The Su-27UB [Uchebno Boevoy - Combat Trainer] is a two seat combat trainer version of Su-27. The Design Bureau started work to develop a two-seat combat trainer version of the Su-27 in 1976, with conceptual design of the Su-27UB (factory code T-10U) successfully passing critical design review in 1978. In 1980, the Sukhoi Design Bureau developed the conceptual design of the Su-27 combat trainer version (dubbed the T-10U in the SDB). The first prototype of the two-seater was made at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur production plant to the design bureau specifications and returned to Moscow for engineering follow-up in the spring of 1984. The first flight of the T10U-1 was performed 07 March 1985 by the design bureau's test pilot N.F. Sadovnikov. Official testing took place between 1985 and 1987.
Production of a Su-27UB development batch was set up in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and in 1985 MAI gave the order for the production of the two-seat trainer to be moved to Irkutsk. In the middle of 1986 its production run started at the IAIA. The first mass-produced Su-27UB was flight tested at the Irkutsk plant on 10th September 1986 by a crew of test pilots G.Ye. Bulanov and N.N. Ivanov. The combat units received the first production Su-27UB in 1987.
Its special feature is the capability to perform all the combat missions the basic Su-27 is designed for. The excellent flying capabilities of the Su-27UB aircraft enabled to perform the widely known "Pugatchyov's Cobra" with a 120o angle of attack. The Su-27 nose fuselage configuration was changed. The instructor station located under the same canopy (with the trainee pilot's station in the front cockpit) is elevated to ensure better forward-and-downward view. The two-seater has the wings with a 0.5% higher wing section thickness ratio and the fins are 425 mm higher. Additionally, the oxygen system capacity was increased, the air conditioning and control systems were optimised. In spite of the inevitable increase in the drag and the aircraft weight, its characteristics practically are the same as those of the Su-27.
The Su-27UB is classified as a combat trainer only by tradition. Unlike most "trainers," it retains all weapons and weapon control systems. The customer decides which aircraft to have in the inventory - the single-seater or two-seater. For example, the two-seater interceptor is more acceptable for guarding Russia's northern borders. The psychological climate on board is significantly better when a two-man crew controls an aircraft on patrol over the freezing sea.
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