There used to be Thunder City in South Africa providing jet fighter rides, now there is the Supersonic Club offering rides in the MiG-21 Fishbed. This is great as it gives the opportunity to many in this part of the world to experience the thrills of a jet fighter ride. We were saddened when Thunder City terminated their business, so we all welcome this new initiative and wish them the best of luck. They are based at Eastgate Airport – Hoedspruit, which is the entry to the Kruger National Park, one of the best places to enjoy a safari. So we think this is one of the best combinations – jet ride and safari – to attract many wealthy individuals looking for an adventure. Flights last between 30 and 45mn and will take you past the speed of sound. Better, the program includes rolls, loops, low fly-by and many more maneuvers.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed “balalaika”, from the aircraft’s planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument. Early versions of the plane are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters. Some 50 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants). As may be seen from its range figures, the MiG-21 was designed for very short ground-controlled interception (GCI) missions. It became renowned for this type of mission in the skies over North Vietnam. The jet fighter has seen many other conflict areas: the indo-pakistani conflict in 1971, Indonesia, Egyptian-Syrian-Israeli conflict, Iran-Iraq war, Yugoslavia, Angola, Ethiopia… The MiG-21 Fishbed has been a favourite, pushed by the then Soviet Union.
You can now get in the cockpit of the MiG-21 in South Africa. The company works as a club, so you need to get membership – which is limited annually – in order to get flying. Fee is about 6700 USD for the entire package. For more information: http://www.supersonicclub.co.za