone that enables the pilot to communicate with navigators and other pilots. Thanks to the long hose connected to an emergency oxygen supply unit – even in the case of ejection - the pilot is provided with breathable air. This system may be activated manually inside the aircraft’s cabin – if the primary oxygen supply system fails to operate.

 



PPK-1M G-Suit Trousers

This part of the g-suit enables the pilot to withstand g-force up to 9G or more... The g-suit trousers work in a very simple manner – when the gravity force increases, air is pumped into chambers located along the upper leg sleeves and around the stomach – thus preventing excessive blood flow to lower parts of the body. As a result – more blood and oxygen is directed to the brain, preventing the pilot from losing consciousness.

 

 



WUK90 Altitude Suit

This g-suit enables the pilot to safely conduct flights at altitudes exceeding 12 000 m. Its function is only noticed in the case of cabin decompression – when the suit produced additional pressure on the pilot’s rib-cage. At the same time, more oxygen is pumped into the pilot’s lungs. The lower part of the G-suit consists of regular g-suit trousers.

 



Pilot’s harness

This system consists of many belts that bind the pilot to the ejection seat. After seating himself in the cabin, the pilot fastens the belts to special locks. Every pilot has his own harness, tailored to his needs – this is the only harness that enables him to conduct flights.

 



KR-7/3M Life Jacket

This is a typical, self-inflating life jacket equipped with a small light. It is worn during flights conducted over aquatic areas such as: seas, coastlines, and larger lakes.

 

 


MUP-1 Sea Suit

It enables the pilot to survive in cold waters (2-3 degrees Celsius). It consists of two main parts: an outer watertight suit and an inner, warm material. The suit is fitted with many compartments that can carry all kinds of necessary equipment. The suit itself is bright-orange in colour and can easily be identified in dark sea waters.


 


Apart from all the abovementioned equipment, every pilot is issued a parachute knife, signal flare and med-kit. The ejection seat itself is fitted with an NAZ-7M emergency pod – with an inflatable raft, machete knife, signaling rounds, water-coloring powder and heavy-duty matches.

 


Several types of ground vehicles need to be employed before each MiG flight


An auxiliary power unit (APA)

supplies outer source of energy when the internal generator is not able to produce electric energy . Used until on-board generator starts working. Then, outer generator is cut off from the aircraft. APA-5D/Ms are mounted on the URAL and LUZES on STAR chassis.

 


   
Oxygen supply vehicle
In MiG type aircraft, oxygen, indispensable to maintain pilot’s bodily functions, is serviced before each flight from an oxygen supply vehicle. Oxygen is as well vented with fuel during the engine start, particularly in difficulties with ignition at high altitudes.


 
 
Nitrogen supply vehicle Neutral gases are vented into on-board installations in order to fill up the space left after burnt fuel, which prevents forming of the mixture of kerosene and air dangerous because of its combustible features.


  
 
Air supply vehicle
Air vented  into pneumatic installations performs its function during wheel-breaking, and for encapsulating the cockpit.
Oxygen, nitrogen and fuel supply vehicles are mounted on Multicar or Ził chassis.


Refueling tank vehicles

During a single refueling, 5000 litres of fuel are pumped into the MiG’s fuselage and wing tanks, which enables it to perform over 1.5 h flight.

 
 
Airplane tug vehicle
Vehicles tugging the aircraft into and out of the airport are the most economical solution because of a great amount of fuel the aircraft uses. They are also used for transporting additional equipment. Mounted on Star 266 and Ford chassis. 


 
  

If an aircraft is not of particularly big size, such a vehicle can be employed to tug it away…

 
 
Other vehicles that can be met at the airfield are ambulance cars
  
 
 
Fire cars,  
  
 
 
Snowploughs, wide-area mowers,   


 
 
 
Because work at the airfield sometimes means covering long distances, personnel, particularly technicians are keen on another type of a vehicle… 


 

text and photos: Artur Weber/DPI MON

I would like to thank for help to cpt. pil. Witold Sokół from 1st TAS.

 

 

 

 

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