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Su31

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Jurgis Flying the Su-31

Jurgis Kairys flew an amazing display to demonstrate the capabilities of the Su-31. It was just unbelievable what he can make this mighty little aircraft do! The Su-31 has such a high power to weight ratio that it can do things which would be impossible for a lesser aircraft. By using the propeller for lift instead of the wing it can hang in the air like a helicopter and fly sideways, as well as heading straight up just after take off.

This wasn't a classically beautiful display of aerobatics, it was a wild ride where Jurgis was obviously having fun! Later in the day, when he raced the drag truck along the runway, this crazy aspect of his flying was also obvious. This display was the highlight of the show for me, it was an extraordinary display of skill and creativity. Even after diving vertically and doing 20 spins he can still pull the aircraft out of the dive at just the right time and in the right direction.


More Photos

Su31

This shows the aircraft hanging in the air, using the lift of the propeller, after a vertical climb.

The climb rate for the Su-31 is about 4,500 feet per minute so it doesn't take long for it to get up to an impressive height.

The pilot almost lies in the cockpit. This both reduces the height of the aircraft so its more streamlined, and makes surviving the extreme g forces generated easier for the pilot.

Su31

This photo shows the Su-31 flying sideways down the runway about 10 meters from the ground.

The 400 horse power engine runs equally well in any orientation, of course, because of its fuel injection and pressurised oil system.

Here's a great quote I found on the Internet: "Every pilot has his own personal limits. For Jurgis, flying inverted with the fin six inches off the ground or water is his personal low altitude limit. "I'm unable go any lower," he says."


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