• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

FTFC19 MiG-37B Ferret-E designed by Craftydan

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#1
************************************<TRANSLATION BEGIN>*************************
[TITLE: ORDERS FOR -REDACTED- FACILITY]
[INITIATE TRANSCRIPTION]
[RECORDING 11735: INSPECTION OF -REDACTED-, MIKOYAN AND GUREVICH DESIGN BUREAU
ADVANCED RESEARCH FACILITY, -REDACTED- RUSSIAN SOVIET FEDERITIVE SOCIALIST
REPUBLIC, FEBRUARY 29, 1987]
[TRANSCRIBER COMMENT: REDACTIONS MADE FOR STATE SECURITY ON AUTHORITY OF CENTRAL
PARTY.]

[VOICE 1: -REDACTED-, FACILITY LEAD ENGINEER]
[VOICE 2: -REDACTED-, PARTY INSPECTOR GENERAL]
[INITIATE RECORDING]
<VOICE 1>: [EXCITED] WELCOME! WELCOME! -REDACTED-! COME IN OUT OF THE COLD!
THERE, LET'S BRUSH OFF THAT SNOW. I HAVE SOME FINE VODKA BACK IN MY
OFFICE, BUT FOR NOW, HERE IS SOME TEA TO WARM YOU UP! I HOPE YOUR TRIP IN
FROM -REDACTED- WAS SMOOTH?

<VOICE 2>: [GRUMBLES] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: [PATRONIZING] I'M SURE THE DRIVER DID AS WELL AS HE COULD. WE ARE
VERY FAR BACK IN THE <UNINTELLIGIBLE> HERE AND THE ROADS CAN BE ROUGH. BUT I THINK
WHAT YOU WILL SEE WILL MAKE THIS ALL WORTH IT

<VOICE 2>: [GRUMBLES] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: I HAVE NO DOUBT -REDACTED- FEELS THAT WAY. IT SOUNDS LIKE SCIENCE
FICTION, BUT THESE CLEVER CAPITALISTS OF THE WEST HAVE MET THEIR MATCH ON
THIS, AND HE WILL BE PLEASED WITH OUR RESULTS. RIGHT THIS WAY.

<VOICE 2>: [GUARDED] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: [SURPRISED] EXPENSIVE? GLORIOUS VICTORY IS ALWAYS WORTH THE PRICE!
AND WHEN WE FLY STRAIGHT INTO THE HEART OF THE BEAST COMPLETELY UNSEEN,THEY
WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT JOIN OUR GLORIOUS REVOLUTION! AH, HERE IT IS! I
PRESENT TO YOU, THE MIG-37 FERRET!

<VOICE 2>: [DISGUST] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: [SURPRISED] OF COURSE IT WILL FLY! THIS IS THE MOST ADVANCED DESIGN
FROM THE MIKOYAN AND GUREVICH BUREAU! THIS IS NO <UNINTELLIGIBLE> DESIGN
LIKE YOU'D SEE FROM SUKHOI! IT WAS DESIGNED NOT JUST TO OUTFLY OUR
ENEMY'S BEST, BUT TO REMAIN UNSEEN BY EVEN OUR SUPERIOR RADARS, LET ALONE
THEIR INFERIOR POORLY MAINTAINED EQUIPMENT!

<VOICE 2>: [SKEPTICAL] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: [ENTHUSIASTIC] NATURALLY, MORE NIMBLE, BUT ALSO FASTER AND ALL THE
WHILE INVISIBLE TO THEIR GUIDANCE. WE COULD TELL THEM WE WERE COMING AND
STILL BE UNTOUCHABLE.

<VOICE 2>: [QUESTIONING] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: COMRAD, YOU HAVE A GOOD EYE FOR AERODYNAMICS! YES, IT APPEARS VERY
UNSTABLE, BUT WITH OUR ADVANCED AVIONICS, THE PILOT WILL TELL THE ONBOARD
CONTROLLER WHERE TO GO AND IT WILL KEEP THE PLANE STABLE FOR HIM. I TELL
YOU THE FIRST STRIKE WILL BREAK THE STUBBORNNESS OF OUR ENEMY AND WE WILL
CONTINUE TO VICTORY AS LONG AS WE CAN KEEP THESE FLYING!

<VOICE 2>: [GUARDED] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: [CAUTIOUS] OF COURSE, THIS IS OUR MOST GUARDED SECRET. WHY DO YOU ASK?
ONLY THE ENGINEERS AND WORKMEN HERE KNOW OF IT'S EXISTENCE.

<VOICE 2>: [ACCUSATIONAL] -REDACTED-

<VOICE 1>: [FRIGHTENED] SPIES? NO! NOT HERE AMONG US! I'M SURE THAT MODEL
BUILDER SAW NOTHING FROM HERE BEFORE HE DEFECTED. I CANNOT BELIEVE ONE OF
OUR PEOPLE WOULD EVER SHARE WHAT WE HAVE HERE!
[COMPLETE RECORDING]
[COMPLETE TRANSCRIPTION]

INSPECTOR -REDACTED- BELIEVES RECORDING SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. RECOMMENDS GULAG
REASSIGNMENT FOR ENTIRE FACILITY STAFF AND DESTRUCTION OF -REDACTED-
FACILITY. RECORDS OF -REDACTED- FACILITY SHOULD BE REMOVED TO AID DENIAL.

RECOMMENDATIONS APPROVED, ON THE ORDER OF -REDACTED-

*************************************<TRANSLATION END>**************************
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#2
So in the mid 1980's, the cold war was at it's peak with no end in sight, and Testors, being ever vigilant to rumblings and slips and rumors of "new" aircraft in the world, latched on to a big one. There were programs of record for the F-14, -15, -16, -17(which later became the F-18), -18 . . . and -20. They weren't the first to miss this, but too many slips had been made about a "Stealth" aircraft, that the Soviets -- who were incredibly good at RADAR -- wouldn't be able to spot. Knowing the big players and planes that were around, they placed their bet on the Skunkworks, and reshaped the weird chine of and dorsal fins the SR-71 into a shorter single seat fighter, and released the F-19 Stealth Fighter kit onto the open market:

img_6712-1.jpg

Cool model, that from Ben Rich's reports, forced a Lockheed exec to testify before congress about leaks, and has been claimed to be the best selling plastic model kit of all time . . . and for any success, there must be a sequel, and every hero, a villain. The next year, Testors released:

img_6717-1.jpg

Their notion of what the Soviet counter to our F-19 would be. Very buck-toothed, and boxy. Very Russian in feel. Weird V-tail and angular, it resembles more a cross between the real F-117 and YF-23 . . . neither of which would be seen by the public for several years.

In the end, after the cold war was over and the secrets were made public, the F-19 designation was skipped at the request of Northrop to skip the "odd" designation, since those were typically given to soviet craft, and while it hailed the same shop and team that built the SR-71, the real "Stealth Fighter" and earlier HAVE BLUE was nothing like it . . . and the Soviets had no interest in developing low-observability airframes -- so much so, they literally publicly published the science behind the success of HAVE BLUE. The MiG-37, as cool as it was, was total Fantasy.

So that's what brings us here -- As an entry to the 2019 Fantasy Aircraft Design & Build Challenge! I'd like to invite you into my own private Skunkworks, as I reveal my secret project of this winter. Over the next few days I'll step through my design, some cheesecakes of the build, and the maiden of the first prototype. Over the coming weeks, I'll step through the next few iterations, publish the plans and build instructions (video? maybe.), and answer questions along the way.

Welcome along for the ride. it's gonna be fun :)
 
Last edited:

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#3
Design:

As always, the project begins on a google search. Despite the age of the model (over 31 years ago), and it's relitively lower popularity to the F-19, there's a lot out there on the MiG-37. A handful of model pics from proud models in the past few years, old box-art and ebay pics of kits, a few paint scheme layouts, an open-source sketchup model of moderate quality, and even a patent application from Testors filed in 1987. Plenty to work from.

Since I design mostly in sketchup -- easy to get the rough details as you like it, though a bear to extract outputs -- I figgured I'd start with that:

MiG37b1.jpg


Pretty model, does a fair job of capturing the shape, though the nose is all wrong. I then burned a week of fruitless evenings trying to simplify this model to something easy to build. This leads me back to an old observation around modeling -- until you understand the shape you want, you'll never get there. The extra details and curves and facets on this model made this far harder to develop around than simply extruding the shape from the 3-views, however being able to rotate and move the shape in 3-space allowed me to grasp the rough shape and develop a plan:
  1. the build must be simple -- as many and as large flat surfaces as I can make.
  2. while the actual shape is more complex, the top can be formed by two flat plates as extensions of the wings off the top of the fuselage -- excluding a spine and cockpit.
  3. the tail is an extension of the side's angle, so carry that through almost into the nose section.
  4. the cockpit and nose can be an add-on section.
  5. scale ducts are through the top of the airframe -- cute detail, but may need to be sacrificed for airflow.
  6. looking at the surfaces, we may need 6 channels of control -- Throttle, 2 ailerons, elevator (from the beaver-tail), and 2 rudder/v-tail. Mixing will get . . . interesting.
  7. power source *could* be EDF or Prop-in-slot. The beaver-tail will complicate pusher prop.
  8. "Scale" Airfoil for a plane of this type would be thin and symmetrical. For our purposes, we'll stick to the flat plate . . . at least for the first prototype.
  9. SOOOOOOOO much anhedral. Will it be roll-unstable? consider a stabilizer . . . but how do we get that with all the mixing?
So what next? After that, it sat for two months ignored. The existing model was useless for simplifying, there was a trip to FFTX, all the holidays . . . and then I caught a cold . . . and stuck at home, I pulled up a set of 3-views and dug-in once more. The 3-views I selected were:

mig_37_ferret_e__camo_b_by_bagera3005_d2z9130-pre.jpg

A fair set with good views from all sides. match-up between the views wasn't bad, and despite the coloring, the primary points were easy to spot. Pulled the image into sketchup, segmented out the portions I needed, then lined them up in three-space on a common point -- the lower tip of the nose:

MiG37b2.jpg

From here, critical points can be found by running construction lines off the three views, complex curves (like the wingtips) can be traced and projected to the desired angles, and the overall shape can be set. a short afternoon of sketching and we have:

MiG37b3.jpg

the rear fuselage and wing are two co-planer plates, with a bit of curl down at the shoulders. the sides are co-planer with the tail with a bit of curl in-and-up at the shoulder. The belly is flat from cockpit-to-beaver-tail, and the nose is a complex mess, but all flat.

Here, I made the decision that at least the first version would be a prop-in-slot, so the spine was cut short a bit past the shoulder and a 1"slot was inserted in the top:

MiG37b4.jpg

So we're getting to a sexy airplane! Now to make it buildable . . .

First, we need to get a sense of scale -- primarily because that slot will have to fit a real prop and those wings will need to be cut from a 20x30" sheet. to do this, I copied off one of the halves of the wing top, flattened it and then created a 20x30" square around it. scale up the model until it fits with a comfortable margin, and re-scale all the models by that much. This gave me a 23" span -- feels about right -- and looking at the slot, this gives room for a 5" prop. small . . . but with a hot motor, should be doable.

For airflow, something's got to give. Upper vents won't give the airflow I need for that prop, so the lower portions of the shoulder will be opened -- not scale, but it won't look bad. While I was at it, added in a prop and motor (for 5" I set a notional motor as D2826-6 -- a 2200kv motor more than capable of +300W). after centering the motor in the fuse, the prop nicked the bottom, so a matching slot was cut there as well.

For the nose . . . Simplify. the silhouette of the nose was taken, and extruded out to make a blocky profile nose. nowhere near as pretty, but has the same feel. old nose off, new nose on, and shoulders extended out to connect.

Finally the hard part -- extruding out the flat plates by 5mm to set the gaps and bevels and fill in any holes . . . and we have:

MiG37b5.jpg

From here on out, it's fine details. Added in tab/slots between the top and bottom, added in servo slots on the sides (4 total -- beaver-tail elevator was abandoned for strictly V-tail surfaces) cut control surfaces and clearance notches (1.5" ailerons, HEAUGE V-tails, with 25% horn balancers, and 1mm clearance notches), created a former for the shoulder along the side-cheek, a rear support in the tail to help hold shape, and work out the jigsaw-puzzle-like patchwork among the parts in the nose.

MiG37b6.jpg


That being done, we have a buildable model! Each part was extracted using copy-paste, and the parts were flattened, and added to one of three sheets, add on a scale, render and off to the printers!!!

MiG37b7.jpg

Next comes the build! A few pics and mostly notes about the process, but it's fun seeing plans become real!

Edit: V2 PLANS ATTACHED!!!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#4
Build:

So after all the screen caps of the design, the build . . . well it got built. I'm thinking the second iteration will have a better photolog, but for now, we'll just describe the general process with what I do have.

Naturally, start off with a print. Since I'm cheap, and there's so much symmetry in this model, everything except the nose and rear support are split left/right, so they got put on separate sheets . . . so I would only have to print one of them. so back from the printer with the nose and left side, I rough-cut, 3m-77'ed to posterboard sheets, and close cut. transfer to three sheets of foamboard, scribble on details and draw lines, and time to cut.

And what do we do with a fully cut kit?

Dry fit ;)

20190117_150837.jpg

Looks like everything fits, so on with the build!

Next we build the nose (it's integral to the bottom plate, and makes folding up the sides better). easy-peasy. bevel in the sharper turns of the center strip, precrease the shallower turns, B-folds for the sides, and glue in the strip sections one at a time. the canopy hatch is the front windshield, so bevel and glue-treat the hinge. After that, add on the formers to the side cheeks. It's got a slightly complicated right-hand bend, but I'll go through that in the V2 build. Glue those in place, and we're ready to start on the bottom.

The bottom half of the fuse starts by cracking the line between the bottom and side, then single-beveling the line. you can cut and bevel the V-tail hinges at this point, but I skipped this -- you can get to the hinge later, and it's just as easy to bevel then. for now keeping that surface whole makes folding easier. Tape the two sides together on the bottom side, then run a bead of glue and tape over that as well. Next glue the nose in the slot it belongs. We then temporary tape in two shapers that set the angles for the interior fuselage -- one just behind the slot, one just behind the rear servo. This is the gauge we will fold the sides up to. Dry-bend the side, the n fill the seam with glue and hold the side back up to the shapers to set the bottom angle. pull out the shapers and install the center support . . . and the bottom and sides are done!

Next, while the top is still off is the best time to install the electronics. you can do it later (and I did), but you'll regret it (and I do). I found you cna mount the RX in the belly and run the servos straight, then all you need is a single extension to the ESC in the nose. we'll see how I sort it out in the V2 . . .

Finally, the top. For each side, I first installed a 1x4mm CF strip in the wing, starting on the back edge of the slot. cut a straight line out and slip it in place. in V2, this will be replaced with a BBQ skewer. Next, bevel one side along the middle joint, then tape the sides together on the outside edge. glue in the center seam, and use a dihedral gage to hold up the wingtip to the right angle. easy-peasy. I then cut the V-tail, fold it back, then use the extra space it creates to slip the top into the nose and down onto the sides. tabs go into slots and glue the seams.

cut and bevel any remaining surfaces, glue treat, install horns and linkages, add on velcro in the nose . . . and Viola!

20190118_222736.jpg

yeah, the build for the next iteration will have more pictures . . . but she's ready to fly!!!
 
Last edited:

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#5
Maiden:

And finally, I stop teasing . . .


. . . and she shows promise, after a few "flights" . . . and it does fly!

008.JPG

My analysis:
  • way too much throw. after dialing it back I need to build gauges for the current amounts.
  • reenforcement on the wing needs to be a little farther out.
  • MORE POWAH (next flight will have one more prop blade, one more cell)
  • Stabilizer is unnecessary. In high alpha she dutch-rolls strongly, but stays fully under control the whole time.
  • Wing could use some foil -- next flying session I'll droop the first inch of the LE and ailerons to create camber (probably about 5mm).
Next flying session I'll try out the power and airfoil adjustments, and perhaps adjust CG. I've already tweaked the plans a bit . . . next is to try out an EDF!
 
Last edited:

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
#9
Well that's an interesting intro... I'm in. Definitely a sci-fi looking bird...

<---- waits patiently
 

JTarmstr

Well-known member
#19
Ok thats it, i'm setting aside the coming weekend for my jet, this needs a fighter to dogfight it. Fantastic build! How does it handle? Also quick question, was that a F pack?