Second Sukhoi PAK FA joins flight test programme
Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 07 March 2011
On Friday the second prototype took off on its 44 minute maiden flight from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, piloted by test pilot Sergey Bogdan. Sukhoi said in a statement that the flight was successful and went according to the flight plan. The flight evaluated aircraft stability and engine performance.
There are three prototypes of the PAK FA currently undergoing testing, including one airframe being used for load testing on the ground. The first PAK FA, known as the T-50, flew for the first time on January 29 last year at Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Acceptance trials of the prototype were completed at the end of March 2010.
The second prototype was planned to join the flight test programme in the fourth quarter of last year, but was delayed. Apparently there have been minor issues with the engines, according to the UK Sunday Times. The first and second prototypes lack radar and weapon control systems but a third and fourth aircraft, which will be added to the programme this year, will be fully functional test aircraft.
The T-50 is intended to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27 in Russian Air Force service and will also serve as the basis for the Sukhoi/Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project being jointly developed with India.
Mikhail Pogosyan, director of Sukhoi, estimates a market for a thousand PAK FA aircraft over the next four decades. Two hundred will be produced for India, two hundred for Russia and the rest will be for export.
Russia will buy the first ten aircraft after 2012 and will induct the type into service around 2015, making it the first all-new warplane to enter Russian Air Force service since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
On Friday Sukhoi achieved an important milestone for the PAK FA but also noted the passing of one of their most important aircraft designers. Mikhail Simonov died in Moscow on Friday after a long illness. He was 81, the company said.
Simonov joined Sukhoi in 1970 and led the development of the Su-24 fighter-bomber, the Su-25 ground attack aircraft and the Su-27, which was later developed into the Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35 and Su-37. He was instrumental in keeping Sukhoi afloat after the collapse of communism by garnering export orders for the company.
"During that difficult period, he managed to organize export sales that saved the Sukhoi design bureau and its production facilities," former Russian air force chief General Vladimir Mikhailov said on Rossiya 24 television. "His death is irreparable loss for the Russian aviation."
Top stories this week
Dual safety: new generation of mortar fuses
by Atlantis Corporation, 1 September 2014
The wind wheel fuses DM183 and DM111S are available from Atlantis Manufacturing Management Services, the official Junghans South African representative.
Here's how chairman of Africa's largest private defence company sees the continent's future
by Paramount Group, 1 September 2014
Africa is no longer a charity case and can solve more problems on its own, says Ivor Ichikowitz, executive chairman of Paramount.
US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) signs five-year framework contract for Carl-Gustaf weapon system
by Saab, 1 September 2014
Saab signed a new framework contract with the US Special Operations Command for the company's Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system.
Saab Grintek Defence partners with Specialist Maritime Services
by Atlantis Corporation, 28 August 2014
New MD 530G Scout Attack Helicopter
by Safomar Aviation, 27 August 2014
MD Helicopters successfully completed the Live Fire Qualification Exercises for its new MD 530G Scout Attack Helicopter.
Kelvin Hughes to co-exhibit with ECM Technologies at AAD 2014
by ECM Technologies, 26 August 2014
The international company will join its exclusive land-based security systems representative in SA, at Africa, Aerospace and Defence 2014.