FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL has obtained what is believed to be the first released image of actual hardware related to Mikoyan's Article 1.42 fifth-generation fighter programme.

The image shows the front-fuselage section of an unidentified large fighter aircraft at the Faustovo Flight Aviation Systems Research Institute near Moscow.

Russian sources suggest that the image almost certainly shows the ejection seat-test bed rig for Mikoyan's 1.42. Mikoyan is thought to have carried out ejection seat tests for the 1.42 during 1994 in the run-up to fast-taxi trials of the aircraft.

The front-fuselage section suggests that, as previously believed, the 1.42 will have a large set of canards, with the leading edge beginning to the rear of the cockpit. The fuselage has a triangular cross section.

It is uncertain whether the fuselage section is representative of the 1.42, or the two prototype aircraft (each designated the 1.44). It could also be a design iteration, somewhere between the two, or an earlier design for the aircraft.

Mikoyan's acting chief, Anatoly Belosvet, is hoping to show one of the prototype aircraft at the MosAero '95 air show at the Zhukovsky flight-test research centre this month.

Source: Flight International