Sukhoi’s Su-35 Wows at the Paris Air Show
Kyle Maxey posted on June 19, 2013 |
Sukhoi’s answer to the F-22 Raptor makes a breathtaking debut

sukhoi, jet, fighter, aviation, paris, f22, raptor, russia, us, air force

At the Paris Air Show, Sukhoi’s Su-35 multipurpose fighter demonstrated its advanced maneuverability for the first time in foreign airspace.

Built for the Russian Air Force, the Su-35 is meant to match the speed and maneuverability of the United States’ 5th generation fighter, the F-22 Raptor. Powered by twin Luylka AL31FM turbofan engines, the Su-35 has a top speed of 2,400 km/h (1491 mph) when operating at altitude, and has a maximum range of 3,600 kilometers (2237 miles).

While speed and range are important elements of a modern fighter – especially when you’re trying to compete with the country that owns the world’s biggest carrier fleet – what really separates a jet from the crowd is maneuverability. The Su-35 has that in spades.

Key to the Su-35’s awesome maneuverability the way it can change the direction of its engine thrust.  Known as thrust vectoring, this engine technology gives the Su-35 greater control over its angular velocity and altitude.                                                                                

To demonstrate its advanced engines, the Su-35 wowed Paris Air Show attendees by executing one of the most spectacular acrobatic feats an aircraft can perform, Pugachev’s Cobra.

In the maneuver, an airplane throttles down its speed and lifts its nose to a vertical position – two things most pilots are aware you should never, ever do. Rather than falling out of the sky, however, the Su-35’s thrust vectoring technology allows it to glide forward while maintaining altitude.

Over the course of the next few years, Sukhoi plans to build forty-eight Su-35s for the Russian Air Force. While the craft is advanced enough to be exported to other nations, there have been very few who have expressed interest in purchasing the $40M fighter. 

However, after seeing its performance in Paris and weighing its unit cost versus the $150M F-22, many air force generals might be looking to place an order with Sukhoi.

Watch a Video of an Su-27 Performing Pugachev’s Cobra:

Images & Video Courtesy of Sukhoi & Alechandere

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