When A Young Mig Pilot Stormed A Presidential Palace
Dani Maukar was a young and promising lieutenant who learned how to fly Mig 17 in Egypt. When he got back from Egypt, the Indonesian Air Force pilot quickly became one of the brightest and promising pilots among his colleagues. However, he had his own hidden agenda as he was an active member of a separatist group in Sulewasi; opposing Soekarno’s regime in the 60’s.
On Wednesday morning, March 9 1960, he landed his Mig-15 at Kemayoran Airport in Jakarta after a short hop from Bandung. Later in the afternoon, he was again scheduled to fly his Mig-17 on a routine training. He who was callsigned “Tiger” entered the cockpit at 11.45 and immediately took off from Kemayoran.
Shortly after take off, Dani Maukar remembered clearly what Herman Nicolas VentjeSumual said, the leader of Permesta movement.
“Jakarta is the key point. It is pretty easy to neutralize Jakarta. All we need is Kemayoran airport. From there, we could bomb an oil refinery in Tanjung Priok. If it is crippled, Jakarta and Bandung will be paralyzed.”
He dismissed his planned training flight path and flew directly to the north. From 2800 feet, he dived his Mig-17, deliberately put the oil refinery on his gun sight, and poured rounds of ammunition. The oil refinery quickly exploded. He then flew to the south, to a Presidential Palace where Soekarno and his staff were having a meeting.
After a brief circling, and coming from the south, Daniel pushed the control down and began to shoot rounds of ammunition at the palace’s front area. The president was just 20 meter away. One of the bullets hit a chair where the president used to sit every morning. The officials reported to the president that they had an unidentified Mig flying above them.
“Rustig… Rustig,” said Soekarno in Dutch. Rustig means “quiet”. The president was unharmed but the building was heavily damaged.
Daniel then flew far to the south instead of his initial plan; flying to Singapore. Running out of fuel, his Mig-17 was starting to glide and he finally ended up in a rice field in the city of Garut, West Java. The fact that he managed to land his Mig on a paddy field and survived from it was something. He intended to join another separatist movement in the area but a unit of Indonesian Army arrested him before he managed to do so.
Why he did that is political, grapevines said it was related to a love affair, either one is not our concern and irrelevant to the review. We only care about the Mig-15/17, jet fighters which have strong historical contexts. From the Korean War to the Vietnam War, from Moscow to Jakarta, from the Mig Valley to airshows.
History shapes us, shapes our identity, it shapes reality that we live in and the reality in the future. Mig-15/17 is no exception. It is one of the most iconic warbirds. The airplane emerged in one of the most interesting eras. It is the first military jet ever produced by the Soviet.
Installation and Documentation
From the X-Plane.Org did I received the 528.5 MB package in a form of compressed zipped file. Unzipping it will result in an aircraft folder and a readme file. All we need is moving that folder to the X-Plane 11 aircraft folder and you are set to go. As a newly migrating simmer from the older FSX platform, I found this not only convenient but also unique.
The documentation is inside the MLADG_MiG_15_1902 aircraft folder under a folder name called “manual”. The manual is pretty straightforward. However, the interior images shown in the manual were taken from older version(s) of the product so you will find them cartoonish and “jurassic”. The real texture of the latest version is a lot different.
The start up procedure, one of the most crucial aspects covered in an aircraft addon manual, needs a slight update. The fuel shut valve is hard to be found in the cockpit by anyone who is not familiar with Mig-15 (and that is nearly everyone). It is actually located on the left side of the pilot, behind the throttle, hidden in default camera view but easily seen when we move the camera to the left. Had I not browsed in the MLADG Support Forum, I wouldn’t have known.
You will get two variants, Mig 15 and Mig 17. You will get two versions of the Mig-15, the civilian and military. Both variants (civilian and military) are Bis versions of the Mig-15.
Now we’re in the cockpit. The quality of the flight deck detail is really above par, major improvement from the older versions. I must say this is the strong aspect of this product and exactly what I expected from the package. It is also one of the reasons why I chose the addon to be reviewed. The interior modeling is very detail and it presents the 50’s early jet era.
Spending few minutes roaming the cockpit, I found that the developer really tried quite hard to simulate the details as accurate as possible. I went deeper down the cockpit and found a hidden space near the rudder pedals; an area that normally will not be noticed. Although it is hidden from normal angle, the compartment was designed as if it were front cockpit where desktop pilot stare at the most.
Rivets, scratches, worn and tear cockpit are just well-presented. This is not that kind of so called warbird addon that features brand new and shiny interior as if it were just rolled out from the factory. That simply doesn’t make sense to me although opinions are always entitles to anyone. This is a warbird interior should look like. This is what “flight sim historian” would like to see. The effort of MLADG is paid off and it is worth 40-50% of the product price itself in my opinion.
Many years back, I reviewed some amazing addons for FSX that have exceptional in-cockpit modelling such as Just Flight Canberra, Milviz Stuka, and Captain Sim 737-200. The last addon I reviewed was B-52 from Captain Sim. I’m telling you those are high quality addons in FSX world but this Mig is not poles apart in terms of interior design. I am not advertising whatsoever nor tied up in any agreement with any vendors, this is an X-Plane 11 review and the two sims and their respective addons should not be compared apple to apple (frankly, I am a bit surprised no one has reviewed this product).
Comparing FSX and X-Plane 11 is rather fallacious but the idea is that the MLADG’s Mig-15 has done a good job in modeling the cockpit with a adequate number of details. If you are really into Mig, perhaps you have flown Bear Studio Mig-15 in FSX like I did. Bear Studio’s Mig was quite decent back in its glorious years.
If you have, than the difference is just huge and I have to say that this is the much better version of it and this Mig addon is the best one so far we have in all non-combat flight sim platforms.
Instrument readings are clear and sharp when we zoom in. The wires, knobs, switches, and needles, they add more analogue immersion to this Russian legend (or Sovyet historically speaking).
However, it is a trade. If you ask me whether the depth modelling of the interior causes FPS hit, the answer is most likely yes. On my end, MLADG is rather heavy although it is very flyable. I always load the plane in a large airport in the middle of a large city just to know how it performs in a “worst scenario”.
And I immediately spotted the impact. But FPS is subjective and relative to many factors such as computer spec and taste (one’s standard). Frankly, in my case, FPS is not the issue, it is the smoothness. This addon presented micro stutters. However, it only happens when flying over a dense city and it was quite rare actually.
Flying over Jakarta with the World Objects setting to HIGH with HDR HIGH and FSAA 2x, I got no less than 45-50ish FPS with the default Boeing 738, likewise, I got similar performance using the default Phantom and exceeding 60 using default GA’s. With MLADG Mig-15, I got 32-40 FPS with camera heading to the front.
Taking the Mig to the suburbs and rural areas I got more than 60, sometimes 70-80 FPS. And during night flying, the FPS and smoothness are way smoother. I’m quite happy with that. Again, it is strongly related to computer spec and your settings. Panning to lower section of the cockpit, FPS jumps high. I should aim for 30 and smoothness.
Beside posting a new thread on the forum, some potential costumers depend on review in order to know how a product performs, and the most frequent parameter used is FPS. And that’s all about it. I experienced stutter but that is because of my computer spec. After I experimented for more than a week with some plugins, X-Plane 11 is a lot better sim. Again, this is all relative to one’s context.
The cockpit is in Russian except the English version livery which you can choose on the customize aircraft sub-menu. That is the best way to start unless you are fluent in Russian. In an english version cockpit, you can read the airspeed indicator in knots and altimeter in feet. In a Russian version, I think it is in kilometer and meter. In civilian version, the cockpit configuration looks more familiar to those who fly GA a lot.
We can hear the sliding sound when the canopy is open/closed with the heavy “glock” sound when it is locked. The engine sound from the cockpit is nice, not excellent but quite qood. You can hear the heavy growling sound with high pitch whistling when RPM is increasing but that’s from the outside. Engine sound from the outside is top notch. The spooling engine results in screaming and growling from low to high tone. The exterior engine sound is very convincing.
Sometime in 2017, I visited a museum in Yogyakarta and encountered a Mig-15 in a very good display condition. Few years ago the museum added more Mig collections. In real life, it is a beautiful bird. Small, sleek, classic, and rugged, it is a true beast. Too bad the cockpit canopy was not open for visitors. The design itself perfectly reflects and resembles the Cold War era. Not far from the Mig was the Sabre. There is a reason why the two birds are displayed side by side. Historically speaking, the Mig 15 and the Sabre are like Rome and Carthage.
Comparing the real life Mig-15 and the MLADG’s is not hard. I find the MLADG’s Mig exterior quite convincing but I’m not impressed. Again the worn and tear, the rusty fuselage and the weatherd paint are simulated by the developer. The lower fuselage, however, is a disappointment. It could have been better.
Perhaps the grey color also gives dull and cartoonish impression. Again, the exterior is not quite as ecxitingas the internal modeling. Metallic part of an aircraft addon is the best way to show off some modeling skills. MLADG misses the chance. I heard about PBR but I doubt this is applied quite thoroughly in lower fuselage. I could be wrong.
Basic Flight Experience
When you fly this bird, you are entering a time machine. Unlike the Mig-17, the Mig 15 has no afterburner but they were sometimes equipped with rockets in order to take off in some conditions. It is called JATO (Jet Assistance Take Off). I accidentally switched those switches when on the ground. The plane was gone wild and unstoppable. I rarely used the JATO but it works as it should.
First, we need to turn the engine on. In order to do so, switch the Battery and the Generator located near your right knee.
Turn on beacon light. After that go to the left and swith air start switch, main and realfuel pump, and finally press that engine start right on the throttle handle. Reaching 1000 RPM, lower the fuel shut off to allow the fuel flow to the engine. Let me tell you a little secret, the engine will run even I open the fuel shut off valve far before 1000 RPM (not realistic, but it does save time).
Taxiing is fun. The brake is very sensitive. As you step on that brake pedal you will hear a hiss sound, perhaps indicating the air braking mechanism. It also gives you a bump when braking. Even without moving the throttle, the plane will go into taxi speed although the speed depends on the weight. Turning the plane while taxiing doesn’t require differential braking. Turn on ADI Power on the lower right panel or else you will have no awareness of the aircraft attitude.
Occasionally after loading the plane, the aircraft’s front gear is lifted high above the ground as if it were about to launch like a NASA rocket. I thought it was a feature in which I did something not right regarding the payload. However, it turned this is a known bug since 2017 (a forum member reported this issue on X-Plane 11 Forum/MLADG Support).
The fix is simply reset the load into default config from X-Plane 11 aircraft menu. This doesn’t happen all the time though, in fact it is quite rare, but it is there based on my experience. I can live with it. This is what the developer said regarding the strange behaviour, “Seems to be related to the weapon system. For some reason the planes are set to empty. I think it will be fixed once you load them with the default weapon config for the first time.” (froums.x-plane.org – “Mig 15 and Mig 17 Issues”, June 13, 2017).
Set parking brake, check flap (one notch down), and slowly push the throttle to a desired takeoff power. Release the brake and it starts to roll. Make slight and careful corrections as the plane tends to veer off the centerline. Brake slightly and avoid erratic rudder adjustments.Gear up, and I hardly heard the gear mechanism sound effect. Another flop although minor.
We get her stable as the speed increases. Pull the stick at 120-140 knots and there you go, airborne! Even without pulling the control, the nose will gradually go up at around 150 knots. Gear and flaps up. After cleaning up, wait until the speed reaches at least 230 knots before safely making turns. The rest is pure excitement.
This Mig is not a big jet fighter in today’s standard but she has this heavy character. I did some spins and rolls. Why this plane was so agile in doghfights is clearly understood. It is fast, sleek, sumbissive, and stable on harsh and steep turns (simulator wise).
The Mig 15 didn’t have afterburner but it is fast enough, I think too fast for its era. The faster the speed is, the easier the aircraft to control. The Mig 15 doesn’t like low speed. Fly it too slow, it will give you troubles. I heard a documentary narrator said that on a Youtube video. When it flies fast, the only potential trouble is the rapid fuel burn decrease, and the rest of the troubles are in the adversaries side…blink.
What makes X-Plane 11 amazing to me is night flying experience. Those city lights, that long highway along shore lines, a bunch of cars at night on a highway heading to their residence, the quiet and gloomy neighborhood, the major highway route crossing hilly lands; flying at night in X-Plane sparks sentimental mood. I love jazz since I was high school. You could always listen to online ATC conversations such as LiveATC.net.
However, I recommend you listen to Stan Getz or Miles Davis while flying at night (try Jazzradio.com). Perhaps flying to your hometown and see if you recognize some landmarks offered by X-plane world objects and at the same time let your mind wander to your earlier phases of life. Or fly over that reminiscing highway that connects each puzzle of memories. This is what simulation is all about, not just about the plane and scenery, FPS and stutters, plugin tweaks and fancy aircraft, it is also about how we get our imagination to mingle well with the sim.
I did the same with the Mig. She is a perfect companion for night flying. You can slow her down like Bill Evans tune or you can fire her up like Charlie Parker sax solos. Take the Mig to a mountain range in central Java and she flew like a charm among those cliffs.
However….. suddenly everything was dark at 15.000 feet. I changed to outside view and everything seemed normal. Turned out I deliberately switched the oxygen supply to off. Remember, the default position is in OPEN position even if you start the plane in cold and dark mode, no need to alter it. I pushed the stick forward aiming at 8000 ft and the light in the tunnel was appearing slowly.
The Mig is manageable in slow-low flying although she doesn’t like low and slow. I was cruising over the northern shore of Java island and you can see the historical Deandles Road built in 1800-1811 which connected important cities during Dutch colonialism. The sea I was flying over is the location of the famous Battle of Sea Java. With all these historical scenes, flying the legendary Mig-15 is pure joy and brings back some history (and memory).
I did try the weapon system but it never succeeded. I stopped trying because weapon feature in this case is not really important. I did try carry AIM-9 Sidewinder but they are not attached realistically under the wings, instead, they are floating just below the wing. I found this issue in some addons too.
So it is clearly MLADG hasn’t improved the weapon system since they migrated to X-Plane 11. The weapon system explained in the manual is from the older version as the X-Plane 11 versions are not completely reworked. Nevermind, whenever I want to shoot some dumb and stuttering AI, I go back to my TacPack in my cold and dark FSX lonely world.
When it flies, not only does it give you strong historical immersion but also is it really submissive in terms of flight characteristics. Generally, the exterior model is good and arguably very realistic in dimension of a vintage jet depiction. The interior modeling is even better, it is the strongest point of this package. I must say this is the best Mig 15-17 that is available for non combat simulations.
Although it is not a study aircraft in terms of technical aspects (there is no such thing as study aircraft, you will have to study the real mccoy in order to fly in the RW or you might as well put people in danger), it is a perfect depiction of military aviation in the Cold War era. I am a bit surprised that this product costs below $20. It should not be more than 30 for sure but this bird is very joy to fly and it has a handful of things to offer.
We have had enough Sabres, we have F-100, even F-88. Phantoms too are all over the places in desktop simulations. Russian planes and WWII German aircraft are always underrated in FS9 and FSX. However, X-Plane 11 offers a handful of Eastern Block warbirds.
All in all, the Mig is always underrated and that makes this package is worth every penny and every hour of my time. This Mig is not perfect, but it is promising and it has potential. It deserves more recognition and people should be open to history, bitter and sweet.
Note for the developer, they should be more communicative. I found some basic questions from some members are left unanswered. I sent the developer a message and it has not been replied, too bad, the review could have been more informative.
We are the students of history. It shapes our identity. It shapes the reality today and the future. Aviation is no exception. The past shapes the aircraft designs. Aviation also learns from the past; the mistakes, errors, accidents, incidents, dogfights, the flops, the philosophy…. everything.
This is what this product is all about, it takes you back to the decades and help you simulate how it was like to fly one of the most influential aircraft in history, and the deadliest opponent of the west in aerial superiority in the Cold War.The Mig is a part of it, and this addon tries to simulate just that. Has the developer done a good job? I would say 80 % yes.
More information about the MLADG Mig 15 can be found ta the dedicated X-Plane.Org store page. As of this writing – December 2019 – the regular price for the MLADG Mig 5 is 18.95 USD.
Wisnu Tanggap Prabowo
|Add-on:||Payware MLADG MiG-15|
|Publisher | Developer:||X-Plane.Org | ML Aero Design Group (MLADG)|
|Description:||Realistic rendition of the MiG-15|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / Approximately 500+MB (unzipped)|
|Reviewed by:||Wisnu Tanggap Prabowo|
|Published:||December 5th 2019|
|Hardware specifications:||- I5-2500K 3.3 Ghz|
|- GTX 750Ti 2GB|
|- 8 GB RAM|
|- 1 internal 1TB SSD (Mojave 10.14.x)|
|- 1 external 1.92TB SSD (Windows 10 Pro)|
|- Logitech + USB Generic Joystick|
|Software specifications:||- Windows 7– 64 bit|
|- A variety of freeware addons [FlyAgi Tweak Utility + Headshake + 3jFPS-wizard]|
|- X-Plane 11.35|