Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Did Russia's Su-52 Forward Swept Wing Trainer Just have its First Flight?

A video has surfaced online showing what appears to be first flight of a Russian jet-powered trainer with forward-swept wings.

The video uploaded on 30 December is not dated but the title of the file name includes a sequence of numbers – 20151225 – that suggest it was taken on Christmas day.

It shows an aircraft performing a low pass over an isolated Russian landing strip with its landing gear still down.

Though not identified, the aircraft in the video bears a strong resemblance to the Sukhoi Su-52 design, which proposed a two-seat trainer to support the Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut, a forward swept-wing fighter project cancelled to make way for a stealthy adaptation of the Su-27 as the Russian Air Force launched the PAK FA programme.

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