Interavia 1/72 Sukhoi Su-1
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Sukhoi Su-1 or I-330 (Russian: Сухой Су-1) was a prototype Soviet high-altitude fighter aircraft built at the beginning of World War II. An improved version, designated Su-3 (I-360), was also built and tested the following year. Neither version was mass-produced.
In 1939, Sukhoi was tasked with designing a high-altitude fighter, the resulting Su-1 was a conventional monoplane with a streamlined wooden semi-monocoque fuselage, low-set all-metal wing made of duralumin and un-pressurized cockpit. The key feature of the aircraft was a pair of TK-2 turbochargers driven by exhaust gases from the Klimov M-105P engine. The prototype was completed at the Sukhoi plant in Kharkov in May 1940, flying for the first time, on 15 June 1940, with A.P. Chernyavsky at the controls. Testing continued until 3 August, when Chernavskii mistakenly landed with the landing gear retracted. After the completion of repairs in mid-September, testing resumed, but an in-flight engine failure on 2 October resulted in a dead-stick landing. Limited flight testing continued until April 1941, with the Su-1 reaching a top speed of 641 km/h (345 kn, 400 mph) at 10,000 m (32,810 ft). However, the turbochargers proved unreliable and without them the aircraft was inferior in performance to the Yakovlev Yak-1.
I am one of those people who is a sucker for the unusual. This kit qualifies as such as it represents a one-off prototype. The Soviets/Russians seemed to have done a lot of these sorts of planes, so they are a gold mine for the different.
This particular kit was bought on-line as already started, and so it was. The molding is what I'd call first generation short run. Not there are any resin parts, but the plastic is thick and there is little in the way of crisp detailing. Not surprising is that the lower portion of the wing was short shot. There is no cockpit, just a generic seat in which one plunks a pilot to cover the opening. That's it. No floor, control stick, instrument panel, etc.
The holes for the prop shaft and the slots for the tailplane tabs are flashed over and there is flash on quite a few of the parts. The wings are five pieces, A lower section that covers about 2/3 span, upper halves and the remainder of the lower wing that attaches there. The wing had already been assembled and the lower wing sections had large gaps that you could drive a GAZ into. Main gear wells have some detailing and are very shallow.
This is supposed to be a twin turbocharged airplane, however, the fuselage inserts for where the turbochargers would go are simply flat plates. You get two types of exhaust, one where the collector is smooth and one which has ridges on it. Box shows the smooth ones and the instructions show the other. It is quite probable that the one is for the Su-3, which Interavia also did. Main gear doors will have to be cut for a gear down presentation. The single piece canopy is very thick and rather cloudy, which is probably good thanks to the lack of interior.
Instructions are on two high quality newsprint sheets. One has an exploded view from the upper quarter and is identical on both sides. The second has a lower view and provides generic color info. No decals and no markings were ever carried on this aircraft.
Prior to buying this kit I'd never heard of Interavia. They are not the only ones to do an Su-1 as this kit has been released by Siga. Looking at the quality of the molds, I'd say the Siga kit and this are the same. Apparently it is in the Amodel catalogue as well and I can only hope it is not the same mold. So, if you have built your last Merlin kit and are looking for something to replace it, look no further.
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