Preparations for the MiG 21 BIS cockpit into a simulator at an end

Lauantai 15.4.2023 - Tiistaikerholainen


Aviation Museum Society Finland received the cockpit section of the MiG-21BIS (MG-111) fighter in conjunction with the scrapping of the aircraft. The cockpit will be transformed into a MiG-21BIS cockpit simulator for the Finnish Aviation Museum. I’ve written about this in my earlier blogs. Before the simulator equipment can be installed, the cockpit and the equipment spaces in front and behind it had to be emptied of all the equipment, instruments, and wires.



This work has been going on at the Tuesday Club from the autumn. At times there were difficulties how to cut the bundles of wires to be dismantled, nearly as thick as wrists. At present the necessary dismantling and other work to transfer the cockpit into a cockpit simulator are more or less completed. The cockpit will be moved to the Middle Hall of the Finnish Aviation Museum at the end of April, for the simulator equipment to be installed. There it will have a permanent place as a simulator.


At least six removal boxes filled to overflowing have been dismantled from inside the cockpit and the equipment spaces in front and behind it. It is still unclear what to do with the dismantled things. There might be gadgets which could interest MiG-21BIS enthusiasts.


Photo by Juha Veijalainen.

Apart from emptying, the cockpit frame has been prepared otherwise for the public use of the simulator. The apertures for the engine air ducts on both sides of the cockpit have been closed with plates of plexiglass, to prevent especially small children to crawl into them. Some sort of cover was also needed for the aperture for the nose gear well in the front wall of the cockpit. It was covered with a piece of furniture plywood, sawn into form and painted with greyish green paint. The tone of the paint was defined from the grey colour of the inside surfaces of the cockpit inspection hatches.



Photo by Osmo Väisänen.

The fuselage edges were dangerously sharp after the cutter because the cockpit section was cut off the fuselage of MG-111. The sharp edges were ground and shielded by gluing protective tapes made of rubber on them.

As glue we used strongly adhesive Gorilla Super Glue. The front and rear walls of the cockpit and the space for equipment in front were cleaned and painted neat with suitable greyish green Teknos Kirjo Aqua paint. The cockpit front and rear spaces will be covered with fairings. The seams between the fairings and the cockpit frame were covered with thick and derelict rubbery sealing mass. These masses were ground off with a band grinder.



The MG-111 cockpit windscreen and side glasses had become opaque and non-transparent. There was doubt whether they could be buffed and polished clear. So we bought from Motonet some conditioner for polishing the windscreens of motorboats. With the conditioner and a soft cloth disc the cockpit windscreen and glasses were buffed and polished to a fairly good condition. We’ll be buffing and polishing the cockpit canopy with the same method. This won’t be done until the cockpit has been transferred from the restoration shop to the Middle Hall.

On the starboard side of the cockpit there was the subsonic pitot tube of the aircraft. It was rusty on the surface. We sanded the rust off and polished it till it shone like a mirror.




After having vacuum-cleaned the cockpit, now devoid of equipment and wires, it could be stated that the preparatory work of the Tuesday Club to transform the Mig 21 BIS MG-11 cockpit into a

Mig 21 BIS cockpit simulator was concluded. Well, there’s still the bufffing and polishing of the opaque cockpit canopy…

Photos by Lassi Karivalo except if otherwise mentioned.

Translated by Matti Liuskallio

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