VIDEO: More of PAK-FA’s first air show surfaces



Russia’s fifth-generation fighter — the PAK-FA — staged an air show for Russian President Prime Minister Vladimir Putin back in May. Russian TV showed a few clips of what was then the 16th flight of the prototype called the T-50.

A new video posted on YouTube on 13 October reveals nearly 2 minutes of new footage allegedly from the same demonstration flight. It doesn’t tell us anything remarkably new about the aircraft’s capabilities, but the footage is stunning. Whatever its combat capabilities, Sukhoi definitely has a new star on the air show circuit. I hope we’ll see the T-50 make its debut at the MAKS air show in Moscow next Aug 16-19, although the Paris Air Show in June would be even better since I’ll probably be there.

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10 Responses to VIDEO: More of PAK-FA’s first air show surfaces

  1. Sven Ortmann 15 October, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Putin is Prime Minister of Russia, not President any more.

  2. jetcal1 15 October, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Interesting to note:
    1. Retraction time of the gear just after 37 seconds into the video.
    2. Engine ducting on top of the airframe. (How much internal space is there?)
    3. Apparent no flap landing.

  3. Jim 19 October, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Very pretty airplane. The only thing better is if they would have vectored the intake air, for unimproved runways. Just a hot looking plane.

  4. Nick 20 October, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Er, what’s so “stunning” about that footage?
    Gushing much..?

  5. Ed 22 October, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    I do find it a very awesome sight too. C: Certainly, whether intended or not, it does have some very dashing looks, especially from the front angle.

    And they’re taking it quite far for a test plane, aren’t they? Or were they also performing barrels and all that at the (approximately) tenth flight of the F-35 too?

  6. Jeb Hoge 28 October, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Agreed. I didn’t see anything that was particularly impressive and nothing that a Flanker couldn’t do.

  7. jetcal1 28 October, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Jeb,
    I didn’t see anything in the routine itself.
    But, to me the gear retraction time indicates a very powerful hydraulic system and a thus a faster rate of climb after everything is cleaned up.
    The no-flap landing makes me wonder how low the wing loading is.

    The ducting on top gets me to wondering about the actual weight of the aircraft. I don’t know what kind legs the airplane has. But for a point defence fighter I suspect this is one very potent aircraft.

  8. Ed 4 November, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Indeed, the flight wasn’t very spectacular. But then, you can’t really expect a prototype frame, that may have seen less than ten flights, to perform something like a cobra maneuver, right? Certainly they wouldn’t want to take such risk with all the press present.

    The stunning bit is the plane itself, and perhaps the sight of a truly new bird in the skies. :) Opinions may vary, of course, as always.

    Jetcal, what would the ducting on top say about the weight? I’m not too sure about the weight myself – it is supposed to carry a lot of fuel, and quite some armament…

  9. jetcal1 4 November, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Imagine if the area between the ducts was flush and covered the ducting (Say like a F-14 or F-15) that additional structure would now be available as internal space to contain fuel. However….that adds weight and now you start playing games with fuel fractions, drag, etc.

  10. Ed 4 November, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Ah, I see what you mean now. Yes, looking at it that way it does seem a rather “skinny” aircraft… I guess it’s the width of the fuselage (if you can still call it that) that makes up for it though, in volume and possibly weight. I can certainly imagine how this is better for aerodynamics.

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