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From Russia with Love

November 20, 2019 2 min read

From Russia with Love

Here’s an incredible story that was sent in by a Retropilot fan. And I mean incredible - I read it a few times and kept saying “Holy S***”. I’ve included a few pictures of proof below as well.


Dad sent me a link - "Here you go, you should definitely enter this competition”.

I clicked on the link:

’WIN A TRIP TO THE EDGE OF SPACE IN A MIG-29’ was the headline on the adventure experience website

I had 25 words or less to describe why I should win, so I wrote something about wanting to have 40,000 lbs of thrust between my legs. I submitted my entry, and quickly forgot about it.

A few months later an email appeared in my inbox.

I had won.

The next thing I knew I was on a plane from Melbourne on my way to Moscow. Landing in Russia and knowing I'd be supersonic in a few days was (and still is) beyond surreal.

There I was in a lime green Soviet era bus looking around at all the melting snow, at base security in a former closed city by the name of Nizhny Novgorod. The 10 minute bus security check was made comical by the fact our driver had a handwritten ID pass with a black and white photo that was clearly taken a good 3 decades ago.

What happened after I strapped into the white, blue and red MiG-29UB for the next 32 minutes can only be described as the best fun you can have fully clothed!

Advancing the throttle through the detent there was an intense afterburner kick - WOW! We accelerated to Mach 1.9 (sorry Hornet guys and gals), topping out at an altitude of 69,000ft (very disconcerting without a contained pressure suit).

On the descent, Test Pilot Sergei pegged the G meter at 9.1 and did all the classic Russian aerobatic manoeuvres - tail slide, cobra, min radius turns and 3 tree level height beat ups, each getting progressively lower... I yelled for more but Sergei and those 2 big, thirsty Klimov engines had other ideas.

Just as quickly as the flight began it was over! I was now one of the fastest Australians in history, and I had been immensely humbled by the strange experience that was being a civilian in the back of a MiG-29.


This MiG-29 Sticker available here -

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