Home RC Airplane Reviews Dynam SU-26m Sukhoi RC Airplane Review
Dynam SU-26m Sukhoi RC Airplane Review Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
PoorBest 
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 23:24

History

The Sukhoi Su-26 is a single-seater aerobatics plane from the former Soviet Union, powered by a single radial reciprocating engine. The Su-26 has mid-mounted straight wings and fixed landing gear, the main gear mounted on a solid titanium arc.

The Sukhoi Su-26 made its first flight in June 1984, the original four having a two-bladed prop. The production switched to the Su-26M, with refined tail surfaces and a German-made MTV-9 3-blade composite propeller. Further refinements were made, and the model won both the men's and women's team prizes at the 1986 World Aerobatics Championships. The modified Su-26M3 with the new M9F 430-hp engine dominated the 2003 and 2005 Aerobatic World Championships as well as the 2004 European Championships. The Sukhoi carries a crew of one and has a max takeoff weight of 2,653lbs. The radial engine is capable of pushing the Sukhoi to max speed of 281 mph and service ceiling of 12,120 ft.

Intro

Flying an RC Airplane is fun, there’s no doubt about it. Sometimes it can be frustrating and challenging and in those small moments it can even be a little maddening, but once that airplane is in the air we often feel excited, jittery and happy. Some people are not content to putt-putt around the sky with gliders and slow sticks. No siree, some RC Pilots like to live life on the edge, feel the need for speed and flip their planes around the sky like a gymnast on the parallel bars. The Dynam Sukhoi SU-26m is for pilots that want a gymnastic plane, but does it fill the void?

Kit Contents

I ordered the Sukhoi during one of Nitroplane’s “Big Sales!”. Of course 2 days after ordering and after receiving a shipping number they wrote and said “Oh sorry that plane is out of stock”. They asked if I wanted to cancel my order or wait and after going back and forth about them honoring their discount code and other things I told them to cancel it. TWO months later out of the blue I received an email saying the plane had shipped. Even though they said they could not give me the original discount on the plane, magically they did. I was a tad miffed they didn’t cancel my order when I asked them too but was immediately relieved to see the discount.
    

   

The Dynam Sukhoi came in a large box with all of the parts secure therein. All of the foam and plastic pieces were protected by plastic and extra boxes and there was no major damage except one small corner chunk of a wing that was missing. The kit included the fuselage with servos, decals, esc and motor pre-installed. The wings also came with the aileron servos pre-installed and already attached to the control horns. The landing gear, rudder and elevator were all found in good order within the box. The kit also included a small accessory bag full of glue and screws and a semi-detailed manual. The decal sheet looked like it had been used for trash can basketball but fortunately none of the stickers were ripped, torn or punctured.

 

Assembly

After pulling everything out of the box it was easy to tell that the Dynam 26m assembly was going to be…well...easy! While snapping photos of the different sections of the plane I began pushing the wings in, and then the elevator and rudder and within 3 minutes the Sukhoi was basically together! Of course nothing was secure but I was pleased with how well everything fit together. No ill-fitting pieces or miss-aligned holes.

   

The first step in the assembly was to bring everything down to the workbench where I always start by soldering on deans plugs. I do this right away so I can make sure all of the servos work and are centered BEFORE I put the whole plane together and find there is a problem (more on this later). It is a good practice I have employed over the years.

After getting the deans on and testing the servos I worked on the tail of the plane. The elevator sits on the tail section of the plane and is sandwiched by the rudder which is then held down tight by two screws from the bottom of the plane. This is an excellent design and one I have seen more of on recent planes from all different manufacturers. Everything is secure with the design and there is no gluing needed. Dynam doesn’t like to use the standard clevis on their planes but instead opt for a screw down post that I have mixed feelings about. For assembly their design is nice, but one must make sure things are tight (without stripping!). For the post that screws into the control horn I always use blue Loctite to keep the nut on the backside of the post. It would be tragic of the post flew off in flight on the elevator. Once the elevator was secure I repeated the same steps for the rudder.

   

   

With the tail tight and ready to rock I pushed the included wing spar through the fuselage and slid on each wing. The wings are a tight fit and take some shimmying once they enter the fuselage but tight is good when it comes to wings. The wings secure to the fuselage with 4 metal screws that give me the feeling they won’t be detaching from the fuse anytime soon.

    

After the wings were done and hooked up to the receiver I flipped the plane over and installed the landing gear. The landing gear plate is covered by a semi-round cover and I had to use a hobby knife to pry the cover off. It was a bit sticky with tape to keep it in place so be careful not to rip or break it off! The gear is held on by two screws which seem ok but the arch and springy-ness of the gear seems to take the brunt of the landing force.

   

With nearly everything done I spun on the back plate, propeller, nut and spinner. The plane was completely done (sans decals) and so I set her on the ground to see how she taxied. I spun up the prop and she sounded great but wasn’t moving forward. I added in more throttle until the plane suddenly lurched backwards. It seems the prop was spinning the wrong way!

I took the nose apart and discovered that Dynam may or may not have color blind people working for them. I swapped the motor wires and it instantly fixed the problem. I had to laugh because it is always important to check these sorts of things before you have everything secured!

   

The final touches to the assembly were to put on the remaining decals. The stickers were plastic, thick and very easy to apply.

Features

The Dynam Sukhoi Su-26M features a 47” wingspan and a 45” overall length. The Sukhoi is powered by a 650KV brushless motor that swings a 13x6 prop that produces 567 watts of power at 38 amps. A 50 amp ESC controls all parts of the plane including the (2) 9g aileron servos and the (2) 17g rudder and elevator servos. The Sukhoi runs on a standard 2200-2650mah 4S battery and weighs in around 46oz.

The design of the plane is super clean and straight. I chose the red and white version as I felt it was less obnoxious and easier to see. The top of the plane is accented by black and red decals while the bottom of the craft is left alone with plain ol’ white Styrofoam. I know some pilots will want to paint the bottom but I like it left clean. When I see the white I know I’m flying right, when I see the red it means “DANGER YOU ARE INVERTED!”. To each his own….

The canopy snaps shut with a strong magnet and the battery can be positioned in several places depending on the flying characteristics of the pilot. If you do place the battery deep into the nose make sure to stuff some foam or something light and soft (no kittens!) behind the battery so it doesn’t flop around and change your CG.

   

First Flight

The weather was practically perfect the morning of the first flight. I loaded up all the gear and my lovely assistant and was greeted to beautiful sunshine at the field. I double checked all the parts of the plane and measured the CG at 80mm which was a tad farther forward than the manual suggested. I was ok with this as these manuals tend to set the CG too far aft and aerobatic planes like the Sukhoi are able to have their CG adjusted depending on the type of flying that is desired. In addition I dialed down the throws to 80% and put in about 20% expo to keep the plane a little less touchy in the air.

All surfaces were flush when I placed the Sukhoi on the tarmac. I throttled the plane to ¾ throttle and she taxied freely down the runway. Only a small touch of elevator was needed to bring the nose of the bird up and she soared up into the air as smooth as a jetliner. She kept slightly soaring until I fed in some down trim to even things out. Other than a little down trim the plane flew straight and true.

   

It only took a few laps around the sky before I felt comfortable enough with the Sukhoi to put her through the paces. I tested out the roll rate which was crisp without feeling like a blender and found that loops could be very tight without loss of control. The SU-26m felt great and maintained a healthy balance between stability and all out trickery.

I knife-edged, inverted, spun and hovered for approximately 5 minutes before the timer on my DX7 rang. I wasn’t quite ready to land so I swooped down towards the ground and tested out the Sukhoi’s ability to do a touch and go. I was thrilled the plane glided swiftly towards the ground and with the large protruding landing gear I had no problem touching them down towards the ground before lifting off again. When it came time to land I lined her up with the runway and slowly pulled back on the throttle until the wheels were on the ground. After a short 5 minute flight the cells of my 4S battery ready an even 3.90 meaning there was plenty of juice to go for at least 2 more minutes.

Flight Characteristics

The Dynam SU-26m Sukhoi has excellent flight characteristics. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the other Dynam aerobatic plane I reviewed a year ago. In fact it is hard to believe the two planes came from the same company. The Sukhoi has excellent power, but not endless vertical or speed that will burn your eyelids. The plane can definitely hover and twist and turn with most everything you throw at it. I ‘built’ the plane so the clevises were in the middle hole on all of the control surfaces. With these settings and a small amount of expo I was very pleased with the plane’s responsiveness. The Sukhoi holds a knife-edge easily and can spin to the ground ferociously. I was most impressed with the SU-26m’s ability to fly inverted. It was nearly perfectly balanced.

   

I stalled the Sukhoi several times and felt the stall speed was acceptable. When the plane stalled the nose dipped to gather more speed and with full elevator on, the plane floats towards the ground with ever increasing wing rock. Nothing too surprising and really quite docile given the type of aircraft it is.

Perhaps the sweetest thing about the Sukhoi is the fact that although it can be flown like a banshee, it doesn’t need to be, nor does it demand it. The plane is quite comfortable being a cream puff in the air.

Takeoffs and Landings

The Dynam Sukhoi is a smooth plane to take off. The plane wants to be flown and each time I brought her from the ground she needed only the smallest amount of elevator to coax her up. Once airborne I kept the same position on the elevator stick to bring the plane higher and higher. Of course if turnin’ and burnin’ is your thing the plane can definitely handle that as well. This Sukhoi can be airborne and vertical in less than 10 feet if that is the pilot’s desire.

   

Despite being a wild beast in the air, the Dynam Sukhoi is easier to land than most tail-dragging aircraft. The landing gear is huge although the wheels are too small for grass landings. On approach the Sukhoi settles in quite nicely. Bring the plane in low and pull the throttle back until the wheels touch. If you don’t like to fly with expo it is a good idea to have some in reserve on a switch to make your landings so much softer.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

It is definitely not for beginners. Yes the plane can be toned way down, but there is still too much speed and non-correcting tendencies for a beginner to handle.

Conclusion

The Dynam Sukhoi is a simple plane that tries not to over complicate things. It is a plane built for fun, maneuverable flying and it does it well. It’s not as powerful as other brand name “Carbon-Z” foamies but it is ¼ of the price. The plane is nearly perfectly balanced and is pure fun to fly. The kit comes 90% assembled and with a street price of $130 what’s not to like?! I am thoroughly impressed with this plane and with Dynam for continuing to step it up a notch. Other brand name manufacturers are also stepping it up but so are their prices. Dynam’s airplanes get better and better but their prices have stayed nearly the same. My hats off to them. This plane makes an excellent addition to the hangar and with the strong build and affordable price it would be an great first plane for aerobatics and 3D.

GRADE: A-

Pros

  • Packaged Well
  • Plenty of power
  • Very well balanced
  • Excellent price point!
  • Maneuverable

Neutrals

  • Need some foam or stuffing to keep the battery forward (if you place the battery in front of the supplied Velcro strip
  • Military Pilot in a Civilian aircraft

Cons

  • None Noted

 

 Media and FLIGHT Time!

   

   

   

 



 
Copyright © 2017 rcairplanereviews.com. All Rights Reserved.
 

Helpful Links

What is your favorite type of RC airplane to fly?

What is your favorite type of RC airplane to fly?