The Russian Su-57 is not ready to fly, says Russian defense expert

A Russian Su-57 fighter jet has crashed during tests in the country’s Far East, news agencies reported the Moscow Times.

“Among the main problems inherent in the new machine, experts single out, firstly, the use of new control systems. <…> The second possible problem is related to the tail. On the Su-57, it is represented by all-turning trapezoidal stabilizers, includes keels with small air intakes that allow cooling aircraft equipment <…> In addition to the listed problems that could lead to the crash of the car, the Su-57 has other obvious disadvantages. For example, many experts talk about problems with electronics, which is due, first of all, to the lack of domestic high-tech industries in Russia in Russia,” the Military Review Russian news publication reports.

The incident occurred days before Russia’s Aerospace Forces were due to receive their first serial-produced Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet. Its developer Sukhoi plans to deliver a total of 67 fifth-generation Su-57s to the Russian Aerospace Forces by 2028.

Su-57 Crashed due to flight control systems malfunction

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“The Su-57 crashed during a test flight 111 kilometers from its home airfield,” Russia’s state-controlled United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said as quoted by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. 

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Its test pilot catapulted and survived the crash in the Khabarovsk region, Interfax cited an unnamed source as saying.

Su-57 Crashed

A Russian aviation industry source told Izvestia that the Su-57’s flight control system should have had ‘multi-level’ protection against entering into a critical flight mode like an uncontrollable spin, including the ability to automatically reorient an Su-57 to level flight with the press of a single button.

This was the first total hull loss accident for the Su-57. Russia’s TASS news agency reported that the crash was due to a failure of the jet’s flight control systems, particularly as pertains to its tail control surfaces

An unnamed Russian military official told RIA Novosti that the technical malfunction are believed to have caused the Su-57 crash. Russian experts suggested that the current version of Su-57 has major problems including the powerplant, vertical stabilizer, poorly constructed composite materials, flight control system, rebbited front radom and high radar cross section (RCS) of the aircraft.

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