Last week, a short video showing a Russian stealth fighter Su-57 Felon without the canopy ended up going viral on the web and causing strangeness. After all, why was the fighter jet flying without plexiglass protection like a ‘convertible’ plane?
In fact, it is a common activity on airplanes of this type, which need to carry out the so-called “cockpit habitability trial”, necessary for the pilot to be able to evaluate emergency procedures in cases in which the canopy is ejected unexpectedly.
The image of the Russian Ministry of Defense is part of a collection of activities at the Chkalov State Flight Test Center, a unit that has just turned 100 years old. The pilot is shown quickly and it is possible to notice that he is wearing heavy clothes for the cold.
A long time ago, the Panavia Tornado and Grumman F-14 Tomcat jets also appeared in images without their canopies, undergoing the same test as the Sukhoi Su-57.
Accidental ejection of the canopy is not that unusual. In January 2019, two Israeli Air Force pilots lost the plexiglass cover of their F-15 Eagle at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) in altitude, being exposed to -45 ° C.
Also last year, a civilian who was flying a French Air Force Rafale fighter accidentally triggered the eject seat during takeoff, causing it to fly off the plane. The pilot managed to land the jet safely, even without the canopy.