Roger Munk’s sudden and untimely death in February 2010 at the age of 62 robbed the airship industry of a true pioneer. He had led a series of British companies specializing in lighter-than-air technology (LTA) for nearly 40 years. HAV was his latest company, founded in 2007 to take forward the hybrid concepts that, he eventually concluded, offered more promise for the future than conventional airships. Before that, his life had been starred with technical success and marred with financial failure.
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.
The events in Sabah, Malaysia, this past March, when local forces conducted Operation Daulat used combat jets to quell the resistance of the Filipino gunmen on the island of Borneo, may have prompted a spate of arms sales to that country and her closest neighbors. The armed forces do have a big wish list for weapons, but procurement processes for the most expensive and longest-lead items are likely to be launched properly only after the general elections in Malaysia later this year.
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.
Flight tests of the first production Sukhoi Su-35S to be built by JSC KNAAPO at Komsomolsk-na-Amur began on May 5. The initial test flight from KNAAPO’s Dzemgi facility lasted around 90 minutes, and was flown by Sergei Bogdan.
While development of the T-50 PAK-FA gathers pace, the Su-35 remains Sukhoi’s export priority for the next five to seven years. The aircraft is designed to plug the gap between the existing Su-30 and future fifth-generation fighters. According to Sukhoi, the Su-35 already incorporates some fifth-generation technology, thereby having an edge over other fourth-generation combat platforms.
Years of speculation were brought to an end last Friday with the long-anticipated public debut of Russia’s new Sukhoi T-50 fighter, on the occasion of its first flight. Test pilot Sergey Bogdan took the prototype aircraft aloft for a successful 47-minute maiden voyage from Dzemgi airfield at Komsomolsk-na-Amur, followed by the public release of still and video imagery.
Making its first-ever appearance in the Middle East, the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor is flying over each day from Al Dhafra airbase, Abu Dhabi, for its 14-minute display slot. Major Dave “Zeke” Skalicky is showing off America’s top-of-the-line stealth fighter with a serious of gravity-defying maneuvers.
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.
A unique formation wowed the crowd at the recent Joint Services Open House at Andrews AFB in Maryland. A Second World War P-51 Mustang led a 1960s-vintage F-4 Phantom, 1990s-built F-15E Strike Eagle and a brand-new F-22A Raptor Stealth Fighter. The event also featured an F-22 solo display that has been enhanced from last year with new post-stall and thrust-vectoring maneuvers. The F-22 is flying at airshows in the U.S.
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