January 17th was the 50th anniversary of the maiden flight of the T6-2I (Su-24) strike fighter bomber.
Sukhoi’s test pilot, Major General Vladimir Ilyushin carried out the maiden flight of a T6-2I (Su-24) aircraft with a variable sweep wing.
Its mass production has been launched since 1971 in the cooperation of two plants – at the Komsomolsky-on-Amur plant and the Novosibirsk plant.
The chief designer of the aircraft from 1965 to 1985 was Evgeny Sergeyevich Felsner, and since 1985 Leonid Andreyevich Logvinov led the work on the Su-24 in the Design Bureau.
The Su-24 has a shoulder-mounted variable geometry wing outboard of a relatively small fixed wing glove, swept at 69°. The wing has four sweep settings: 16° for take-off and landing, 35° and 45° for cruise at different altitudes, and 69° for minimum aspect ratio and wing area in low-level dashes.
A variable-sweep wing is an airplane wing, or set of wings, that may be swept back and then returned to its original straight position during flight. It allows the aircraft’s shape to be modified in flight, and is therefore an example of a variable-geometry aircraft.
The variable geometry wing provides excellent STOL (short take-off and landing) performance, allowing a landing speed of 230 kilometers per hour (140 mph), even lower than the Sukhoi Su-17 despite substantially greater take-off weight. Its high wing loading provides a stable low-level ride and minimal gust response.
The Su-24 has two Saturn/Lyulka AL-21F-3A after-burning turbojet engines with 109.8 kN thrust each, fed with air from two rectangular side mounted intakes with splitter plates/boundary-layer diverters.
The Su-24’s fixed armament is a single fast-firing GSh-6-23 cannon. The armament includes various nuclear weapons.
Initial Su-24s had basic electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment, with many Su-24s limited to the old Sirena radar-warning receiver with no integral jamming system. Later-production Su-24s had more comprehensive radar warning, missile-launch warning, and active ECM equipment, with triangular antennas on the sides of the intakes and the tip of the vertical fin.
Serial production of the Su-24 continued until 1983, after which the production of its new modification, the Su-24M, began.
According to experts, the combat effectiveness of the Su-24M in comparison with the Su-24 increased by 1.5-2 times. Serial production of the Su-24M continued until 1993. The total serial production of Su-24 aircraft amounted to about 1,400 aircraft.
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