The Sukhoi Su-29 - Power and Grace

21 April 2017

By WebKomet - Jason

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Link: Sukhoi & Aerobatics Training

I recently completed some spring aerobatics training in the world class aerobatic performer, Sukhoi Su-29. This is a 2 place unlimited aerobatics aircraft powered by a M-14P supercharged 9 cylinder radial engine.

I met up with my coach and aircraft owner Nik Timofeev just outside of Ocala Florida for some aerobatic instruction and practice. Nik is World Champion aerobatics pilot, Sukhoi Engineer, and development pilot who is a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Flying the Sukhoi Su-29 is definitely a special experience. The initial impression of the Su-29 is that the aircraft is an absolute beast; it is very loud with unconventional power. Flying in cruise you feel like a Harley Davidson driver with a straight pipe. Compared to conventional aircraft you must set the attitude you are flying and hold it there. Typical general aviation aircraft fly much more relaxed, they naturally want to fly and hold a straight and level attitude, not with the Su-29. If you want to fly straight and level you must hold it in that position, if not, you will be climb, descending, or turning at rapid rate. This characteristic is tricky but doesn’t take too long to adjust to.

Flying aerobatics the aircraft is very smooth and goes where you point it. You set the engine to the aerobatics power setting and point the plane where you want it to go. Unlike conventional aircraft, this plane will power through almost any attitude or maneuver you ask of it. The ailerons are noticeably very crisp and fast, you will be rolling inverted in an instant. The elevator has lots of authority to the point that most new pilots to the aircraft will probably over pull or push the aircraft around. The aircraft will do whatever you ask of it, good or bad, which can get the inexperienced pilot in trouble quick.

The Sukhoi Su-29 is an absolute joy to fly. It is both challenging and very rewarding once you get the feel for the aircraft. If you ever get a chance to fly or take a ride in this hot rod, definitely take advantage of the opportunity, you will not be disappointed by its power and grace!