First Flight For Restored MiG-29 Fighter

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A MiG-29 Soviet-era fighter jet flew for the first time above Washington state this week, after a two-year restoration project by the Historic Flight Foundation. The two-seat MiG-29UB was manufactured in the Soviet Union sometime between 1985 and 1991, and flew with the Ukrainian Air Force until 2005, when it was demilitarized and offered for sale to the public. The Foundation bought the airplane, but due to paperwork and shipping snafus, it didn't arrive in Washington until 2008. The restoration team fully disassembled the aircraft to inspect every part. Missing or damaged components were replaced with newly fabricated parts, and two huge new turbofan engines were specially manufactured by the Klimov factory in Russia. The MiG-29 is capable of reaching Mach 2.2 and 60,000 feet.

First flight of the jet occurred on Sunday, during which it was ferried from Arlington to Everett, Wash., home to the Historic Flight Foundation's vintage aircraft museum. The MiG-29UB was scheduled to complete a five-hour flight test program, reaching altitudes of 60,000 feet and speeds of Mach 0.97, as well as performing high-G aerobatic maneuvers. The Historic Flight Foundation said it plans to restore two more MiG-29s over the coming years, which will help to finance their heritage activities.