TYPE: Agricultural sprayer.

PROGRAMME: Design started, as Su-38, under Boris Rakitin, August 1993; originally based closely on Su-29 sportplane; construction of prototype began January 1994 but curtailed due to financial situation in Russia. Promotion resumed in 1998, under S-38L designation and with considerable change of detail design, including replacement of VOKBM M-14P radial engine. Announced June 2000 that order signed to build prototype, now known as Su-38L. Prototypes fabricated by SmAZ; target of five complete (including two static test) aircraft by second quarter of 2002; first two under assembly at Sukhoi OKB workshops by September 2000. First flight (01) 27 July 2001; public debut at Moscow Salon, 14-19 August 2001, when 01 shown with (static) and without (flying) winglets and then unflown 02 exhibited statically. Compared with earlier drawings and mockup, prototypes have increased length due to additional fuselage plug ahead of wings. By June 2002 two (of three planned) prototypes had completed 60 missions of projected 100- to 150-sortie flight programme, intended to lead to initial certification in September or October 2003. Third prototype's maiden flight delayed from August 2002 to end 2002/early 2003. Initial production by SmAZ with target of 20 in 2003, rising to 40 in 2004, and potential for up to 100 aircraft per year. Second production line intended by Razdanmash AOZT of Armenia, subject to acquisition of US$23 million for flight test and tooling.

CUSTOMERS: Initial orders for 20 anticipated by December 2002; estimated market for 500 in Russia.

COSTS: Unit cost US$100,000 to US$150,000 (2002); direct operating cost US$300 per hour (2001).

DESIGN FEATURES: Conventional low-wing monoplane. Constant-chord wings swept slightly forward and with winglets and root nibs; sweptback fin, plus underfin doubling as tailwheel mount. Chemical hopper between engine and cockpit, capacity 500 litres (132 US gallons; 110 Imp gallons). Service life 3,000 hours/10 years.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Horn-balanced single-piece elevator and rudder; trim tab in elevator; trailing-edge flaps.

LANDING GEAR: Tailwheel type; fixed. Mainwheel size 8,00-6, tailwheel size 310x135. Hydraulic brakes.

POWER PLANT: One 184 kW (247 hp) LOM M337S six-cylinder engine operating on a 1:2 mix of A-76 and A-92 mogas; LOM B-546 three-blade ground-adjustable propeller. Plans for uprated, 186 kW (250 hp) version in production aircraft. Fuel tank in each wing; total capacity 210 litres (55.5 US gallons; 42.2 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only on energy-absorbing seat; baggage shelf behind seat. Cockpit is pressurised to prevent ingress of chemicals, and incoming air is filtered.

EQUIPMENT: Transland underwing spraybar. Cable cutter/deflector standard.