Aug 312017

Russia claims new Mach 4+ MiG-41 Interceptor will be able to operate in space

No actual details.

An aircraft capable of Mach 4+? Sure, I suppose. Seems an odd thing to develop these days. Those sort of speed were an aviation fetish in the 50’s and 60’s, but there really isn’t a whole lot of need to go that fast and the penalties for doing so are *harsh.*

Operating in space? Meh. Might be a translation error or a simple misunderstanding. An aircraft capable of going that fast could potentially pop above the sensible atmosphere, perhaps like the X-15. So it would be in space, but nowhere near orbit (which would require Mach 25, not merely Mach 4). if it did so, it would need to have some ability to control its attitude, presumably with attitude control thrusters.

Or it could be BS. That would be entirely unsurprising.

 Posted by at 12:35 am
  • CaptainNed

    Meh. Someone at TASS stumbled over an old copy of Clint Eastwood’s “Firefox”.

  • Garrai

    The Russians have been working on a MHD augmented ramjet since the 1970s. No other country has the depth of research in these advanced cycle power plants. Public disclosures like their AYAKS hypersonic vehicle concept give some hints.

    • cygnus_darkstar

      The Russians have (and the Soviets had) many brilliant aerodynamicists, physicists, and engineers. But though they aim high and have produced a lot of clever concept designs, it requires a vast amount of money and resources to go from there to actually bending metal. Even the Soviet Union found itself unable to push the frontiers of performance much further than they’d gotten by the 80’s. Modern Russia has a GDP comparable to Italy’s, so it seems unlikely we’ll be seeing any whizz-bang revolutionary aircraft from them anytime soon even as prototypes or tech demonstrators, much less production craft.

      • James

        The problem is also actually getting something produced. Look at the bearcat.

      • publiusr

        I had hopes their new bomber would at least resemble a Bartini design.

  • xvdougl

    Vodka’s a hell of a drug.

  • Michel Van

    i guess they made a translator error by making Airspace into space
    or if true
    The Mig-41 will similar like X-15, suborbital hop at Mach 4+ do it’s job and return.
    or this
    This only a propaganda stunt to push USA into arms race for Mach 4+ suborbital plane
    last will backfire, if the USAF start the production of XF-36 in 2020s
    and Soviets ehh mean Russian not have a Mig-41 spaceplane…

  • Thucydides_of_Athens

    The Russians could not even afford to put their “Pak-FA” into production. They managed to purchase a grand total of 12 aircraft (including prototypes) which were supposed to put Russia on an equal footing with the F-22. Even then, the aircraft is underpowered, and it may take until 2021 for proper engines to be developed.

    So this is more Russian propaganda hype. They may have the ability to build one or two, and even have a flight program like the X-15 for show, but that’s about all…