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Old Jan 25, 2015, 08:52 AM
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Sukhoi Su-9 Fishpot

I am not quite sure how to categorize this plane, it is not a factory built plane neither is it a scratchbuilt, it’s a bit of both, but made mostly from parts cannibalized from old foamy jets and recycled materials. As such, it is the first environmental friendly built EDF jet.

Soviet jets of the Cold War have been largely ignored in the EDF world, with a few exceptions, such as the Mig-15, the Mig-17 and a rare Mig-21. Yet there are quite a number of Soviet fighter/interceptors and bombers which would make extraordinary subjects for the EDF enthusiast. Among those, are the Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder, Tu-28 Fiddler, the Yak-28 Firebar, the Myashishev M-50 bomber, etc.. They all have in common that rakish, futuristic look reminiscent of 1950’s Flash Gordon comic book spaceships.

The Sukhoi Su-9 Fishpot (NATO designation) has always been one of my favourite planes. It has that badass Soviet Cold War look of the late 50’s that few planes can boast of. The Fishpot was quite large for a fighter/interceptor of its time, being essentially an elongated stovepipe with flying surfaces and bubble canopy crudely bolted on. From the side, it looks like an F-86 with a genetic disease which caused its fuselage to grow out of control. Its bloated abdomen housed a massive Lyulka AL-7 turbojet engine packing a whopping 20,000 lbs of thrust. Slung under its fuselage were two drop tanks wedged side by side, like reproductive organs on a great white shark. Yet, in spite of its striking characteristics, the Fishpot had none of the agility of its stubby and smaller cousin, the lookalike Mig-21 Fishbed, nor did it have the majestic grace of its successor, the Sukhoi-35 Flanker. Compared to its American contemporaries of the late 50’s, it certainly lacked the panache and allure of the U.S. Navy’s swashbuckling F-8 Crusader or the graceful elegance of the USAF’s wasp-waisted F-106 Delta Dart interceptor. But make no mistake, despite its sleek appearance, the Fishpot was a thug, a brute, with little skills other than to fly in a straight line to intercept and shoot down marauding American spyplanes or hostile bombers threatening the Soviet motherland. And even at that, it probably would not have done a very good job. In spite of its enormous power, the Su-9 could hardly muster up a mere Mach 1.2 when armed. It did not carry cannon armament, and its only weapons, four primitive AA-1 Alkali missiles were so inaccurate that they probably could not hit the side of a barn nailed to a B-52. To make matters worse, every grim-faced Soviet pilot would tell you it was very unforgiving to pilot error. It is unknown if the Fishpot ever fired a shot in anger, although it is rumored that one unarmed Fishpot tried unsuccessfully to ram Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spyplane in 1960. The Fishpot missed the U-2, and made no further attempt due to lack of fuel.

An upgraded version of the Fishpot, the Su-11, first flew in 1961. It had an improved radar guidance system and the original Alkali missiles were replaced by a pair of AA-3 'Anab' missiles. Unlike the legendary Mig-21, the Fishpot was never exported to countries outside the Soviet Union.

So what’s there to like about the Fishpot? Well, I wouldn’t want to give it a totally bad rap. Imagine yourself in the heady days of the Cold War, standing in Red square, May Day Parade 1960, surrounded by a crowd of thousands of Muscovites and KGB agents, the air filled with the choking, acrid smoke of tanks and ICBM transport vehicles parading by, something like Woodstock, Soviet style. Then at low altitude comes tearing up the sky a Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder bomber, closely flanked by a formation of thundering Fishpots. Those were the days!
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 09:10 AM
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Joined Jul 2014
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Su-9 Fishpot EDF (4 min 48 sec)


Sorry for the poor quality of the video, I will be posting more next spring.

Enough with the plane description, let’s get down to the building phase of the Su-9 Fishpot. I am not very good at giving detailed building instructions but I hope the pictures are self-explanatory. One of the problems we have as EDF pilots is what to do with our old and beat up airplanes. Don’t throw them away! First of all, the EPP or EPO foam is excellent for repairs and remodelling, and with a bit of imagination starting up new projects. Parts for the Fishpot project were mostly scavenged from old EDF jets and recyclable materials.

The fuselage was formed by putting end to end the two engine nacelles from a Blitzwork SR-71. The original back end of the SR-71 model was damaged during shipping and was kindly replaced by Banana Hobby. No modifications were done to SR-71 nacelle which formed the back end of the Su-9 fuselage although much slicing and sanding had to be done to the nacelle became the front end of the Su-9 fuselage in order to reduce the diameter. Holes in the resulting fuselage were plugged using spare pieces of foam. Light spacke was used to smooth out imperfections followed by a lot of sanding. The Su-9 shock cone protruding from the air intake is the shock cone of one of the SR-71 nacelle turned backward.

The vertical fin and rudder were scavenged from an old HK F4-D Skyray which had gotten overweight by too many repairs. The fin was amputated from the Skyray and fashioned to meet the desired Fishpot look (See pictures).

The horizontal stabilizers were harvested from a downed Nitroplanes Airfield F-18. This F-18 had dug a 12 inch hole in the ground after its flight stabilizer had been improperly programmed. Stabilizer controls were inverted... Foam pieces from the F-18 ailerons were used to square off the trailing edges of the Su-9 stabilizers.

The wings of the 64 mm ArtTech Typhoon Eurofighter are a very close match to the Su-9 wings. My flying buddy had an old beat up Eurofighter but he gave me a firm “No!” when I asked I could use the wings of his plane, so I grudgingly ordered them online from SN hobbies. The sweptback of the delta wing needed to be increased, so I cut out a wedge from each wing root, front to back, to achieve the required sweptback. Foam pieces from the F-18 vertical fins were used to modify the wingtips to the desired SU-9 look, followed by sanding.

I ordered the canopy from a 64 mm Freewing F9F Panther from RC Castle. No modifications were necessary.

Main gear retracts were scavenged from the damaged SR-71 backend. The front gear is a HK steerable nose retract for small models, product ID: 225000015.

Hatches for battery and receiver compartment were fashioned from 2L soft drink plastic bottles. The nose gear retract hatch cut-out was made from a thinner plastic 1 L bottled water bottle. The inside walls of the battery and receiver compartments were made from thin transparent plastic.

Because the fuselage is extremely long, thin and filled with the nose gear retract mechanism, battery and receiver, airflow was restricted, so I cut out a cheater hole to improve airflow. I also added a non-scale experimental scoop for the initial test flights, in order to maximize dynamic airflow. The scoop was fashioned from the crashed F-18 air intakes. An added bonus of the cheater hole is that it creates white noise when the fan is turning, much like a jet engine.

Rivets were made from a mixture of epoxy, flour and No: 11 Humbrol silver paint applied with the head of a large blunt pin.

Alkali missiles were made using the wingtip fairings from the Typhoon wing and paper tubes.

I wish the plane could have been more in the 70 mm size but available components limited my options.

So there it is folks, a Su-9 Fishpot mostly made from recycled parts.

Specifications:

Length: 39 in/ 99 cm (excluding nose probe)
Wingspan: 25.4in/ 64.5 cm
Powerplant: 64 mm fan, HK 2627-4300KV motor, 40 A esc, 4 cell 1600 mAh battery
Power to weight ratio (static): 1:1
Weight: 19.4 oz/ 550 gm (battery excluded)
Flying surfaces: Elevons are located on the horizontal stabilizer. The wing has no moving surfaces.

Note: Although the 4300KV motor is rated for 3 cell (11.1 V), I have been flying with these for years on 4 cell batteries (14.8V) and these motors have never burnt out on me. Mind you, I use full power for short periods of time, mainly for take-off and high speed passes. The advantage is the weight saving as compared with motors rated for 4 cells.

Flying the Fishpot:

On my first flight I used a 4 cell 1600 mAh battery and a Guardian 2D/3D flight stabilizer to reduce pilot workload during the initial flights. The first three test flights were videotaped. I strongly recommend that this be done when flight testing new hot airplanes. Reviewing the video time and time again reveals critical flight details which would otherwise not have been noticed nor remembered. The Fishpot tracked well on the ground, power was more than sufficient, but ground speed needed to be well established before takeoff. Once in flight with adequate airspeed and wheels retracted, the Fishpot proved to be very stable and controllable. The delta wing provided good high and low speed stability allowing the plane to sustain a high alpha angle (nose high attitude). Unlike true delta-winged fighters/interceptors such as the F-102 and Mirage series, the Fishpot is fitted with a conventional horizontal tailplane on the fuselage aft of the wing. This configuration provides a greater moment arm than in a true delta, making the airplane more precise in the pitch axis. However, I must admit it does look more impressive doing straight high speed passes, just like the real one rather than doing tight loops and turns. I believe the intake scoop helped with dynamic thrust during flight. I will eventually replace it with a transparent one for a better scale look. What impressed me the most is the gracefulness of the landing, slow and nose high. More flight testing will be required but overall, I am quite satisfied with the results.
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Last edited by Hadatom; Jan 25, 2015 at 10:41 AM.
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 09:42 AM
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Sukhoi-Su-9 pictures

Here are some pictures of my Su-9 Fishpot.
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 09:46 AM
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4stripes's Avatar
Canada, ON, Burlington
Joined Jan 2009
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Nice work!
Very creative, and interesting build. Just goes to show, never throw away a crashed or damaged model!
Thanks for sharing


PS like the video and editing too!!!
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Last edited by 4stripes; Jan 25, 2015 at 10:06 AM.
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 09:59 AM
EDF Jet Jam 2015 , May 28-31
Kevin Cox's Avatar
St. Louis Intl, Missouri, United States
Joined Jan 1997
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Nicely done!
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Old Jan 25, 2015, 10:01 AM
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Thanks!
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Old Jan 28, 2015, 12:25 AM
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Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island, Central And Western District
Joined Jun 2008
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Wonderful concept and execution...thanks for sharing!
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Old Jan 28, 2015, 09:18 AM
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This was my first "scratchbuilt" EDF. In retrospect with 20/20 hindsight, I could have used soda pop bottles to build the front end of the fuselage instead of one of the SR-71 nacelle. Once cut longitudinally, the pop bottle rolls up very nicely and even give you the curved lip at the front end of the fuselage, as in the Su-11 version, which is slightly more curved than in the earlier Su-9 (See Su-11 picture below). The thinness of the material would have improved aiflow to the fan, requires no finishing except painting, is very replaceable but may have weighed a bit more.
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Old Jan 28, 2015, 10:54 AM
Kicking Tires
Joined Jan 2014
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Well executed kitbash, Hadatom! I really like the result, especially considering its varied origins.
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 12:46 AM
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Joined Apr 2012
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Su-9/Su-11 80mm Freewing EDF

Hi,
I saw your build and that really amazed me. Do you have, by happening, any sort of drawings, plans, sketches, for a bigger Su-11? I was thinking on a 80(or 88)mm EDF-I do not know for sure its size-the unit which Freewing putted on its Mirage 2000.
In that case which would be the length/wingspan in your opinion?
The MiG-21 you posted together in the picture with the Fishpot, which size(EDF)is it?
That would be also a very good build log for it, which should answer to many questions about the Mig-21 EDF, especially if it is built around the same EDF unit.
Thank you,
Razvan
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Old Feb 19, 2015, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razvan nicola View Post
Hi,
I saw your build and that really amazed me. Do you have, by happening, any sort of drawings, plans, sketches, for a bigger Su-11? I was thinking on a 80(or 88)mm EDF-I do not know for sure its size-the unit which Freewing putted on its Mirage 2000.
In that case which would be the length/wingspan in your opinion?
The MiG-21 you posted together in the picture with the Fishpot, which size(EDF)is it?
That would be also a very good build log for it, which should answer to many questions about the Mig-21 EDF, especially if it is built around the same EDF unit.
Thank you,
Razvan
I don't have any plans or sketches. If you go on Google images and enter the key words "Sukhoi-11 Fishpot", you will find a lot of images and 3D views. The Su-11 is a bit different from the Su-9. Wings Palette is particularly hepful at:
http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww3/f/704/1/0

To determine the best size for your aicraft, once you choose on the size of your fan unit, I would first calculate the smallest size fuselage external diameter which can accommodate your fan unit while insuring structural strenght and scale appearance. You then have to figure the lenght of the plane around this measure. You probably will have to cheat a bit on the wingspan and enlarge it a bit to get better flight characteristics. I don't think the Freewing Mirage 2000 is a good comparison because the fuselage is small with respect to the wing (they use a 80mm fan). With a similar wing on the Fishpot you would end up with a much larger and wider fuselage than the Mirage, but then again, it may work out with your fuselage diameter calculations as I described above.

Also, once you establish the desired lenght and wingspan of the plane, it is always helpful to estimate as best you can the total flying weight, including retracts, battery, anything you can think of, and look how this compares with other models of the same size. Leave the battery compartment for the end as its location will help to adjust you CG. I used a 1/72 scale Su-11 model to get a better feel of how the airplane looks and is put together. There are several Su-11 models on the market. The one I used is by Leoman, not very good quality and overpriced but it did the job. here is a link to one of the other models.

http://modelsua.com/Su-11-Soviet-fig...terceptor.html

The Mig-21 on the picture is a 64 mm Alpha Model but has been discontinued for a number of years. Very lightweight and good flyer, slows down to a crawl at landing .

Let me know when you get to the stage of determining the fuselage lenght and we can figure out the wing dimension.
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Last edited by Hadatom; Feb 19, 2015 at 09:29 AM.
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