Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chengdu Jian-7

Here are some more images of Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Chinese F-7 MG.
From Wikipedia" The Chengdu Jian-7 (Chinese: 歼-7; export versions F-7) is a People's Republic of China-built version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Though production ceased in 2008 it continues to serve, mostly as an interceptor, in several air forces.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Soviet Union shared most of its conventional weapons technology with the People's Republic of China. One of these was the limited cooperation between the two countries in the early stage development of the famous MiG-21 short-range interceptor-fighter aircraft. Powered by a single engine and designed on a simple airframe, these fighters were inexpensive but fast, suiting the strategy of forming large groups of 'people's fighters' to overcome the technological advantages of Western aircraft. However, the Sino-Soviet split ended Chinese early participation in the developmental program of the MiG-21 abruptly, and from July 28 to September 1, 1960, the Soviet Union withdrew its advisers from China, resulting in the project being forced to stop in China.
However, Nikita Khrushchev suddenly wrote to Mao Zedong in February, 1962 to inform Mao that the Soviet Union was ready to transfer MiG-21 technology to China and asked the Chinese to send their representatives to the Soviet Union as soon as possible to discuss the details. The Chinese viewed this as a Soviet gesture to make peace, and were obviously suspicious, but they were extremely quick to take up on the Soviet offer for the aircraft deal. A delegation headed by Colonel General Liu Yalou (刘亚楼), the commander-in-chief of the PLAAF and a Soviet military academy graduate was dispatched to Moscow immediately and the Chinese delegation was even allowed to have three days to visit the production facility of the MiG-21, which was previously off limits to foreigners. The authorization was personally given by Nikita Khrushchev himself, and on March 30, 1962, the deal was signed. However, given the political situation and relationship between the two countries, the Chinese were not optimistic about gaining the technology and thus were prepared for reverse engineering.
Russian sources stated that complete examples of the MiG-21 were sent to China flown by Soviet pilots, and China did receive MiG-21Fs in kits along with parts and technical documents. Just as the Chinese had expected, when the Soviets delivered the kits, parts and documents to Shenyang Aircraft Factory five months after the deal was signed the Chinese discovered that the technical documents provided by the Soviets were incomplete and some of the parts could not be used. China set about to reverse engineer the aircraft for local production, and in doing so, succeeded in solving 249 major problems and came up with eight major technical documents that were not delivered. The effort was largely successful, as the Chinese design showed only minor differences from the original. In March, 1964, Shenyang Aircraft Factory began the first domestic production of the jet fighter, which they successfully achieved the next year. However, the mass production of the aircraft was severely hindered by an unexpected problem—the Cultural Revolution, which resulted in poor initial quality and slow progress, which in turn, resulted in full scale production only coming about in the 1980s, by which time the design was showing its age. However, the fighter is affordable and widely exported as the F-7, often with Western systems incorporated like the ones sold to Pakistan. Based on the expertise gained by this program, China later developed the Shenyang J-8 by utilizing the incomplete technical information of the Soviet Ye-152 developmental jet.
  • F-7MG Export variant of the J-7MG, with the single piece windshield replacing the 3-piece windshield of the J-7MG. Evolved to F-7BG. Zimbabwe bought at least 12 of these in 2004.

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