Footage Of Russian Pilot Flying A Su-57 Stealth Fighter Like A Convertible
This short footage shows Su-57 which is a twin-engine stealth multirole fighter aircraft developed by Sukhoi. What is interesting here is that this Russian pilot is flying this stealth fighter without the canopy enclosure of the aircraft’s cockpit. We couldn’t find much information about the footage, but it seems that the canopy was not lost due to an accident. Most probably this no canopy flying of the Su-57 is a flight testing known as a “cockpit habitability trials.”
Although seeing a fighter pilot flying a stealth multirole aircraft without the protection of the cockpit canopy is very rare, performing these tests are important for the development of the aircraft. These flights are done by pilots to test the aircraft’s escape procedure in a realistic and dynamic environment.
This was also not the first time such a test flight was done in aviation history. The following photos show BAE test Pilot Keith Hartley performing a no-canopy flight at 500 knots like the one above by the Russian pilot using a Tornado XZ630 in the late 80s.
In 1988, our test pilot Keith Hartley flew at 500 knots in a Tornado aircraft with the canopy off, testing the emergency escape procedures of the jet; just one example of the lengths we go to test the safety of the planes we build for the RAF. https://t.co/ueE5RDQt0Y #RAF100 pic.twitter.com/jcgL1OUIKL
— BAE Systems (@BAESystemsplc) June 20, 2018
Performing such no cockpit canopy flights comes with a very high risk. The canopy not only protects the pilot from the high wind associated with flying a high-speed fighter aircraft, but it also can expose the pilot to an intense cold environment. There are other issues such as bird strikes or the cockpit is necessary to maintain certain air pressure inside the cockpit even though the pilot has a mask-fed oxygen supply.