Pilot-friendliness of Russia’s MiG-29 jets has increased thanks to a couple of recent technical changes that reduce pilot stress and improve reaction-time in complicated situations

The first is a non-linear correcting device for automatic plane control systems, which makes the pilot’s job easier in extreme situations. The Second allows the pilot to remain within the allowed angles of attack at any movement of aircraft control stick, avoiding spinning dive.

It is possible that the technical improvements may find their way in the 21 MiG-29 jets expected to be ordered by India whose purchase was cleared last year along with that of 12 Su-30MKI aircraft. Recent reports say that the MiG-29s intended for India will be based on old airframes but using latest systems similar to that in the MiG-29M version.

Non-Linear Correcting Device

A non-linear correcting device has been developed to resolve the issue of pilot’s induced oscillations, which appear during manual operation of aircraft at violent manoeuvring (so-called PIO-oscillations). They lead to instability in aircraft control and cause emergency situations.

The patented invention has been already tested and installed on MiG-29М/М2 and MiG-35 fighters, Andrey Gerasimchuk, Managing Director of MiG Corporation said in a release.

The non-linear compensating device is installed in front of the flight control actuator. It helps a combat aircraft not to exceed maximum allowed speed mode. Besides, the non-linear compensating device excludes time lag of signal entering flight control actuator.

“PIO-oscillations occur when the pilot cannot adapt for sudden change in dynamics of vehicle during the implementation of complicated mission. Our invention allows to make the flight safer," Yury Obolensky, Deputy Chief Designer on aircraft Control Systems of MiG Corporation explained.

Preventing Aircraft Spinning Dive

The second technical development allows the pilot to remain within the allowed angles of attack at any movement of aircraft control stick avoiding spinning dive. The purpose of the development of the second part is the preservation of maximum G-load limit for combat aircraft during manoeuvring in all angles. Upgraded systems have been already installed on MiG-35 and MiG-29М/М2.

“The patented system allows to improve the performance data of MiG brand fighters. Now they are considerably superior to their foreign counterparts,” said Andrey Gerasimchuk.

Limiting controller of the maximum allowed modes installed on the previous MiG-23 and MiG-29 fighters was of mechanical type. Aircraft Control Stick pushed away automatically as soon as maximum angle of attack was reached. It distracted the pilot from controlling the full recovery of aircraft to maximum allowed operation. The pilot will be able to remain within the allowed G-load values at any flight mode owing to the upgraded systems.

The MiG-29M is the latest iteration of the venerable MiG-29 that first flew in 1977. The main technological innovations applied on the MiG-29M/M2 fighters over its previous versions are as follows:

– improved fuselage & wing;
– fly-by-wire control system with quadruple redundancy;
– significantly reduced radar signature;
– increased internal fuel capacity and in-flight refuelling possibility;
– increased weapons load stored at nine external hard points.