Russia’s New Stealth Fighter Might Be A High-Flier

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Russia’s New Stealth Fighter Might Be A High-Flier

Notapor miniming » Jue 22. Jul 2021, 04:45

Russia’s New Stealth Fighter Might Be A High-Flier

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Russia’s new stealth fighter apparently has a really big wing. That could mean two things.

It might be that Sukhoi, the company behind the new “Checkmate” fighter, is aiming eventually to sell Checkmate to the Russian navy for use from the fleet’s sole aircraft carrier. pgslot

It also could be that Checkmate—which Rostec, Sukhoi’s parent company, clearly aims to offer on the export market—is supposed to operate at high altitudes, where a big wing is advantageous.

Rostec gradually revealed Checkmate in the lead-up to the MAKS air show at Ramenskoye airfield in Moscow Oblast. Late last week, photos leaked of the Checkmate mock-up or demonstrator under a tarp. Then photos circulated depicting the uncovered Checkmate. Finally on Tuesday, Rostec orchestrated a formal unveiling.

The photos reveal key features of the Checkmate design. Its divertless inlet and angular ruddervators point to a small radar signature. And what appears to be a large wing for such a short fighter might imply either a naval application or a high ceiling—or both.

A big wing boosts lift and allows a plane to climb higher than a similar design with a smaller wing can do. The downside is that a big wing can be draggy and result in a slower top speed relative to a small-wing design.

Extra lift is an obvious bonus for a naval fighter that must launch and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Consider the U.S. Navy’s variant of the F-35. The Navy’s F-35C has a wing that’s nearly half-again as big as the wing of the land-based F-35A. That big wing helps the F-35C safely to operate from the fleet’s supercarriers with their steam catapults.
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