August 2000 (Hawker Sea Fury) Home October 2000 (F-106)

Aircraft of the Month for September 2000

Mikoyan MiG-31M "Foxhound-B"

by Alex Stoll


nder development since 1984, the MiG-31M, a substantially improved MiG-31, will most likely not see service.Only six prototypes have been built, and none have been ordered, although it was originally scheduled to enter service in the mid-1990s. The MiG-31M can carry six under-fuselage missiles in three columns. It can carry the R-37, a development of the R-33 (AA-9 'Amos'), and the R-77 (AA-12 'Adder'). A fully-retractable IRST and a new 1.4m-diameter Phazotron phased-array radar, which can simultaneously engage six targets, are used. The redesigned rear cockpit has three color CRT MFDs. The MiG-31M also has a one-piece canopy and windscreen, a bulged, wider dorsal spine for more fuel, no gun, and uprated engines. Aerodynamic refinements include redesigned LERXes for better high AoA handling, larger curved fin root fillets, and smaller wing fences. It also has a larger brake parachute housing, a retractable IFR probe on the starbord side (as opposed to on the port side like on the standatd MiG-31), rounder wingtips with front and rear dielectric panels, and the nosewheel landing gear is redesigned. Its maximum takeoff weight is raised to 52,000 kg (114,537 lb). One has been observed with large finned wingtip ESM pods.

The MiG-31D is a version with the "Foxhound-A's" 1.1m-diameter radar. Converted MiG-31Ds are called MiG-31BS.

This Month in Aviation History
(Bold indicates anniversaries of multiples of five)
2 Sept 1937 - First flight of the F4F
2 Sept 1949 - First flight of the Venom
3 Sept 1981 - First flight of the BAe 146
4 Sept 1949 - First flight of the Bristol Brabazon
4 Sept 1964 - First flight of the HJT-16 Kiran prototype
5 Sept 1939 - First flight of the Me 210
6 Sept 1946 - The F-84 establishes a speed record
7 Sept 1946 - First flight of the prodution Sea Fury
7 Sept 1965 - First flight of the Bell 209 (AH-1) prototype
7 Sept 1988 - First flight of the F-15S/MTD
7 Sept 1997 - The F-22 made its first flight
10 Sept 1956 - First flight of the YF-107
11 Sept 1983 - First flight of the Agusta A 129
12 Sept 1961 - First transition from vertical to horizontal flight of a P.1127
13 Sept 1994 - First flight of the A300-600ST
14 Sept 1939 - First flight of a US helicopter, the Sikorsky VS-300
15 Sept 1944 - First flight of the XP-75A
15 Sept 1991 - First flight of the C-17
16 Sept 1975 - First flight of the Ye-155MP
19 Sept 1985 - First flight of the Gulfstream IV prototype
19 Sept 1988 - First flight of the Sea Harrier FRS.2 (prototype for F/A.2)
21 Sept 1961 - First flight of the Vertol Model 114 (CH-47)
25 Sept 1966 - First flight of Harbin H-5
25 Sept 1997 - The S-37 made its first flight
26 Sept 1951 - First flight of Sea Vixen
27 Sept 1964 - First flight of TSR.2
27 Sept 1967 - First flight of A-7
29 Sept 1990 - YF-22's first flight
29 Sept 1995 - The first JAS 39B is rolled out
30 Sept 1975 - First flight of YAH-64
Click here to see a list of links to past Aircraft of the Months, sign or view the guestbook, see the counter, visit my home page, or view the Forum.