MiG 1.44 still important
MiG 1.44 MFI
"In contrast to Sukhoi's more downbeat approach, the General Designer of RSK-MiG, (Rossijskaya Samolyotostroitelnaya Korporatsiya - MiG/Russian Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation-MiG), Nikolai Nikitin, asserts that the recently-flown 1.44 technology demonstrator will play a major part in defining Russia's fifth-generation fighter in the coming months. RSK-MiG's senior management considers that it would be extremely shortsighted and entirely wrong not to exploit fully the multitude of technical innovations and improvements integrated into the design of the 1.44. Nikitin further states that RSK-MiG "has a particularly clear idea of what a Russian fifth -generation fighter should be" and that data accumulated from the 1.44 test programme should form a solid foundation for RSK-MiG's submission for such an aircraft. He also emphasizes that the 1.44 incorporates a whole range of technological solutions not previously used in military aircraft construction and design. "Should these solutions be successfully embodied in future designs they would substantially increase the combat potential of fighter aviation", he claims. As previously revealed, the main design features to be tested on the 1.44, for future application in a new Russian Air Force fighter, relate to aircraft control and stealth characteristics. These include supercruise capability, controlled flight at extreme angles of attack using interlinked aerodynamic and thrust vectoring devices. and the reduction of delectability in the thermal, radar and visual spectra. The most fascinating aspect of the flight control system of the 1.44 is the complex of 16 movable control surfaces in the pitch, roll and yaw axes, which will be integrated with thrust vectoring when Lyulka-Saturn AL-41FP engines are installed.
Systems integrator for this innovative control complex is Moscow-based MAPO Avionika, which is responsible for the unique fly-by-wire flight control system and NPO Rodina, also based in Moscow, which has designed and built the new control surface actuators. It has been claimed that delayed delivery of the latter was one reason for the long wait for a maiden flight date. The flight control complex, along with the integration of new methodologies to provide information to the pilot, represents the greatest challenge in the refinement of MiG's fifth-generation design study."
(source: AFM, May, 2000)