Maxim Pyadushkin reports: The second prototype of Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter made its maiden flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on October 2, staying airborne for about an hour checking engine and flight control modes. A third aircraft is in assembly at Komsomolsk-on-Amur, but with no firm flight date.
The single-seat Su-35 (or Su-27M2) combines the proven Su-27 airframe with more powerful 117S engines and revised avionics, including a new radar and cockpit and three-dimensional thrust vectoring. The first prototype flew in February this year. Sukhoi reports that it has flown 40 times and demonstrated supercruise speed. The second aircraft, says Sukhoi, will allow flight tests to be competed in 2009. The first deliveries are planned for 2011. The Su-35 failed to make the short list for Brazil’s new fighter, losing to Boeing F-18E/F, Dassault's Rafale and Saab's Gripen NG. A Sukhoi source complains that the Brazilian choice was affected by political reasons. Brazil’s offset requirements were also unrealistic for the Russian side, he adds. Pic: Sukhoi