Su-47 "Berkut": photo, characteristics. Why did they close the project?
To aircraft construction, especially in the military sphere, we havealways paid special attention - the extent of the borders is huge, and therefore without combat aviation in any way. Even in the 90s, this sphere managed to survive. Perhaps someone remembers the triumphant appearance of the S-37, which later became the Su-47 Berkut. The effect of its appearance was phenomenal, and the new technique aroused incredible interest not only in our country, but also abroad. Why did this happen?
Basic information about the program
The fact is that the aircraft attracted everyone's attentionbecause of the reverse sweep of the wing. The excitement was such that even the current discussions of the PAK FA project do not reach those events. All specialists predicted an impressive future for the new development and wondered when the Berkut would appear in the Su-47 troops. Why shut down the project, if everything was so wonderful? This, as well as the milestones for the development of this aircraft, we will today talk.
The "top secret" object
It is known that the first prototype rose to the skyMoscow region at the end of September 1997. But the very fact of its existence became known much earlier. Already at the end of 1994, the Western press repeatedly wrote that a secret aircraft was being developed in Russia. Even the alleged name was given - C-32. In general, it is very similar to the fact that the fact of the existence of the aircraft was a secret, except for us, because the media of the Western states and about the reverse sweep wrote openly.
Domestic fans of military equipmentreceived confirmation of all this information only at the end of 1996. In the domestic periodicals, a photo appeared that immediately caused a lot of questions. There were two planes on it: in one of them the Su-27 was easily guessed, but the second car was not like anything. Firstly, it was absolutely black, which is not very characteristic for the Russian air force, and secondly, it had wings of reverse sweep. In a couple of months (and it was no surprise at all), in the same foreign media, quite detailed schemes of the new aircraft appeared. If anyone did not guess, this was the Su-47 Berkut.
In general, some secrecy is to be observed neverthelessIt was possible: later it was found out that the work on the project was started in the 80's. After the collapse of the USSR, almost all information of this kind "suddenly" appeared freely available. Which, however, is not surprising.
How it all began
In the late 70's all the top leadership of the Air ForceThe USSR was thinking about the strategy of aircraft construction for all subsequent years. Already in 1981, the program was launched, which set the goal to develop a "new fighter for the 90s." The design bureau was appointed by Mikoyan Design Bureau. But the leadership of Sukhoi Design Bureau managed to persuade the superiors of the project that the existing Su-27 has an impressive reserve for modernization, and therefore it is necessary to develop the existing machine, and not "reinvent the wheel".
Just at that time, the general director of KB becameMP Simonov, who nevertheless decided to abandon plans for modernization, proposing to create something really new. In many respects this is due to the fact that the designers very much wanted to test a number of interesting ideas without risking to "burn" at the failed project: in case of failure it could be written off everything for novelty. However, even then no one doubted that these developments would be extremely valuable in any case, at least from the scientific and engineering point of view.
Why did you choose the wrong wing?
So, why is the innovative Su-47 "Berkut" got a wing with a reverse sweep? If compared with traditional designs, it had several significant advantages:
- Excellent aerodynamics, and even at low speeds this advantage can be seen immediately.
- A magnificent lift, superior to that of the wings of the classical design.
- Improved controllability during takeoff and landing.
- Significantly less likely to leave the "deaf" corkscrew.
- Perfect alignment - as the wing's power elements shift towards the tail, a lot of space is freed up in the central compartment for the rational arrangement of the ammunition.
All of the above theoretically allowedcreate a truly perfect fighter. But if everything was so good, all the armies of the world would have flown long ago on such planes. The fact is that when creating such machines we have to solve the most complicated constructive tasks:
- Elastic divergence of the wing. If to speak easier, at certain speeds it simply curls. With this phenomenon, by the way, faced and in Nazi Germany, where there were attempts to create such aircraft. The logical solution was to increase the rigidity to the maximum values.
- The sharply increased weight of the aircraft. When the wing was made of materials available at the time, it turned out to be very heavy.
- Increasing the drag coefficient. The specific configuration of the wing leads to an increase in the area of resistance with all the ensuing consequences.
- The aerodynamic focus is greatly shifted, which practically excludes manual piloting in many situations: "smart" electronics are absolutely necessary for stabilization.
Designers had to sweat a lot to solve these problems, so that the Su-47 Berkut could fly normally.
Main technological solutions
Quickly identified the maintechnical solutions. To achieve the desired rigidity, but do not overload the structure, the wing was decided to do with the maximum possible use of carbon fiber. Wherever possible, they refused any metal. But then it turned out that all the aircraft engines produced in the USSR could not give out the required traction, and therefore the project was temporarily suspended.
C-37, the first prototype
Here the creators of the Su-47 (S-37) Berkut camedifficult times. In principle, the project generally wanted to collapse because of the growing economic problems, but the naval leadership interfered, which offered to make a promising deck fighter out of the airplane. In the early 90's, researchers returned to the subject of the wing with a reverse sweep, using all available at the time operating time. Strictly speaking, it was then that the Su-47 Berkut project was launched.
Achievements of designers and engineers
The most significant achievement of designers isboldly consider the creation of a unique technology for making long pieces of composite materials. In addition, it was possible to achieve truly jewelry accuracy in their docking. The longest parts of the Su-47 Berkut, whose photo you see in this article, are eight meters long. Simply put, there are not enough details, all of them are connected with the highest precision to each other, the number of bolted and riveted joints is sharply reduced. This has a very favorable effect on both the rigidity of the design and the entire aerodynamics of the aircraft.
The weight of the project aircraft was approaching 20tons, at least 14% accounted for complex composites. For the most simplistic part of the details tried to take from the mass-produced machines. So, the lantern, the chassis, a number of other constructive elements without changes moved to the Su-47 "Berkut" plane directly from its failed "ancestor" - SU-27.
At the leading edge, the inclination of the wing is 20 °,on the back wall this value is 37 °. In the root part of it was made a special influx, which allows to significantly reduce the coefficient of drag. Practically all the edges of the wing are occupied entirely by mechanization. All of its design is solid composites, and only 10% falls on metal inserts added to achieve the necessary strength and rigidity.
Directly on the sides of the air intakes isall-round horizontal plumage, having a trapezoidal shape. Tail tail is also made by arrow-shaped arrangement. Vertical tail is very similar to that for all the same Su-27, but its total area is much larger. This was achieved by making significant changes in the design: it began to work more efficiently, and therefore the sizes were reduced.
Fuselage cross-section close to oval, outsideThe case is very "licked" and as smooth as possible. The nose with minor changes was almost completely borrowed from the Su-27. On the sides of the pilot's cockpit there are simple, unregulated air intakes. On the top of the fuselage they are also available, but the pilot has the ability to control their area, which is resorted to by intensive maneuvering, take-off or landing. As you can see in the photo, on the sides of the nozzles of the Su-47 Berkut, whose characteristics we are considering, there are small influxes, within which radar or other equipment can be placed.
Since nothing more suitable was not,The engines for the aircraft were modeled by the TRDDF D-30F11. They, by the way, were used on interceptors MiG-31. Their traction was obviously not enough for such a car, but it was supposed that in the future it would be possible to develop a more tense and economical model. However, even with a take-off weight of 25.5 tons, the characteristics of these engines were more than acceptable. At high altitude, the flight speed reached 2.2 thousand km / h, near the ground this figure was equal to 1.5 thousand km / h. The maximum range is 3.3 thousand kilometers, the ceiling is 18 kilometers in height.
Equipment and armament
For obvious reasons, the real compositionon-board equipment is known extremely little. It is possible with full right to assume that part of it was transferred from the Su-27. The navigation system used all the advantages of obtaining real-time data from military satellites. It is known that in the aircraft was installed a catapult chair of the K-36DM model, which differed significantly from the standard production models. The fact is that its back is located 30 ° to the horizontal.
This was done to make the pilots easierto transfer huge overloads, which occurred during intensive maneuvering at the limiting speeds. According to available data, other government bodies were directly taken from other domestic fighters, with Su-27 being the most frequently used "donor".
Since the plane was exceptionallyexperimental, it did not carry weapons in principle (or information about it is classified). Still, the left wing influx clearly shows the place for the automatic cannon (there is evidence that it was still placed on an experimental aircraft), and in the middle of the hull there is a large compartment for bomb weapons. Scientists and the military unanimously assert that the project pursued solely the verification of the flying qualities of such vehicles, and therefore there was no unique weapon on board the Su-47 Berkut. Why closed the project, which has already proved to be quite promising?
Because of what the project was closed?
It should be remembered that active testing of thisprototype continued until the middle of the 2000s. The project was closed because it was originally planned to make it experimental. All the materials that were accumulated during these works are really priceless. A global mistake would be to think that it was a fifth-generation fighter. The Su-47 Berkut is only its prototype, but extremely important. So, it is already known that the central bomb compartment is almost the same as that of the newest PAK FA. Surely at the last he appeared not by chance ... Only the military know how many technical ideas from this aircraft will be used in the future. You can only be sure that there will be a lot of them.
Despite the theoretical closure of the project,the Su-47 "Berkut" model still causes heated debates on domestic and foreign resources: specialists argue about the prospects for such machines. Thousands of times have been discussed all the pros and cons of such techniques. And until now there is no consensus about what will happen to similar aircraft in the future: whether complete oblivion, or the transfer of all the Air Force of the world to a similar technique. Many agree that the main obstacle to such global changes is the unrealistic cost of materials and technologies used to create the Berkut.