Russian Jet Cabrio Flight [updated]

Russian jets without canopy

Those photos are real and were made during the filming of the Russian movie involving jet fighter stunts. In one episode they had to film the jet without a canopy, so rather to film it on the ground they decided to hire a high-class pilot to make a real flight without that glass thing. He had to take off a few times on such plane in order to film enough material to be included in the final footage.

The maximum speed I achieved on the jet plane without a canopy glass was around two times greater than speed of sound. While on this speed I even managed to pull out my fingers in glove for an inch or two outside – it became heated very fast because of immense friction force plane undergoes with the air.“, writes the pilot.

Russian jets without canopy 2

Usually such tests were conducted in winter time, so it was deadly cold without a canopy and I was pretty glad when this heating began, counting minutes before the plane would reach enough speed/velocity so that the air around becomes hot enough. But it wasn’t the main problem for me. In my personal rating of the dangers connected with such tests one of the most bad sides was the extreme roar. Because of this extreme roaring you couldn’t hear the radio so you were flying in deaf mode, you were afraid to pull throttle harder just because going faster was meaning going louder.“, he continues.

On the photo above: Russian military pilot Frolov is getting ready for the flight on the jet cabrio. It is pretty freezing outside, but it would be much colder when he would take off.

Russian jets without canopy 3

The plane is being prepared for the no-canopy flight.

Russian jets without canopy 4

A cabrio ride above the sea.

Russian jets without canopy 5

Russian jets without canopy 6

After the take off.

Russian jets without canopy 8

And that’s one more test – the second pilot tests the ejecting system while on the flight with no canopy installed. The first pilot remains in the plane.

Russian jets without canopy 7

And now the flight is over.

71 thoughts on “Russian Jet Cabrio Flight [updated]”

  1. OMFG picture: 8.jpg is the worst paintshop/photoshop work I’ve seen in a long time.

    The smudge brush (as called in Paintshop Pro) usage is quite lame here don’t you think?

  2. I think you’re right about picture 3, but if it’s really an accident and not a test, why and how there’s another airplane taking pictures?

    Perhaps the pilot send a radio to te command tower and another airplane took flight to take the pictures?

    I think you’re right, M…

  3. You are right 100%. Fake story, lame attempt to turn an accident into something heroic. Good to keep the poor and uneducated patriotic and in line: “we are proud of Russia where there are no borders to heroic acts !!” There is no reason to test this, if you start reasoning like “but it can happen during flight” then there is no end to testing things, right ? Like trying to fly with half your wing shot off or with out a tail or with your parachute unfolding while you are still in the plane – all nonsense. Pilots are very well trained and can deal with these unusual situations.

  4. What`s problem? This is military aircraft. And sometimes fly without damaged canopy is more preferable than with canopy. After ejecting of second pilot you simply has no choice. 🙂

  5. sorry to spoil this but this is from a russian movie called “Mirror Wars”, look for it on imdb, check the photo section there..
    found it by googling SU-27 bort number 801

  6. Does anybody know how you eject the seat without taking off the canopy? Can Russian pilots go through the canopy like magic?

  7. Speaking of no canopy, has anyone seen the photos of the F-22 pilot that got stuck in his plane for 5 hours while they tried to open his stuck canopy? They finally called the fire department and they had to saw the canopy off of the plane to rescue the pilot.

  8. It is a test-flight! The pilots name is Evegnij Frolov and not Kedrov and he is the main Russian test-pilot. This was a test of the ejection seats on the Su-35, and thats why there is no canopy. All ground pictures are taken after flight.

  9. Owner of blog has to go with what is presented. Is he supposed to research everything like the “Ministry of Information”? Of course there will be errors and misinformation if that is what he is sent.

    I’m amazed the blog owner can keep this blog so full of info, keep it fresh and always entertaining. It must consume huge portions of his free time. For that I am grateful.

  10. I don’t get it, why are there two separate aircraft with Bort number 801?

    One has straight vertical tails, the other angled.
    The only Flankers configured as both twin-seaters and with canards, are su-30mki and su-35ub…

    • nice observation… the Su-35UB was the first to have bort number 801, the one in picture nr. 7 is a su-27UB, painted like the -35UB one, i guess for movie filming purposes

      • You know, pic 7 is photoshopped so badly, they didn’t even care that the tail-planes are not level but looking down (the aircraft was probably photographed on the ground)
        then again we’re yet to see what this is gonna turn into. could be good

  11. I do not buy the story of this being a movie, nor is it an accident.

    I believe what is actually happening here is that they are simply testing ejection seats. The most dangerous part of ejecting is going through the canopy, so if you want to test the seat in actual flight: remove the canopy!

    Yes, I said THROUGH. I believe most modern ejection seats go through the canopy. A lot of seats have sharp blades at the top for punching through.

    In any case – I love seeing pics of SU-27! One of the most beautiful planes ever built!

  12. For what it’s worth, here’s what you find if you look at the metadata for these photos:

    Equipment Make: Sony
    Camera Model: DSC-F828
    Creation Software: Adobe Photoshop CS Windows
    Date Picture Taken: 2/10/2005 4:31 PM

    2.jpg, 3.jpg, 4.jpg, 5.jpg, 6.jpg, 7.jpg, 8.jpg
    Creation Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 (10.0×20061208 [20061208.beta.1251 2006/12/08:02:00:00 cutoff; m branch]) Macintosh

    I have no idea why 1.jpg has diffrent metadata than 2-8, but it does. Also, the date on 1.jpg is what has me most interested.

    I’d love to know what the source of this is. Kind of hard to take anyone seriously when you don’t cite sources.

    • That photoshop-metadata is quite pointless. More than likely someone has at least cropped/resized the pics to be more web-friendly, hence the pictures became ‘edited’.

  13. this is awesome… and since it’s russian, it’s must be a fake 😀 photoshop or something.

    change the plane into a F-15, and some though american pilot, and hey.. it’s real! 😉

    love this site.

  14. if an american does it,,,,,all fine and moms apple pie,,,,,,,,,,,if a Russian does it,,,,,,,,has to be faked,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,bollocks !

  15. I love this site, I often want to get the pictures myself, but you never have any sources for them, could you try and say where the pictures are from more?

  16. After some espionage of my own, I can reveal that these pictures have something to do with the Russian film ‘Mirror Wars’, which, as it stars Malcolm McDowell and the mighty Rutger Hauer, must be awesome.

    From the imdb site, one review says that ‘…all movie budget was spent for action scenes, plane crashings (very effective – without CG!)’ so maybe they really did crash a plane.

    Link: – check the photo gallery for yet another version of the ejection pic, this time less obviously photoshopped.

    youtube trailer:


    So as it is from a film, who cares which bit is real. But I think it was flown without a canopy.

    Bit more info here:

  17. Nice picture, also note differences on paint and top of tail edges…

    Sorry if reposted, some of the links are censored here.

  18. Aren’t you guys reading the article ? (or just look at the photos).
    As it said, it was done for movie, and in Russia it’s cheaper to rent a plane, (or get it for free if it has even a slight propaganda purpose), then to pay ours of expensive CGI time to create graphic of the same quantity…

    So when they have demounted cannopy, probably some of Suhoi guys tought “let’s also do ejection seat test” (much less dangerous then tests with a canopy).

    This was a unique event I think, western solution will of course be to make a scene darker, and use CGI… (Times of “Top Gun” are over I’m afraid.

  19. I believe it to be real photos, but I doubt mach two 🙂
    And I doubt the ejector guy. Also I would expect the canopy to be blown of by explosives before the seat take off. Conside what would happen when someone is halfway out a splintered canopy meeting wind at a thousand kn per hour. Wouldn’t like that..

  20. Real ejection, or at least it looked real in this turd of a movie. Might have had a dummy strapped in the seat though.

    Hulu has the movie, which I just watched. Terrible!, but some nice jets and helicopter bits.

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