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Papo_60's blog
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 28, 2011 @ 12:25 AM | 12,355 Views
Sky Surfer Motors by Forum Members:

Below is a listing of all the motors that people from the Sky Surfer/Bixler Forum have used or suggested to use on the SkyS/Bixler planes.

1. Turnigy 2627 Brushless Outrunner Motor 4200kv at $9.99
a. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=8144
2. Turnigy 2627 Brushless Outrunner 3800kv at $9.97
a. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=8143
3. MicroDan 2505-2535Kv Outrunner with a 6x4 prop and use your 40A ESC.
a. http://www.gobrushless.com/shop/inde...ref=MDANmotors
4. This is the only inrunner motor upgrade I would do. It is virtually the same as the Turnigy B2835-16 2200 we were referring to from Hobby King.
a. http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...s-Motor/Detail
5. Hobby King has been out of the 2835-2200's , 6X4E Prop & HK 25-30A ESC
a. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=5203 OR
b. http://www.headsuprc.com/servlet/the...s-Motor/Detail & ESC
c. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=6458
6. Turnigty 2835 2700 kv on 3 cell and 6x4 and 6x3 prop. Flew like a rocket but got way too hot.
a. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=4201
7. 2835-3900KV brushless inrunner motor.
a. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=4200
8. E-Flite 6 series 2000kv inrunner ($59.99), 3 cell and 6x4 prop. Love this motor.
a. http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/De...rodID=EFLM2000
9. This motor...Continue Reading
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 28, 2011 @ 12:22 AM | 11,007 Views
Below is a word document that I created while reading the 687+ pages of this SkyS/Bixler forum. It contains most of the content discussed in this forum such as mods, recommendations and experiences of the many members.
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 06:33 PM | 12,080 Views
Sky Surfer Build Log

I ordered my Sky Surfer (SkyS) plane as a KIT from Banana Hobby (BH), knowing that I was taking some chances on weather all the ordered parts would arrive in the shipment. Also having to deal with BH almost non-existent customer service should anything need to be replaced or sent if missing from original shipment. Fortunately, for me, the plane arrived 8 days later with everything in the box & intact. My objective of this build is to add the necessary modifications to help strengthen areas of the SkyS recommended by others, to help ensure the electronics remain cool during flight and to do this with minimal visual changes to the original assembled plane.

What follows are the details of my build along with the additional/new parts that I used for the build and modifications. I also provide the online source where the parts were or can be purchased. I have detailed the mods made to each section of the plane along with the final assembly and test. What remains for me at this time is to complete the maiden flight. I hope to have several videos of the first few flights. I hope that this build log will help other newbie’s, such as myself, in completing the build and desired modifications of their SkyS. I want to thank the large number of great people on the SkyS/Bixler forum under RC Groups. Without their vast knowledge and willingness to share this knowledge with others, this (& many other) build would not have be possible or nearly as
...Continue Reading
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 06:12 PM | 11,779 Views
II. Horizontal Stabilizer (HS) :

Added &/or replaced the following Parts:


Added Carbon Fiber Rod (CF) to the elevator :
  1. I cut a 15 in piece of 1.8mm CF Rod with an exacta knife, putting blue painters tape around the CF rod first.. I measured & marked a line parallel to & 1 inch from the elevator. Using a metal ruler and soldering gun I created a slot, on each side of the foam appendage used to mount the HS to the fuselage, for the CF rod. (By clicking the soldering gun on/off I was able to control the heat to prevent the foam from melting too fast.)
  2. Once the two slots were finished I used the CF rod to drill under & through the foam appendage to connect the two slots I just created with the heat gun.
  3. I used some 5 min epoxy to tack/hold the CF rod in the slot & let dry. I followed up with some GG along the CF rod. As the GG expanded & before it dried, I taped it down with the metal end of my exacta knife. Once the GG completely
...Continue Reading
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 05:54 PM | 12,141 Views
III. Left & Right wing Assemblies:

Added &/or replaced the following Parts:

Added Hinge Tape and Contol Horns to each wing :
  1. The same process was used for mounting the Control Horns and applying the hinge tape as is given under the Vertical Stabilizer section above.

Strengthened 6 mm SPAR :

To strengthen the 6.0mm Carbon Fiber SPAR, a 4.0mm CF Tube was cut to the same length as the 6.0mm SPAR. This CF Tube was coated with 5 min epoxy & inserted into the 6mm SPAR. (To do this I again put the epoxy on some wax paper, wrapped the...Continue Reading
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 05:31 PM | 11,515 Views
IV. Fuselage:

Added &/or replaced the following Parts:

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 05:13 PM | 11,424 Views
Removed unwanted weight from nose of SkyS fuse:
  1. The SkyS fuselage came with the two halves matted & with a 20 gram cylinder weight hidden in the nose. The objective was to remove this cylinder as the weight is not needed when using 2200 mah batteries. The fuselage is held together with double sided tape, it is not glued. Using a slightly heated butter knife (using heat gun) &/or wood wedge (see picture below), I was able to carefully open up the fuse starting at the top front of the cockpit. I worked my way towards the nose of the fuse & then back down the bottom to approximately where the back of the cockpit is located. I used the wood wedge to push/pry open this part of the fuse & expose the metal cylinder. It is glued to one half of the fuse & using some hot water to loosen the glue, I was able to get the cylinder out without any damage to the fuse.
  2. I wanted to be able to use my 1300 mah batteries and move them further forward into the fuse. So I cut way the forward wall of the fuse into the opening where the metal cylinder was located. I made cuts into the wall on each side of the fuse just enough for the battery to fit in with a tight fit. The 1300 mah battery placed into this opening with Velcro on the opposite end, it does not move. Job done.
  3. Glued the fuse back together using 15 min epoxy. Held the fuse together with rubber bands but checked often to make sure everything remained aligned.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 05:10 PM | 11,332 Views
Add 3MM Carbon Fiber Rod to Bottom of Fuse:
  1. Used a metal ruler & soldering gun to create a channel along the bottom middle of the fuse base to hold the 3MM CF rod. Went the entire length from back (where hole is in the foam appendage) to the front just behind the nose. I used the CF rod to drill through the /appendage/mound is at the back of the fuse to just before the hole. This gives a great deal of support for the back end of the CF rod. I had to notch the CF rod where the bend in the fuse is sharpest so that it would lay in the channel.
  2. I used 5 min epoxy to tack the CF Rod down along the channel bottom. I then used GG to fill in the channel along the CF rod. As the GG cures it starts to foam & expand. Before it completely dries I keep tapping it down against the fuse & CF rod. (I used the metal rounded end of my exacta knife to do this.) Once the GG is completely dry I sanded it smooth with the fuselage. Then used white paint over the GG.
  3. When paint dried I applied 2” Strapping tape along the bottom of the fuse, over the nose & back up the top to the canopy. Around the nose area I found that I could make the tape lay flatter buy cutting it in from the sides & allowing the tape to overlap a bit. I followed this same path with the 3M Extreme tape.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 05:06 PM | 11,327 Views
Modified Battery Compartment :
  1. Used 1/16” plywood. I wanted 1300 mah bat to slide along plywood & into hole I just created for it in the previous step. To make the battery platform level with the hole I needed to add Ό” piece of spare foam about 1.5” wide & 6” long to the floor. Then I cut the foam into 2 pieces due to the foam support that is part of the fuselage on the V2 SkyS. Used 15 min epoxy to glue both of these foam pieces onto the battery compartment floor.
  2. I cut out part of the horizontal foam support, found in the V2 fuselage, the width of a 2200 mah battery & to the same depth as the foam pieces I just glued onto the floor in the previous step.
  3. I used a 5” piece Velcro strap (black) to hold the battery in place. So I notched a slot in the added foam just behind the horizontal foam support brace. Made the cut deep & wide enough to place the Velcro under the plywood (added in next step) without causing a bulge in the plywood. Glued the Velcro strap to the foam using 5 min epoxy.
  4. I then cut out a piece of 1/16” plywood 1.5” x 7” . To protect the plywood & give the Velcro something better to grab too, I placed Scotch 2” Strapping Tape on top of it & over the sides. To help hold my batteries, I placed a 5” strip of Velcro on top of the strapping tape/plywood assembly.
  5. I used 5 min epoxy to glue this plywood assembly to the top of the new foam pad & over the black Velcro strap.
  6. You can see the opening for the 1300 mah battery to fit into in the first picture below..

Note: If I had a second chance to place the black Velcro battery strap today, I would put it in front of the foam brace (rather than behind) that comes on the V2 SkyS. It would be harder to wrap it around the battery but would, in my opinion, hold the battery more securely…
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 05:00 PM | 11,316 Views
Added Elevator/Rudder Servos :
  1. Put a piece of 3M packing tape over the bottom & back side of each servo. Put a couple drops of hot glue on the foam fuselage where each servo will rest & slid each servo into place.
  2. Rotate servo to determine center of movement. With the servo centered, place the pushrod in the desired hole location on the servo arm. Then attach the arm to the servo making sure the arm is perpendicular to the servo body.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:56 PM | 11,180 Views
Updated BL Motor wire connectors :
  1. Replaced factory male connectors with 3.5mm gold male connectors. Added 3mm Heat Shrink Tubing to each male connector.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:52 PM | 11,183 Views
Extension wire between motor & ESC:
  1. Measured (12") & cut 1 each Turnigy Pure-Silicone 14AWG, Red, Black & Blue. Applied 3.5mm gold female connectors to one end with 3mm heat shrink tubing to cover. On the opposite end of each wire I soldered 3.5mm male pins to each wire. I inserted each wire into the 3 wire Bullet connector housing.
  2. I fished this three wire cable up from the fuse behind the canopy, through the channel to the motor wires. Pulled each wire out through the opening behind the motor. I placed 4 mm heat shrink tubing over each wire & connected each wire to one of the motor wires. (Blk to Blk, red to red & Blue to yellow). With connectors mated I moved the 4mm HS tubing over the connectors & applied heat. When done I fished the motor wires back through the opening behind the motor while pulling on that particular wire color back at the fuse.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:49 PM | 11,179 Views
Modified Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) :
  1. I soldered 3.5mm 3 wire Bullet-connector with female pins to the three red wires on the ESC that connect to the motor. I then insurted each wire into the 3 wire Bullet connector housing. (Wire position does not matter here, if the motor runs backwards when connected, all you have to do is reverse (turn 180 deg.) one of the two plugs.)
  2. I put 3mm HS tubing over the two wires on the ESC that connect to the battery. Then soldered XT60 male connector to these ESC wires, covered contacts with the HS tubing & applied heat. (I used XT60 connectors as most (by far) of my batteries come from HK & this is the connector that comes on their batteries.)

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:46 PM | 11,170 Views
Built ESC/Receiver Platform :

I wanted the ESC & receiver to be as far forward as possible & out of the way of the rudder, elevator servos & the push rods. I decided to build a platform above the servos using the 2 foam supports for the servos (each side) & the foam base where the aileron push rods come out of the fuse as the floor for by wood platform.
  1. I cut a piece of 1/16” plywood 6” long. The front of the plywood is 2 Ό” wide tapered to 2” wide at the back. This accommodates the taper of the fuse & allows a gap on each side for bottom to top air flow. For same reasons above I covered the top, sides & bottom of plywood with Scotch 2” Strapping tape. I put Velcro on front & back foam supports for the servos & along the back ledge where the pushrods pass through. Then placed the opposite Velcro on the bottom of the plywood to match up with Velcro on the foam.
  2. Placed Velcro on top of plywood, front piece for ESC & back piece for the receiver.
  3. Place ESC on Velcro with battery leads facing forward.
  4. Connect servo wires for rudder & elevator to the receiver. With the servo face-up, the top connector is the signal (white wire) pin, the middle is the plus voltage (red) pin & the bottom pin is for the return (black) wire. Connect the 3 wire servo connector from the ESC to the throttle location on the receiver with white wire up. Last, connect the 6” “Y” servo connector to the aileron pins on the receiver. Double check to be sure the correct polarity for all four cables connected to the receiver are correct. Place receiver with Velcro on the back of the plywood platform.
  5. Feed the ESC/Receiver platform into the back of the fuse and press down to make sure the Velcro is attached securely. Pull the aileron servo connectors up through the opening in the fuse where the wings will attach.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:26 PM | 11,329 Views
Added NACA (Air) Ducts – Front & Back :
  1. I found a set of measuring spoons with the shape I wanted for the inlet/outlet air ducts. After cutting the larger (1/2 Tbls) spoon with the desire shape/opening, I traced it’s outline on the fuse in front of the canopy. I removed some foam along this tracing so the spoon would fit into the cut out.
  2. I also cut a ½” X Ύ” hole into the fuse (into the battery compartment) at the center of spoon layout.
  3. Then using 5 min epoxy, I glued the soon to the fuse.
  4. I repeated this process with the smaller (1 tsp) spoon in the fuse behind the propeller. Hopefully, with these two openings, the electronics will receive enough cooling while the plane is in flight.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:19 PM | 10,979 Views
Keep The Canopy Close to Home :
  1. There have been a few reports that the Canopy has blown off while in flight. Some post suggested attaching string to prevent loosing the canopy. I used Ό” of toothpick, 5 min epoxy & dental Floss to attach the canopy to the fuselage. Using the toothpick, poke a small hole in the middle of the canopy cover, I put a couple drops of 5 min epoxy on the hole and pushed a little dental floss down into the hole. Then pushed the toothpick into the hole, flush to the surface of the canopy & let the glue dry.
  2. Preformed the same procedure at a spot on the side of the fuse, under the canopy location. When the canopy is on, the dental floss is hidden inside the fuse.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:14 PM | 11,290 Views
V. Final Assembly and Test :

Added &/or replaced the following Parts:

• Ό - 20 2inch nylon screw & nut : LHS

Mount empennage to Fuselage:

Note : Due to a GREAT suggestion by Starhopper44 on the SkyS/Bixler forum, I have modified my build log somewhat. This suggestion is to mount the empennage to the fuselage last!! Do all the mods but only complete step 3 below after you have completed all other assemblies including the wings.

The reasoning behind this is there have been a few builds where it was later determined that the horizontal stabilizer (HS) was not lined up correctly or level with the wings of the aircraft. It is possible that this is due to a factory defect (or maybe more likely due to lack of quality control when making either the HS or fuselage.). Starhopper points out the fact that the mounting surfaces for the H-Stab are not mating evenly, i.e. the HS is not level and aligned with the trailing edge of the wings on the SkyS/Bixler.

Starhopper states that this problem has "occurred with enough frequency (what's this, the 5th time?). Another deviation from the manual/instructions, too....in that I'd recommend assembling the tail last, vs what the manual shows (doing it first). It's much more convenient in that it won't be constantly bumping into stuff (possibly damaging) while you're moving everything around during assembly, & you're at a stage where everything comes together preparatory to test gliding, flying, et al. And,...Continue Reading
Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 19, 2011 @ 04:07 PM | 11,157 Views
Complete Clevis for elevator & rudder push rods :

  1. Again I used the clevis/push rod assembly that comes with the Hobby Zone Super Cub. This time I centered the clevis onto the push rod threads. Measured down 2” from base of clevis & cut the two push rods.
  2. Cut 2” pieces of 3MM heat shrink tubing & slid over the SkyS elevator push rod. Applied Gorilla Super Glue to both push rods (Clevis & plane) about 2” down on each. Then slid the HS tubing over these glued parts & applied heat.
  3. I used the same procedure for the push rods for the rudder. However, due to the length of the rudder push rod exiting the tail, it needs to be strengthen somewhat. I used a control horn on the fuse just under the VS. (I did cut this control horn base a little to fit the fuse.) Be sure to slid this control horn onto the rudder push rod first, then the 2” HS tubing. Glue two rods together, slide HS tubing over glued assembly & apply heat. Fasten the clevis to the rudder control horn & slid the cut control horn along the push rod to find the best location to glue it to the fuse to avoid any binding. Glue control horn using 5 min epoxy.

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 14, 2011 @ 09:09 PM | 11,596 Views
Attaching Wings to Fuselage:
  1. Place the Rt wing close to the fuse opening for the wing. Connect the two servo connectors, between aileron servo & receiver. While inserting the wing into the fuse you will need to push the aileron connectors down into the opening that leads down into the fuse. Repeat procedure with Lt wing. Make sure that you push both wings together with enough force to ensure that the wing Velcro makes reliable contact.[/

Posted by Papo_60 | Oct 14, 2011 @ 08:50 PM | 10,807 Views
Complete Binding & Final Testing :

1. Binding : TBD
2. Test motor direction : TBD
3. Range Test : TBD


The SkyS is now ready to add the battery, complete the binding & range test procedures & begin enjoying the fun of flying your SkyS. HTH


Additional Modifications made::
  1. Used plastic colored tape (similar to electrical tape) bought from Wal-Mart. Cut the tape into strips and applied to the wings & HS of the SkyS.
  2. Placed clear plastic packaging tape around the leading edge (LE) of the SkyS wings. This clear tape is almost invisible & offers a far amount of protection to the wings for minor bumps & scrapes. I have used this method on my HZ Super Cub and seen it work.