NOTE: Both of these aircraft have been SOLD and are no longer available. This page is for informational and historical purposes only.

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Flanker Updates:

16 December 2009 - With the completion of over 5 hours of rigorous evaluation, Flanker N131SU has completed its "Phase 1" operations. Pride's Chief Pilot, Steve Kirik, completed the aircraft's test phase and later took an FAA checkride. He now holds the world's first Experimental Aircraft Authorization for the SU-27. Congratulations, Steve! We've posted a new video below which shows the amazing takeoff performance of the Su-27. Check it out!

15 December 2009 - Flanker N131SU flew another of its required test hops today. The aircraft is proving itself to be very reliable and trouble-free.

11 December 2009 - Flanker N131SU made two more flights, conducting a further series of comm/nav systems checks, touch-and-go landings and aerobatics. It has now logged approximately 3 hours in the course of its three flights, with only very minor maintenance squawks. The pilots say it handles beautifully.

10 December 2009 -
FIRST FLIGHT! After much preparation and work, Flanker #31 (N131SU) became the first civilian-operated Su-27 Flanker in history. The aircraft blasted off Runway 25 at Rockford Airport (KRFD) after a takeoff roll of approximately 1100 feet, and climbed out of sight at a 30-degree pitch attitude. The pilots conducted a 40-minute long litany of systems checks, all of which were nominal, then returned for several low approaches and a graceful landing. See photos and video of the first flight here! 

4 December 2009 - Flanker #31 made two taxi runs today. The first involved a high-speed takeoff roll simulation, culminating in drogue chute deployment at high speed. Everything went very well, with all systems nominal. The second taxi event was a compass calibration check involving turns to various compass headings to check the accuracy of the aircraft's heading systems. Again, all systems were nominal.
See the taxi-test photos

2 December 2009 -  Flanker #31 made history today! After an extensive evaluation process, conducted by local FAA personnel, Flanker #31 was licensed by the FAA. It is now registered as N131SU, making it the first Su-27 Flanker ever to be licensed in the USA. First flights will follow shortly!

Regular full-power engine runs continue to be carried out. Each engine is run at military power for several minutes, with brief (and very loud and impressive!) tests of the afterburners. Flight controls and all engine-related systems are checked, including nozzle actuators, inlet ramp controllers, fuel controllers, cockpit engine instrumentation and more. See the engine-run videos below!

 

 

 


Click for larger view

Pride Aircraft is responsible for the first and only pair of privately-owned, airworthy Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers in the world. Both are two-seat 'UB' models (NATO Code Flanker-C) with full flight instrumentation and controls in both cockpits.

These aircraft eclipse every other jet warbird in performance, technological sophistication, and "wow-factor." There simply is no comparison with any other aircraft on the civil register.

They were licensed by the FAA as N131SU and N132SU.
 
Both aircraft have freshly-overhauled (zero-time) airframes with zero-time engines, and have completed extensive inspections and Westernization by skilled factory technicians. All cockpit markings were relabeled in English. The aircraft have full IFR U.S. instrumentation and avionics, but retain every bit of character, pedigree, and performance they had in foreign military service.

The Flanker is by far the most extraordinary,
high-performance "warbird"-type aircraft
that has ever been flown by civilian operators.
Period.

Walk-Around Photos:

See the first flight video

Specifications [PDF Format]:
Su-27 Spec Sheet (Dimensions, general performance, etc.)

[Note: If you need the free Adobe PDF reader, you can get it here.]
 

 



Photo above courtesy David Jacobson, AirshowStuff.com


NOTE: Both of these aircraft have been SOLD and are no longer available. This page is for informational and historical purposes only.


Now, a few words about these aircraft. For quite some time, there have been rumors and whispers about these aircraft. We even released some photos of them as they arrived in the USA. This led to much speculation and incorrect reports by aviation press sources.

The aircraft arrived here in a completely de-militarized condition -- all weapons systems and military-related hardware had been previously removed, in full compliance with U.S. and Ukranian laws.

They were not brought here for any military purpose. They were brought here to be privately-owned and operated -- just like every other jet "warbird" in America. Because of the freedoms we enjoy here (as aircraft enthusiasts and "warbird" owners in the U.S. and elsewhere are keenly aware), private individuals and/or aircraft museums have the opportunity to collect and operate almost any sport aircraft they desire.

The Su-27 Flanker, while at first glance a serious piece of hardware (and it is!), is a 4th Generation fighter. It was designed beginning in 1972, and the first prototype flew in 1977. It entered service over 25 years ago, in the mid-1980s. Its abilities are widely known, and variants of it have participated in numerous U.S. military exercises against F-15s, F-16s, F-14s, and F/A-18s.

However, the new 5th Generation F-22 Raptor, and other aircraft now appearing on the scene, have rendered any discussion of "cutting-edge" fighter technology completely superfluous. It may seem harsh to say it, but because the Su-27 and aircraft of its generation are now becoming sport aircraft (warbirds) in the U.S., this is evidence that that technological improvements in fighter aircraft have continued to advance far beyond what was once considered "high-tech" and "leading edge." This is definitely not an indictment of the lovely Sukhoi Su-27. It is, and will remain, an extraordinary aircraft with superior performance. Aircraft like this are now available to private individuals precisely because of these rapid advancements. We fly them for sport because we can.


Videos:

See the First Flight video here.

 

Su-27 Flanker takeoff, from the cockpit:
 

 

The video below shows one of the regular full-power engine run-ups we performed on both airplanes. Check out the action below:

Night Engine/Afterburner tests,
Rockford, Illinois:

 

 

Daytime Engine/Afterburner tests with cockpit view:
 

 

Additional Resources:

 
 

Pride Aircraft: Extraordinary Aircraft for Extraordinary Customers.

 

CONTACT INFO:
6028 Cessna Drive, Rockford, IL 61109
Phone 815.969.7743 / Fax 815.969.7846
E-Mail: Prideaircraftinc@aol.com

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