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MiG-31 Karyobin


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There is a flashback in the episode 'Rainy Day' in the original Macross series, that occurs during the United Nations Wars. In the flashback, Roy Fokker in his F-203 Dragon II was fighting with Anti-UN forces piloting the Mikolev MiM-31 Karyobin. The designation Mikolev MiM-31 was properly Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-31 (actual company names were changed when they were brought into Macross). At the time, the real-life MiG-31 Foxhound was only rumored, allowing for the fictional MiG-31 to be introduced (similar to the MiG-31 Firefox from the movie 'Firefox').

The aircraft was named the 'Karyobin'. A few questions:

1/ What does the name Karyobin mean? Is it Russian? It is an approximate translation from katakana (ka -ryo [lyo] -bi [vi] -n)?

2/ Many MiG fighters are given English names in the US with the prefix 'F' (such as Foxhound or Firefox). Is there any name known for the Karyobin?

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The aircraft was likely intended to be the MiG-31. It was given an alternate designation because the name of the company (Mikoyan Gurevich) was deliberately changed (Mikolev) by the original Macross creators (like Grumman being Glamour, and P&W being P&H). See below:


When Macross first came out in the early 1980s, the existance of the MiG-31 being developed by the USSR was only rumor. It was not until much later the rumors were confirmed with the MiG-31 Foxhound. But until then, the creators of Macross sought to create an aircraft based on those unsubstantiated rumors, with the MiM-31 Karyobin.

A similar story arose for when they made the fictional MiG-31 Firefox for the book and movie 'Firefox'.

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Isn't the MiG-31 just an upgraded MiG-25?

No. The exteriors are very similar, but that's about it.

The internals are quite different.

Theres a definite family "look" to the MiG-25 and -31, but once you see some detailed pictures its fairly easy to spot the differences. The -31 is a much more advanced aircraft, with a monster radar and two seats (the back-seater in the -31 muct have one of the worst seating positions in any modern fighter!).

The MiG-25 was, more or less, a flying fuel tank with a powerful (for the time) radar up front, and two massive engines behind. It was a pure interceptor (and sometimes recon aircraft; the Israelis managed to shoot one down only with extreme difficultly), whereas the -31, while also an interceptor, is designed to deal with low-level targets as well as high and fast ones.

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  • 8 years later...

I've always thought the MiM-31 and F-203 where really cool and highly underrated/underutilized designs. I'd like to see theme get some extra coverage/recognition.

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Hello from a native Russian speaker.

"Karyobin" is likely to be intended as "Korovin", a common Russian surname that would basically translate as "Cowson". The first "ko"is unstressd and does sound more like "ka" in standard Russian pronouciation, so the katakana could be a workable rendering of the surname, although probably not academically correct.

A google in Russian did not reveal any plane designer by that name. I could, however, find two test and military pilots. both war heroes, both apparently killed in test airplane crashes, and both named Nikolay Korovin (they died in 1940 and 1957). If Kawamori was at any point reading up on the history of Russian planes, he could have encountered one of the stories (likely the one who died in 1957, he was an important person in development of jet fighter planes). It is not much of a stretch to have a plane model named for a hero like that.

And "Mikolev" is probably a mixing of two real life Soviet airplane design bureaus (would be "companies" in Western and modern parlance, but in 1982 they were state bureaus) - Mikoyan and Tupolev.

Edited by Saruta
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Kawamori and the designers of SDFM were obvious aircraft nuts and german aircraft history.

There are many homages on SDFM to real life aircraft and their history.

- Unification wars based on the Cold War

- The MiM-31 as stated is inspired by the Mig-31 Foxhound, as well as the F-203 was inspired by the F-15 Eagle, they were both the top interceptors of their era.

- The Comanchero was also based on a russian design. The Mi-24 HIND

- Roy Fokker name was obviously after the Dutch company Fokker who built aircraft for Germany in WWI and WWII, most famously the Fokker Dr.I triplane piloted by the Red Baron. Which is given homage in Roy Fokker himself on the way he died. The Red Baron was never shot down, he was shot by an unknown soldier piercing his heart and he manage to land his plane, thus keeping his never shot down title. In SDFM, Claudia tells how Roy is proud of never being shotdown, and his death is very reminiscent of the Red Baron, Roy was shot 3 times in his back, he landed his airplane and bled to death.

- In Hikaru flashback of Roy, you see him flying a Fokker biplane named Kawamori. Which is the same model Roy gives him when he was in the hospital and he drops when Misa tells him of Roy's death.

- VF-1 obviously based on the F-14

I did not know about the "Korovin" test pilots, but given how Kawamori homage airplane history, that theory could be true about the Karyobin name.

The Mig-35 on the outside looks a lot like a Mig-29 Fulcrum, as well as the F/A-18A/B/C Hornet is similar looking to the F/A-18D/E Superhornet, but their avionics are completely different and far superior and on closer inspection, they're airframe are similar but no exactly alike.

Edited by Valkyrie addict
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