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Old 03-01-2016, 07:33 AM   #1
Mike Busutil
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Default I found a Russian MiG-23

While I was on a test range this weekend for work I came across a MiG-23. It appears I found "Red 44".

I don't know the history of this MiG yet but it was brought here to San clemente island off the coast of California and was used as a target.

I hear helicopters would use it to target and shoot. Eventually it was moved from the coast line and ended up here.

Here are my pictures that I took of this old MiG-23.




**Notice the wood in the wing**



































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Old 03-01-2016, 07:36 AM   #2
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:40 AM   #3
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There was also an old Harrier and an A-7...



















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Old 03-01-2016, 11:40 AM   #4
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Looks like a MiG-23MS Flogger E most likely acquired from Egypt after the Camp David peace agreement and the switch to western centric weapons acquisition. Nice find.

**EDIT** The "wood" on the wing is actually exfoliation corrosion. This airplane is in terrible shape structurally not just from all the holes in it but also from the highly advanced state of corrosion on the aircraft.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:50 PM   #5
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The plane is question is "Red 44", a MiG-23MS from the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron. Not a lot of 4477th's MiG-23's made it to the end (only 9 or 10 if I remember correctly), so seeing this in this overall good shape is pretty nice.

This particular arcraft was last flown by LtCdr. Cary A. Silvers during a Green Flag exercise on march 8th, 1988. After that, it went in durable storage, which explains the overall good shape. Detailed flight records of Red 44 were destroyed at the end of 1988, when the 4477th was disbanded.

Here are some documents of this plane. The first is a picture from it take from the book America's Secret MiG Squadron by Gaillard R. Peck Jr.

The other is the flying schedule during the last exercise of the 4477th, taken from the book Red Eagles by Steven Davies.
(NB: "F-4" was 4477th's code for the MiG-23, "F-5" was the code for the MiG-21.)

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Old 03-01-2016, 05:13 PM   #6
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Awesome. Thanks for the information Vincent!
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing these, Vincent. They qualify as the first confirmed record of any Red Eagle MiG-23s. Would be wonderful to have your permission to use these images (credited to you, of course).

One minor correction: Dollar Silvers may well have been the last guy to fly Red 44 on a CONSTANT PEG sortie, but it's quite possible that someone else flew it back to Groom, and that various other people then flew it when it got back to Groom. While they closed down CP in March '88, I've seen logbook entries that show a small number of guys flying MiG-23s on continuation sorties in the period immediately following.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:21 PM   #8
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Wonderful pictures, though boneyard pics always make me feel sad. It's just feels wrong to see them rusting away like that...
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:52 PM   #9
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Just a bit of paint and she's good as new.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:38 AM   #10
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I also took a lot of pictures of a Russian coastal defense anti ship missile launcher.

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=161784
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