Why the Su-47 Fighter Failed (But Still Helped Russia's Air Force)

Mark Episkopos

Key Point: If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again. That was the lesson Moscow took from its Su-47.

At the Zhukovsky International Airport outside Moscow, Russia, MAKS 2019 air show attendees were treated to a rare piece of Russian military aviation history: the Su-47, a fascinating but flawed testbed for cutting-edge 1990’s fighter technology. 

Not seen since MAKS 2007, the Su-47 Berkut (“Golden Eagle”) was put on static display as part of a coterie of experimental Russian aircraft to be shown at Zhukovsky Airport. the Aviationist’s Tom Demerly captured footage of the Su-47 being hauled to its designated display site, while Russian media provided additional closeups of the fighter.

Conceived in 1983 as a sweeping modernization program for Russia’s prolific Su-27 air superiority fighter, the “Su-37”-- as it was known before being renamed in the following decade-- was an exercise in ambitious aircraft design.

Berkut’s main attraction is its unorthodox forward-swept wings, a feature it shares with only one other known aircraft, the US Grumman X-29.

Read the original article.