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Breaking the Sound Barrier in a MIG

July 14, 1996

For those with a taste for speed and excitement--and for whom price is no object--a company called Incredible Adventures offers a chance to break the sound barrier over Russian airspace in a MIG fighter or experience zero gravity in the same plane used to train cosmonauts.

Incredible Adventures is one of a small number of American tour companies that, in the new free-market atmosphere of the former Soviet Union, has developed business ties to the Russian aviation industry. It offers several package tours, allowing novices to take the controls of high-performance jet aircraft under the supervision of experienced pilots.

Flights are made out of the Gromov Flight Research Institute outside Moscow in planes ranging from the subsonic, Czech-made L-39 jet trainer and Vietnam War-era MIG-21 to the high-performance MIG-23, MIG-25, MIG-29 and Sukhoi SU-27.

A typical six-day tour might include two flights in the L-39 and one supersonic flight in a MIG or Sukhoi, plus five nights at a Moscow hotel, ground transportation, preflight medical check and Russian travel visa, for a total price ranging from about $8,600 to $14,000, depending on choice of aircraft and hotel. A basic package--three nights at an inexpensive hotel plus a 30-minute flight in an MIG-21--is priced at about $4,800. One of the most elaborate packages, including five flights, a Moscow city tour and a custom-made flight suit, can total over $26,000. Travel to Moscow is not included. For information, call Incredible Adventures, 6604 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, FL 34242; tel. (800) 644-7382.

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