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5-toTake-off magazine November 2006
special edition for Airshow China 2006


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MILITARY AVIATION
CCTC in Lipetsk gearing for early Su-34s
RusAF receives two upgraded Su-24Ms
First air regiment converted to Su-27SM upgraded fighters
Ka-50 production resumed for MoD
Upgraded MiG-31’s trials
Splav offers advanced derivatives of popular FFARs

Following Chkalov’s route
Anatoly Kvochur’s crew completes unique non-stop flight
On 8 September, the Flight Research Centre’s (FRC) pilots Anatoly Kvochur and Sergey Korostiyev made an unprecedented-duration non-stop flight across Russia – from Zhukovsky to Chkalov Island in the Far East and back. The flight on a Su-30 twinseat fighter (side number 597), which included several mid-air refuellings, was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the historical flight by Valery Chkalov on the Tupolev ANT-25 to Udd Island now named after the legendary Soviet pilot. The FRC pilots covered over 12,400 km on the round trip within 13 h 09 min, having tested FRC-developed SRNK-21DV satnav system on a real long-range mission. The system ensures self-contained mid-air refuelling without information support from ground controllers. This made up a big practical value for the flight, because the system tested may soon be fielded with the Russian Air Force (RusAF), thus boosting their ability to fly across the vast expanses of Russia. Andrey Fomin and Yevgeny Yerokhin tells about new Kvochur’s non-stop flight and its importance for Russian Air Force development

Russian Knights in Chinese skies
There are many display teams throughout the world, showcasing their airmanship on aerobatic and trainer aircraft or light fighters. However, the Russian Air Force’s Russian Knights display team seems to be unique since it alone flies formation aerobatics on heavy fighters such as Sukhoi Su-27s. The total weight of the team’s six planes accounts for about 150 t, with their combined wingspan measuring over 75 m in tight formation. Having celebrated its 15th anniversary this spring, the Russian Knights have been invited to perform at Airshow China in Zhuhai and promise to put up a most breathtaking aerobatics show this year. Brief excursus to 15 years-long history of the Russian Knights and their recent achievements – in the photo report by Andrey Zhirnov

CONTRACTS AND DELIVERIES
Be-200’s contracts and records
First Tu-204-120CE ready for shipment to PRC
Be-103s finally go to China
Russian engines to power Chinese aircraft

Sukhoi fighters in China
Today and tomorrow

Russian-made Sukhoi Su-27SK single-seat fighters have been in service with the China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force (PLAAF) for almost a decade and a half. The first 20 aircraft were delivered by KnAAPO in 1992, followed by 16 more fighters four years later. In 1996, a contract was signed on tooling up the aircraft factory in the Chinese city of Shenyang for licence-producing of 200 such aircraft. The first Shenyang-made Su-27SK, designated as J-11, fulfilled its maiden flight on 15 December 1998. Over seven years, KnAAPO had supplied the Shenyang plant with a hundred Su-27SK assembly kits for licence production. However, the programme was suspended in early 2004 since PLAAF had learnt to operate a more advanced Flanker version, the Su-30MKK multirole twinseat fighter (Russia supplied 76 aircraft of the type in 2000–2003) and the Chinese Navy was gearing up for receiving the even more sophisticated Su-30MK2 (KnAAPO delivered 24 fighters of the type in 2004). Against such a backdrop, China decided against continuing to make Su-27SKs whose combat capabilities were less sophisticated. A number of options for resuming the J-11’s production were pondered, but in any case, only upgraded multirole aircraft with the improved avionics and weapons suites were on the agenda, both Russian-made (Sukhoi and KnAAPO offered their upgrade programme dubbed Su-27SKM) and indigenous Chinese ones. It looks like that the jury is still out. In addition, not a single new delivery contract has been made since 2003: having contented themselves with a hundred Su-30MKKs and Su-30MK2s during 2000–2004, the Chinese seem to be waiting for the Su-35, a drastic upgrade of the Flanker. Now, Russia pins its hopes for resuming fighter deliveries to China on this aircraft. There is one more Sukhoi plane that could go to China in the future. It is a derivative of the Su-33 carrierborne fighter, which, according to experts, could come in handy in tailoring carrier air groups on future Chinese aircraft carriers. 15 years of Sukhoi fighters service with the PLAAF and their new derivatives prospects in China are reviewed by Andrey Fomin

INDUSTRY
Alexey Fyodorov: UAC to be registered this autumn
RRJ renamed SuperJet
SaM146 passes first stage of trials
Albatross to get second wind?
Ka-226 proves itself in mountainous terrain
Mi-38 reaches record-breaking flight altitude
An-148’s airlifter derivative makes its debut
Su-80GP in trials

Russian air-to-surface precision-guided weapons on global market
In spite of the snags hit in the 1990s, Russian defence contractors have retained fundamental technologies and advanced weaponry’s development and production principles. Russia has always been a world leader in combat aircraft development, with its aircraft weapon makers renowned for their effective and dependable weapons at all times. The Russian arms-making school of thought rests upon the systemic approach and the ability to pinpoint the gist of the matter and embody simple but promising solutions to enable aircraft and weapons to operate in most demanding environments. It is this that makes Russian designers different from their Western colleagues who mostly focus on solving clear-cut limited problems. Therefore, many countries, especially those striving to pursue an independent national security policy, have been paying closer attention to the materiel offered by Russian companies for export. Peter Stone reviews modern air-to-surface guided missiles now offered by Russia for international arms market Ivchenko-Progress engines of the future

CIVIL AVIATION
New Tu-214s for Russian airlines
Yakutiya receives first Russian-made An-140
Tu-154M production goes on
Be-103 enters service
New M-101Ts for civil aviation’s flying schools
Leasing as Russian commercial aircraft industry’s driving force

COSMONAUTICS
Soyuz TMA-9 brings new crew and first female space tourist to ISS
Clipper loses ground to upgraded Soyuz

 
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