PAK FA 1st flight tests
Air Force pilot of the Chkalov Flight Test Center made a PAK FA test flight for the first time. The plane took off the airfield of the M.M.Gromov Flight Research Institute in the city of Zhukovsky (Moscow region). The system and equipment testing went on for two hours in accordance with the flight test program. The flight was a success, in full conformity with the flight mission. Presently four planes undergo flight tests. Two more aircraft are engaged in ground experimental missions — one plane is a complex ground test stand and the other undergoes static tests. The fifth PAK FA aircraft will join the flight test program in the second half of 2013. Construction of that plane at the Sukhoi’s aircraft plant.
The PAK is a twin-engine jet fighterbeing developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Air Force. The Sukhoi T-50 is the prototype for PAK FA. The PAK FA is one of only a handful of stealth jet programs worldwide. The T-50′s maiden flight had been repeatedly postponed since early 2007 as the aircraft encountered unspecified technical problems. Alexander Zelin admitted as recently as August 2009 that problems with the engine and in technical research remained unsolved. Although most information about the PAK FA is classified, sources within in the Russian Air Force and Defense Ministry have openly stated that it features stealth technology and has the capability to supercruise, and incorporate advanced avionics such as an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and an artificial intelligence system. It is to be outfitted with the next generation of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles.