SUKHOI Su-29

TYPE: Aerobatic two-seat sportplane.

PROGRAMME: Announced at Moscow Air Show '90; design started 1990; construction of first of three prototypes and two static test airframes began 1991; prototype first flew 1991, first production aircraft May 1992; entered service July 1992. AP-23 type certificate awarded in 1994. Assessed by Russian Air Forces experimental centre at Akhtubinsk in 1996-97, but no orders placed.
Following structural failure of Su-29 wing in 1996, remedial manufacturing practices in place and recertified by 1998. Resumed civilian export production now featured M-14PF engine and new propeller, but M-9F engine introduced in 1999. Retrospective installation of SKS-94 pilot's emergency extraction system offered by Sukhoi from 2000.
Production transferred to LAPIK division of RSK 'MiG' (formerly LMZ) at Lukhovitsy from early 2001, earlier aircraft having been built by Sukhoi Advanced Technologies using components manufactured by LMZ, Dubna and others. Only one built in 2001.

CURRENT VERSIONS: Su-29: Basic two-seat training/aerobatic aircraft.
Description applies to baseline Su-29.
Su-29AR: Aircraft for Argentina have German propeller, Swiss canopies and US wheel assemblies and avionics, including GPS.
Su-29KS: Development vehicle for Zvezda SKS-94 lightweight crew extraction system. Weight empty, equipped 800 kg (1,764 lb). First exhibited at 1994 Farnborough Air Show. One only (RA-01485); carries designation 'Su-29KS'.
Su-29M: Production version from 1999 (initial series of 10 under construction); M-9F engine; weights as Su-29; no extraction system.
Su-49: Military trainer.

CUSTOMERS: Total 52 basic Su-29s and one Su-29KS built and sold by 1997; many exported to Pompano Air Center, Florida, USA, for reassembly and delivery worldwide (including eight in 1992; 12 in 1993; seven in 1994 and four in 1995); others to Australia (three), Italy, South Africa (two) and UK. Relaunched production from 1999 (initial batch of 10). Eight ordered by Argentine Air Force, for training, March 1997; delivery between September 1997 and August 1998 to Escuadrilla Cruz del Sur (Southern Cross Squadron) based at Mendoza AFB. By mid-2001, Sukhoi had built 166 aerobatic light aircraft of the Su-26/29/31 series, of which all but 10 had been exported, including 80 to the USA. Sukhoi presented two to ruler of unspecified Gulf state, but these not used and eventually sold. Deliveries scheduled in 2002 to customers in the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, South Korea and Switzerland.

COSTS: US$220,000 to US$260,000 (2002).

DESIGN FEATURES: Typical aerobatic competition aircraft; mid-wing of specially developed symmetrical section, variable along span, slightly concave in region of ailerons to increase their effectiveness; leading-edge somewhat sharper than usual to improve responsiveness to control surface movement. Two-seat development of Su-26M single-seat aerobatic competition aircraft; wing span and overall length increased; improved aerodynamics and reduced stability margin for enhanced manoeuvrability. Service life 1,250 hours.
Wing leading-edge sweepback 3o 28', symmetrical section, thickness/chord ratio 16 per cent at root, 12 per cent at tip, dihedral 0o, incidence 0o.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Elevators and rudder horn-balanced; elevator trim; two suspended triangular balance tabs under each aileron. Later Su-29s have Su-31-type wing with ailerons extending to wingtips. No flaps.

STRUCTURE: Composites comprise more than 60 per cent of airframe weight; one-piece wing, covered with honeycomb composites; foam-filled front box spar with CFRP booms and wound glass fibre webs; channel section rear spar of CFRP; titanium truss ribs; plain ailerons have CFRP box spar, GFRP skin and foam filling; fuselage has basic welded truss structure of VNS-2 high-strength stainless steel tubing; lower nose section of truss removable for wing detachment; quickly removable honeycomb composites skin panels; light alloy engine cowlings; integral fin and tailplane construction same as wings; rudder and elevator construction same as ailerons; titanium exhaust, battery box and firewall; forged magnesium control linkages. Aircraft assembled by Sukhoi from components produced by LMZ, Dubna (DMZ) and NPO Technologia (at Omsk).

LANDING GEAR: Non-retractable tailwheel type; arched cantilever mainwheel legs of titanium alloy; mainwheels size 400x150, with hydraulic disk brakes; steerable tailwheel, on titanium spring, connected to rudder. Optional composites fairings for mainwheels.

POWER PLANT: One 265 kW (355 hp) VOKBM M-14PT or 294 kW (394 hp) M-14PF nine-cylinder radial engine; three-blade MT-Propeller MTV-3-8-S/L250-21 or MTV-9-260 propeller. Current production employs VOKBM M-9F (M-14 derivative) rated at 309 kW (414 hp). Steel tube engine mounting. Fuel tank in fuselage forward of front spar; capacity 63 litres (16.6 US gallons; 13.8 Imp gallons); tank in each wing leading-edge; capacity 106.5 litres (28.15 US gallons; 23.4 Imp gallons); total fuel capacity 276 litres (72.9 US gallons; 60.6 Imp gallons); gravity fuelling. Oil capacity 20 litres (5.3 US gallons; 4.4 Imp gallons). Fuel and oil systems adapted for inverted flight; pneumatic engine starting system.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only for aerobatic competition, two persons in tandem for training. Canopy normally opens sideways to starboard; but upward and rearward in emergency to jettison. Dual controls standard. Space for 5 kg (11 lb) baggage in rear fuselage.

SYSTEMS: Electrical system 24/28 V, with 3 kW generator, batteries and external supply socket.

AVIONICS: Comms: Briz VHF radio; optional Becker or Bendix/King com/nav and Garmin GPS.

EQUIPMENT: Optional provision for smoke generation.

 

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