Four brand new Su-35S Flanker-E jets of the the Russian Knights display team landed at Kubinka airbase yesterday. And here are some interesting photographs.
The Russian Knights took delivery of their latest aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-35S, during an official acceptance ceremony held at the aerobatic display team’s homebase, Kubinka airfield, in the Moscow Region, on Nov. 12, 2019.
Our contributor Alex Snow was there and took the photographs you can find in this article.
The engineering staff of the Aircraft Display Center received the new multirole, supermaneuverable jets at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant (KNAAZ), during which the build quality and operation of all systems and mechanisms on the ground were checked, an official Russian MoD release said.
At the end of the acceptance, the pilots performed a test flight, after which they delivered the aircraft to the team’s permanent base.
Col Andrei Alekseev (bort #50 blue) as a leader, Col Oleg Erofeev (#51), Maj Alexander Ivashkin (#52), and Cptn Daniil Solodovnikov (#53) flew the SU-35S jets from Novosibirsk (where the aircraft made a stopover) to Kubinka.
Earlier, the Russian Knights aircrews underwent training on the Su-35S Flanker variant at the training centre for the Russian Air Force at Lipetsk Airbase.
Interestingly, after the delivery of the new Su-35S aircraft, the Russian Knights will continue to operate both the Su-35S and the Su-30SM (that were introduced in 2017). After landing, Colonel Andrei Anatolyevich Alekseev spoke about the new aircraft and the future plans of the aerobatic team.
“What is the impression of the new Su-35s? It’s how you get in a new car at the dealership, these are the same. Only better. The controls are very smooth, easy. Generally a great airplane. The plane is very easy to handle. Even if we speak about effort of the pilot – the plane is probably the lightest I have ever flown on. And you know it very well that it have ample opportunities – you saw it at air shows.”
Regarding the new figures and the new program: “The plane is beautiful, we will continue to master it. I think, of course, we’ll come up with something in the future, and mixed displays on the Su-35S and Su-30SM are possible, we will fully use both types. At the same time, the remaining Su-27 will be gradually decommissioned.”
Russian Knights (Russian: Русские Витязи, romanized: Russkkiye Vityazi) is an aerobatic team of the Russsian Aerospace Forces. It was formed on Apr. 5. 1991 at the Kubinka airbase. Russian Knights, originally flying the Su-27 and Su-27UB Flankers, don’t operate specially-adapted machines: the team has always flown Flanker of different variants in standard configuration.