Prototype Russian fighter jet spotted on Bing Maps

Built to rival the American F-22 Raptor, the jet lost out to the Su-47.

Mapping services such as Bing Maps and Google Maps have changed how consumers discover the world around them. With a map of the world in your pocket, locating your next meeting or food venue has become quite simple. Occasionally though, these mapping services uncover hidden gems and the latest discovery by the Bing Maps team is clad in military secrecy.

It was recently uncovered, on a Bing Maps image, that a Russian fighter, that was previously thought to have been canned, was out on the tarmac of a Russian military base. The plane, the Mikoyan Project 1.44, was thought to have been put to bed in 2001, but as the image shows Russia has at least one of them still around and could have resurrected the program recently.

With satellites taking new images constantly and improvements to the technology involved, the details obtained is increasing at an exponential rate.

The image of the plane raises a lot of questions, such as if the plan has been resurrected by the Russians to build a fighter jet that is comparable to the F-22 Raptor (the 1.44’s original goal), or if this is simply an old prototype that was rolled out onto the tarmac to give the impression that the program was alive and well, when in reality, it’s nothing more than to throw off military analysts.

We will likely never know the true reason the plane was spotted in broad daylight, but whatever the case may be, know that that satellites overhead can see everything.

Source: Bing | Via: Mashable | Image via Aircraft.wikia.com

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38 Comments

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Really cool that you can embed the map like that; I thought it was a screenshot until I used my scroll wheel while the mouse pointer was over the map and it zoomed out!

It's on google maps as well, different location: 55°34'28.56", 38° 8'37.05"
Seems to be taken on some kind of event there..

There is always the chance it is a cardboard mock up like our guys used to (and probably still) do when its known certain satellites will be overhead.

I was curious what Google Map would show and pulled it up. The imagery quality is much worse (over exposed looking), but the content is interesting.

I started looking around and immediately came across something that reminded me of a de Havilland Vampire. Then I saw what had to be an A-10,a KC-10,an F-15,a B-52, a C-130, another A-10, and maybe a C-5. There are alot of other aircraft that also aren't in the Bing shot. I guess this photo was taken during a MAKS show.

Am I seeing a concorde there also?!

looks like a LOT of junk planes sitting around also

that also appears to be one very long runway

They could have simply put it out in the open and known when the satellite would have been taking the pictures... Just to tick the US off LOL. Not that they would do that or anything... *wink*

Fredrik Wallentin said,
Looks to be a museum or something.

its alot of old planes around there. and a space shuttle

ah Russia's competition for the US Space shuttle... the Buran Space Craft...

Is to the right of the prototype plane a small version of Concorde or something like that? Looks very similar to Concorde

trihawk7 said,
Is to the right of the prototype plane a small version of Concorde or something like that? Looks very similar to Concorde

It should be the Tupolev 144, AKA Concordsky. It was used shortly and one crashed at Le Bourget.

You can also scroll down a bit and see their version of the space shuttle sitting on the grass.. looks like this may be somewhat of a "living museum"

spudtrooper said,
You can also scroll down a bit and see their version of the space shuttle sitting on the grass.. looks like this may be somewhat of a "living museum"
where is that space shuttle? i couldnt recognize it.

Zoom out until you see both horizontal runways, go to the second (shorter) one, and go the far right of that runway, then straight down a bit out in the grass.

Dead'Soul said,
where is that space shuttle? i couldnt recognize it.

See how the two major runways look like a < ? - scroll to the grassy area right in the middle of the < and then zoom in, you can see a few aircraft on the grass including a shuttle looking aircraft.

spudtrooper said,
You can also scroll down a bit and see their version of the space shuttle sitting on the grass.. looks like this may be somewhat of a "living museum"

Yes, that is exactly what it is. This is an airfield that has a test flight unit. It is also the host of the MAKS airshow. If I'm not mistaken, this airport showed up an article here a while back on the Buran space shuttle.

The imagery available to the public nowadays is really amazing. As demonstrated by this article, it provides fodder for amateur analysts to cook up whacky ideas.

It was a project to go up against the F22, it was supposed to be stealthy but lacked the technology to do so:
"the Soviet Union's answer to the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) of the US, incorporating numerous fifth-generation fighter aspects such as advanced avionics, stealth, supermaneuoverability and supercruise." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_Project_1.44

bdsams said,
It was a project to go up against the F22, it was supposed to be stealthy but lacked the technology to do so:
"the Soviet Union's answer to the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) of the US, incorporating numerous fifth-generation fighter aspects such as advanced avionics, stealth, supermaneuoverability and supercruise." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_Project_1.44

Actually the Russian antagonist to the F22 is the Suckoi T 50 which, at l'East For what is known, is at the moment a prototype. The portraited one was supposed to be an interceptor, and not a superiority, fighter and, name Mig 31, replaced the aging Mig 25 Foxbat, again an other interceptor.