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Russia to increase number of fighters in test flights
by Staff Writers
Moscow (IANS) Feb 14, 2012

ow, Feb 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The number of Russia's Sukhoi T-50 5th generation fighters involved in test flights will be increased from three to 14 by 2015, Russian Air Force commander Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin told RIA Novosti Monday.

"There are three fighters already in tests, another three are expected to be tested in the nearest future. The entire number of aircraft planned for test flights is 14," Zelin said.

The T-50, developed at the Sukhoi aircraft design bureau, made its first public appearance at the MAKS-2011 air show near Moscow Aug 17, 2011.

The fighter, which is being developed in partnership with India, made its maiden flight in the Russian Far East in early 2010.

Zelin also said that Russia's T-50 outstripped its US and Chinese analogues.

"After a comparative analysis of the fighter's characteristics with the US F-22 Raptor and Chinese J-20 stealth aircraft, we can conclude that (it) exceeds the foreign analogues in maximum speed, flight range, maximum takeoff weight and the maximum overload value," Zelin added.

Russia has been developing its fifth-generation fighter since the 1990s. The country's top military officials have said the stealth fighter jet, with a range of up to 5,500 km, should enter service with the air force in 2015.

Big Chinese chopper passes cold weather flight test
China's first independently-developed large civil helicopter has passed a cold weather flight test, said China Aviation Industrial Helicopter Co. Monday.

The flight testing period for the 13-tonne AC313 was conducted in Hulunbuir city in January, when the region experienced temperatures of minus 46 degrees Celsius.

The helicopter also set its speed record of 336 km per hour during the testing period, reported Xinhua.

The AC313 became the first China-made chopper authorized by China's civil aviation authority in January to fly in high-altitude regions of over 4,500 metres above the sea level.

Xu Chaoliang, the chief designer of the helicopter, said the company has so far received 32 orders for it.

Equipped with advanced instrument landing system, the helicopter can be used for disaster relief.

CAIH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the China Aviation Industry Corp., is expected to produce 300 helicopters annually by 2015, making it one of the major helicopter suppliers in the world.

Headquartered in Tianjin city, the company is mainly engaged in the research and development, production, maintenance and sales of helicopters and other aircraft and aviation components.

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