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Old Dec 13, 2013, 09:00 PM
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Bajora's Avatar
Joined Sep 2004
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Mini-Review
Another Couple Noobs to FPV jump in using the Powerzone 2000mm Sky Surfer

There are more than a few ways to jump into the world of FPV, using either fixed or rotary winged platforms. We thought it would be fun to document the path that we take as we get our feet wet. Yeah, ANOTHER thread showing a couple of FPV noobs doing what countless thousands have already done?! Late to the party as usual!!

Robin over at Powerzone asked me if she could send over their version of the 2000mm Sky Surfer, for us to lend a hand in getting some in-flight media. We say "their version" because the Sky Surfer design has been around for years and is available in a variety of sizes and variations. We did a review of the JPower Sky Surfer several years back for Ezone here on RCG (JPower Sky Surfer ARF Review). We had a ball with that model! Have a read of the review of you missed it when it originally ran. The model possessed a very broad and forgiving flight envelope. Powerzone offers a 2000mm version that features a flat nose with clear, protective dome. This design feature coupled with the all around well behaved flight performance of this style of airframe would appear to be a perfect way to try out a little FPV flying!


The big Sky Surfer arrived in fine condition and assembled in a couple of hours. It features flaps and comes with the brushless power system and all servos pre-installed. Assembly is really limited to installing all of the control horns, attaching the tail and mounting the removable wing halves. A little transmitter programming is also required. The clear dome fits nicely to the nose and we decided to just anchor it in place using a few pieces of 3M Blenderm tape. This would allow us to easily remove it at will and when necessary.

A black firewall sits in a groove and has a small hole pre-drilled in its lower third. Our Fat Shark Predator camera fit into this small cutout perfectly! A delicate drop or two of hot glue carefully placed held it there firmly. And we still had plenty of room to mount a GoPro to the firewall above it!
Powerzone even includes a prop in the box but it sounded very out of balance on our intitial run-up. We replaced it with a similarly sized APC prop.

There is an abundance of room underneath the black foam canopy. With the camera in place, we used a 3S 3300 size LiPo pack and this size of battery helped us hit the recommended CG. A quick puncture wound through the top of the canopy and we had our stock Fat Shark vertically polarized antenna protruding and in place.

I had the experience of flying a friends 2000mmSky Surfer, one vended by a different company, some time back. It had an awkward habit of diving under power, making hand launches a dicey proposition. Armed with this thought, I advised my flying buddy and the one delegated with the job of hoisting it aloft for the maiden that he needed to be prepared lest that happen! Fortunately, this version seems to possess none of that same peculiar flight performance. Our first hand launch was without any surprises and the big Sky Surfer climbed out nicely, with only a few clicks of trim required to get her dialed in.

Once aloft and flying, it was time for one of us to don the goggles. We decided that on our initial flights, we would treat lightly...take it easy... start slowly. So, while I flew the model, my pal Robb slipped the Fat Shark Predators on and enjoyed the ride for a few. Once acclimated to it, I handed him the transmitter and the fun began!

Robb wasted no time, immediately starting to climb heavenward to see just how high we could go! Unfortunately, we started losing video signal almost immediately. We had read about how terrible the stock vertically polarized antennas were but this was really ridiculous. It was about then that I noticed that I had forgot to attach the antenna to the receiver in the goggles. DUH! Color me nervous I guess! With the antenna attached, things improved drastically!

We took turns flying the Sky Surfer around, keeping it within a safe line of sight for our first flights. The PZ Sky Surfer is quite happy cruising at around half throttle. We even managed to capture a strong thermal, which allowed us to completely shut the power off and stay at altitude for a few minutes, at the cost of zero milliamps depleted out of the LiPo.

We did find that flying the model out to the edge of where we could comfortably see it was also just about the point where the video signal would start to get overrun by static?

After what felt like 15 to 20 minutes of flight time, we decided that we should probably bring the big foamy back in for a fresh battery. With flaps deployed to the first position, the Sky Surfer still had a lot of lift and floated right on by!


The next landing approach saw us extend our downwind leg quite a bit further. The Sky Surfer slid down the glide slope nicely and rolled to a stop in the grass.

The big wheel embedded in the underside of the fuselage works out pretty well! We put another pack in and repeated our flight, getting all the more comfortable with it all the longer we flew.

After three packs, we were hooked and ready to go to the next level. Our next outing with the Sky Surfer will see us using a pair of IBCrazy's 5.8GHz BluBeam RHCP antennae. With the increased range, we hope to extend our range but will do it a little at a time. We know that there is SO much to learn and will be spending a lot of time poring over all of the information contained in the threads here on RCG. What a great resource!

Yeah, we KNOW we are certainly not the first to go down the FPV road. Heck, we might even be the last!? But it should be a fun ride! A huge thanks to Robin at Powerzone for sending the big Sky Surfer over. We sniffed around a little online and found that General Hobby carrries this model here in the USA. They are having a nice sale on it at the moment, with a reduced price of $139.97.

Stay tuned as the adventures of the last FPV noobs on the planet continue ...
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Old Dec 14, 2013, 12:39 PM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
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Joined May 2010
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Nice review.

Hobbyking sells this plane....
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...00mm_PNF_.html
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Old Dec 19, 2013, 12:38 AM
Crash....Fix......repeat.
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I saw that you can configure it into a "T" tail as well, thats interesting. Hows the video? I would think that dome might give some distortion and glare.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopropelli View Post
I saw that you can configure it into a "T" tail as well, thats interesting. Hows the video? I would think that dome might give some distortion and glare.
yes, there's a T-tail version.
dome is removable
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 01:57 PM
Every now and then
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Joined Apr 2013
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Nice report. I have question: assembling the same model (kit version) my motor mount seems misaligned, a bit too much to be for torque correction (6 or 7 deg. left), but before taking "corrective action" I am looking for confirmation. Do I see a little angle on your first picture? Your motor also seems to be angled left (or right, it depends). I am powering it with a NTM 3536 and a three blade 8x6 prop, all rescued from my previous fpv platform.

I started like you, and in just a few months I was already installing my first RTH autopilot. It is so easy to get caught in the moment and venture too far out...
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Old Jun 19, 2014, 08:48 AM
Fly it low.. and fly it fast!
Hit N Run's Avatar
United States, MA, Westport
Joined Nov 2011
1,775 Posts
I just got one of these last night for a late birthday present.
I have the T-tail version, in blue.

I can't wait to maiden her!!!

I'll need to get a decent FPV system though before I really get to enjoy the full benefit of this beast. This thing is HUGE!!

I just need to finish putting the tail together and the linkages..... then she's ready to go!

Question.... they recommend a 2200mah 3 cell lipo for this plane. Now, if i'm NOT using a camera up front, can I use a 4000mah pack in this model and still have a decent CG?

I have a lot of 4000mah packs that I use for my quads, so if I can also use them on this plane, that would be awesome!
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Old Jun 19, 2014, 08:59 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
USA
Joined May 2010
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3s-4000mah-5000mah is nothing to this plane....
load her up. She can take :-)
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Old Jun 19, 2014, 09:12 AM
Fly it low.. and fly it fast!
Hit N Run's Avatar
United States, MA, Westport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rclab1 View Post
3s-4000mah-5000mah is nothing to this plane....
load her up. She can take :-)
Awesome!!

I can't wait for the maiden flight!
But of course it HAD to rain today because i'm just about ready to fly it, lol.
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Last edited by Hit N Run; Jun 20, 2014 at 10:22 AM.
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 06:41 AM
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Does the dome cause any glare or is it barely noticable there's a plastic dome in front of the camera?
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Old Jun 22, 2014, 07:24 AM
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Joined Feb 2007
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Some paint the inside to reduce glare (not black, it will get too hot for the camera when on the ground) and cut a hole in the front for the camera to see through because the plastic gets scratched easily
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 01:32 PM
Mobius Cables... I got em'
chanyote66's Avatar
United States, TN, Oak Ridge
Joined Dec 2011
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This is a nice aircraft,

I did a review on it and compared it to a few other aircraft.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2215520

FPV style sells them also!
http://www.fpvstyle.com/item/Skysurf...il-801336.html
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 09:36 PM
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Nice review and comparo mate!

I was most interested because I have just now got mine ready to fly

You said you had left off the dome intentionally but I missed the reason you gave.
Can you tell me please?
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Old Jul 29, 2014, 10:03 PM
Mobius Cables... I got em'
chanyote66's Avatar
United States, TN, Oak Ridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkie View Post
Nice review and comparo mate!

I was most interested because I have just now got mine ready to fly

You said you had left off the dome intentionally but I missed the reason you gave.
Can you tell me please?
Ya i mention it in a video I havent posted...

The dome doesnt have a easy to remove/reconnect so you have to make something up or just leave it off

Let me know if I missed any similar airframes to compare it to
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Old Jul 30, 2014, 02:47 AM
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I've heard one modeller was using velcro for the dome, so it's easy on/off so I may do that.

Only thing is that without the dome you would not wanting to be landing on say, a beach or anywhere else that is a bit rough
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Old Sep 03, 2014, 03:40 PM
Mobius Cables... I got em'
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Powerzone SS2000 Pros and Cons (5 min 12 sec)
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