The Su-26, the first in the line of Sukhoi aerobatic aircraft, got its start in 1983. It was then that a company design team took on the challenges of developing an aircraft to meet the standards proposed by the Soviet Union.
The new aircraft needed to have an airframe that could withstand high G maneuvers, yet be light enough to perform effectively. The wings and tail feathers would be enhanced for maximum maneuverability.
Pilots from the Soviet National Aerobatic Team, and experienced sports pilots, gave their input with regards to what they would like to see in the new Su-26 aircraft.
The Su-26 first took to the sky on June 30, 1984. Pilots appreciated the excellent all around view from the cockpit and were impressed by its fast roll rate. It, and all further Sukhoi aerobatic aircraft, would be able to maneuver at +12 to -10 times the force of gravity.
In competition with other aircraft of its class, it was soon realized that the overall weight of the Su-26 needed to be reduced. New space age composites, a new wing planform, and redesigned tail feathers are incorporated into the new aircraft. A special seat is designed for the pilot. It is made to provide complete support under the high G loads the aircraft is able to generate. The seat is reclined rearward at a 35 degree angle. The aircraft wing root is more aerodynamically blended into the fuselage and rudder throw increased.
The Su-26 is the first airplane of its type to make such extensive use of space age composites. The results is an aircraft with an airframe that can withstand over 22 times the force of gravity in static tests. Its air frame is now lighter than any competing aerobatic aircraft.
Three Su-26 aircraft competed against some 70 pilots from 16 nations in the 1986 World Aerobatic Competition that took place in Great Britain. The Su-26 took first place and won almost half of the events.
The Su-26 was displayed at the 1987 Paris Air Show. It generated such enthusiasm that Sukhoi decided to manufacture a production version. The first four production aircraft were completed in late 1989.The production aircraft were about 66 lbs. lighter than their predecessor. They had fuselage and wing enhancements for better aerodynamics, and additional air flow to the engine.
The first Su-26 production aircraft flew in public at an air show in the United States in mid 1988. In 1989 the aircraft was again shown in the U.S.A. at the EAA AirVenture. The first of 25 aircraft destined for the country was delivered in March of 1990.
A total of some 168 Sukhoi aerobatic aircraft of all types have been built. Of these, 141 were delivered outside of Russia.
Hangar 9’s RC Su-26 is made from balsawood and ply. It has a 122 in. wingspan and a length of 98 in. while weighing about 42 lbs. Power can come from 150cc to 170cc engines.
Not shown from Hangar 9 is the RC Su-26 with a wingspan of 97 in., length of 91 in. and weight of about 24 lbs. It needs from a 58cc to 85cc gas engine for power.
Dynam has a RC Su-26 that is plug and play (PNP). Its wingspan is 47 in. and length is 46 in. Power comes from a 3720 size 650 kV motor. All up weight is about 46 oz.
The Black Horse Model RC Su-26 comes almost ready to fly (ARF). It is of all wood construction with a 68 in. wingspan and 64 in. length. You will need from a 30 to 33 cc gas engine to pull its approximate12 lbs. of weight.