Please rate and comment on this creation. Credit for landing gear and wingtip design goes to Ralph 'Mad Physicist' Savelsberg, Tanker aircraft courtesy of Milos Jovanovic. Links to their pages can be found in the text below.
'The Sukhoi Su-27 (Russian: Сухой Су-27) (NATO reporting name: Flanker) is a twin-engine supermanoeuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth generation fighters, with 3,530-kilometre (1,910 nmi) range, heavy armament, sophisticated avionics and high manoeuvrability. The Su-27 most often flies air superiority missions, but is able to perform almost all combat operations. Complementing the smaller MiG-29, the Su-27's closest US counterpart is the F-15 Eagle.
There are several related developments of the Su-27 design. The Su-30 is a two-seat, dual-role fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. The Su-33 ‘Flanker-D’ is a navy fleet defence interceptor for use on aircraft carriers. Further versions include the side-by-side 2-seat Su-34 ‘Fullback’ strike variant and the Su-35 ‘Flanker-E’ improved air defence fighter.' (Wikipedia, Sukhoi SU-27)
Without doubt, one of the world's finest examples of a LEGO SU-27 was built by the skilled hands of Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist . His many creations have inspired fellow builders (such as your's truly) and will no doubt continue to do so for years to come. Although there are exceptions, the majority of Mad Physicist's aircraft are larger than minifig scale, his Flanker included.
My intention for this model was to incorporate the 'feel' of Ralph's aircraft (in attention to detail, ingenious shaping through advanced techniques and a level of functionality) into my own minifigure compatible model. As such, elements of my design have been influenced by Ralph's designs, including the undercarriage and wingtips (albeit downsized for a smaller scale), so credit goes to him for these innovative construction methods. Despite technically being smaller than true minifig scale (1:50 rather than 1:40), my model includes moveable control surfaces (flaps, stabilators, rudders, fully retractable undercarriage, cannards, dorsal airbrake, opening canopies, extendable refueling probes and arrestor hooks (the latter five features are all model dependant - that is, are fitted if featured on the real aircraft they represent). All aircraft are designed to hold minifigures in an ejector seat design common to all models in the series. Each of these seats is held in place by one stud only, allowing for easy removal.
Enough words, onto the jets...
The SU-27 was the starting point for both Sukhoi and my myself when it comes to the Flanker series. From here, the airframe was modified and upgraded for different purposes, be it maritime operations or air-to-ground attack.
My Flanker is equipped with 6 R-73 'Archer' heatseaking air-to-air missile for short range engagments in an air superiority role and 4 R-27ER1 missiles. It's single nosewheel presented a great challenge for me and was the last fitted to any of my Flankers. The twin wheel on all other variants was pretty straight forward.
I'm still not 100% satisfied with the canopy hinge design and may re-visit at a later date.
SU-30MKI 'Flanker H' and SU-30 MKK 'Flanker G'
The two seater cockpit design was a big headache for me, as I insisted on retaining both a fully retractable nose wheel and the removable ejector seat. On the plus side, more room was avaiable for the opening canopy hinge, which made life easier. The shape and size of aforementioned canopy however, did not, and took quite a while to conquer.
If you're wondering, the aircraft in grey is the MKI, designed for export to india, whereas the one sporting the white-blue-red 'Russian Knights' paint job is the MKK (export model for China). Yes, I know the aerobatics team fly SU-27UB's ('Flanker C'), not MKKs, but I liked the colour and wanted at least one of the twin seaters to have the taller tails.
SU-33 'Flanker D'
The carrier variant and my personal favourite of the series, owing to the part it played in the video game Ace Combat 6. It was these aircraft that hounded me at the hands of enemy aces 'Strigon Team', but also saw me through to victory on my first playthrough. The Estovakian 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron colours are depicted here in the darker version.
Even more of a nightmare than the twin seater SU-30, the tandem cockpit and wide radome for the 'platypus' saw numerous revisions to my model but I'm pretty pleased with the final result, even if it is a tad tall when compared with the vertical stabilisers. The landing gear required a bit of a re-vamp and I'm still not absolutely certain that the main gear has the space to get past the doors mid-deployment, but it's something only real bricks will tell. A cockpit door, galley are and toilet still needs to be cramped in behind the ejector seats, but that's something for later update. At time of writing, I can't say I want to ever see an SU-34 again.
SU-35BM 'Flanker E'
Fans of battlefield 3 will appreciate the color scheme on this one. Or not, as is the case with most players that find themselves in ths crosshairs of one. I'm a rather keen stick jockey on BF3, and at time of writing, am in the top 1% of pilots with regards to Flanker Kills if BF3stats.com is to be believed. As a tribute to the flyboys of the frostbite-engine skies, my model is equipped with the standard 'pro' loadout - Rocket pods, ECM and Air Radar. Well, rocket pods at least, as well as the ever present wingtip R-73 'Adders' and 4 Kh-29T air-to-ground missiles (which just sit there and can't be used!)
SU-37 'Flanker F' or 'Terminator'
Although not going into full production as a combat aircraft, I felt the SU-37 deserved depiction, especially as it is visually pretty similar to the SU-33, making for easy model conversion. The biggest difference is the 2D thrust vectoring exhausts. It took a little thinking, but the solution I've used is pretty simple. On the downside, it is somewhat limited - it can only pivot 12 degrees in either direction, as opposed to 15 degrees on the real aircraft. Still, not bad considering the challenge. Bring on the PAK FA! That's going to be fun...
Fiery death in a wide variety of flavours.
Left to right: ECM pod (D'oh! Okay, the odd one out as it prevents said fiery death, for the pilot at least, allowing him distribute some wrath of his own); KAB-500L-G laser guided bomb; KAB-500Kr electro optical, TV-guided bomb; KAB-1500Kr electro opticalm TV-guided bomb; Kh-29T air-to-surface missile; FFAR rocket pod; R-73 'Archer' short range, air-to-air IR passive homing missile; RVV-AE 'Adder' medium range, air-to-air, radar-guided missile; R-27ET1 'Alamo' medium range, air-to-air IR seeker missile; R-27ER1 'Alamo' medium range, air-to-air, semi-active radar homing missile; Kh-59MK 'Kingbolt' TV-guided cruise missile; Kh-31A/P 'Krypton' air-to-surface, sea-skimming cruise missile; 3M-54E1 'Sizzler' multi-role air-to-surface sea-skimming anti-ship missile.
These images show my SU-33 demonstrating the functionality of the refueling probe. Although my probe is a single joint unit, as opposed to the 2 joint probes on the real thing, the current solution still gives sufficient clearance from the fuselage and looks the part, both retracted and extended. The tanker aircraft is an AIS L-10P 'Soko' , courtesy of Milos Jovanovic , as I currently have no tanker designs of my own... yet (cough - IL-76 WIP - cough -C-130 WIP).
Finally, some pics of the ejection seat used in all of my SU-27 variants.
For more information on the SU-27 series, see here , or to see how the Flanker stacks up against the F/A-18E Super Hornet, click here . This last article features an intersting theoretical encounter between an SU-35S and an F-22, followed by a comparison with the F-35. The 4th Generation Russian Jet doesn't come out too badly against the 5th gen US planes.
If you wish to use this design, including modifying it, please link this page. If building a brick-built model, please leave me a comment or message, as I'd very much like to see how it goes.
Quoting Julius D
I think that the scale is a bit too small for minifig, because length of about 55 studs give a 1:49/1:50 scale, while minifig is closer to 1:42. In Su-30 and Su-34 it is visible,that some proportions are off in cockpit section to fit a figure inside.
You're right, it is 1:50, I think I mentioned it somewhere in the wall of text. The reason in this instance is so that it is still to scale with an F-35 I'm working on, which needs to be as small as possible to be 'compatible' with a larger WIP...
Quoting Julius D
By the way, I can't understand how such work could be one month old and get just 8 likes, people must be blind..
I think this is because of two reasons: I tend not to spam groups with my creations and it's digital, not real bricks. Or it could be, as you say, people being blind =)
Thanks very much for your praise and input, I will certainly look at converting it to 1:42 at some point - which hopefully won't be too painful!
It's one of the most impressive modern aircraft creation in some time in my opinion. You did marvellous job on Flanker family, with great attention to details characteristic for each member of this family. The way you've made canopies on single seat Flankers is very innovative and looks great. Also I love the way how you made canopy for Su-30 MKK/MKI, definitely the best I've seen. I think that the scale is a bit too small for minifig, because length of about 55 studs give a 1:49/1:50 scale, while minifig is closer to 1:42. In Su-30 and Su-34 it is visible,that some proportions are off in cockpit section to fit a figure inside. If you enlarge them to 1:42 scale, they will look even better.Another thing I noticed,is that Su-34 nose seems to be a bit too short. Anyway, I really can't wait too see more aircraft from you. By the way, I can't understand how such work could be one month old and get just 8 likes, people must be blind..