The Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum is a legend among modern-day combat jets, combining supreme power and agility with remarkable versatility.
Developed in the mid-1970s, in response to a rapid stream of highly-capable new fighters emerging from the United States, the MiG-29 made its first flight in 1977 and joined the then Soviet Air Force six years later. It's since been acquired by many other nations, several of them in Eastern Europe including Poland.
The MiG-29 can fly at approximately Mach 2.25, or almost 1,500 miles per hour, and it can operate at an altitude of over 59,000 feet. Seven hardpoints allow it to be armed with air-to-air missiles and other weapons while, including export variants, the MiG-29 has been modified many times to create over 15 upgraded versions.
The Polish Air Force solo MiG-29 comes from one of two squadrons - the 41st Tactical Squadron based at Malbork, or the 1st Tactical Squadron based at Mińsk Mazowiecki. Together, these units operate a total of 28 single-seat MiG-29As and eight two-seat MiG-29UBs.
Once relatively prolific at the Air Tattoo, this will be the first MiG-29 of any kind to appear at the Air Tattoo since 2006 (MiG-29OVT) and will be the first in-service MiG-29 to appear at Fairford since the German and Hungarian air forces each sent examples of the type in 2003. The last Air Tattoo appearance of a Polish MiG-29 took place at RAF Cottesmore in 2000.Photograph courtesy of Marek Amon Staciwa.