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MiG-29 vs Su-27

Published on June 5, 2012,

For Soviet Frontal Aviation, as for its post-Soviet successors, the Su-27 Flanker was the long-range counterpart to the MiG-29 Fulcrum. It specialises in long-range intercepts, escorting strike aircraft and counter-air missions against enemy air forces.

Looks are misleading. The Su-27 looks like a bigger MiG-29. But the ‘Flanker’ is not just the big brother of the ‘Fulcrum’; it is an advanced design which demonstrates that the Sukhoi design bureau is neck-and-neck in the race for excellence with the better-known MiG organisation.

Chosen as the principal fighter of Soviet air forces, the ‘Flanker’ is beyond question an aerodynamic miracle. It was first seen in the West as a blurred image on grainy film, but the veil of secrecy has now lifted. In visits to air shows abroad the Sukhoi’s incredible agility, including its tail-sitting ‘Cobra’ manoeuvre, has never been matched by any other performer. This is a pilot’s aircraft: the man in the cockpit can fling this ship all over the sky.

Some experts say that the radar and missiles are not as advanced as the basic design of the aircraft, but Russian technology has improved greatly over the last decade and it would be a mistake to underestimate the Su-27.


MiG-29 Fulcrum versus Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker

CATEGORY

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker

MiG-29 Fulcrum

Unit cost in USD millions

40-45

30-35

Fuel economy in km/l

0,25

0,34

Fuel economy in NM/g

0,59

0,80

Fuel tank capacity in litres

9400

4365

Fuel tank capacity in gallon

2482

1152

Range on internal fuel in km

2400

1495

Range on internal fuel in miles

1488

926,9

Range on internal fuel in NM

1296

807,3

Powerplant/Engines

2 × Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F

2 × Klimov RD-33

Dry thrust in kN

2 x 75

2 x 50

Dry thrust in lbf

2 x 16900

2 x 11240

Afterburner in kN

2 x 123

2 x 81

Afterburner in lbf

2 x 27600

2 x 18285

Max. Speed in Mach

2,30

2,25

Max. Speed in km/h

2818

2756

Max. Speed in mph

1751

1713

Minimal thrust/weight ratio

0,78

0,78

Normal thrust/weight ratio

1,00

0,95

Maximal thrust/weight ratio

1,52

1,60

Overall length in meters

21,90

17,32

Overall length in ft

71,83

56,81

Wingspan in meters

14,70

11,98

Wingspan in ft

48,22

39,29

Height in meters

5,92

5,18

Height in ft

19,42

16,99

Wing area in sq meters

62,00

43,00

Wing area in sq ft

667,12

462,68

Empty weight in kg

17500

11230

Empty weight in lb

38500

24706

Maximal take-off weight in kg

32000

22400

Maximal take-off weight in lb

70400

49280

Minimal wing-loading in kg/m2

264

255

Normal wing-loading in kg/m2

378

430

Maximal wing-loading in kg/m2

491

520

Rate of climb in m/sec

300

300

Rate of climb in ft/min

59070

59070

First flight

1977

1977

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