A fifth generation combat aircraft has taken to the air in Russia. This plane is as yet unnamed it is just known as the T-50. Following its maiden flight earlier this year, the aircraft has now reached the flight testing stage.
Traditionally fighters are divided into generations, but often one aircraft combines characteristics of both current and future machines. Generally speaking, the first generation includes the subsonic jet aircraft which appeared after the Second World War and which has cannon armaments (MiG -15 and the MiG-17 are best known examples of this type).

In terms of appearance, the T-50, or as its still known the PAK FA (Perspective complex of front aircraft), is similar to the Raptor. But it may turn out to be much better and more economical. 
It is impossible to compare the features of the two aircraft, since everything to do with the T-50 is still classified information. But there are a few things that can be discussed. With its supersonic cruise speed, the Raptor can enter a combat zone quickly. 
But what's next? Then it has to transfer to subsonic speed so as to be able to open the doors of the armament store and utilise the missiles which are hidden in the belly of its fuselage. 
Russian aircraft designers were the first in the world to manage to solve the problem of opening the armament store doors and releasing a missile when in supersonic flight.
As far as the electronic 'brain' is concerned the avionics of the fifth generation are also of a high quality, and at the moment they are being tested on the Su35 and the MiG-35.
F-22 Rap­tor - 5th Gen­er­a­tion Fight­er Air­craft
pub­lished: 22 Jul 2009