Russians are the real stars at Paris Air Show 2013, with Su-35 number 07
Russians in Paris Le Bourget 2013 break the west " owned " airshow local spirit, by putting together excellent flying displays.
No more than 18 airplanes - including light ones - are on daily display at Paris this year. No need to report again that overall atmosphere at Le Bourget, definitely look like a commercial forum with talks and Champagne drinks, but not really as an international airshow. For sure everybody is waiting for the A350 appearance. It will be more a media event covering a few flypasts, suffice to remember that the newest Arbus just flew at Toulouse a few days ago, and it is not cleared by tests to be displayed fully. Obviously Boeing 787 is the real star among airliners to be on flying display, as Boeing was used never to fly ist airliners at Paris before.
UAC from the Russian Federation has the honour to be the only non french military aircraft company to put jets on show this year. As the USA are putting themselves under a ridiculous " image de marque ", having grounded all military display for a year, we can salute the guys from Russia, that too many media are still describing as strangers in a somewhat show that is supposed to be owned by a western world. A Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten provides an excellent routine, including a typical russian tailslide. The Sukhoi Su-35 is the most eye-catching - and sound-catching - jet at Paris. Being flown with elegance by Sukhoi test pilot Sergei Bogdan, I noticed several maneuvers that are quite amazing when observed. This heavy (more than) 30 tonnes of thrust, 4+ generation jetfighter performed all sorts of tailslides and complete 360 ° rotations around its center of gravity at nearly zero speed. Never before have I shot such a nice machine, excepting the same one at MAKS shows in Russia ... We notice that Cy-35 is flying at higher altitude here at Paris than it is at Zhukovskii MAKS events.
You can enjoy here a display by " bort " 07. Interestingly, this airplane is one of the Russian Air Force first delivered aircraft under a first 48 utnits delivery schedule. More should be ordered by the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence in a near future. It was tasked to Paris, so as to display the up-to-date operational standard. The overall feeling from my photographer's point of view, is that of an aircraft hanging in the clouds for most of the display. And maybe it could also be a dancer from a sort of aviation Bolchoi ... The two Lyulka Saturn Ai117S thrust vectored controlled engines are under perfect authority from the overall flight system software, and contrary to previous generation combat airplanes, that heavy jet is surely at full control all the time, event when it stops moving in the sky. Astounding and even artistic looking, it is, when watched from the ground ....
The first six Su-35s were produced at Komsomolsk-on-Amur plant, and handed over to the Russian Air Force last 28th december, 2012. Russia and China are currently discussing a possible sale of the Su-35 to the PLAAF, and if this happens, no less than 24 airplanes should be ordered., as Russia is not eady to bargain this technology to another country that could replicate it once more in the future, with another combat aircraft .