35 years of the world record time of aircraft climbing to 3000 meters!

On October 27, 1986 test pilot V.G. Pugachyov set new world record time of climbing to 3000 meters on P-42 aircraft. He reached the height in 25.4 seconds, and on November 15 he reached heights of 6000, 9000 and 12000 meters in 37.1 s, 47.0 s and 58.1 s, respectively, improving the decade-long record of the American pilot R. Smith, who flew a special version of the F-15 (F-15A-6-MC, 72-0119, Streak Eagle), by more than two seconds.

P-42 – a specially prepared modification of the Su-27 (T10-15) for record flights: fire control system, radar, optical electronic sighting station were demounted from the aircraft, central tail boom was shortened, vertical tail section was reduced and other attempts were made to reduce take-off weight. These measures made it possible to achieve the unique thrust-to-weight ratio of the vehicle on takeoff equal to almost two units. Thanks to this, the P-42 was able to accelerate and even cross the sound barrier in the vertical climbing mode.

A total of 41 FAI-registered world records for rate of climbing and altitude were set from 1986 till 1990, some of them were absolute records. Sukhoi Design Bureau test pilots V.G. Pugachyov, N.F. Sadovnikov, O.G. Tsoy and E.I. Frolov received world records diplomas.

The high combat characteristics of the aircraft are confirmed by the Su-27 commercial success on the world stage. As a basic design, the Su-27 had a wide range of layout options, which enabled the Design Bureau to start the work on its further modification.