Sukhoi Pak FA concept designs

While the airplane geeks among us wait for the first flight of the Sukhoi Pak FA, Russia’s long awaited 5th generation jet fighter, that is supposed to have its first test flight later this year, take a look at these stunning concept designs from Russian industrial design artist Aleksander Dultsev:

SU_PAKFA_1

The PAK FA is designed to compete with the US F22 Raptor and F35 Lightning II, and when it finally appears, will give an excellent indication of whether Russia still has the technical ability to produce top notch planes that can match the world’s best, or whether years of neglect have damaged it’s military aircraft industry truly beyond repair.

SU_PAKFA_2

Update: If you want to take a look at the real thing, read our report of the first Sukhoi Pak-FA test flight, which took place in January 2010.

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10 Responses

  1. Though I love cool-looking fighters as much as anyone, I think it should concentrate more on UAV’s… they are the future, not manned fighters.

    Sublime Oblivion´s last blog post..The Belief Matrix

  2. Mark Arsenal says:

    Interesting that this news comes on the day that America decided to abandon the F-22. How appropriate it would be if we decide down the road to start procuring out 5th-gen mecha from Russia, no?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072102919.html

    Mark Arsenal´s last blog post..Speed Limits and Urban Density

  3. Andy says:

    Thanks Mark – I hadn’t seen that news yet. I’m with Sublime Oblivion, in that I think UAVs are the way of the future, but I still think there’s at least a couple of new generations of manned fighters to be built yet.

    Computers and remote technology are getting there, but there’s still a lot of benefit to having a human eye actually up there in the cockpit. Plus, there are multi-billion dollar contracts at stake…

    (Actually, it’s just occurred to me that, because of the financial interests of the US aircraft manufacturers, they may be the slower to adapt to using UAVs as a matter of course. A bold move from the Russians to focus on UAV development could see them secure a real head start in the nascent international UAV market.)

  4. Andy says:

    PS – Mark, I’ve just been over to your blog. I thought I’d been blogging a long time!

  5. I don’t think that’s a good idea. If they want to cut something, they should target the JSF, the new aircraft carrier and destroyer programs and some excesses in the Future Combat System program (or rather its descendant’s). The F-22 is a kickass fighter and the only US air platform besides the B-2 capable of penetrating an advanced Integrated Air Defense System, and should be one of the last things cut.

    @Andy,
    Agreed, though I think the transition would be sooner. I don’t see anybody developing a 6th generation manned fighter. Also agreed on Russia’s potential advantages over the US in pursuing the RMA. Considering the atrophy of its armed forced since 1992, there may be fewer institutional hurdles to broad transformation.

    Sublime Oblivion´s last blog post..The Belief Matrix

  6. Except for the canards, looks just like the plane Clint Eastwood stole in “Firefox” back in 1983.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox_(film)

  7. TRex says:

    The F-22 is what is called a “hangar queen” spending more time under maintenance than in operations and the Sukhoi will be no different.

    But I’d sure like to see at least one fly before it prangs into the dirt!

  8. Frak U People says:

    This design is all wrong! It makes for some nice visualls but that’s about it! The PAK-FA will be a four-poster plane like the F-22/35. The enormous delta style wing gives poor agility just like the X-32. It offers lots of fuel storage but not lots of maneuverability.

    The F-22 was not abandoned. The Pentagon told Robert Gates, and the prez, that they didn’t want it! And Gates wanted to retool the military to be more effective both now and in the future and that doesnt include giving generals their favorite toys no matter the cost! The Raptor will make it’s way back to the forefront in due time and it will be far deadlier than anything comming out of Russia any time soon!…

  9. Scrat335 says:

    Russia will not have the PAK-FA at the airshow, I do not think it even has a prototype. These planes are for another era and the cost of maintaining and building them is ridiculous. If it’s anything like the F-22 which requires 30 hours of maintenance for every hour flown it is completely impractical.

    If Russia has one of these blackholes (a flyable prototype) at MAKS I will eat my shorts.

  10. DrofEvil says:

    These pics are just a conceptualization, a guess work, by the artist so to draw conclusions on how it will handle in flight is a waste of time. Going by the present Flanker flight characteristics as compared to all legacy aircraft starting from the F-16 to F18 Sukhois 27-35BM beat them in all envelopes. Go to this site to get the bear knuckle numbers on performance http://www.ausairpower.net/ and listen to what Dr. Karlo Kopp says it really puts things in perspective.
    Sukhoi has 3 prototypes build and the maiden flight should be this month if all goes to plan.