Prototype of Su-27 and whole Flanker family – T-10 Flanker A
T-10 Flanker A
Everything began at Sukhoi Bureau ending 1969. SSSR (USSR) needs some air superiority fighter to catch up USA FX program F-15 which started 1966.
Prototype of the Su-27, factory code T-10 was finished September 1971. After concept was presented, Soviet Air Force heads decided to go parallel with two designs. One by Mikoyan lighter version (now well known Mig-29 Fulcrum), and heavier by Sukhoi.
Development of the Su-27 was approved by Soviet government in 1976., so Sukhoi started to build first three T-10 prototypes (two for flight testing and one for structural testing). The first two flying prototypes of the Su-27 were fitted with AL-21FZAI engines.
Construction of the first prototype T10-1 was completed in April 1977. On 20 May 1977, the design bureau’s chief pilot V.S. Ilyushin performed the first flight. In May 1978, the testing programme was expanded to cover a second prototype, T10-2, and the year after that, in 1979, it received the prototypes T10-3 and T10-4, fitted with operational engines AL-31F. This was the first “unstable” fly-by-wire aircraft in the Soviet Union.
In the summer of 1977, after Sukhoi’s chief pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Sergeyevich Ilyushin, made the first flight in the T-10, and testing began. All went well, and 10 more aircraft were begun.
The second prototype T-10-2 was built in 1978, but it was destroyed on its second flight and the pilot was killed. The cause was shortcomings in the control system.
The same year Sukhoi built a third and a fourth prototype T-10-3 and T-10-4. They received new AL-31F engines, but the stability problems continued. Five new prototypes were built for expanded test flight program T-10-5, -6, -9, -10, -11. The seventh and the eight versions were kept on the drawing board waiting for possible changes. During the next four years the Su-27 underwent extensive redesign program under Mikhail Simonov’s supervision, which resulted in the T-10S, developed from the T-10-7.
The T-10S was lost in an accident on September 3, 1981. The second T-10S came from the production line with designation T-10-12 and with new airframe structure. That prototype was lost too, on December 23, 1981. The plane broke down in a high-speed test and the pilot was killed. The T-10-8 prototype was assembled in 1982 to be used in strength tests. Thus the total number of aircraft in the test program rose to 14.
The T-10S prototype evolved into the production version Su-27P during the year 1985, when it was introduced to service. Sukhoi manufactured about 200 such planes for the Air Defense Force.
The radar is coherent RLPK27pulse-doppler radar, which is able to track 10 targets and engage 2 targets simultaneously. Geophysica NPO optical-electronic system supplements the radar. The system’s laser rangefinder has 8 km range and the IR finder’s detection range extends to as far as 50 km, depending on the IR contrast. The electro-optical system can be connected to the pilot’s helmet sight.
As compared to the MiG-29, the benefits of the Su-27 in terms of operation range and useful load were evident. Thus the FrontalAviation soon directed its interest to the new aircraft and had ordered about 150 examples by the beginning of the 1990s.