One of the Sukhoi T-50 / PAK-FA prototypes on a regular test flight (Image © Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

Russian T-50 hotter than planned

One of the Sukhoi T-50 prototypes on a regular test flight  (Image © Vitaly V. Kuzmin)
One of the Sukhoi T-50 prototypes on a regular test flight (Image © Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

The promising new Russian stealth fighter, the Sukhoi PAK FA / T-50, got much hotter than planned on 11 June 2014. During a taxi test on the runway of the Gromov Flight Research Institute / Moscow-Zhukovsky airfield one of the fighter aircraft caught fire, making test pilot Sergey Bogdan disembarking the plane in a hurry.

Fortunately for Bogdan, he was not injured. Fortunately for all aviation enthousiasts – and Sukhoi – the fighter only sustained quite some damage, but is repairable and will continue to fly, according to reports we received from Russia. Witnesses report no explosions or anything even close to it. On an image we received the centre top section of the fuselage looks burned black over at least 2 metres (6 feet) in length, a bit behind the canopy, and the fire burned holes in that part of the centre top of the aircraft.

The PAK FA – also known as T-50 not to be mistaken for the KAI T-50 trainer – is the future of Russian Air Force combat aviation. First flight was in 2010, with currently four prototypes being tested. Three aircraft made their appearances at the MAKS 2013 airshow in Moscow, to the delight of many of the spectators.

© 2014 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

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