MiG-31: The Near-Space Plane. Russia’s super-fast interceptor

Imagine flying a plane so high that the world looks spherical and the sky is pitch-black. The Mikoyan Mig-31 fighter is the only jet plane in the world to make it possible to fly on the very edge of space.

With an incredible speed of 3,000 km/h, the Soviet-designed interceptor is the world’s fastest serving aircraft, and it can fly twice as high as a commercial flight. Travelling at more than twice the speed of sound, the MiG-31 can touch the stratosphere and breach what's known as the Armstrong limit, beyond which a pilot’s tears and saliva would boil without a pressure suit.

Even at such incredible heights, the MiG-31 can still deal with its enemies. The fighter is armed with long and short-range missiles that can be launched against high-speed targets.

At Khotilovo air base, RTD attempts to give viewers a first-hand experience of near-space travel aboard this unique aircraft by mounting cameras on the airframe and inside the cockpit. See what breaking the sound barrier looks like and why, despite being designed in the 1970s, the MiG-31 remains at the top of its game and unrivalled to this day.

What do you think?

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