The most advanced fighter plane in the world may have a range of advanced technologies, but behind the Sukhoy 57 there are some brilliant minds, with very smart economic thinking
It would be an impressive battle of monsters, which would be much closer than one would think. On the one hand, the American plane is the peak of military aviation technologies and there is no argument about it. But on the other hand, behind the Sukhoy 57 stands one of the greatest aviation geniuses in history – though he died more than 40 years before the plane was born.
The most advanced, the most expensive. The American F22
His name is Pavel Sukhoi and he began his career as a soldier with exemptions and recruits during the First World War. He was always enthusiastic about airplanes, so after his discharge from the army, he went to study aeronautics engineering and excelled. After receiving his degree, he began working in the office of Anton Tupolev, a famous aircraft manufacturer who entrusted him with the design of unconventional aircraft.
When he set out on his own and established the design office in his name, he found it difficult to get significant contracts, because Stalin wanted the aviation industry to concentrate on the production of ILIOSHIN IL2, the main multi-mission aircraft of the Red Air Force in World War II. After the war, it seems that the company has no specific focus: it produced fighter bombers, reconnaissance planes, and large interception aircraft.
Sukhoy 2, the company's first design
Most of the coveted contracts – for the production of major fighter jets – were lost to Mikoyan Gurevich (the manufacturer of the MiG, behind which is an amazing story in itself). Pavel Sochoy was tired of losing, and in the early seventies he discovered how to defeat Mikoyan; he decided to invent an archetype for a fighter aircraft that would be so efficient engineering and aerodynamic that he could perform any task with minimal adjustments. Instead of developing a separate plane for each auction, his company will find the design that will fit the maximum performance, and that all future aircraft will be built on its basis. No one outside the Soviet Union knew that he had decided to invent design DNA, and no one knew that he had succeeded.
One morning in 1987, a Norwegian navy patrol plane encountered a very strange Soviet fighter plane. He was huge, flew close to him, almost bumping into him. Then he sped up, circled around him as if he were standing there and passed by again. This time, the tip of his tail hit the Norwegian plane, causing a drop in air pressure in the crew compartment. The Russian pilot flew away, cheerful. This is how the world first encountered Sukhoy 27, the most advanced fighter plane in the Soviet Union – and the first son of the new Sukhoy Dynasty.
One of the first pictures of the Sukhoi 27
Its body is flattened and wide, to provide lift, which helps it to remain stable at low altitude and at a slow speed. And when the pilot opens a throttle, the plane leaps like a missile and maneuvers with a catlike frenzy. The combination of very powerful engines and an efficient body allows for some unusual maneuvers, such as Western airplanes could not do.
Sochoy 27 was the Russian answer to the F15C: a large, fast-moving, long-range, and highly equipped warplane. A few years later, Sukhoi 33 appeared, a marine version capable of taking off from aircraft carriers and carrying missiles from ship destroyers (answer to F14 and F18). The Sukhoi 30 (a high-performance model capable of carrying out assault missions, an answer to the F-15E), the Sukhoi 34 (model for strategic bombing, answer to F111), Sukhoi 35 (improved air superiority model, And Sukhoy 37 (the same, but with Nihog Vectory, like the F22).
A production line at the Sukhoi plant
All told, the Sukhawis had 27 sons. One of them, the Sukhoi Barcott, had wings drawn forward to test maneuvering even better than his brother's. What is special about these Sukhoi planes: they all look the same (except Model 34, where there are two pilots sitting side by side).
Sukhoi 34 (blue body, black nose), Sukhoi 33 (blue body, white nose), Sukhoi 35 (gray body, white nose) and Mig 29 simply pushed (gray and smaller than the rest)
And so they went through 40 years when Sochoy's design did not change simply because he did not have to change. In the past decade, his successors have been studying everything they have learned from three decades of fighter jets; They thought of the wings again, on the tail and on the body. Think about what future armies will need, a new design that can hold generations ahead. And now we are entering a new generation in the Sukhoi family. The Sukhoy generation 57, the flying monster, the one at the beginning of the text I wondered together with you if you could defeat the F22.
Sukhoi 27 (right) and next to the Sukhuy 57 formation
The answer is a bit complicated. Air battles are determined by four factors: the capabilities of the pilot and his tactics (during World War II, Polish pilots shot down German Messerschmidt planes while flying in flying wagons), armament capabilities (if a missile from an enemy aircraft reaches 100 km range, (If you have a battlefield, it is a meat grinder, with anti-aircraft missiles in every corner, electronic warfare and enemy patrols that can Reach every moment – and for the opponent those are friendly skies – you are in trouble).
The F22 and Suhawei 57 have the capability of stealth, advanced radars and similar capabilities, and the pilots' abilities will probably be in favor of the F22, since history has taught us that the battle will take place between an American pilot and a pilot from a country that bought the Suhawis from Russia. , Which also says a lot about Russia and the legacy of Pavel Sukhoi: There will be a lot more Sukhoi 57 aircraft than F22.
The US has invested $ 66 billion in the development of the F22, and has invented technologies from scratch for him and every plane costs $ 150 million – a lot of money even for such a superpower – why is it so expensive because its price also embodies the long R & D behind it? And b. The manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, knows that apart from the US military, no one will pay for it on this plane Russia has, on the other hand, invested a little over $ 8 billion in the development of the Sukhoi 57. Each plane costs $ 50 million, Russia has developed a plane that is supposed to become a whole family of aircraft, which will be purchased by a long list of customers (I bet on Syria, Iran, China, India, etc.).
Sukhoi 57 on an experimental flight
Therefore, each F22 will encounter a number of Sukhoi 57 buildings, all of which are equipped with similar technologies, similar armaments and similar capabilities. And on paper – every Sukhoi has a longer range than the F22, it's skyrocketing to the same height, carries a similar number of missiles and unlike the F22 – light, cheaper and faster to fix it if it breaks down.
And this is the greatness of Sukhoi: the ability to invent a design on the basis of which will be built many aircraft, various missions, different air forces – all at a reasonable and inviting price. And this is the weakness of the Americans: because of inefficient project management and conservative technology sharing policies, they are left with an airplane that only they can buy. Thus we can see the essential differences between western and eastern design concepts that hint at future wars – wars in which the more creative designer will give his state the technical, economic and commercial advantage.