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Behind the Wings ®
The Podcast – S3, Episode 30

An American MiG-23 pilot reveals long-held secrets in this in-depth conversation about a declassified program, Constant Peg.

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On today’s show, we’ll meet John Mann who flew in the first-of-its-kind adversary training program, Constant Peg, and take a deep dive into some of the most popular questions we got from you, our listeners. Established in 1977, this top-secret program aimed to train American pilots against the very same MiGs they may one day see in combat. Mann was an instructor who flew the MiG-21 and 23, and co-host John Barry flew in the program as a trainee. This one is going to be cool!

Episode 30 marks the end of Season 3 of the Behind the Wings Podcast. We’ll be taking a short break and will be back in the new year for Season 4.

Key Takeaways:
  • John Mann served 24 years in the US Air Force where he had the opportunity to fly many aircraft, including the F-4, F-15, MiG-21, and MiG-23.
  • Mann first flew as a trainee at Constant Peg and later flew the MiGs as a trainer.
  • The MiG-23 was a very fast, beefy airplane, but it didn’t turn well.
  • Pilots would attend to overcome “Buck Fever”, learn how the MiGs flew, and practice dogfighting.
  • The maintainers at Constant Peg were the backbone of the program, facing specific challenges sourcing parts, with no maintenance book, and often receiving aircraft that were in a compromised condition.
  • John Mann’s advice: There are lots of opportunities in aviation. Go pursue your dreams!
Behind the Wings Season 4

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Behind the Wings Season 4

Peek into the cockpits of rare warbirds and spacecraft, hear from aerospace experts and more in our episodic documentary series!

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