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sk5ktiger
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PostSubject: Pronunciation of Russian Aircraft Designations...   Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:50 am

I recently encountered an interesting video series on YouTube, entitled "Wings of Russia". It was quite interesting, although rather long (totalling some 15 hours for all eighteen episodes), but it left me with a question:

It seemed that, about half the time, the narrator pronounced the sounds of the letters of the design bureau/designator names, as in "Tu" prnounced "Tyu", and Il, prinounced, "Eeil". The other half of the time, he pronounced the individual letters, "T-U" or "I-L". Just curious as to the accepted Russian usage. We are all familiar, of course, with the use of "Mig" for "MiG (Mikoyan-Guerevich)", or even "Mikoyan", instead of saying "M-I-G".

As I said, just curious. BTW, the series is highly recommended! You just might see aircraft you've never imagined...and I saw a couple from my nightmares.

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PostSubject: Re: Pronunciation of Russian Aircraft Designations...   Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:34 am

The designation depends on the Military District commander and regional dialect lol. There like us North american's with the many English word traps. Thus is why both the Russian's and West have use the NATO code's. As in the acronym Tyu, that is Russian for Tupolev, AH is Antonov, Ил is IL and pronounced ilyushin offically by the Russian AF. Sukoi is just SU. MiG is obviously the famous well known one. although I have seem the MiG, MG for short once. don't know if NORAD was playing or watching Canadian hockey on that one lol.

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sk5ktiger
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PostSubject: Re: Pronunciation of Russian Aircraft Designations...   Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:07 pm

Thanks! At least I don't need to totally retrain myself...which at my age, isn't so easy!

BTW, when Discovery Channel ran its' "Wings of the Red Star" series years ago, I remember Peter Ustinov claiming that the Russians were rather sensitive about some of tyhe NATO code names given to their aircraft, and saying that adverse or derogatory identifiers were to blame for the limited (or even lack of) success in garnering export sales for their aircraft. Thus, Ilyushin was said to be unhappy with the names given the Il-12 ("Clank"), Il-14 ("Crate"), and Il-18 ("Coot"), while Tupolev was rather cool toward "Camel" (Tu-104) and really upset with "Careless" (Tu-154). Ilyushin did better NATO-wise with the Il-62, "Classic", while not even a good, strong identifier like "Charger" could save the Tu-144.

As I recall, this statement was contained in the episode specifically dealing with the MiG-29, which is rather ironic, as MiG exports (not all of which were commercial sales) didn't appear to take that much of a hit when NATO assigned suspect names like "Fishbed" to the MiG-21!

Thanks again!

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