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4th of September 2001

Updated: Apr 10

The Sukhoi SU-80 made its first flight 20 years ago to date. Built in Russia this twin-boom, turboprop-powered transport aircraft also had STOL (Short Take-Off & Landing) capability.

The Su-80 prototype

The program for the Su-80 was launched in the late 1990's, As funding dried up the program was stopped for some years. After some years a plan was made to fly a passenger/freight version prototype aircraft in the first half of 1998. But also this program was postponed. Designed as an intended replacement for the AN24/26 and Yak-40, it would be competing for the same market as the Antonov An-38. Further development and research took place at the Sukhoi OKB factory in Komsomolsl/Amur Russia, under the program name "konversija". Finaly, after more delays, on the 4th of September 2001 test pilot Igor Wotinzew took the prototype in to the air for the first time.

The aircraft, although appearing conventional had several unconventional features. The main one being it had three lift generating surfaces;

  • The wing

  • The horizontal stabeliser

  • Two fins, one between the fuselage and each tail-boom The cabin is designed to carry 30 passengers, a maximum of 7,275 lb (3,300 kg) of cargo or a mix of both passengers and cargo, to a maximum load of 7,275 lb (3,300 kg) . The aircraft is powered by 2 General Electric CT7-9B turboprop engines driving Hamilton Sundstrand or Dowty Rotol propellers. Both models being fully feathering and reverseable props.

SU-80 in flight, note the lifting surfaces


The aircraft configuration has some resemblance to the Scaled Composites ATTT and the Rockwell OV-10.


Different versions of the SU-80 have been developed, although it is unclear if they all made it of the drawing board. Two distinct differences can be made in the fuselage length. the first four air-frames built had a short fuselage, while prototypes five, six and seven had 4' 7" (1.4 meters) fuselage stretch allowing for an extra row of passengers. The following versions are known to be offered by Sukhoi;

  • S-80PC (Su-80GP) – Combination Passenger and Freight carrier

  • S-80TC – light military troop transport

  • S-80A – Air Ambulance

  • S-80F – Fishery patrol

  • S-80PT – (patrol transport) for the Russian Border Guards, can be armed with machine guns, light auto-cannon, rockets, bombs, and surveillance devices.

  • S-80GE – Geological support

  • Su-80GP-100 – Transporter

Specifications for a Su-80GP transport version;

  • Crew: 1 or 2

  • Capacity: 30 pax / 3,300 kg (7,275 lb) max payload

  • Length: 18.26 m (59 ft 11 in)

  • Wingspan: 23.17 m (76 ft 0 in)

  • Height: 5.52 m (18 ft 1 in)

  • Wing area: 44 m2 (470 sq ft)

  • Max takeoff weight: 13,500 kg (29,762 lb)

  • Max landing weight: 13,350 kg (29,432 lb)

  • Fuel capacity: 2,350 l (620 US gal; 520 imp gal) in two tanks

  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CT7-9B turboprop engines, 1,305 kW (1,750 hp) each

  • Propellers: 4-bladed Hamilton Sundstrand 14RF-35 or Dowty Rotol fully-feathering reversible-pitch constant-speed propellers

Performance

  • Cruise speed: 470 km/h (290 mph, 250 kn) max

  • Range: 1,400 km (870 mi, 760 nmi) with 30 pax or 2,450 km (1,522 mi; 1,323 nmi) with 1,950 kg (4,299 lb) payload

  • Service ceiling: 7,600 m (24,900 ft) maximum certified altitude

  • Wing loading: 306.8 kg/m2 (62.8 lb/sq ft)

  • Take-off run: 555 m (1,821 ft)

  • Landing run: 840 m (2,756 ft) or 460 m (1,509 ft) with reverse propeller pitch





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