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Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA first flight - pictures, videos and analysis

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Matej

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Why I think we will have monothematic day today? :D Really nice! What do you think, will there be some basic 3 view? I must do the color reconstruction ASAP.
 

fightingirish

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Hey folks,
Do you also see in the last posted videos a gun nozzle near the starboard wing root under the canopy? ???

EDit:
Seems so, that the gun is on the starboard side , in true Flanker tradition.
You can see a dark strip where the LERX leading edge joins the fuselage (muzzle blast protection).
 

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archipeppe

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Congratulations to all Sukhoi team and workers for this great achievement!!!!!

This beast looks very beauty and sexy, with a little resemblance (seen from rear) with the Northrop YF-23, but perhaps it is only my impression....

Anyawy is nice to rembember that the Russian aerodynimicists are second to nobody ("nullus secundus" in Latin language).
 

Abraham Gubler

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It looks as if the LO is directed towards the front because those rounded sides of the engine bays are going to be great beam on reflectors. Be interesting to see if the Russians can deliver on the software integration and RAM which are the main determinates of “5th generation” capability. Otherwise this fighter will just be to the FLANKER what the Block I Super Hornet is to the C/D Hornet.

A few other points: where are the side bays meant to be? All I see is the main gear? And moving LERXs are going to cause a lot of change to the airflow into the inlets. Is this something that has been trialled before? This should take a far bit of development to make work across a fighter's flight envelope.
 

Deino

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flateric said:
side view screencap

Beautiful bird :D ... and as rumored before, much more similar to the YF-23 than to the Raptor.

I just tried to put some details together worth of note (at least IMO) together ...


1. The cockpit-canopy reminds my very much (like the T-50 at all) of the YF-23 -but there seems to be a strange middle frame..

2. IMO for a Russian bird a very large wide-hangle (holo) HUD.

3. What are these strange strakes or fairings on the wing's roots ?

3. The front part of the LERX seems moovable ??!!

4. The overall fuselage - esp. the inner section between the engines - is very wide and IMO we can see to weapons bays.

5. Again in typical Sukhoi or Flanker fashion there's one gun on the right side of the T-50 (some say it is now officially the Su-50) ??

6. ... and it has an all-moving vertical tail.


What do You think ???

Andi





Deino
 

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Michel Van

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Congratulations to all Sukhoi team and workers
Russia airforce gets new sharp teethes and claws
 

archipeppe

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I suppose that it is also an absolute premiere for western viewer, please correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the very first time that we have the possibility to have fresh news and a deep inside view of the maiden flight for a new Russian fighter?

If so it is a real history-making day...
 

flateric

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Deino said:
1. The cockpit-canopy reminds my very much (like the T-50 at all) of the YF-23 -but there seems to be a strange middle frame..
it reminds me F-35s. in future, it will be replaced by frameless canopy on T-50
Deino said:
4. The overall fuselage - esp. the inner section between the engines - is very wide and IMO we can see to weapons bays.
exactly
Deino said:
5. Again in typical Sukhoi or Flanker fashion there's one gun on the right side of the T-50
yes
Deino said:
(some say it is now officially the Su-50) ??
no official Su- designation is given yet, but in some contractors documents a/c directly called Su-50
 

ubiquitous08

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First impressions....A Ray tracing approach to stealth not having a supercomputer and RCS prediction programmes at hand...

Clearly a VLO design. Shaping appears robust in X band, L band and probably S band in front and side quaters. Facets are large in the order of over 1 meter which satisfy these frequencies.
In the VHF band side on its flat profile should give it very good RCS versus F 22 / F 35 dominated by large if canted tails. Rear quadrant RCs appears disappointing with a clear emphasis on maneouvrability over YF 23 style aft sector facets to which the design clearly has been influenced. Cockpit canopy bow a disappointment but canted. Planform has more lobes than classic 4 lobe YF 23 layout but Lerxes will generate greater maneouvrability at high AOA and ability to dynamically control direction of lerx airflow clearly an innovation intended to work with 3d nozzles and total vehicle management / control surface scheduling system (a technology pioneered in the preceding rival MFI project).

Planform:

Clearly a hybrid between the Yf 22 and the Yf 23 this design appears to combine the best features of both, much as the Su 27 Flanker incorporated the best lessons of the teen generation that preceded it. Wing planform appears F 22 optimised for supercruise but with all moving butterfly tails an attempt to wring out maximum control authority from tails deliberately sized to reduce supercruise drag and side RCS spikes much as the Northrop Grumman McDonnell Douglas JSF contender utilised butterfly tails to reduce weight and reduce tail size increasing range. Overall crossection appears to be YF 23 influenced to presumably take a advantage of volume and RCS advantages inherent to a flatted diamond (in crossection) design. Forward fuselage appears to blend F35 cockpit canopy integration with the Yf 23 moldline presumably to maximise visibility from the upper half of the diamond crossection unlike the F 22 and Yf 23 that seated canopy moldlines far further up.

Operational Factors:

Clearly the Russians sought the range and volumetric advantages inherent of the Northrop design but without the limitations of this design in maneouvrability. Given the size and reputed loadout of 10 missiles, a Yf 23 design would be a logical choice. Likewise in regards to the nose and tail, the T 50 can be seen as an "2010 update" on the YF 23 concept integrating 3D nozzles for maneouvrability at the expense of aft sector RCS, a similar approach to that taken by the F 35 with its circular nozzles (driven by Stovl and weight saving factors). As such like the F 35 a small narrow lobe in the aft RCS sector may exist. Note in the much lauded VHF band this may even be true of the F 22. Other examples of this "update" include some very F 35 reminiscent shaping solutions in the front assembly and a willingness to try the umproven small tail concept proposed by McDonnell Douglas Grumman Northrop in their JSF contender and later X 36 demonstrator. Unwilling to leave the concept of supermaneuvrability we see some curious nods to Russian obsession with post stall combat; namely a moveable lerx lip above the intakes and integration of 3 d nozzles on a 5th generation design, a first.

Conclusion: A very Russian response to the requirements of range, large loadouts and low RCS performance leveraging the many RCS solutions proposed and / or utilised by the U.S.
 

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overscan

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Yes, the movable LERX panels have been rumoured for some time. It seems Sukhoi did not want to leave the "triplane" configuration behind completely. Interesting to note that Naval LCA is the only other design to have this.

Recall this is a first prototype, it won't be exactly like the production design. There's a number of probes etc which seem to have been directly borrowed from the Su-27 family that won't end up on the production Su-50.
 

Trident

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First of all, congratulations to Sukhoi, job well done indeed!

Abraham Gubler said:
And moving LERXs are going to cause a lot of change to the airflow into the inlets. Is this something that has been trialled before? This should take a far bit of development to make work across a fighter's flight envelope.
Yes, quite an unusual approach. Then again, manipulating airflow into the intakes might be precisely the point!

flightglobal.com say the landing gear was retracted during the flight and if you look at this HQ version of the Vesti clip, you can see it happening at around 18 seconds into the video, just before the aircraft is lost in the sun's glare:

http://video.yandex.ru/users/russianarms/view/3/&rurl=translate.google.com&usg=ALkJrhiscDSggbhjh-uvWtBPPfzskcd8ZQ#hq

Can't wait to see a photo of it in clean configuration!

Also, when the T-50 is shown taxiing in after landing in another video, a small ball-shaped appendage is seen aft of the canopy - MAWS? A second IRST?
 

overscan

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Nice start, who's going to be first with a 3 view though :)
 

flateric

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nice angle to see some details and compare her size to Flanker
 

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flateric

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well, I don't remember panel alignment on X-32 either X-35 prototypes, too...
 

overscan

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I was emphasising that it is a prototype not a finished article. It won't have the stealth features other than basic shape.
 

flateric

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Hurray! She flies! by Cybervantuz

 

starviking

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Congrats to Sukhoi!

Is it just me, or do the engine intakes appear a bit large???
 

starviking

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Sundog said:
flateric said:
two large ventral bays, one behind the other
two side weapon bays for short-range AAMs
said that 'each can hold NO LESS than two missiles' (well, imagine side bay for two RVV-MDs and front ventral bay for three RVV-Mds, or two Kh-58UShKEs), with total internal hardpoints being 10 (ten)
Well, then I'm guessing, by the looks of them, those bumps/housings, under the LERX are the side missile bays for the short range AAM's.
Do they have the depth required? It doesn't look so to me - unless they're using a lot of volume from the wing too?
 

flateric

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starviking said:
Do they have the depth required? It doesn't look so to me - unless they're using a lot of volume from the wing too?
it still has many big and small secrets hidden...
 

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Hi all, first time post so be gentle ;)

Quite an event, this! I wouldn't have thought when I was growing up that I'd see the first flight of a Russian aircraft, let alone a fighter, within hours of the event - and she's a fine looking aeroplane!

Anyway, don't know if this will be informative, but I took one of Overscan's cropped pictures and whacked it into Aperture and Photoshop to see if I could bring any detail out in the shadows - not a massive amount of success because it's not a RAW image, but I did notice a couple of things...

(Please note that I annotated the pic before some other posts appeared, so number 2's been confirmed, it would appear.



1. Some kind of groove or slot in the intake wall - boundary layer control of some kind, or just a manufacturing joint?
2. Gap in the seam down the flat bottom - two weapon bays? (Confirmed, I think?)
3. These pods seem too small to be auxilliary missile bays to me - could they be a) stealthy hardpoints or b) a means of controlling the airflow, either directing air to the tail or preventing spanwise migration?

Other thoughts... she's obviously very much a prototype, seems optimised for reduced rather than low observables (the tunnel and the LERX seem like radar traps to me) and when she goes into service my gut feeling is that the vertical tails will be a fair bit bigger - even with FBW they seem as if they'll be blanketed by the wing at high alpha.

Anyway, that's my tuppence, I'm not an aviation professional or anything so feel free to rip apart my amateur aero deductions ;)

EDIT: Sorry, uploaded the wrong picture... should be right now!
 

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The VG LEX could be for inlet shock control. A clever way of having a variable inlet with a fixed duct. Also note the lack of s curve to the inlet ducts.
 

Creative

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Impressive and beautiful ;D I noticed the HUD, is there a new helmet display in the works too that may be integrated?
 

Michel Van

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bassmonster said:
1. Some kind of groove or slot in the intake wall - boundary layer control of some kind, or just a manufacturing joint?
2. Gap in the seam down the flat bottom - two weapon bays? (Confirmed, I think?)
3. These pods seem too small to be auxilliary missile bays to me - could they be a) stealthy hardpoints or b) a means of controlling the airflow, either directing air to the tail or preventing spanwise migration?
1. this look more like a Groove for 2D inlets system
3. those pods are part of the Landinggear system (Hydraulic or Electric ? )
 

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I would have expected no tunnel between the engines considering the RCS, volumetric, and aerodynamic advantages, though I would concede the point of that upping cross-sectional area a lot. Unless they are planning that as a future upgrade...
 

starviking

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Michel Van said:
bassmonster said:
1. Some kind of groove or slot in the intake wall - boundary layer control of some kind, or just a manufacturing joint?
2. Gap in the seam down the flat bottom - two weapon bays? (Confirmed, I think?)
3. These pods seem too small to be auxilliary missile bays to me - could they be a) stealthy hardpoints or b) a means of controlling the airflow, either directing air to the tail or preventing spanwise migration?
1. this look more like a Groove for 2D inlets system
3. those pods are part of the Landinggear system (Hydraulic or Electric ? )
If the pods are for some part of the landing gear system then it's a very badly designed part of a very nice bird!

It occurs that they may be covers for test instrumentation.
 

Sundog

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Stuka said:
The VG LEX could be for inlet shock control. A clever way of having a variable inlet with a fixed duct. Also note the lack of s curve to the inlet ducts.
Actually, it looks like there is an S-Curve in the inlet duct, only it is a vertical S- Curve as opposed to a lateral S-Curve like in the Raptor. You can clearly see in some pictures that the top of the inlet goes down in the front and I would be willing to bet the bottom rises in the back to create a vertical S shape. That's my first guess until more info becomes available. Otherwise, they could use fan blockers in conjunction with the inlet design.

It obviously is optimized for frontal stealth, which isn't a shock, as the Russian designers themselves have stated it would be stealthy "to a point" but not to the extent of the Raptor, as they wanted to be "stealthy and user friendly." They didn't go for that last 10%, as the saying goes, in the interests of costs and maintainability. I also think that was a wise decision on their part.
 

lantinian

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Nice analysis by ubiquitous08 here
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,9186.msg82742.html#msg82742

There is there is definite effort to reduce RCS in the front hemisphere. I love it. Looks so much the YF-23 in some front shots. Clearly the Western type of stealth approach has won here. It took a while though.

These are really exiting times to be a fan. I am just amazed at how much these high tech planes start to look alike when they are not painted.

Note the distribution of the material in the yellow color. The all moving fins have a lot more composite than the horizontal tails. You can clearly see the point of interest for reducing radar returns

I think the biggest mystery surrounds those pods on the side of the LEX. I could see how a missile may be fitted there but it will have to be of a new design and definitely not RVV-MD. More likely a stealthy sensor pods.

Another interesting part if the single piece main great landing door. This part has some complex shape, but very stealthy indeed.

I really like how small the all moving vertical fins are. That is one efficient placement, not like the ones on the SU-27. It makes the engine pop out and create the impression of a great power.

If the main bays can fit in 2 Kh-58UShKEs each, I definitely see 4 RVV-Sds being carried as well. No point in having more than 2 short range missiles though. Basic configuration could be 2 Shot range, 4 medium range and 2 long range missiles.

I am very curious to see how this aircraft stack up to the Raptor in terms of size and weight, because this looks one hell of good a ATF contender and not the typical bigger than the us counterpart Russian approach.
 

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No DSI inlet cone, lip appears to be offset from wing to allow boundry layer to flow beneath. I was expecting to see a DSI inlet, still looks like cool design. Russia fields a new stealthy jet while the USA cuts production and development. Meanwhile USA space program funding cuts appear on the horizon, no moon, no Mars etc... I think this is good news for Russia aerospace as they are poised to take up the slack of launching US astronauts while it comes to soon and to fast for the US commercial private industry to get in the game. So big day for Russia aerospace industry and sad day for US dwindling aerospace industry.
 

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From the press statement:
I am confident that our joint project will surpass the Western counterparts by the criterion of cost-effectiveness
That doesn't sound so hard to do with the US having the spread huge development costs over fewer aircraft. What is also interesting is that the statement implies that PAK-FA does NOT need to exceed every performance/stealth parameters of the F-22/F-35 duo to be more cost effective.
 

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airrocket said:
No DSI inlet cone, lip appears to be offset from wing to allow boundry layer to flow beneath. I was expecting to see a DSI inlet, still looks like cool design. Russia fields a new stealthy jet while the USA cuts production and development. Meanwhile USA space program funding cuts appear on the horizon, no moon, no Mars etc... I think this is good news for Russia aerospace as they are poised to take up the slack of launching US astronauts while it comes to soon and to fast for the US commercial private industry to get in the game. So big day for Russia aerospace industry and sad day for US dwindling aerospace industry.
Congress on Monday, will direct NASA to invest in the development of U.S. commercial space taxi services ... The move is meant to reduce reliance on Russian crew transportation services after the retirement of America's aging shuttle fleet.
You should really read more into the details before you comment. The report is both good and bad and I don't know why anyone is surprised. Constellation never received the funding it would have required from the beginning.

Back OT: Has anyone seen any official dimensions for the T-50?
 

flateric

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thanks to Sukhoi media services - they are very operative
http://sukhoi.org/files/2010/VTS_01_1.VOB - high-speed taxi tests on 01-23-2010
http://sukhoi.org/files/2010/20100129T-50.mpg - maiden flight on 01-29-2010

recorded news flashes from Russian TV (no more one file allowed per session)
http://narod.ru/disk/17386242000/20100129-1300.avi.html
http://narod.ru/disk/17385018000/20100129-1330.avi.html
http://narod.ru/disk/17384049000/20100129-1100.avi.html
http://narod.ru/disk/17382237000/20100129-1030.avi.html
 

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sferrin

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flateric said:
thanks to Sukhoi media services - they are very operative
http://sukhoi.org/files/2010/VTS_01_1.VOB - high-speed taxi tests on 01-23-2010
http://sukhoi.org/files/2010/20100129T-50.mpg - maiden flight on 01-29-2010

recorded news flashes from Russian TV (no more one file allowed per session)
http://narod.ru/disk/17386242000/20100129-1300.avi.html
http://narod.ru/disk/17385018000/20100129-1330.avi.html
http://narod.ru/disk/17384049000/20100129-1100.avi.html
http://narod.ru/disk/17382237000/20100129-1030.avi.html
1st two links broken apparently. ???
 

flateric

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server is overloaded
reserve copies

http://www.zshare.net/video/7184751349f69a8b/
http://www.zshare.net/download/718477083ad92a33/
 
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