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Su-27 Flanker | Su-27UB Trainer Flanker | P-42 Record Flanker






Su-27 Flanker
Su-27 - single-seat air superiority fighter. The plane has an integral aerodynamic layout, which permitted it to attain high values of lift/drag ratio and lift coefficient along with assuring a considerable increase in the internal fuel reserve and, hence, to do away with the drop fuel tanks. Two AL-31F afterburning bypass turbojet engines, each having a maximum thrust of 12,500 kgf, provide the plane with an excellent thrust-to-weight ratio and agility. The engine air intakes are fitted with mesh guards, preventing the ingress of foreign matter into the engines during landing and take-off. The K-36DM ejector seat allows the crew to escape in emergency irrespective of the aircraft flight altitude and speed, including when it runs on the airfield.

As an air superiority fighter, the Su-27 is meant to destroy air targets both over friendly territory and 300-400 km away from the line of contact. It can operate in ECM and air defence fire environments, in all weathers, day and night. The aircraft can also destroy ground targets with bombs and missiles. The high combat effectiveness of the Su-27 is assured by:
  • accurate automatic approach to the desired target;
  • automatic target search by both a search-and-fire-control radar and its passive optronic tracing system working as an IR locator;
  • its armament control system comprising a fire control radar, optronic fire control system, helmet-mounted target designator, weapons control system, IFF interrogator, integrated display system;
  • up to 10 all-aspect medium- and short-range missiles fitted with radar and IR homing heads (R-271, R-27T1, R-73), which is more than carried by any other existing fighter;
  • mighty GSh-301 fast firing gun with various types of highly effective ammunition ;
  • high agility displayed at low and medium altitudes and flight speeds allowing the crew to confidently face any air enemy;
  • possibility of executing a mission and flying back to the home airfield on one engine;
  • highly effective EW system producing both active and passive jamming signals to impair the functioning of enemy radars (including airborne ones) and missile homing heads;
  • increased (up to 1,150 km) radius of action with 10 air-to-air missiles, which makes it 1.5
  • 2 times as great as that of any existing fighter, using for a similar job 1
  • 2 drop fuel tanks and carrying not more than 6 air-to-air missiles;
  • distribution of targets among aircraft in a group and execution of concealed missile attack by using target designation received from another aircraft of the group in the scan mode;
  • highly automated weapons control system and basic equipment;
  • integrated built-in test and warning system, allowing for the timely registration and indication of the condition of airborne systems in flight and during the preparation of the aircraft for flight. The Su-27 displays high survivability in present day air defence environments owing to:
  • two-engine power plant scheme with separate fuel supply for each engine located at some distance from the other, thereby ruling out the simultaneous destruction of both with one hit;
  • good gas-dynamic stability of the power plant, which retains its serviceability even when its gas/air duct is riddled with fragments, bullets, or a shock wave and products of explosion of a missile or shell get into the air intake. The spacing between the fuel tanks and air intake channels precludes the penetration of fuel to the engine inlet from the tanks when these are shot through;
  • three-spar wing, as well as the special design of the fuselage which allows it to withstand direct hits of bullets and splinters of shells and missiles;
  • multiple redundancy and spacings between mechanical links of the aircraft control system, which prevent its destruction by one hit;
  • two independent and mutually duplicating hydraulic systems, whose power supply units and hydraulic pumps are spaced to preclude their simultaneous destruction. With both hydraulic systems inoperative, the aircraft can still be controlled from an emergency power source (hydraulic accumulator);
  • redundant electrical power supply for services. Should one or two main DC and AC power supplies get damaged, the switchgear will connect the services to a back-up power source;
  • configuration allowing the airborne equipment and fuselage structure to protect the pilot's cockpit;
  • robust structure of fuel tanks, resistant to hydraulic shocks and precluding vast damage and a disastrous loss of fuel;
  • provision of all fuel tanks with a special filler preventing their explosion when they are hit;
  • active fire control system using special bottles to quench fire in engine nacelles. All the above enables one to conclude that today there is no other aircraft on the world market which could outperform the Su-27 in destroying air targets and gaining air superiority.








    Su-27UB Trainer Flanker
    The most noticeable differences of Su-27UB are:
    • two-seat(2,3) cockpit
    • simpler avionics, which has visible appearance as a missing IR(1) sight.
    • larger tail planes(4)
    There also is a two-seat attacker version, the SU-27IB, with side-by-side seating in a reshaped nose.







    P-42 Record Flanker
    A stripped version of the Su-27, without armament or electronics, used to set time-to-height records.
    Accordingly, one of the T-10S prototypes was stripped of all armament, radar and operational equipment, the fin tips were removed, as was the tailboom and the wingtip launch rails. Even the radome was replaced by a lighter metal fairing. Stripped of paint, the aircraft was polished and all drag-producing gaps and joints were sealed. The engines were modified to give an increase in thrust of 2,204lbs - giving the P-42, as the modified aircraft was designated, a phenomenal thrust-to-weight ratio of almost 2:1.
    The mainwheel brakes could not hold the aircraft at full thrust so the P-42 was anchored to a tracked armoured vehicle by a steel hawser with an electronic lock. With the engines wound up to full power, the hawser was released and the P-42 leaped into the air and climbed at an optimum angle to altitude.
    Between 1986 and 1988 the P-42, piloted variously by Victor Pugachev, Nikolai Sadovnikov, Oleg Tsoi and Yevgeni Frolov, took no less than 27 records from the Streak Eagle, including time-to-height records for 3000, 6000, 9000, 12000 and 15000 metres, a height record of 19335m (63435 ft) and time-to-height records with various payloads. The aircraft even set records for STOL aircraft with a take-off run of less than 1540ft ! Most of these records still stand to this day. Following list is an extarct from official data, posted on FAI site:
    Sub-class C-1h (Take-off weight 12000 to less than 16000 kg)
    Group 3 (Jet engines)


    Type of record Performance Pilot Date
    Time to climb to a height of 3000 m 25s Victor G. PUGACHEV 27/10/1986
    Time to climb to a height of 6000 m 37s Victor G. PUGACHEV 15/11/1986
    Time to climb to a height of 9000 m 44s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 10/03/1987
    Time to climb to a height of 12000 m 55s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 10/03/1987
    Time to climb to 3000 m with 1000 kg payload 28s Oleg TSOY 17/05/1988
    Time to climb to 6000 m with 1000 kg payload 38s Oleg TSOY 19/04/1988
    Time to climb to 9000 m with 1000 kg payload 48s Oleg TSOY 17/05/1988
    Time to climb to 12000 m with 1000 kg payload 59s Oleg TSOY 17/05/1988

    Sub-class C-1i (Take-off weight 16000 to less than 20000 kg)
    Group 3 (Jet engines)


    Type of record Performance Pilot Date
    Altitude with 1000 kg payload 22250 m Victor G. PUGACHEV 20/05/1993
    Greatest mass carried to a height of 15000 m 1015 kg Victor G. PUGACHEV 20/05/1993
    Time to climb to 15000 m with 1000 kg payload 2mn 6s Victor G. PUGACHEV 20/05/1993
    Time to climb to a height of 15000 m 2mn 6s Victor G. PUGACHEV 20/05/1993

    Class N / Group 3 : Jet engine

    Type of record Performance Pilot Date of record
    Altitude in horizontal flight without payload 19335 m Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 10/06/1987
    Time to climb to a height of 3000 m 26s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 11/04/1987
    Time to climb to a height of 6000 m 37s E. I. FROLOV 31/03/1988
    Time to climb to a height of 9000 m 47s E. I. FROLOV 31/03/1988
    Time to climb to a height of 12000 m 58s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 11/03/1987
    Time to climb to a height of 15000 m 1mn 16s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 11/03/1987
    Time to climb to 3000 m with 1000 kg payload 28s Oleg TSOY 17/05/1988
    Time to climb to 6000 m with 1000 kg payload 38s Oleg TSOY 19/04/1988
    Time to climb to 9000 m with 1000 kg payload 48s Oleg TSOY 17/05/1988
    Time to climb to 12000 m with 1000 kg payload 59s Oleg TSOY 17/05/1988

    Sub-class C-1 (Unlimited take-off weight)
    Group 3 (Jet engines)


    Type of record Performance Pilot Date of record
    Time to climb to a height of 3000 m 25.37s Victor G. PUGACHEV 27/10/1986
    Time to climb to a height of 6000 m 37.05s Victor G. PUGACHEV 15/11/1986
    Time to climb to a height of 9000 m 44.18s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 10/03/1987
    Time to climb to a height of 12000 m 55.54s Nikolai SADOVNIKOV 10/03/1987

    The visual differences from the basic Su-27
    • Radome was replaced by a lighter metal fairing(1)
    • No avionics, most of outside elements, like IR sight(2) are removed
    • Non-adjustable engine intakes(3)
    • Reduced tail-planes(4) Reduced
    • The fin tips were removed(5)
    • Missing tail-cone(6)