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50th Anniversary of the maiden flight of the Russian Variable Sweep Wing Su-24 Strike Fighter Bomber

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50th Anniversary of the maiden flight of the Russian Variable Sweep Wing Su-24 Strike Fighter Bomber

The Su-24 with which the maiden flight was conducted. Click to see full-size image

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.

50th Anniversary of the maiden flight of the Russian Variable Sweep Wing Su-24 Strike Fighter Bomber

Major General Vladimir Ilyushin, after whom the entire Ilyushin aircraft manufacturer is named. Click to see full-size image

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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  • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

    Deepest respect to Sukhoi and his team, the test pilots and the groundcrew making these marvels possible.

    South Front:
    Its not variable sweep wing, the correct technical terminology is “Variable geometry”, the newspeak terminology is sweep wing and/or swing wing.
    Like the Harrier is called “the jump jet” instead of VTOL.
    Dont downgrade yourself to newspeak, you are better than that.

    If anyone wants to know the details and history of this beauty, i highly recommend the book by Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov in the “Famous Russian Aircraft” series: “MiG-23 & MiG-27 ISBN 978-1-91080-931-0

    • Harry Smith

      Newspeak! Oh that wonderful smell of the 1984 approaching!
      PS aircraft manufacturer was named after other Ilyushin.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergey_Ilyushin

      • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

        The Ilyushin and Sukhoi are two different OKB´s, if thats what you meant, othervise i dont know what you mean.

        When you hear someone pronouncing/spelling Su as S-U/SU, Il as I-L/IL, An as A-N/AN, Ka as K-A/KA, Mi as M-I/MI then they dont know enough on the subject.
        Listen to any Russian documentary about Russian aircraft´s and helicopters and it will become clear for you.

        • Harry Smith

          Of course you are right! The PS was for southfront. Read the inscription under the photo of Gen. Ilyushin. Please excuse me for mixing 2 answers in 1.
          PS to Brian: my first language is Russian. https://media0.giphy.com/media/j71bOQgFbp61szUtZG/giphy.gif

          • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

            Ah ok, i see, sorry for my mistake then.

            Greetings from Denmark from a Dane that is not destroyed by the MSM and Russofobia.

          • FlorianGeyer

            You are one of the few. :)

  • Zionism = EVIL

    The SU-24 is one the better time tested Sukhois like its venerable but still potent F-4E Phantom counterpart from the same era half a century on. Sometimes good wine comes in old bottles.

    • Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

      “The older the wine, the better the taste”

      • Zionism = EVIL

        Indeed, these were good aircraft for stick flying, now it is all software flying designed by $9.50 an hour software geeks in India, the Boeing 737 Max is a classic case of over computerized cluster fuck along with the F-35 and F-22. I flew the F-4E for over a decade and it was one dependable bird once it got over 5,000 feet deck and then could outmaneuver anything with full thrust GE J79s pulling 4Gs, only the Skyhawks were more maneuverable but underpowered with a single J-65 and lower top ceiling. Those were the days of the gunfighters.

        • Saladin

          Few correction:
          Su-24 is a penetration bomber like the F-111 nothing like the F-4E multirole fighter
          You are not a pilot, your home country Pakistan was never given F-4E phantoms anyway

          In the US, falsely claiming that you are veteran is a criminal offence

          Lucky for you, you are not in the US (thanks to Trump’s ban)