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).