Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut made a Surprise Appearance at 2019 MAKS Air Show

Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut made a Surprise Appearance at 2019 MAKS Air Show

The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut , also designated S-32 and S-37 during initial development, was an experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation.

A distinguishing feature of the aircraft was its forward-swept wing that gave the aircraft excellent agility and maneuverability.

While serial production of the type never materialized, the sole aircraft produced served as a technology demonstrator prototype for a number of advanced technologies later used in the 4.5 generation fighter Su-35BM and current fifth-generation jet fighter Sukhoi Su-57.

The project was launched in 1983 on order from the Soviet Air Force. But when the USSR dissolved, funding was frozen and development continued only through funding by Sukhoi. Like its US counterpart, the Grumman X-29, the Su-47 was primarily a technology demonstrator for future Russian fighters.

Last Seen at MAKS in 2007, The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut made a Surprise Appearance at 2019 MAKS Air Show.Sukhoi Su-47 “Berkut” experimental test aircraft was towed from storage to the static display area.

Towing the aircraft from its storage facility to the static display area gave photographers an extremely rare opportunity to photograph the plane in the open in good lighting for several minutes before it was placed in the busy and crowded static display area at Zhukovsky.

The Photographer garbed the opportunity and took some stunning photo and videos. Here is a video of  by The Aviationist’s correspondents Lance Riegle and Tom Demerly.


The Su-47 Berkut, sometimes also referred to as the “Golden Eagle” and interchangeably the “S-32” or “S-37” and also by its NATO codename “Firkin”, was a one-off aircraft designed primarily to test the viability of several new flight control and overall design characteristics. The most striking are its unusual forward-swept wings.

Two additional and significant but less obvious technologies were also tested on the Su-47 Berkut. The unconventionally configured Sukhoi used an advanced digital fly-by-wire flight control system and relied heavily on the use of composite materials such as carbon fiber. Partially as a result of testing done with the Su-47, Russia’s modern 5th generation fighter, the new Sukhoi Su-57, employs these technologies developed on the Su-47 Berkut.



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