MiG-21BIS MG-111 cockpit is modified into experience simulator

Sunnuntai 9.10.2022 - Tuesday Club member

The MG-111 was the first MiG-21BIS fighter which was taken into use by the Finnish Air Force in 1978. This individual differed in certain characteristics from the BISes which the Air Force later received. In the first photograph the MG-111 is at the Oulunsalo shooting camp in June 1990. Notice the two little red Draken silhouettes on its vertical stabilizer, symbolizing the air victories over Drakens at the shooting exercise before the shooting camp.


Photo: Perttu Karivalo

The MG-111 flew its last flight in 1993. In 1994 the aircraft was moved to the Finnish Aviation Museum to be stored. The last years the MG-111 stood outside, and in 2016 it was eventually cut to pieces as “canning material” on the museum yard. During the cutting process it was observed that the MG-111 was still in quite good condition. It is a pity that Finland’s first MiG-21BIS got an end like this.


However, not everything ended up as raw material for cans. The fuselage was cut in front and behind the cockpit and the cockpit part was preserved, the plan being that the cockpit is modified into a MiG-2BIS experience simulator. Aviation Museum Society Finland owns the cockpit and its modification work into an experience simulator has started.



Modifying the cockpit into a simulator means that the equipment and wires outside the cockpit and also partly inside it will have to be dismantled. The dismantling is necessary because space is needed for the simulator hardware and for its assembly.



The task for the Tuesday Club was to dismantle wires and equipment in the fuselage, in front of the cockpit and behind it. The dismantling began on May 24th. The work progressed well but it had to be interrupted for the summer break. The dismantling was continued on August 30th when Tuesday Club started its autumn season.


Emptying the equipment compartment in front of the cockpit of all the clobber was a time-consuming job. In a way this was easy too, because the order had been to disassemble and dismantle everything in the best possible way, without a second thought. This is why cutters, and even a hacksaw were used, in addition to the various kinds of screwdrivers and wrenches.



Some work was also needed when the various parts and wires were unfastened from the wall behind the cockpit and from the compartments behind the panels on the sides of the fuselage. Soon there were several boxes filled with disassembled clobber. The cut edges of the fuselage behind the cockpit were dangerously sharp. The edges were filed smooth to avoid injuries.




When the equipment and wires outside the cockpit had been disassembled, the cockpit part was towed with a forklift to be washed outside the Finnish Aviation Museum’s restoration workshop. Before using the pressure washer, the feed-through holes to the cockpit were plugged to keep the water outside the cockpit. The wash of the cockpit section was finished using brushes and cloths.


Photos: Antti Laukkanen.

Now the cockpit section is waiting to be moved into the Finnish Aviation Museum. There the work will be continued by unfastening the instrument panels and the pilot’s seat, among others. When the simulator equipment is eventually assembled, the unfastened cockpit panels and the pilot’s seat will be returned into their places.

Photos: Lassi Karivalo except separately otherwise mentioned.

Translation: Erja Reinikainen.

Avainsanat: aviation history, restoration, Tuesday Club, MiG-21BIS, MG-111