In the Vietnam Era section of the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles, VA there is a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21F-13. For many years this aircraft was in an aircraft hanger at Bolling Air Force Base (AFB) as part of a Soviet Awareness display. Then with the break-up of the Soviet Union, and with the display taking up valuable storage space, the Air Force gave away the artifacts in its display. This is how the Smithsonian acquired this aircraft in 1992. They stored it at the Paul E. Garber Facility at Silver Hill Maryland. At Paul E. Garber’s open house in April 1992 they had it on display along with some of the posters from the Soviet Awareness exhibit. The aircraft was painted in the colors of an Air Defense unit. In May 1995 this aircraft was on display at the Andrew AFB, MD open house. It was undergoing restoration. The name below the canopy was Boris Badenov, the name of the Communist spy in the 60’s animated series “Rocky and Friends”. The aircraft has been on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center since its opening day on December 15, 2003. The National Air and Space Museum’s web site states: “Its service history remains unknown.” (http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?id=A19930354000)
On August 16, 1966 Iraqi Air Force Captain Munir Redfa, flew a MiG-21F-13 to Israel. Rather than the usual opportunistic defection this defection was planned by the Mossad. When Captain Redfa landed in Israel it marked the successful completion of Operation Diamond. This incident was dramatized in the 1988 made for television movie “Steal the Sky”. In 1968 Israel gave Captain Redfa’s MiG-21 to the United States. From January 23 to April 8, 1968 the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Foreign Technology Division evaluated the MiG-21. This was an Area 51 project named The Have Doughnut Project. While undergoing evaluation in the U.S. it had the tail number 80965. In 1982 Israeli Air Force Brigadier General Ya’acov Turner asked the USAF for the return of the MiG-21 so it could be displayed in the Israeli Air Force Museum. According to Mr. David Pride (http://www.davidpride.com/Aviation/IAF/IAF_Main.htm) the USAF sent the Israelis a MiG-21 which wasn’t the one the Israelis sent to the U.S. so the USAF sent another MiG-21 which wasn’t the correct aircraft either. The MiG-21 on display at the Israeli Air Force Museum has the appropriate nose number 007.
Could the MiG-21 at the Udvar-Hazy Center be the MiG-21 Captain Redfa flew to Israel? What is the history of the MiG-21 at the Udvar-Hazy Center? Hopefully some of those who may have encountered this aircraft will come forward before its history is forever lost to history.