RCU Review: Ultrafly Sukhoi SU-27 ARF

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    Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: December 2005 | Views: 78399 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Ultrafly Su-27

    Review by: Michael Parsons-
    email me

    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone: 800-637-7660
    E-mail: gpinfo@gpmd.com


    In the mid 1970's the Eastern Bloc found themselves at a disadvantage with the introduction of the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. Their answer to that problem was the SU-27 Flanker. A fly by wire, highly maneuverable aircraft that certainly leveled the playing field. Ultrafly has captured the sleek lines, beauty and performance of this fighter jet with their SU-27 ARF.

    Wingspan: 26.4 in (670mm)
    Wing Area: 152 sq in (9.8dm2)
    Weight: 22 oz (620g)
    Length: 35.8 in (910mm)
    Motor: Speed 400 (included) or equivalent brushless

    Requires: 4-channel radio w/3 micro servos, ESC (20A min.), 10-cell NiMH or 3S 11.1V 1200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery, charger

    Equipment Used:
    Ultrafly D/13/32 geared 1.93:1; 7X5 APC "E"
    Ultrafly Typhoon 25a ESC
    3S 2100 Thunderpower
    Futaba 3108 Micro Servos (3)
    Hitec Electron 6
    6" servo extensions (3)

    The sukhoi arrived on my doorstep double boxed and without a scratch. Upon opening the box, I found the contents to be expertly wrapped in plastic and neatly arranged as to avoid damage. The low parts count will surely make this a quick build.


    The canopy is cut along the molded lines and then glued to the hatch. I used 560 canopy glue for this task. Next the secure points and magnets were attached to the hatch using the supplied glue.

    The ply support plate serves two functions; it supports the elevator control rod and serves as a launching handle once the mating ply support piece is installed. Assemble the control rod mechanism as per the instructions and glue it to the support plate. Slide the handle onto the plate and secure with CA. Using the supplied glue, secure it to the bottom of the fuse.

    Separate the Ailerons from the wings and hinge using the supplied paper hinges. Next using a screwdriver, make indention's on the wing and the fuse where they will join. This will allow the epoxy to seep into those holes and form a better bond. This is important so do not deviate! Using epoxy, spread an even coat on the two surfaces to be joined and then hold together until the epoxy sets up. I used 5 minute epoxy and worked on joining one surface at a time. The trick here is to keep the same amount of incidence on both wings. I would have preferred to see some mating nubs between the wings and fuse to help with alignment. There is a small shelf on the fuse for alignment, but it was difficult to keep the wing from sliding around while the epoxy set up.

    The Elevator and Horizontal stabs are both depron. Each surface is formed from two separate pieces that must be joined together. Make an imprint using the elevator wire onto one half of the elevator piece. Apply some glue and sandwich the two halves together around the elevator wire. Some masking tape here helps to keep the pieces from sliding around. Then weigh them down until the glue sets up.

    While the elevators are setting up, glue the two Horizontal stabs/fins together. Those are now glued onto the fuse ensuring they are kept at a 90 degree angle until dry.

    The fiberglass wing spar is slid through the ply brace and then glued into the wing. The amount of rigidity that this provided surprised me.

    Now that the control surfaces are complete, I moved forward with installing the servo's and linking them to the appropriate control surface.With the servo's centered and wrapped in masking tape, they are glued into the wing and fuse. The servo extensions are then routed through pre formed channels in the foam. You will have to bore a hole into the RX area on either side to get the extensions inside the fuse.

    With that done, epoxy the motor stick onto the rear of the ply plate keeping the thrust line @ 0 degrees.

    Final step was to cut and apply the decals. The decals feel like vinyl and go on exactly as indicated and hug those compound curves and steep angles very well.


    I am using 3 Futaba 3108 mini servos and an Ultrafly D/13/32 geared 1.93:1 and a 7x5 APC prop. This is a bit of a hot setup and throttle management must be used. The recommended gearing and what is supplied is 2.38:1. I decided to hang the ESC outside the nacelle and route the battery lead down the bottom of the fuse and then up into the battery compartment. The ESC is velcroed in and the antenna is routed out the back.

    To obtain the correct CG, I had to get the Thunderpower 3S 2100 further into the nose than the stock battery tray allowed. For this, I bent up some wire the width that I needed and installed it into my 100 watt soldering gun. This made short work of hollowing out the compartment. This took about 10 minutes start to finish.

    I set the SU-27 up with 70% expo on the Ailerons and 65% on the Elevator. Dual rates were programmed in as well with the low end being right around 45% and the high rates at 100%. CG was right on the money with the manual's suggestion and throttling up showed the power was there. Tony "The Launcher" Lockhart did the honors of tossing her for me. Upon release and with the throttle around 3/4, the Sukhoi took to the skys with stability and speed. A couple of clicks of up-trim and three clicks of left aileron left me with a plane flying at a good clip and hands off. A few paces at medium speed and then it was time to get on the throttle to see what it could do. Good climbout and a fast roll rate was present. The low high speed passes were fun, but the slow nose up passes turned out to be my favorite. All of that wing area stabilized this plane at any speed, but it become very noticeable while going slow which is great for landings!

    I asked a fellow club mate who is proficient in pusher jets to give it a go. This gave me the opportunity to study it through the lens of my camera and take some photo's. I launched it for him and after a few laps to get a feel for it, he started doing tail slides and cobra's which the Sukhoi is famous for. I was so shocked at the sight of it all, I almost forgot to snap pictures. Upon landing the plane, Mike commented positively on the performance and looks.

    Filming: Tony Lockhart
    Piloting: Michael Parsons/Mike Downey


    From the easy of the build, to the fantastic flight characteristics, this plane is great! There have been only a handful of foam ARF's that I have assembled that have left me with a positive feeling form start to finish. and this is one of them. Ultrafly has done an wonderful job making everything come together to maintain the scale look and feel while not comprimising performance. The SU-27 is a perfect plane for the turn and burn at your local field or slow and easy surveying from above. One word sums it all up....Awesome!

    Great Planes Model Distributors

    P.O. Box 9021 ◊ Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone: 800-637-7660
    E-mail: gpinfo@gpmd.com


    Ultrafly Model

    3002 N. Apollo Drive, Suite #1
    Champaign IL 61822




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