Manufacturer: Mikoyan

Model: MiG-29RV

Name: "Fulcrum-Q" (NATO codename)

Type: Unmanned fighter

Date: 2012

Status: Operational service

Country: Russia

Service: Russian Air Force

Designation: MiG-29RV


The MiG-29RV is an unmanned version of the famed "Fulcrum" fighter.


Below right is a photo of a standard MiG-29 which was edited by erasing the cockpit and drawing a closed compartment in its place. This could be a way to change the aircraft from piloted to unpiloted by adding or removing a flight control module... or access to an enlarged bomb bay.

Actually "RV" looks like "PB" in Russian but it really is "RV". The text says: "It is our greatest asset for the future, and yet none of our pilots can fly it." I only did 6 months of Russian in 1985, so I use Google translator and hope it comes out right!

Viewers' comments:
  • Great MiG-29RV (PB)! (Tophe)
  • Combat-capable UCAVs. Very nice idea. (Slerski)
  • Sorry, but your text on picture isn't correct. We would say it this way: "Это наше величайшее достижение для будущего, но ни один из наших пилотов не может летать на нем!" Or briefly "Это наше величайшее достижение, но никто не может летать на нем!" =) (my own language) (TheXHS)

My comments:

This just HAD to happen! Anyway, thanks a lot TheXHS for straightening it out! I'll have to rework the image eventually...

The believability of a UCAV version lies not so much in the design itself (the removal of the cockpit doesn't change much to the aircraft's aerodynamics or general inflight behavior) as in the capacity to successfully operate it from the ground with the same efficiency in air-to-air combat as a piloted fighter... and although real-world UCAV fighter versions are probably in the works at the moment, that aspect still remains to be seen.

Also see the unmanned Sukhoi Su-27RV "Flanker-Q".