Mixed fortunes for Russian fighters

Just when it all seemed to be going so well, one of Sukhoi’s prototype PAK-FA/T-50 fighters looks set to be out of action for a little while, due to a little bit of fire damage.

There’s a popular post-prang saying in UK military circles: “That’ll buff-out”, and that is indeed the line that Sukhoi has adopted since the mishap – which occurred in Zhukovsky just as the jet was landing, with the aircraft expected to be repaired.

T-50 fire

The incident happened just a few days after my colleague Dominic Perry had interviewed Sukhoi and United Aircraft president Mikhail Pogosyan in Moscow. As he reports, production appeared to be on track for deliveries to the Russian air force from 2016.

Dom was busy during his time in Moscow: it’s worth also checking out his stories on a potential fifth-generation product to be derived from the MiG-35, and on the ambitious sales goals of Irkut linked to its Yak-130 advanced jet trainer. We’re not sure about the former of these ideas, but let’s wait and see…

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8 Responses to Mixed fortunes for Russian fighters

  1. rufus3698 13 June, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    I have it on good authority that the damage was caused by a fire set by dissidents. This occurred as an American ex combat pilot agent, who was in the throws of PTSD induced hallucinations, commandeered the super advanced stealth aircraft’s twin experimental model and flew it out to a rendezvous on the polar ice pack for refueling by a NATO atomic sub waiting there.

    • Craig Hoyle 16 June, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Inspired – someone should write a book with a plot like that, and then get Clint Eastwood to do the movie ;)

  2. FirstImpulse 14 June, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    The F-35 has had far few incidents through it’s test program than either the T-50 or F-22.

    • Phat Man 16 June, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      Thats easy when it just doesnt fly as much – when its grounded, incidents cant occur. As a comparison how is the difference in progress over time between the three? The T-50 is on top and im sure the F-22 would have progressed better than the F-35 is. (Hopefully someone will chime in with the stats, I cant be bothered looking them up)

      • Prinz Eugn 18 June, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

        I am reasonably certain the ~100 F-35s built have done more flying than the five T-50s manufactured have so far.

        The groundings are to prevent little incidents like these where significant parts of the airframe get torched, or worse.

    • Ed 17 June, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      It had, and still has its share. Cracks in bulkheads, in-flight emergencies due to engine malfunctions, blisk blowing and damaging the engine… In fact, the F-35s were grounded just this weekend over an engine problem.

      It’s almost as if such things are normal for prototype testing. Not that they don’t suck, obviously.

  3. Cocidius 21 June, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    “That’ll buff-out”, Hilarious! That had me spewing my coffee this morning!

    On the topic of the F-35 (NOT my favorite aircraft) I have to say that in spite of a long list of technical issues already well documented in earlier commentary they’ve done a good job of avoiding any serious incidents to date.

    The situation over the weekend certainly was serious with the F135 having to operate in a oil starved condition to get the aircraft home.

    Hopefully the first deployment overseas to the UK goes well with no further technical issues.

  4. Cocidius 24 June, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Oh well, the F-35 follows in its Russian stealth brethren footsteps. I’m sure that this will also ‘buff out”.

    http://news.usni.org/2014/06/23/breaking-fire-breaks-f-35-eglin-air-force-base-pilot-safe

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