MOSCOW (voa) - A Sukhoi fighter plane crashed during an air show in western Ukraine, killing and injuring scores of people on the ground. The accident occurred in the city of Lviv, near the border with Poland.
The two-man crew was performing difficult air maneuvers when they lost control of the aircraft. The crew was able to safely eject before the plane hit the ground.
The air show was staged by a local air unit to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Russian television showed pictures of the site where the crash occurred. Smoke from the wreckage was billowing over the field and injured people lay on the ground.
Russian television reported that thousands of spectators had attended the event and that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma flew to Lviv immediately after hearing about the tragedy.
There is not yet an official reason for the crash.
The accident is another sign of the difficulties Ukraine's military is facing in the post-Soviet years due to lack of funding.
Military pilots often don't have enough training time because fuel, and spare parts for the planes are in short supply.
Last year, Ukraine's military was dealt a severe blow when an errant missile crashed into a Russian passenger plane, killing all on board.
About the Sukhoi S-37
SUKHOI Su-47 is military designation given by Russian Air Force to the Sukhoi S-37 which named Berkut . From America's nex-generation fighter , F-22 . The Russian challenge comes in with the single seat Sukhoi S-37 , the world's first combat aircraft with forward swept wings (FSW) technology. The Sukhoi S-37 Berkut ( Golden Eagle ) makes use of forward swept wings ( FSW ) allowing superb maneuverability and better performer at high angles of attack which needed in close-in dogfight.
The S-37 makes use of composite materials to resist the wing twist that would shear most wings (forward swept wings) off the aircraft. The S-37 is an internal Sukhoi designation and the first letter with " S " means swept wing in Russian (Strelovidnoe krylo) and Berkut means golden eagle in Russian. The S-37 is the fifth generation Sukhoi fighter features forward swept wings ( FSW ), canards and twin outward-canted vertical stabilizers , incorporated low-observable and thrust-vectoring technologies. It made first flight in September 1997and will take many more years before get into service.
TVC thrust vectoring control can operates by manual and automatic modes. The operation in manual mode the nozzles deflection angle is set by the pilot. The operation in automatic mode the nozzles are controlled by Avionika full-authority , digital fly-by-wire flight control system (FCS ). The movable in pitch axis ,the engine nozzle deflected by a pair of hydraulic jacks by using jet fuel as hydraulic liquid to drive the nozzles. The S-37 does have some stealth design features, and maybe covered with radar-absorbent coatings.
As of today (jan / 2002) it has flew morethan 200 test flights and the preparation of three prototypes had been under way at the Irkutsk Aviation Production Association . The Su-47 still is not equipped with its regular engines (planned engines) and avionics, on-board radar will capable of target detection range of 180-245 km , and also with simultaneous tracking of 24-30 targets. The S-37 is beleived to has 90 percent composite structure which much more than F-22. The aircraft has special mounts for weapons under fuselage.
The S-37 , one of the features is a pair of long " Stingers " on the tail. Speculation is that one contains electronic countermeasures ( ECM ) equipment , the other has rear-facing radar. The S-37 stealth characteristics is said real stealth capability come from sophisticated Plasma-Feild generation technology that unlike anything in the west. Plasma stealth works like this, Special equipment generates a plasma field that completely surrounds the aircraft . Radar energy from enemy interacts with charged particles in the plasma field , transfering some energy to the particles . This cause Fading of the signal.