It seems just a normal day on the runway for this Polish Air Force MiG-29 until it gets airborne and goes full-on rocket mode.
The Mikoyan MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: “Fulcrum”) is a Soviet designed air superiority fighter designed during the 1970s to take on Western fighters such as the Tornado, F-15 and F-16. In the end they didn’t tally up many kills at the hands of Iraqi pilots but still remain in wide use.
Heck, we even bought a 21-pack of pre-owned Fulcrums from the Moldavian military for testing purposes.
Powered by a pair of Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofans that generate a combined 36,000 pounds of thrust on a 33,000 pound aircraft, the Fulcrum can take off on very short runways if needed and the Russians often test them from roads.
That explains why the Polish MiG is able to jump into the sky like a pop-tart from a toaster.
While a NATO member, Poland picked up 44 MiG-29 9.12As back in the old Warsaw Pact days and still keeps two squadrons of them operational alongside the more modern Block 52 F-16s acquired in more recent years.
After all, with a neighbor like Russia, its nice to have something put to the side.