Lyulka AL-21

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Airforce Museum Berlin-Gatow 313.JPG
Lyulka AL-21F3 engine, Airforce Museum of the Bundeswehr; Berlin-Gatow
Type Turbojet
Manufacturer Lyulka
Major applications Sukhoi Su-17
Sukhoi Su-24
Yakovlev Yak-38

The Lyulka AL-21 is an axial flow turbojet engine created by the Soviet Design Bureau named for its chief designer Arkhip Lyulka.

Design and development[edit]

The AL-21 is similar in power and technology to the General Electric J79 first flown in 1955 which was first engine for supersonic flight using the variable stator.[1] Western analysts believe they were designed by reverse engineering a J-79 engine which was most widely used on the F-4 Phantom from a plane shot down in Vietnam.[2][unreliable source?][dubious ]

After the fall of Soviet Union, it's became clear that AL-21F3 turbojet engine is different and more advanced design than J-79. It sucks in more air, compresses it more, and burns it hotter. AL-21F3 is a later design and superior in all respects. Its compressor is much more advanced getting more compression from less stages.[3] [4] It is generally described as being in the "third generation" of Soviet gas turbine engines which are characterized by high thrust-to-weight ratios and the use of turbine air cooling.[5]

The AL-21 entered service in the early 1960s. With later marks AL-21F3 it was used in the Sukhoi Su-17, Sukhoi Su-24, Ground-attack variant Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23, and Sukhoi T-10 (Sukhoi Su-27 prototype). A non-afterburning version powered the Yakovlev Yak-38 VTOL fighter.

Specifications (AL-21F3)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbojet
  • Length: 5,300 mm (209 in)
  • Diameter: 1,000 mm (39 in)
  • Dry weight: 1,700 kg (3,740 lb)


  • Compressor: Two-spool 14-stage axial compressor with variable stator vanes
  • Turbine: Two-stage high pressure, single-stage low pressure


See also[edit]

Related lists


  1. ^ Aircraft Propulsion and Gas Turbine Engines By Ahmed F. El-Sayed p. 16
  2. ^ The Su-24 attack interceptor: jack of two trades, master of both
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sosounov, V.A. (1990). The Development of Aircraft Power Plant Construction in the USSR and the 60th Anniversary of CIAM. AlAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 26th Joint Propulsion Conference, July 16–18, 1990. Orlando, Florida. AIAA-90-2761.

External links[edit]