Aircraft spotters in Novosibirsk captured two new 5th generation Sukhoi Su-57 Felon fighters during an intermediate landing at Novosibirsk Tolmachevo airport on 3 February 2022.
The aircraft with Bort No. 02 Red and 52 Red have made a stopover while transferring from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant named after Y.A. Gagarin to their bases in the European part of Russia.
The Sukhoi with the Bort No. 02 Red bears the emblem of the 929th State Flight Test Center of the Russian Ministry of Defence in Akhtubinsk (Astrakhan Region). It is not the first time we see the 929th GLITs emblem on an Su-57 as the second series aircraft, T-50S-2 with serial 51002 and Bort No. 01 Blue, was transferred to this unit too.
The other Su-57 with Bort No. 52 Red is allegedly intended for use with the 4th GTsPAP i PVI (4th State Air Personel Training & Aircraft Evaluation Center) at the Lipetsk-2 air base. Peculiarly, this aircraft also carries registration number RF-81775 on its tail fins. Previously, this registration was briefly used on the last 10th flight prototype of the PAK FA, T-50-11 with Bort No. 511 Blue, during the deployment to Syria in early 2018.
Logically it would appear that Bort No. 52 Red is the same aircraft which has previously appeared in a KnAAZ promotional video with Bort No. 52 Blue. However, upon close examination of the stencils it becomes apparent that these are not identical. The same applies when comparing the stencils of the 52 Blue with the 02 Red, therefore a theory according to which the former has simply been repainted to the latter does not hold.
It is quite likely that 02 Red and 52 Red are respectively T-50S-3 serial 52201 and T-50S-4 serial 52202. Bort No. 52 Blue is a replacement aircraft, assumed to be T-50S-5 with serial 52303?, for the ill-fated T-50S-1 with serial 51001 which crashed on 24 December 2019 at the final stage of factory testing due to a failure in the aircraft control system.
Photos by NSKPlanes