A jet fighter factory has teamed up with a Swiss tour company to offer flights in one of the Soviet Union's last fighter planes. Starting from $12,466, tourists from around the world can travel to Russia and zip around in a .
The unique tour is offered by Sokol, a Russian aerospace company, in conjunction with Swiss company . Founded in 1932 outside the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, Sokol has built fighters for 80 years, including the MiG-29.
The MiG-29 was one of the last fighters of the Soviet Union. Roughly in the same class as the American F-16, the MiG-29 was the backbone of the Soviet Air Force and was exported worldwide. Sokol uses a MiG-29UB for the tourist flights, a two-seat trainer version of the fighter. The fighter involved in the tour appears to be a company jet.
Introductory flights start at $12,466, are 25 minutes long, and stay within subsonic speeds. For another $2,168, you get twenty minutes more flying time, plus you get to make like Chuck Yeager and break the speed of sound. If you're okay with dropping twelve grand on a single flight to begin with, this upgrade sounds like a pretty good deal to us.
Each flight, crewed by an experienced company pilot, promises a variety of stomach-churning flight maneuvers. You'll experience rolls, , , and climbs and dives that will make you feel like you're on the world's nastiest roller coaster. The company also promises to introduce tourists to a crushing 9-G load, so if you've always wondered if you can withstand nine times normal gravity and not black out—this is your chance!
But that's not all! For $18,000, your flight is a full hour long, with a trip to the "edge of space." Depending on weather and atmospheric conditions, Sokol promises to to take tourists up to 72,000 feet—high enough to see the curvature of the Earth. Only astronauts get higher.
The tour also consists of transport to and from your hotel to the airfield. You'll get a medical checkup before the flight, and will be accompanied by a "charming" female interpreter to smooth communication, and get to pose for a picture with the pilot.
The small print: people with heart, spinal, or brain surgery are not allowed to fly. Flights in the MiG need at least booked at least 50 days in advance, as you'll be flying in military airspace and the Russian government will be checking you out first. Hopefully you'll be okay with that.
Here's a YouTube video produced by MiGFlug advertising the "Edge of Space" flight.