American pilot Paul Woodford spoke about the secret training battles involving Soviet fighters during the Cold War. This is reported by Popular Mechanics.
In the 1960s, the CIA acquired several Soviet-made fighters to give pilots a proper study of them. As part of the classified program, the pilots had to not only master the aircraft, but also identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Remembering the Soviet MiG-23, Woodford, who flew the F-15 fighter, called it unstable and difficult to control, but
admitted that the speed of the fighter impressed him. “Neither before nor since have I seen a single plane that would develop speed so rapidly. If you have a rocket, it is better to fire it right away, because in a second it will accelerate and leave the affected area. I think this was the main lesson, ”he said.
The MiG-21 was found by Woodford to be surprisingly nimble and agile, and almost invisible due to its size. The pilot added that the fighter could fly afterburner for about 20 minutes, and this created difficulties during training.
In April, retired US Air Force (Air Force) Colonel John Manclark, who headed the secret American unit, spoke about the unreliability of Soviet MiGs. He criticized the simplicity of the electronic equipment of the radars and warning systems of the MiG-21 tracking, and called the MiG-23 “fast, but unstable.”