E-flite's Sukhoi SU-26m ARF
|Wing Area:||365 sq. in.|
|Wing Loading:||12.23 oz/sq. ft.|
|Cubic Wing Loading:||7.68 oz/cubic ft.|
|Servos:||(4) E-flite S-75 Micro Servos|
|Transmitter:||JR X9303 2.4 GHz|
|Battery:||Thunder Power Pro Lite 2 3s 2100mah lipo|
|Motor:||E-flite Park 480 (1020Kv) Brushless Outrunner|
|ESC:||E-flite 40A Lite Pro Switch-Mode BEC|
|Prop:||APC 12 x 6E|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
There's just something different and cool about a rounded cowl aerobatic airplane like the Sukhoi. I think most of my interest and infatuation with these beauties (yes, they're beautiful to me) comes from the fact that there are so few rounded cowl aerobatic airplanes. Really, the only other rounded cowl aerobatic airplane that quickly come to mind are the Russian Yak-54s and Yak-55s. In the full scale world the Sukhoi is a serious IAC contender through most of the classes and with their HUGE radial engines can power through most any scale aerobatic sequence.
Well the new E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m designed by Mike McConville takes some of that awesome rounded cowl nostalgia and brings it to you in a great looking parkflyer version. The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m offers up some excellent features such as plug-in wings, carbon fiber wing tube, super strong magnetic hatch setup, great looking trim scheme and some outstanding flight performance all rolled into a very affordable ARF. The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m can literally can be built in just a few short hours which means less time building and a lot more time flying (I think we all could use more time for that)!!
In case you haven't seen it there's a great little video of the E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m on the Horizon Hobby website. Just a little something to pique your interest!! :)
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m ARF kit contains:
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m ARF kit requires:
Items used to complete the E-flite Sukhoi Su-26m ARF kit:
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m assembly manual is a well laid out and extremely user-friendly guide that uses photo-illustrated steps to help navigate the builder through the assembly process. I was very pleased with the quality of the photos in the manual, and they were definitely helpful in understanding and augmenting what was said with the text. I really like how E-flite uses what they call "E-tips", which are helpful pointers throughout the manual that offer up some great suggestions and recommendations to help ensure a successful build.
Another aspect that I really like about the E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m assembly manual is that it can be conveniently downloaded in a PDF format on either the E-flite or the Horizon Hobby websites. That way, those that are thinking about buying the E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m can download the manual to see what equipment is needed and what the build entails, and those that obtain their airplane secondhand set the control throws and CG without having the original kit manual. GREAT IDEA!!
|Torque:||17.2 oz/in (1.17 kg/cm) @ 4.8V|
|Speed:||.12 sec/60 degrees @ 4.8V|
|Dimensions:||(LxWxH): .90 x .45 x .94 in (23 x 12 x 24mm)|
|Weight:||.26 oz (7.5 g)|
|Bushing Or Bearing:||Bushing|
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m comes with a very distinctive color scheme that makes orientation very easy even on those overcast days. The top of the wing is in a multicolor Ultracote® trim scheme while the bottom of the wing is predominately clear Ultracoate® with some chord length orange squares that extend from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing. I was very impressed by the craftsmanship and how light yet robust the wing structures looked through the clear covering.
The Sukhoi SU-26m wings require (4) fabric CA style hinges to be pinned in place and then glued in order to connect the ailerons to the wings. The plastic control horns are fitted and glued in place using 12 minute epoxy (6 min. epoxy will also work). I used (2) E-flite S-75 Micro Servos to handle the aileron duties. These little servos provide plenty of torque for the ailerons and allow full 3D throws when set up with the pushrod in the outermost hole on the long servo arms and the pushrod in the center hole on the control horns. The servo arms use Dubro-style Mini EZ Connectors to hold and secure the pushrods in place. I was at first concerned about how well these would hold up, but I have since put many flights on the airplane with no issues at all.
The Sukhoi two-piece wings ride on a very nice carbon fiber wing tube that allows the wings to be removed easily for transport (if needed). The wings are held in place using (2) 4-40 machine screws and (2) #4 washers that attach to a plywood tab located on the wing root. This tab slides into the fuselage sides where it is then bolted in place (see above picture).
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m's elevator set up is a fairly straightforward process for the builder but proper steps definitely need to be followed in order to ensure that the elevator is installed properly. On MOST airplane models the horizontal stab gets installed, measured, and finally glued in place before the elevator assembly. However, this is not the case with the E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m. The elevator assembly, which consists of the two elevator halves and the pre-installed hardwood joiner must get installed first before the horizontal stab. There is a recess in the tail of the airplane that allows the elevator assembly to slide back to allow the horizontal stab to be inserted easily.
Once the stab is installed and glued in place the elevator assembly can then moved forward so the CA style hinges can be glued in place. I once again elected to use an E-flite S-75 Micro Servo to handle the elevator duties. The elevator uses the same linkage hardware that was used on the ailerons and rudder control surfaces.
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m's rudder requires you to glue the tail wheel assembly to the leading edge of the rudder prior to installing the rudder to the vertical stab. I used 12 minute epoxy to install the tail wheel assembly to the rudder, and I used a few drops of oil to ensure that the epoxy didn't stick to the plastic bushing. Once the tail wheel assembly was dry I installed the CA hinges in the rudder and glued the hinges to the vertical stab. The whole rudder/stab assembly then gets glued in place on the tail of the Sukhoi using thin CA glue. The rudder is powered by an E-flite S-75 Micro Servo and has a direct linkage setup in the tail of the Sukhoi.
Tech Note: I think it's worth pointing out that both the elevator and rudder servo bays had the covering already removed at the factory prior to installing my S-75 servos. I think this takes out some of the guesswork when it comes to finding the correct servo bay locations. NICE TOUCH!!
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m's fuselage is light for an airplane of this size. It does have some 1/16" balsa sheeting in the fuselage that adds a small amount of additional weight but also adds some robustness to the airframe as well. The battery tray is plenty big enough to accommodate most any 3s 2000-2200 mah lipo battery pack.
Installing the lightweight aluminum main landing gear on my E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m required sliding the landing gear through the fuselage sides and then using 4-40 screws with washers to hold the landing gear in place. This setup has proven to be very rugged, and I have encountered zero issues with this. The main gear wheels use 3mm x 25mm machine screws as wheel axles. The wheels are then held in place using a nylon lock nut as a wheel collar and one nylon lock nut to bolt the wheel axle to the main landing gear.
I was very impressed that my E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m had a cooling hole in the bottom of the fuselage that was cut out and opened at the factory.
|Bearings or Bushings:||One 4 x 9 x 4mm Bearing, and One 4 x 10 x 4mm Bearing|
|Recommended Prop Range:||10x7 to 12x6|
|Voltage:||7.2 to 12|
|Resistance (Ri):||.06 ohms|
|Idle Current (Io):||1.10A @ 8V|
|Maximum Burst Current:||28A (15 sec)|
|Cells:||6–10 Ni-Cd/Ni-MH or 2–3S Li-Po|
|Weight:||87 g (3.1 oz)|
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m comes with blind nuts already glued in the motor box which allows the E-flite Park 480 (1020Kv) brushless outrunner to easily mount using (4) 4-40 socket head screws and washers. The Park 480 does need to have (2) plywood X-mount stand-offs (included) installed behind the Park 480 aluminum radial mount in order to get the correct spacing with the Sukhoi cowl. This makes for a very solid setup for the Park 480 outrunner motor.
The E-flite 40A Lite Pro Switch-Mode BEC mounts with velcro on the fuselage side right in front of the wing tube phenolic. The new E-flite 40A Lite Pro Switch-Mode BEC has a built-in 2.5A BEC unit that and is good for 3s-6s battery setups and offers a vast array of programming options done either through the transmitter or using the E-flite RS232 Serial Link/Programming Software which allows you to make quick ESC changes using your computer.
|Continuous Maximum Current:||Current: 40A|
|Input Voltage:||3S-6S LiPo|
|Momentary Peak Current:||55A|
|Dimensions:||31mm (1.2 in) x 66mm (2.6 in) x 12mm (0.47 in)|
|Weight: 42A||48g (1.7 oz)|
|BEC Voltage:||2.5A continuous|
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m comes with a great looking pre-painted fiberglass cowl that has pre-tapped holes marked on it which takes the guesswork out of lining up the cowl with the fuselage that is required on most airplane assemblies. The fuselage also has been pre-tapped, and all that was needed was to add a little bit of thin CA to strengthen the holes before mounting the cowl. For those of you looking for a completely scale look to your Sukhoi E-flite offers a dummy motor cowl insert which can be epoxied inside the cowl for the ultimate scale finished look.
The Sukhoi SU-26m comes with a very nice installed cockpit panel. This panel adds tons of realism to the Sukhoi and the optional 1/9th aerobatic pilot bust would definitely complete the finished scale look in the E-flite Sukhoi.
The Sukhoi SU-26m does require you to glue the canopy onto the cockpit hatch assembly. I used Formula 560 Canopy Glue for this. It allows for a warp-free finished canopy setup. I thought about just using some small wood screws but past experiences have taught me that during the warm summer months canopies have a tendency to warp more when just using screws as compared to using canopy glue.
To guide my E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m in- flight I decided to use an AR 6200 receiver. I really like these little receivers. They are small and compact and also have a satellite receiver for extra signal coverage. My AR 6200 was mounted on the installed receiver tray while my satellite receiver was mounted just aft of the wing tube phenolic. The battery tray in the Sukhoi SU-26m allows ample room for CG adjustments using my Thunder Power Pro Lite 2 3s 2100mah lipo battery pack.
|Dimensions (WxLxH):||1.35 x 3.9 x .75 inch|
|Max. Continuous Discharge:||20C|
|Max. Burst Discharge:||40C|
|Max Continuous Current:||42A (84A Max Burst)|
My finished E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m turned out great, and I was very impressed by how well the plane went together in a minimum of time (just over 3hrs.) from start to finish. My Sukhoi SU-26m has a finished AUW (including battery) of 31 oz, right in line with what the manufacturer states as a finished weight (30-32 oz.). At this weight I knew the Sukhoi would be capable of flying in 5-7 mph winds quite easily without sacrificing in-flight performance too much.
For my flying preference of mixed 3D and precision flying I have my CG currently set up at 3 2/3" (approx. 92mm) from the leading edge at the wing root. The battery tray is very generous and will allow for both a more forward and aft CG with ease.
I set up the control surfaces per the manufacturer’s recommendations and haven't deviated from them to date. The recommended rates are great for sports flying on low rates and more than adequate for mild 3D aerobatics on high rates.
Control Throw/Expo. Setup On My E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m
|Control Throws Were Set Per The Instruction Manual:|
|Low Rates Up||Low Rates Down||High Rates Up||High Rates Down|
|Aileron||3/4"||3/4"||1 1/4"||1 1/4"|
|Low Rates Left||Low Rates Right||High Rates Left||High Rates Right|
|Rudder||1 1/2"||1 1/2"||2"||2"|
|Low Rate Expo.||High Rate Expo.|
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m can easily be flown off of cut grass flying fields or smooth paved fields. I'm fortunate enough to fly off of a paved runway at my home r/c club but have flown my Sukhoi SU-26m off of some grass fields as well. For its small wheels, I was pleasantly surprised that my Sukhoi handled the grass field very well on both takeoffs and landings. The lack of wheel pants is actually an advantage when flying the Sukhoi off of grass.
The E-flite Sukhoi has excellent power using the Park 480 (1020Kv) brushless motor. On paved fields the Sukhoi will need very little runway to become airborne (no more than 15-20ft.). The Sukhoi SU-26m has excellent ground handling with its steerable tail wheel and I haven't seen any tendency for ground looping or nose-overs even on grass fields. Takeoffs are very straightforward, and I found that only a small amount of right rudder was needed to maintain a straight track. Once airborne, the Sukhoi is capable of very scale climbouts or near vertical climbouts depending on how aggressive you are with the throttle. The vertical climbouts always seem to grab the attention of other club members at the field but I prefer a more scale climbout most of the time with my Sukhoi.
The Sukhoi tracks extremely well in the air, and with my CG setting, I found that inverted flight was nearly neutral with only a breath of down elevator needed to maintain level inverted flight. On low rates the Sukhoi offers up some great sport flying, and with a slightly increased expo. setting, I found the Sukhoi could actually fly some IMAC/precision maneuvers quite well. I've flown the little Sukhoi several times with 10 mph winds, and while it does get bounced around some, I was impressed that it had excellent wind penetration considering the open round cowl. On low rates the Sukhoi rolls very well, and I have not seen a need to program any kind of aileron differential at this time. The Sukhoi has a very effective elevator even on low rates but I've seen no tendencies for the Sukhoi to snap out during tight turns or when flying minimum radius loops.
I checked the Sukhoi's stall characteristics up high several times before landing and discovered that once the Sukhoi stalled it only resulted in a slight nose drop. Going on this data ,I knew landing the Sukhoi would be a non-issue. Sure enough, landing the Sukhoi SU-26m really couldn't get any easier. Using just a little bit of power to maintain the rate of descent, the Sukhoi is capable of flying very stable and smooth approaches that result in very controlled and uneventful landings.
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m is a very capable and willing aerobatic performer much like its full-scale counterpart . Its aerobatic prowess easily takes it beyond the sport aerobatic maneuvers and into the 3D realm in the hands of an intermediate to experienced pilot. I've had a ton of fun flying my Sukhoi SU-26m through a full gamut of aerobatic and 3D flight maneuvers, and I've compiled a list below of some of those maneuvers and how I thought the E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m performed each of them. You'll also find that many of the flight maneuvers mentioned below can be viewed in the following video.
Tumbles - On high rates the little E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m tumbles quite well. I've had a lot of fun flying it at full throttle and then just throwing the sticks in opposite corners and watching the Sukhoi tumble end over end. The Sukhoi carries very good momentum throughout most tumbling maneuvers thanks in part to its moderate wing loading. Pretty fun, really!! The Sukhoi SU-26m will also fly a really nice lomcevok with the correct application of throttle and stick inputs.
Snaps - I've found some of the best snaps with the Sukhoi SU-26m can be made with high rate aileron and low rate rudder and elevator. The Sukhoi snaps very cleanly through both positive and negative snaps, and the little E-flite S-75 Micro Servos provide plenty of authority for multiple snap maneuvers.
Knife Edge - My Sukhoi SU-26m is capable of some great knife edge flight performance. With my current CG (92mm) there is some noticeable pitch and roll coupling when using full high rate rudder. I used about 7-8 percent rudder to elevator mix and approximately 3-4 percent rudder to aileron mix to get near perfect hands off (at least with the right hand anyway) knife edge flight. The Sukhoi rudder on high rates has excellent authority and is capable of putting the airplane through some nice and large knife edge loops.
Hover - The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m has plenty of power to lock into solid hovers. The APC 12 x 6E prop provides enough airflow over the control surfaces to counter any unwanted torque rolling simply by using coordinated bursts of throttle. Once again due to my CG the nose of the Sukhoi tends to fall forward some but is easily countered with elevator application. Pull-outs from hover are more than adequate but are not rocket like on some overpowered electric airplanes.
Point Rolls - With my knife edge mixing programmed in my JR X9303 my point rolls are really just a joy to fly. These can easily be flown on low rates as the rudder definitely gives enough authority provided you keep the speed up during the point rolls. It's great to see a small parkflyer airplane like the Sukhoi SU-26m capable of flying precision maneuvers as well as 3D aerobatics. I love to fly these from one end of our field to the other. NICE!!
Flat Spins - My Sukhoi SU-26m flies both upright and inverted flat spins equally well. However, with my present CG they will not completely flatten out and look more like what I call IMAC flat spins (45 degrees nose down) than true 3D flat spins (nose almost horizontal). Both upright and inverted flat spins with the Sukhoi SU-26m do require a small amount of throttle to keep the plane locked in.
Knife Edge Spins - NOW THESE ARE FUN!!! I really enjoy taking my Sukhoi SU-26m up and then putting it into a nice tight knife edge spin. The Sukhoi seems to really excel at this maneuver, and I love the way the Sukhoi looks as it's spinning on the way down. Modulating the throttle during the knife edge spin really causes this little Sukhoi to rotate like crazy. LOVE IT!!
Harrier Flight - I must admit that when I first tried to fly my E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m in upright harrier flight I was pretty disappointed. There seemed to be a lot of wing rock, and I seemed to constantly be chasing the plane with the ailerons. However, I've come to realize after putting over 40 flights on my Sukhoi it's all in the technique to get solid, locked-in harriers. The Sukhoi SU-26m requires a fairly high nose up angle of attack (AOA) to minimize and almost eliminate the wing rock in upright harrier flight. When I fly my Sukhoi with a near 45 degrees nose up attitude the plane feels very solid and is easily controlled using rudder, throttle, and a very small amount of aileron. Inverted harriers with my E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m show nearly zero wing rock and are fun to fly really low.
Rolling Circles - Rolling circles with my Sukhoi SU-26m feel and look great. These can be accomplished using all low rates for nice slow coordinated rollers or at the flip of the aileron switch can produce a very quick roller that is sure to keep those fingers busy!! I love practicing these on nearly every flight I have with my Sukhoi.
Walls - I was pleasantly surprised by how well my Sukhoi SU-26m flies full-throttle walls. There was no sign of snapping out during even the most aggressive and demanding walls. I was expecting something to fly off the airplane with some of the walls that I've flown but I have yet to lose any part of the airplane (and that's a good thing) while flying this maneuver.
The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m is not for the beginner r/c pilot. It's a very agile sport/aerobatic airplane that requires a pilot with intermediate flying skills. This would be a great airplane for someone that has mastered the basics, has already flown an aerobatic tail dragger and is looking for an airplane to advance his flying skills.
Overall I'm very pleased with my E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m from the ease of assembly to its great looks and excellent flight performance the Sukhoi SU-26m offers a lot for pilots looking for a great all around aerobatic parkflyer. I've been very impressed with how well my Sukhoi has held up under some rather aggressive flight testing and how the Sukhoi seems to come back asking for more. The recommended power setup is sure to please most any pilot, and the Sukhoi is a great size airplane for most any person that has 3s 2000-2200 mAh lipo batteries available. If you want the ultimate scale look for your Sukhoi the optional wheel pants, dummy engine and pilot bust will surely give your Sukhoi distinction.
I really enjoy this size airplane as they can be transported in most any vehicle with the wings on and their size makes them perfect for flying at most any park making them the perfect everyday airplane. The E-flite Sukhoi SU-26m also offers up excellent precision or 3D aerobatics with a flip of the switch making it a very versatile aerial platform for pilots looking to advance their flying skills.
Joined Sep 2004
It flies great but watch for your tail feather control surface clearances, I've had rudder and elevator lock together under load. When that happens it will simply spin in. It tracks very well though and is very easy to handle.
Great flying on your video.
Not really sure how this one compares to the E-flite 260 (I've never flown one) but I'm sure someone will post here with a good comparison for you.
Joined Sep 2006
Triangular plates on stalks under the ailerons?
This might not be the place to ask this but I have a few questions about the prototype photos.
What are the triangular plates on stalks mounted under the ailerons called?
Also, what is their purpose?
They can be seen on the prototype photographs and I've also seen them on prototype photos of Edge 540's at the Red Bull races.
Also, it seems the prototype Sukhoi and the Edge 540 have clear panels under the belly and (only on the Sukhoi) on the fuse sides below the pilots head. Obviously, these are for better visibility during acrobatic moves but can they be easily modeled? Any ideas in how to model them and what material to use?
You mean on the full-scale photos (although I do like the idea that full-scale models are simply prototype designs for our rc models)?
Can't remember what they are called, but they are a reference to help the pilot nail his horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree lines when compared to the horizon.
Regarding the windows, no reason you couldn't ad some balsa strips with ovals cut in them between the ribs of the fuse and then cut the cover out of the ovals. You could either just leave them open or make some plastic plugs - I'd just leave them open (they can be your cooling holes) if I had to start from scratch.
Great work, Tim! You certainly made it look easy in the video.
It looks like a pretty nice plane. Pretty fast for my 3D tastes, but that's nothing that a bit of prop-switching won't fix. Looks to be well-designed, too.
I also have a thing for the Sukhois. They certainly are a nice departure from the usual suspects at the field.
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