Historically, American and Russian airplane designers/manufacturers have turned out incredibly performing machines. Form follows function and comparable Russian designs often very much resemble American planes. Since the end of the Korean and Vietnam wars, American airplanes have not gone head-to-head against the Russian counterparts. Vladimir Putin claims the Russians have the better airplane.
The Fifth Generation fighter F-22 Raptor and Russian Sukhoi T-50 are both marketed for foreign sales, so how about a little friendly competition for bragging rights. Both airplanes will be featured at the annual Paris Air Show. Test pilot demonstrations are fun to watch, but ultimately prove nothing.
A flight of four T-50s could launch from Russia for simulated combat against a flight of four F-22s flying from the United States. At a designated midway point from both nations somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean a series of exercises could be conducted pitting the teams against each other in long-range, stealth encounters and individual dogfights. Specific targets with assigned offensive and defensive challenges would be monitored by judges in AWACs aircraft outside the contest area. When the exercises conclude all the pilots would land in Paris where the scores will be tallied and posted.
I’m betting on the Raptor, but unfortunately I’m betting the contest will never take place. If you’re going to boast about your airplane’s capabilities, be prepared to put your money where your mouth is. Hear that Lockheed and Sukhoi … I dare ya!
Ed Rasimus at Thunder Tales knows a thing or two about flying fast jets. Check out his evaluation of Russia’s new fighter.