Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker

Su-27 Flanker Su27 Flanker at the 1999 Paris Air Show

The Sukhoi Su27 Flanker is the best russian fighter ever to be produced before the end of the cold war.
And from all the russian aviation companies, my favorite is the Sukhoi Design Bureau. (not that that would have any importance in this article...)
The aircraft is fitted with an K36GM ejection sit. It also has an Poulse Doppler radar, and a very sophisticated navigation system, which make it operational in all weather conditions, either by day or by night. Su27 Flanker has an build-in 30mm cannon with 200 rounds, and some very modern targeting and lock-on systems, and an infra-red target designator which measures the distance to the target with laser technology.

Su-27 Flanker Su-27 Flanker at Sunset
Magnificient...

The Sukhoi Su27 Flanker is actualy the aircraft that determened US Air Force to ask for a replacement for their F15 Eagle, in 1981.
Its russian counterpart, the MiG29 Fulcrum, follows the same pattern, but with an accent on the mechanics, the MiG29 is inferior to the Su27, which has digital fly-by-wire, and much more advanced avionics. Both of them use the AA11 air-air short range heat seeking missiles, which can be locked-on and fired on targets that are 75° in front and about 15° in the back of the nose of the aircraft. Using such a weapon requires a special lock-on and targeting system, which is represented mainly by the lock globe sensor located on the nose of the aircraft and the special eye-activated firing sensor in the pilot's helmet (only in the MiG29s).

Su-27 Flanker

Su27 Flanker represents the first generation of russian fighters that could really be defined as "segnificant threats" to their American counterparts.
But the Americans are no lower than that, and the F/A18 Hornet and the F16 Fighting Falcon are just two examples.

Su-27 Flanker

But the Russian fighters sure are beautiful. Sciamachy, a SAG member since early 1999 once told me "Those Russian engineers sure know how to make them beautiful", and YES, they are beautiful. Just take a good look at this Su27 Flanker and I bet you're just laying comfortable on your chair and your eyes are sticked to the screen and your mind has nothing in it but a Sukhoi ;)

Su-27 Flanker

The Su27 Flanker however doesn't has such a brilliant story as many other fighters, especially as American fighters, and actually it's story is always spotted with failures and bad pilots. However, the aircraft seems to be fit for the future of world military aviation as slight modifications of it, such as the Su30MK Flanker, will get to be an important part of the XXIst century digital battlefield.

Su-27 Flanker
Su-27 Flanker
Su-27 Flanker
Su-27 Flanker

Since its appearence, the Su27 Flanker has fascinated many aviation experts and enthuziasts, and everytime we'll see a major Air Show in the future, anywhere in the world, there's won't be small the nomber of those who'll wait for the arrival of the Sukhoi...