MiG-29 Fulcrum (1990) MiG-29 Fulcrum (1990)
Exhibit: MiG-29 Fulcrum (1990)

MiG-29 Flight Model

Fausto Romeo remembers:

The flight controls were weird; certainly unlike anything I had been used to till then, but real cool! I was flying the thing with the mouse, and believe me, it wasn't easy... the landings were nightmares.

(I was using the switched joystick on an Atari ST - that wasn't much easier! - MiGMan

The controls were VERY sensitive ! Sometimes you would wobble your mouse a little bit too much and the Fulcrum was almost getting out of hand; fortunately there was a flight levelling key that returned the aircraft to level flight... much like the 'PANIC' button (PRIVED. K GORIZ in Russian) in the real MiG-29's control stick.

The controls were VERY sensitive ! Sometimes you would wobble your mouse a little bit too much and the Fulcrum was almost getting out of hand; fortunately there was a flight levelling key that returned the aircraft to level flight... much like the 'PANIC' button (PRIVED. K GORIZ in Russian) in the real MiG-29's control stick.

The funny thing was was that once the input had been made, the controls would not revert to neutral, unless you made the necessary corrections manually. So you basically had to be flying the MiG-29 all the time with the mouse, which was actually quite realistic since it reflected the absence of FBW controls.

There was even a special feature...when you pressed the 'X' key you were actually disconnecting the MiG-29's automatic flight control system (AFCS), and entered a very unstable regime of ' supermaneouvrability '.

I remember using this feature many times against those nasty Harriers, especially in tight-circling dogfights where they resorted to VIFFing (Vectoring In Forward Flight).

Bob Roberts takes off in a MiG-29.
Bob Roberts takes off in a MiG-29.

The Heads Up Display - or HUD
The Heads Up Display - or HUD

Take-off and landing were by far not the easiest part... you definitely had to watch out for rotation speed and angle; the same held true for flaring the aircraft prior to touching down with a pitch definitely not exceeding 13 degrees, unless you wanted to scrape the tarmac with your tailpipes and end your career in a ball of fire (for this and other failures/emergencies, the sim was merciless....

A notable feature of the sim was the modeling of black and red- outs, which was pretty well made and occurred at G-loads approaching +9 or -4 Gs.

READ ON