by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Flying Coffins - first were MiG-21, then came F-22

Yesterday in Parliament, the Defence Minister declared that the MiG family of fighter jets have had a total of 482 accidents in about 30 years.  During this time, the MiGs managed to kill 39 civilians and 171 pilots.  No wonder then the MiG-21 were dubbed the ‘Flying Coffins’ and ‘Widow-Makers’.

Incidentally just 2 days before, the head of USAF Air Combat Command disclosed that a ‘small’ number of USAF pilots have requested they ‘not’ be asked to fly the F-22 Raptors.  The reason being the problems with oxygen supply to the pilots in the stealthy jet.  There have been 11 such incidents admitted the General.

Which makes me wonder whether the new ‘flying coffins’ after the 21s will be the 22s?


BTW what is with this series ‘20’ and the fighters (or bombers) being dubbed the ‘flying coffins'?
During the World War II both the Liberator and the Marauder were called ‘flying coffins.'

  • the Liberator was B-24,
  • the Marauder was B-26,
  • now we have the MiG-21,
  • and the F-22;  
  • incidentally there is another aircraft with dubious history currently in service, the Osprey, whose designation is, would you believe it, V-22, and is lucky to be dubbed a ‘flying shame.'
  • update: (10 Jul 2013): Reader @Jdog points out "Though it never went into production, Northrop's YF-23 is called "Black Widow."

My Nasty half natters, ‘Going back to MiGs, the total of 171 pilot and 39 civilian kills must be more than their total enemy kills to date!  Wonder if any MP did think to ask a supplement about total ‘enemy’ kills by the MiGs?

Or is it too much to ask from those illiterates, dacoits and murderers?’


  1. Interesting, the "widow" name is following the 20's. Though it never went into production, Northrop's YF-23 is called "Black Widow"

  2. :-D. Didn't know that. Thanks for pointing out. I've updated the article accordingly.


Support - Donate

Your Blog is

Donate thro ECWID

Contact Form

Follow by Email