As most of you know by now, there are two (2) Su-27's that have been de-militarized, fully restored and westernized with up-to-date GA type avionics, for sale here in the U.S. I have a question or two about what operating an Su-27 in the U.S. might look like from a practical standpoint.
Take for example, the climb performance capability of the Flanker. I'm certain that reaching FL410 in just a couple of minutes after take-off would not be difficult, but my question is whether or not ATC will actually give full and direct clearance up to FL410, without requiring periodic checks at lower levels? I think this is a very practical question, if one is going to put one of these in the GA traffic scheme, given the super high rate of climb and the very high (almost ballistic) AOA that can be maintained by a Flanker en-route to FL410, for example.
The other question is the exact reverse of the first. The Su-27 is capable of straight line speeds in excess of Mach 1.8. If one wanted to descend down from FL410 before entering controlled airspace around the airport and before entering the 250kt restrictions, I'm sure the aircraft would be able to descend very rapidly by merely rolling it onto its back and pull the stick towards your stomach. Thus, coming down from FL410 would take less time than going up. But, again, if you are flying into an airport with a tower, would Approach Control ever authorize such a rapid descent before handing you off to ATC for the approach (of course, by then you are under the 250kts restriction)?
These are just two "performance limit" -vs- "rules" questions.
I'm just trying to think about what one would actually be able to do with such an aircraft, given its obvious capabilities, within the world of GA and its flight rules. This aircraft was not made for GA - keeping that in mind.
My personal assumptions would be that one would depart in a docile fashion, head out to the desert or over the water (depending on where you live and operate) and then open up the flight envelop for some real fun. Then head back to base and begin the descent and approach in a very docile fashion to conclude the flight - no different than any other jet.
But, what if you wanted to climb-out and/or descend like a bullet. Legal? Restricted? Not practical? No safe? Or, does it depend on the conditions?