The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-85 «Лиса» ["Lisa", meaning 'Fox'] is a unconventionally-designed, high-performance supersonic fighter operated by the modern armed forces of the USSR. A large, high-speed, super-maneuverable jet - classified by its Soviet designers as hyper-maneuverable - the MiG-85 uses an innovative system of secondary thrust-vectoring engines housed within its expansive fuselage to achieve a level of maneuverability which a Canadian F-11 fighter pilot - who, along with his wingmate, encountered one of these aircraft when it penetrated Polish airspace - described as 'defying the laws of physics'. Its NATO adversaries have given it many nickanames, owing to its strange design, unique flight characteristics and the poor understanding of its specifications in the West. Among these are 'the Batwing' thanks to its black hull and a shape that recalls the superhero's fictional aircraft as well as the eponymous animal, 'the Vampire' and - among German-speakers - the 'Wunderjet' (Miracle Jet or 'Wonder Jet').

Introduction / BackgroundEdit

The MiG-85 is actually a very heavily-modified derivative of the preceding MiG-75, which is still in service within the USSR. The older -75 is a large, high-speed twin-seat fighter designed for intercepting enemy aircraft at breakneck velocities far up into the atmosphere.

The new MiG-85 only uses this plane as its basis, and is essentially a completely different fighter for a different purpose. It is not a true interceptor, but an air superiority fighter intended to win Soviet control over hostile skies and then retain it. It is ideally suited for this task and is able to out-manuever, out-accelerate and out-shoot its Western competitors. The only enemy aircraft that could stand up to it effectively are America's Lockheed F-50 Black Widow II and its European counterpart, the Dassault-BAE Avenger. Compared to both of these aircraft, however, - which represent the best in aerospace engineering that NATO has to offer - it is still superior in a number of regards. Many top Western pilots, who fly these above-mentioned jets, consider the Lisa to be the better fighter.

For a number of years, it was thought by U.S. intelligence that the MiG-85 was introduced as a response to their F-50 (which, at the time, was considered the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world - much like the F-22 Raptor of our own world). It was later, discovered, however, that design work on the Lisa predates that of the American jet, and the Soviets were already making plans to begin putting it into production by the time they learned of the Black Widow II. 


Dimensions and Weight

The MiG-85 Lisa is, in a departure from general Soviet design convention, quite a large aircraft - bigger even in terms of mass and length than its primary adversary, the Lockheed F-50. At 27,000 kg (~59,525 lbs) empty weight [i.e. without fuel, munitions, etc], it is the heaviest fighter aircraft ever put into production, taking that record from another (much older) Soviet aircraft from the 1960s, designed almost 100 years prior - the Tupolev Tu-28 interceptor. This plane, however, still holds the distnction of being the longest (albiet barely) at 30 meters - the MiG-85's airframe stretches out to just under 28 meters at maximum (depending on the configuration of its wings).

Compound Delta

Compound Delta Wing. The MiG-85's wings can resemble this profile in certain arrangements.

Wings and FuselageEdit

Cranked Arrow Delta

Generic profile of a 'cranked arrow' Delta Wing aircraft. On the MiG-85, these are forward-swept.

The MiG-85's silhouette is also extremely unusual. It makes use of very large, varaible-geometry inverted (i.e. forward-swept) 'Cranked Arrow'-type Delta Wings [see picture to the left]: a shape that only saw any extensive use on one other production aircraft (in its non-inverted form, like the picture above) - the successful [if little-known] Swedish 'Saab 35 Draken'. On the MiG-85 however, unlike other iterations of the shape, the outer / narrower portion of the wing breaks continuity on the leading edge completely and inverts (i.e. sweeps forward) while the trailing (back / rearward) edge is a homogenous forwards angle across the whole length, at least when the wing is in its default position. If desired, the broadness of the fuselage allows the MiG-85's swing wings to sweep back sufficiently so as to lose their forward-oriented profile, such that they resemble a more conventional 'Compound Delta' arrangement [see: picture].
Yf 25 x 02 wyvern-26582

Ace Combat's fictional X-02 'Wyvern'. The Lisa resembles this aircraft in many of its aspects, except that it lacks tailplanes - the large wings run all the way back to the rear of the fuselage.

The fuselage is broad and relatively narrow, in conformity with the thin eliptical Sears-Haack body principle (the theoretical ideal cross-section for supersonic flight).