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Old Feb 09, 2015, 09:30 AM
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Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon morphed from an FMS Mirage 4000

The following is a description on how a Sukhoi-15 was morphed from a 70 mm EDF FMS Mirage 4000. However, before getting into the building instructions, I would like to give a brief description of the Su-15 twin-engined interceptor.

The Sukhoi Su-15 bearing the NATO designation “Flagon” was one of the last interceptors developed by the Soviet Union during the 1960s Cold War. The Flagon represents a natural evolution of its two predecessors, the Sukhoi Su-11 and Sukhoi Su-9 which were becoming obsolete as NATO introduced newer and more capable strategic bombers. More information on the Su-9/11 is available on my previous RCGroups thread at:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2332605.

The Su-15 made use of a large proportion of components from these aircraft, the wings and tail of the Su-15 are almost completely unchanged from those of the Su-9/11, although it was fitted with two Tumansky turbojet engines and a more advanced radar. Take-off and landing speeds were extremely high, with a take-off speed of 247 mph for early delta-winged 'Flagon-A'. Later versions had a larger, “kinked” wing which would reduce the takeoff and landing speeds. Maximum speed was Mach 2.5.

The Flagon usually carried four R-98 missiles (two infrared and two radar homing), and standard practice was to fire the IR homing missile first because the IR missile had a nasty tendency to lock on and go chasing after the radar homing missile instead of its intended target. It established notoriety by shooting down Korean Air Flight 007 after it strayed in Soviet restricted airspace, killing all 269 passengers and crew.

Without question, the Su-15 Flagon is a stunningly good looking airplane. Yet it has none of the warm and cuddly feeling of your grandmother’s F-9F Panther, nor the sex-appeal of an F-14 Tomcat. Quite the contrary, it has a steely, sinister look shaped by cold-war prejudice, which is justly matched by its infamous reputation. If it were human, the Flagon would feel more at ease smoking stale cigarettes in a dingy KGB office than living it up in an Irish pub. And if it were able to make love, it would jump in bed, have quick sex, get dressed and walk out of the house without a word, oblivious to the enraged girl throwing an empty bottle of Vodka at him from the window screaming “Bastard!!” But I think I’m getting a bit carried away… so where was I? Oh yes, building instructions!
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Last edited by Hadatom; Jul 20, 2015 at 02:30 PM.
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Old Feb 09, 2015, 09:34 AM
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Building instructions

I do not have the time nor the patience to build a Su-15 Flagon from scratch so I figured the only other solution was to find a model which I could somehow modify to make it look like a Flagon. I looked at dozens of EDF models but none came close to anything that resembles the Su-15 until I came across the FMS Mirage 4000. I took measurements, did some calculations and figured out that it would be possible to transform it into a Flagon without too much work. The only trouble was…the model was discontinued and no one seemed to carry it anymore. Then, I remembered that the local hobby shop had on sale an FMS Mirage 4000 hanging from the ceiling. It was not in very good shape so I bargained the price and carried home my trophy which was to undergo extensive plastic surgery.

One of the most important considerations is that the Su-15 wing is tiny and I would have to increase its size to make the model airworthy. The Mirage wing was quite large and had to be sliced crosswise and the center section removed. The remaining back part of the wing was then glued to the front section. However, the relative wing thickness of each part was no longer the same; the trailing edge of the front section was now thicker by about 5 mm than the leading edge of the back section so I had to carefully slice off a thin wedge of the front section using a saw blade in order to have the same thickness as the back section. This was followed by sanding of the top and bottom of the wing and filling gaps with light putty. A modification to the wing to match the Flagon “kinked” wing was made using a foam insert ( see picture). The wings were covered with aluminum monokote trim and painted over.

The rounded Mirage air inlets were removed and replaced by square inlets fashioned from foam taken from the discarded wing section.

The vertical fin was reshaped with an Exacto blade and sanded to shape.

The horizontal tail section was scavenged from my defunct 64 mm F-4D Skyray.

The canopy is a Freewing F9F Panther canopy ordered from RC Castle.

The extended nose section was fashioned out of a two Liter soda pop bottle with a plastic Perrier bottle in front. The nose cone was made out of a simple rolled up paper sheet stiffened with Monokote trim. Wing fences were made of thin plastic. A cheater hole was cut out under the center section.

The original FMS retracts which were in bad shape, were replaced by HK servoless retracts for small models.
Exhaust tailpipes were extended using styrofoam cups.

The model was pre-painted with Humbrol #11 silver paint followed by sanding in order to remove imperfections in the foam, light putty was also used. Wherever imperfections persisted, I would apply additional coats of Humbrol paint and sanded until perfectly smooth. The final painting was made using Tremclad aluminum spray paint, in very light coats, sprayed at a distance of 30 inches to avoid melting the foam. This allows the propane in the paint to evaporate before touching the foam.

Specifications:

Power system: 70 mm 10 blade Change Sun fan, ESC: 60A Battery: 1550 mAh 6 cell
Length: 49.5 cm
Width: 31.5 cm
Weight: 900 gm (W/O battery)
Power to weight ratio: Over 1:1 static thrust
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Last edited by Hadatom; Jul 20, 2015 at 02:25 PM.
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Old Feb 09, 2015, 09:53 AM
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That's cool. But you are missing the Russian standard bottle for your kitty's Moscow Mule. So I will supply it for you here. I hope it flys as good as it looks.
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Old Feb 09, 2015, 09:56 AM
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That's the same one that was thrown out the window!
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Old Feb 09, 2015, 10:19 AM
Gregertman is offline
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That's after you finished it I hope.
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