Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Scale (2024) Special Forces

Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)

Interceptor Prototype Aircraft

Soviet Union | 1962

"What would have been the next evolution of the MiG-21 Fishbed became just two prototypes - and one of these lost to an accident during flight testing."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8/1 Interceptor Prototype Aircraft.
1 x Tumansky R21F-300 turbofan engine developing 15,820lbf with afterburner (10,330lbf dry thrust).
1,386 mph
2,230 kph | 1,204 kts
Max Speed
65,617 ft
20,000 m | 12 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8/1 Interceptor Prototype Aircraft.
48.9 ft
14.90 m
O/A Length
23.5 ft
(7.15 m)
O/A Width
14.3 ft
(4.35 m)
O/A Height
11,464 lb
(5,200 kg)
Empty Weight
18,078 lb
(8,200 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23) Interceptor Prototype Aircraft .
PROPOSED (never fitted):
2 x Vympel K-13 air-to-air missiles
Notable series variants as part of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23) family line.
Ye-8 - Base Series Designation
Ye-8/1 - First prototype; lost to accident.
Ye-8/2 - Second prototype; testing abandoned.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/18/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

While it may seem that the West was the only power at work on fantastical "x-planes" during the Cold War decades, Soviet engineers were constantly evolving technologies all their own. With the success of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 "Fishbed" under their belt, engineers at the OKB continually developed the line through a series of test subjects largely for experimental purposes. One of these test subjects became the Ye-8 based heavily on the Fishbed and intended as the next incarnation of the line. However, engine difficulties ultimately doomed the project which stood as just two completed prototypes by the end - and one of these lost to an accident.

In 1961, Moscow authorities called for a new variant of the MiG-21 supersonic interceptor/fighter for use in day-night/all-weather interception scenarios. The aircraft would retain its single-seat/single-engine configuration and its primary armament would be 2 x Vympel K-13 air-to-air missiles directed by the RP-22 (Volkov "Sapfir-21") radar. Increased performance would come from an uprated engine fit. It was intended that the new design would carry the designation of "MiG-23" once in service and exist in its developmental stage as the "Ye-8". The former was eventually assigned to another Mikoyan-Gurevich product, the "Flogger".

The engine of choice became a Tumansky R-21F-300 turbojet based on the RD-11F series. Airflow was dramatically increased thanks to larger compressor inlets and a new afterburner component provided better short-term, high-speed output. This single installation would power the new design and provide the needed capabilities to rocket the aircraft into the air in short notice and propel the system towards the intended target zone.

On the whole, the airframe would remain faithful to the original MiG-21. Qualities carried over were the single vertical tail fin with low-mounted tailplanes, the delta-wing configuration and the tubular fuselage. The aircraft kept the sharp-angled lines along all of its wing surfaces.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

However, that was where the similarities ended for the Ye-8 exhibited an all new nose section, an all new intake arrangement, and featured additional wing surface appendages for greater stability and control. The original MiG-21 carried the iconic nose-mounted intake that was so commonplace to post-World War 2 jets and its shock cone emanated from this opening. In the Ye-8, a complete nosecone assembly was introduced ahead of the cockpit in an effort to house the new radar. The engine aspirated through a bifurcated (split) air intake held under the cockpit (in fact very similar to the modern-day Eurofighter Typhoon) and nine fuel tanks were tied together to provide greater fuel delivery efficiency. Canard foreplanes were then added along the sides of the nose just ahead of the cockpit and a the raised dorsal spine of the MiG-21 remained, restricting rearward views to an extent. Slightly noticeable was the lower position of the tailplanes when compared to the MiG-21. Additionally, a sizeable ventral fin was added under the tail and made to fold sideways upon landing (this feature later standardized in the finalized MiG-23 "Flogger" design). A tricycle undercarriage was fitted with the nose leg longer than that seen in the MiG-21 - giving the aircraft a pronounced "nose up" appearance when on the ground.

Factory No.155 was charged with construction of two Ye-8 prototypes (Ye-8/1 and Ye-8/2) by June 1961 and the first was ready for display as soon as March 5th, 1962. Testing then began in April of that year which showcased the design sound after a few flights. However, engine issues began to arise from the fifth flight onward and nearly killed its test pilot. Ye-8/1 was lost on September 11th, 1962. Prototype Ye-8.2 began its flying phase in June of 1962. The two prototypes differed slightly between themselves but neither was fitted with their intended radar kit.

Engine reliability issues with the Tumansky R-21F-300 continued to dog the program throughout its development and this ultimately led to its cancellation despite the promising nature of the basic design. Radar and armament were never fitted. All was not lost, however, for experience and data garnered from the Ye-8 test phase helped to influence the aircraft that would become the official MiG-23 "Flogger" aircraft in the Mikoyan-Gurevich product line.

As completed, the Ye-8 held an overall length of 14.9 meters and a wingspan of 7.15 meters. The R-21F-300 turbojet engine outputted 10,330lbf on dry thrust and 15,820lbf with afterburner engaged. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 1,385 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 65,600 feet.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 2 Units

Contractor(s): Mikoyan-Gurevich OKB (MiG) - Soviet Union
National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Soviet Union (cancelled) ]
1 / 6
Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)
Image from the Public Domain.
2 / 6
Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)
Image from the Public Domain.
3 / 6
Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)
Image from the Public Domain.
4 / 6
Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)
Image from the Public Domain.
5 / 6
Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)
Image from the Public Domain.
6 / 6
Image of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23)
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8 (Fishbed) / (MiG-23) Interceptor Prototype Aircraft appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks of the World U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols Breakdown U.S. 5-Star Generals List WWII Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)