Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet performed its first test flight with a new ‘Product 30’ engine which will be the production standard when the aircraft enters serial manufacturing in 2020.
The test was performed at the Gromov Flight Research Institute on Tuesday with the older NPO Saturn Product 117 engine placed in one engine bay and the new ‘Product 30’ engine in another, various media reported.
The new engine is expected to improve performance including allowing the aircraft to fly in the super cruise mode. In addition, it is lighter than the 117 engine powering the prototype which should result in lesser weight penalty and reduced fuel efficiency.
A source in the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry told reporters, "Russia’s newest fifth generation fighter, the Su-57 also known as T-50, performed its maiden flight with the second stage engine on December 5, 2017," the source was quoted as saying by TASS.
Until recently, including during its public display flight at the international air show MAKS-2017, Su-57 was equipped with the first stage engine 117S. Its successor has no name yet and is referred to as "second stage engine."
The 17-minute flight test was carried out by Sergei Bogdan, a chief test pilot of the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer."The flight took place in normal regime, in compliance with the flight assignment," the ministry source said.
Commenting on the report, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the successful test of the new engine "will give an additional boost to the fifth-generation fighter jet program."
The Su-57 fifth generation fighter jet performed its maiden flight in 2010. Currently, nine prototypes are undergoing state trials. Its serial production is expected to begin next year.
The aircraft makes use of a number of unique technologies and material. Composites and cutting-edge technologies as well as its aerodynamic design hinder its radar and infrared identification.