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> Russia is planning on producing a version with better engines after the first few dozen that they plan on having in service in the next couple of years.
Gotcha. Then the fact these new engines aren’t ready yet means getting past that first few dozen doesn’t look like it will be happening any time soon. So it may still be in the earlier stages.
> Also those maneuvers are more dependents on aerodynamics and the airframe than the engines to be honest.
I was unclear with the gif – I just wanted to show the PAK FA is flying with
*some* engines, not imply the engines were capable for fancy maneuvers. I was
unclear. I honestly have no idea how close to sufficient the current engines
are. I have no numbers on thrust-to-weight, acceleration, top speed, etc, with
the current engines. Hence the question.
> Their plan is to have a new engine for the main production model since the current one has some serious drawbacks.
Interesting. What are the draw backs?
> Also there might be some performance problems given that they’ll be installing radar blockers in the intakes since they didn’t want to deal with s-shaped intakes.
There’s all sorts of ways to interpret the choice to go with radar blockers
instead of s-shaped intakes. If it’s because using radar blockers is less of a
performance hit than an S-shaped duct, I don’t see it as necessarily indicative
of serious problems with their engine performance – in fact, it could be the
opposite. The stealthiness level they’ve hit may be sufficient for whatever
goal they’ve set (say, enough of an advantage over non-stealthy aircraft with a
hypothetical realistic understanding that’d not catch up with the F-22 so they
shouldn’t try) so they just dumped everything else into performance instead of
further trading off performance for stealthiness. Unless I’m missing something here?
> In either case a big fear is that radar blockers can “choke” the engine out, in a bad way.
The F/A-18E/F’s use radar blockers, and the proposed F-15SE had proposals for
radar blockers. Super Hornets have been fielded for years, never heard
complaints about it. Maybe they’re better than the what they Russians can make
(I don’t see why it’d be that tricky, but I could definitely be missing
something), but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect Russia to get it
working acceptably. AFAIK there is *some* performance hit, but I’ve never
heard of it described as “in a big way”. Am I misinformed?
It’d be neat if it could fold out of the way, making it toggle-able. Use it
when you wanna be sneaky, turn it off when you wanna go fast. Probably not
worth the weight/complexity costs. Still, it’d be neat.
EDIT: phrasing fixes