Sukhoi Su-7

Su-7
Sukhoi Su-7BKL, Poland - Air Force AN2202869.jpg
A Polish Su-7BKL photographed in 1991. This particular aircraft belonged to the 3rd Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment before being retired in December 1989 after 18 years of service.
RoleFighter and fighter-bomber / ground-attack aircraft
National originSoviet Union
ManufacturerSukhoi
First flight7 September 1955
Introduction1959
StatusIn limited service with the Korean People's Army Air Force
Primary usersSoviet Air Forces
Indian Air Force
Produced1957–1972
Number built1,847 (mainly Su-7B series)
Developed intoSukhoi Su-17

The Sukhoi Su-7 (NATO designation name: Fitter-A) was a swept wing, supersonic fighter aircraft developed by the Soviet Union in 1955. Originally, it was designed as tactical, low-level dogfighter, but was not successful in this role. On the other hand, the soon-introduced Su-7B series became the main Soviet fighter-bomber and ground-attack aircraft of the 1960s. The Su-7 was rugged in its simplicity but its shortcomings included short range and low weapon load.[1]


Design and development

Original Su-7 fighters

On 14 May 1953, after Joseph Stalin's death, the Sukhoi OKB was reopened[2] and by the summer, it began work on a swept-wing front-line[N 1] fighter. The first prototype, designated S-1, was designed to use the new Lyulka AL-7 turbojet engine. It was the first Soviet aircraft to utilize the all-moving tailplane and a translating centerbody, a movable inlet cone in the air intake for managing airflow to the engine at supersonic speeds.[3] The aircraft also had a dramatic wing sweep of 60°, irreversible hydraulically boosted controls, and an ejection seat of OKB's own design.[2]

The S-1 first flew on 7 September 1955 with A. G. Kochetkov at the controls. Fitted with an afterburning version of the AL-7 engine after the first eleven flights, the prototype set a Soviet speed record of 2,170 km/h (1,170 kn, 1,350 mph, Mach 2.04) in April 1956.[3] The prototype was intended to be armed with three 37 mm Nudelman N-37 cannon and 32 spin-stabilized 57 mm (2.25 in) unguided rockets in a ventral tray.[3] The second prototype, S-2, introduced some aerodynamic refinements. Testing was complicated by the unreliable engine, and S-1 was lost in a crash on 23 November 1956, killing its pilot I. N. Sokolov.[2] Only 132 had been produced between 1957 and 1960, and the aircraft entered service as Su-7 in 1959.

Su-7B fighter-bomber

On 31 July 1958, Soviet tactical aviation (Frontovaya Aviatsiya,[N 1] фронтовая авиация) tasked Sukhoi with developing a ground-attack variant of the Su-7, which could replace the scrapped Ilyushin Il-10. The resulting prototype, S-22, incorporated structural refinements for high-speed, low-altitude operations. It first flew in March 1959, and entered service in 1961 as the Su-7B.[3]

Operationally, Su-7s were hampered by a high landing speed of 340–360 km/h,[4] as dictated by the thin, highly-swept wing. Combined with poor visibility from the cockpit, and lack of an instrument landing system, it made operations very difficult, especially in poor weather or on poor airfields.[5] In 1961–1962, Sukhoi experimented with blown flaps on S-25 but the benefit was too small to warrant implementation. JATO rockets tested on S-22-4 proved more useful and were incorporated into Su-7BKL. Attempts to improve takeoff and landing performance eventually resulted in the Sukhoi Su-17.

Su-7A fighter

The front-line[N 1] fighter version saw limited operational use in the Far East from 1958, but by 1959, a decision was made to proceed with production of the MiG-21, and less than 200 units were deployed. The Su-7A was retired in 1965.[2] They never saw combat.

Su-7B fighter-bomber

Su-7s of the Polish Air Force.

Su-7B and its variants became the main Soviet ground-attack aircraft of the 1960s. They were also widely exported (691 planes,[2] including also some trainers). However, the very short combat radius and need for long runways limited its operational usefulness. On the other hand, despite its notoriously heavy controls, the Su-7 was popular with pilots for its docile flight characteristics, simple controls and considerable speed even at low altitudes. It also had a reputation for easy maintenance.

In 1977–1986 the Su-7s remaining in Soviet service were replaced by Su-17 and MiG-27.

Other Languages
العربية: سوخوي سو-7
català: Sukhoi Su-7
čeština: Suchoj Su-7
Deutsch: Suchoi Su-7
español: Sukhoi Su-7
فارسی: سوخو -۷
français: Soukhoï Su-7
हिन्दी: सुखोई एसयू-7
hrvatski: Suhoj Su-7
Bahasa Indonesia: Sukhoi Su-7
italiano: Sukhoi Su-7
עברית: סוחוי-7
ქართული: სუ-7
magyar: Szu–7
Bahasa Melayu: Sukhoi Su-7
Nederlands: Soechoj Soe-7
日本語: Su-7 (航空機)
polski: Su-7
português: Sukhoi Su-7
română: Suhoi Su-7
русский: Су-7
slovenčina: Suchoj Su-7
slovenščina: Suhoj Su-7
српски / srpski: Сухој Су-7
suomi: Suhoi Su-7
svenska: Suchoj Su-7
українська: Су-7
Tiếng Việt: Sukhoi Su-7