Friday, January 23, 2009

In Praise of Central Planning

Someone once said, "Communism: Lousy Politics, Great Aircraft!"

The MiG-23 vertical stabilizer is held on by three pins. One towards the front and two in the back. To our horror we couldn't find one of the rear pins. We looked everywhere, but no luck. As keeping the rented ground equipment past the end of the month is a non-option, we started getting pretty anxious.

But "no worries!" ... it turns out that the pin that holds a Mi-24 winglet on is exactly the same pin that holds on the vertical stab. of the MiG-23. We had one in stock. Three cheers for Central Planning!

Over the years we've noticed that Soviet aircraft are basically made out of Legos. It's as if someone went to the designers and said, "Build us an attack helicopter... using these parts. Now build us a supersonic interceptor using the same parts." We've seen that the electro-pneumatic valve used as a starter in the CJ-6A piston trainer is the same valve as is used in the ejection seat interlock mechanism in an L-29. The same brake actuator is used, either hydraulically or pneumatically, in practically every aircraft. Moreover, the parts that make the parts are the same. So when something like this needs to be attached, naturally you would use the same attachment mechanism. It was probably manufactured at the People's Wing Bolt Factory.

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