1989: The amazing Sukhoi Su-27

1989 paris air show sukhoi su27

The debut of the Soviet Sukhoi Su-27 -- NATO codename 'Flanker' -- at the Paris Air Show in 1989 was highly anticipated.

The sophisticated design of this twin-engine fighter was so successful it spawned variations, including a two-seater and a jet for aircraft carriers and a fearsome fighter-bomber.

The Flankers' amazing dogfighting capabilities matched the maneuverability of the U.S. F-15 Eagle. It also boasted the Soviet military's first operational production fly-by-wire system, meaning the jet's flight controls were moved with electronic commands not mechanical links.

First published June 16, 2017: 5:33 PM ET

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