The successful consolidation of key parts of Russia’s aerospace industry into the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is more evident at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow then at any time since the group’s formation back in February 2006.
Sergei Bogdan, who is flying the Sukhoi Su-35S demonstration flights in the flying display here this week, has more than 4,900 flight hours on several dozen aircraft types, including 460 hours in the cockpits of Su-35 fighters.
Russian aviation is presenting one of its most vivid and memorable displays at this year’s Paris Air Show. Three military aircraft, the Su-35 multirole fighter, the Yak-130 combat training aircraft and the Ka-52 attack helicopter are participating in the flight displays above Le Bourget airfield. Aircraft and equipment represented 37 percent of deliveries by Russia’s Rosoboronexport export agency in 2012.
As China reaches an agreement with Russia to buy Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, the domestic J-20 fighter program might have developed problems that China cannot solve on its own anytime soon.
The third prototype of the Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter made a first flight on November 22 with test pilot Sergey Bogdan at the controls.
Sukhoi’s T-50 fifth-generation fighter program has made significant strides since the first aircraft (T-50-1) flew at the Knaapo factory’s airfield back in January 2010. The most important recent milestone is the first flight of the second aircraft (T-50-2), which is now scheduled to join T-50-1 in flight trials.
The Russian government has finally committed to production of the Sukhoi Su-35 combat aircraft, which features thrust-vectoring and e-scan radar. At the MAKS 2009 airshow at Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow this month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a contract worth $2.5 billion for 48 Su-35S models. They will be delivered to the Russian Air Force by 2015.
Sukhoi believes it is within two years of making first deliveries of its new Su-35 fighter as it prepares to add a third prototype to the flight-test program before the end of this month.
Life begins at 60 looks to be the motto for the Farnborough International airshow as it prepares to mark the 60th anniversary of the first staging of the event, held this year from July 14 to 20. The 2008 show also marks the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight in Britain, with the historic Farnborough site the UK’s answer to Kitty Hawk thanks to the daring of American aviator Samuel Cody.
Test flights of a completely upgraded Sukhoi Su-35 will start before year-end, according to Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan. The Russian design bureau (Stand E738) hopes the super-maneuverable multi-role fighter will secure its future in the global fighter market shortly and is promoting it as an interim model between the existing Su-30MK and an advanced fifth-generation aircraft.