1 minute readIAF veteran flies MiG-35

The MiG-35 flight demonstrator at Aero India 2009

The MiG-35 flight demonstrator at Aero India 2009

Retired Air Marshal Harish Masand of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew the MiG-35 demonstrator at Aero India 2009 on Wednesday. The former IAF officer, who last flew a fighter aircraft six years back, was the first commanding officer of the first MiG-29 squadron of the IAF and has flown over 3,000 missions.
Air Marshal Harish Masand

Air Marshal Harish Masand

The 62-year-old Air Marshal was visibly thrilled at having flown the aircraft. “It is extremely comfortable. There’s nothing like it. In the older MiG-29s, G-force is something that is very apparent. The pilot can feel the pressure. But in the MiG-35 it was very comfortable. There was no discomfort at all,” he said. The MiG-35 is the latest version of the MiG-29. The IAF has been flying MiG fighter aircraft for the last 45 years, with types including the MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27 and MiG-29. Air Marshal Masand also pointed out that if the IAF did choose to buy the MiG-35, it would be an excellent choice as IAF pilots are already familiar with MiG aircraft.

The MiG-35 crew leader was Russian Aircraft Corporation’s (RAC) project test pilot Mikhail Belyaev. Russia is at Aero India 2009 in force and has brought along it’s MiG-35 for flight displays. The aircraft is one of the contenders for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender floated by the Indian government.

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