Russia displayed its deadly weapons platform including its latest combat aircraft including the Sukhoi Su-57E and Mikoyan MiG-35 during MAKS 209 aero show outside Moscow. While Russia tried to woo potential customers for its defence hardware by providing an opportunity to the foreign delegates to try the weapons and aircraft including two test sorties by Indian Air Force pilots in the 4++ Generation MiG-35D fighter, there was some embarrassment for the hosts too.
On the same day (August 29, 2019) that IAF pilots flew the twin-seater MiG-35D at the International Aviation & Space Salon, the same fighter suffered the loss of a metal panel from its left wing during a demonstration. Even aviasalon.com, the official website of MAKS 2019, posted a photo of the MiG-35D with the panel missing from its left wing although the portal did not write anything about the awkward situation.
However, the incident posed no danger to the plane and it completed its flight without any hitch, according to theaviationist.com, a website dedicated to military aviation. From the photo posted by MAKS 2019 website, the MiG-35D seems to have lost the panel during takeoff.
TheAviationist.com also published the photos of the MiG-35D and the panel flying in the air which it sad were clicked by its correspondents Lance Riegle and Tom Demerly. The report further stated that the MiG-35D's wing panel along with some other components fell down in a field near MAKS 2019 venue.
However, small metal panels falling off combat aircraft which undertake high g manoeuvres is not uncommon and rarely endanger the plane.
In early August, an F-16 Fighting Falcon of the United States Air Force Viper Demo team lost a gun panel while practising for the 2019 Thunder Over Michigan airshow at Willow Run Airport in Romulus, Michigan. "It does happen occasionally. It’s just normal operating for an F-16, or any aircraft really. Sometimes latches fail," USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team Commander Major Garrett Schmitz was quoted as saying by TheAviationist.com.
Russia unveiled the Sukhoi Su-57E and Mikoyan MiG-35 during MAKS 2019. While the Su-57E is a single-seater, twin-engine supersonic fighter, the MiG-35 comes in two variants - single seat and double seat - and is been projected as a 4++ Generation jet.
Russia is keen to sell the Su-57E and MiG-35 fighters to India. IAF test pilots Group Captain BS Reddy and Wing Commander FL Roy had flown a twin-seater MiG-35D at the Zhukovskiy International Airport outside Moscow, Russia.