Skywing 55" Edge 540T 3D Full-Fuse EPP/CF/Wood Hybrid
This thread chronicles my build of the Skywing 55" Edge 540T 3D Full-Fuse Hybrid aircraft. The hard-copy manual that comes with the plane is of very little use to English speaking buyers/builders/pilots as it consists of photos with Chinese text. It is my sincere desire that this thread is of value to all that read it.
About the plane:
From the manufacturer... This Edge is the Skywing's third 55-inch carbon fiber EPP plywood hybrid full-fuselage 3D plane. It has an updated wing design, which is stronger than its predecessors, namely, the 55-in Slick and the 55-in Yak-54. It can readily take a 4250-size brushless motor. The trailing edges of all the control surfaces are strengthened with carbon fiber strips. And the landing gear is made of carbon fiber too! Improvements are also made in the way the plane is built. It's the best 3D plane coming from Skywing so far!
- Wingspan 1397 mm (54.7 inch)
- Length 1459 mm (57.4 inch)
- Wing Area 39.8 sqdm (616.9 sqin)
- AUW 1700 g without battery
- Requires a 1000-watt power system, e.g. a Dualsky 4250 KV510
- 3.5 kg*cm (48.6 oz*in) Servo x 4 recommended
I have attached a photo showing the component weights of the plane and the items needed to complete the build. If you would like a copy of the Excel spreadsheet for your own use, shoot me a PM with your email address and ask for a copy. I'll glady send you a copy.
So let the build begin...
Supplies and Tools Used in Build
Start with the End in Mind
When you purchase an aircraft, you do so for a specific reason and with an ultimate desire in mind. These may include the models appearance, its 3D capabilities, ability to fly precision aerobatics, or perhaps as a sport flyer. Whatever your reasons and desires, how you build the aircraft and the components you select to complete it will have a significant impact on whether the model will meet your expectations. If you desire a Full-on 3D flyer, then you need to select components that will help you build light and give you the ultimate in performance. Choose wisely when you select your motor, ESC, battery, servos, prop and radio equipment. Gather all of your components and formulate your build plan. In this build, I will share my build plan, tips and tricks with you. As the 6P Rule states… Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
Unpack the airplane and examine all of the components. Check for damage of any kind. Dry fit all components before beginning build. Contact the seller if you find any problems. My plane arrived safe and undamaged via USPS. It comes double boxed - an outer shipping carton contains a plain brown cardboard inner box devoid of markings. Upon opening the inner box, everything is safely secured in clear plastic bags that are taped to the box. I found no apparent shipping damage. I removed each component of the airframe from its protective wrap and weighed it (see component chart in post #1). Overall quality looks good and meets my expectations.
Step 1 - Component Check
Check all of your radio and motor gear before installing it in your plane. Just because you have something new in the package does not mean that it is good. Go ahead and bind the receiver to your transmitter and check the motor, ESC and servos for proper functioning. Better to find a bad item before you install it in your plane. Save yourself the potential frustration and check it now.
Step 2 - Motor Box | Motor | ESC | Cowl
I start my ARF builds at the front of the plane. In a typical ARF, that means mounting the motor as the very first step. However, on this aircraft, the engine box must be mounted to the fuselage before mounting the motor.
Begin by dry fitting the engine box to the fuselage. It’s a very tight fit and you may need to wiggle and push a bit but a good tight mechanical joint is highly desirable in this instance. Make sure that the right engine thrust is angling the engine centerline to the right as viewed from the plane’s cockpit (photos 1 & 2). The “X” bracing will be on the top and sides of the motor box when correctly oriented. Once the motor box is firmly in place and you are satisfied with its alignment, apply super thin CA around all four sides where the engine box meets the fuselage (photo 3). Be sure to use a glue bottle extension tip to control the flow and reach into the tight spaces inside the motor box (photo 4).
Next, you will find 7 or 8 triangle balsa brace pieces in the kit (photo 5). Most kits have 7 but mine had 4 long, 2 medium and 2 short pieces. With super thin CA, glue the 4 long pieces inside the motor box and extending into the fuselage (photo 6). Next glue the 2 shortest pieces to the outside of the motor box (photo 7). Next, glue 1 of the medium pieces to the bottom of the motor box (photo 8). If your kit came with an extra piece as mine did, you can install it ONLY after shortening it. If you install it full length, it will prevent the cowling from being installed. You can leave it off or shorten it (photo 9) before gluing it in place.
Assemble the motor – install the X-mount bracket, prop drive, and shaft collar per the motor instructions (photo 10). Use blue Loctite on all screws that are metal to metal. Install the motor using the 4mm socket head bolts that are included withthe plane. Use blue Loctite on the motor mounting screws. There are eight 3mm wooden washer/spacers included with the plane. If you use the recommended Hengli W4250 500kv motor, you will need to install 2 spacers under each motor mount tab (photo 11). The easiest way to do this is to simply glue the wooden spacers to the firewall – two at each mounting hole.
Install the ESC on the underside of the motor box using a piece of double-sided foam tape and secure the ESC and wires using nylon ties (photo 11a).
Finally,prepare the motor cowl by removing the foam pieces left in place for shipping purposes. Use a #11 hobby knife to cut the small connectors (photo 12) and pluck out the air intakes in the cowl cheeks (photo 13). Do the same thing for the cowl center piece (photos 14 & 15). Test fit the cowl (photos 16, 17 & 18). Note that the canopy must be off the plane in order to install the cowl. Once the cowl is installed, the canopy tabs will hold it on the plane.
Author’s note - I build all of my ARF planes with this motor first sequencefor several reasons. First, it istypically the hardest and most time consuming part of many build projects -mounting the engine and cutting the cowl. This is mostly true when building fuel planes. Second, by following the build order I haveoutlined here, I can use the same build order on ANY aircraft that Ibuild. The sequence is always the samewhether it’s an electric or my latest giant scale gasser. Third and final, Ialso find that mounting the motor first has the added benefit of weighting thefront of the aircraft and helping it stay in place. This is very beneficial if you build on a flatsurface as I do.
Step 3 - Main Wing Trailing Edge Pieces
The wing halves come with the inboard trailing edges removed so that the wings are narrower at the root and the shipping container is more compact. These trailing edge pieces are tabbed and keyed for a good mechanical joint when they are glued to the wing halves. (Photos 19 & 20). I used Titebond II to glue the trailing edge pieces to the wing halves. I applied enough glue that it would squeeze out all the way around the joint and required wiping off the excess ooze. This provides for maximum contact and gap filling. Cleanup is easy and safe as it is a water-based glue. Set the wings aside to dry before the next step.
Step 3a - Hinging the Wings/Ailerons | Stabs/Elevators | Vertical Stab/Rudder
I installed the primary flight surfaces (ailerons & elevators – photo 21) to their respective mates (wings and, horizontal stab). To do this, I installed the flight surfaces, checked the gaps and applied two drops of super thin CA toeach side of each hinge. Be sure to usea CA glue bottle tip extender as it gives you very precise control of your glue application. It is important to not apply too much CA as the wings and stabs have an EPS foam core that standard CA glues will melt. You can use foam-safe CA but there is no need if you simply do not over apply the glue.
Next, I sanded all of the control horns and two of the servo arm extensions on both sides. Then I soaked them in an alcohol bath to remove any mold release agent. Next, I used a sharpie marker to black them out. They now look like carbon fiber (photo 22). I prefer black control horns over the natural color of the fiberglass control horns. The two servo arm extensions will help hide them when installed to the aileron servos.
Step 4 - Installing Stabs/Elevators, Vertical Stab/Rudder and Control Horns
Prepare the fuselage for horizontal stab by cutting the rear opening pieces out (photo23, 24 & 25). Save the piece withthe foam attached as it will be reinstalled after the horizontal stab is installed.
Slide the horizontal stabilizer/elevator assembly into the rear of the fuselage. It’s a nice tight fit and you’ll need to push it firmly into the slot. Before it can be glued in place, it needs to be aligned. To do this, install the wings and snug them down tight with the wingbolts so they are fully seated into the wing sockets. Measure from wing tip to stab tip on both sides (photo 26). Adjust the stab so that both sides measure equally. You can also check for 90 degree angles between the vertical stab and the horizontal stab but I found that it was perfect from the factory. When satisfied with the fit, apply super thin CA to the joint where stab meets the fuselage. Use a glue tip extender to apply glue lightly and quickly. Give the CA a few minutes to dry. I also added a small bead of Foamtac glue around the fuselage/stab joint as a fillet. It’s clear and makes the joint more secure.
The foam/wood piece that was removed from the rear of the fuselage in preparation for the stabilizer needs to be reinstalled. To do this, use some medium CA or Foamtac to glue the small wooden piece with round holes in it (found in the hardware pack that came with the plane) into the channel at the rudder hinge post so that it bridges the gap created by previously removing the foam piece. Glue the Foam piece back in place so it closes up the rear of the fuselage. Photo # 27 shows it reinstalled and the rudder in place.
Next, install the rudder using super thin CA and a glue extender tip as you did when installing the ailerons and elevator (photo 27).
Glue the control horns into each of the ailerons, the elevator and rudder using super thin CA and a glue extender tip (photos 28 & 29). Note - Be sure the horn is fully seated into the control surface and aligned such that the hole in the horn is centered over the hinge line.
Open up the fuselage vents on the underside using a #11 hobby knife (photos 30 &31).
Cutthe rear edge only of the landing gear slot using a #11 hobby knife (photos 32& 33).
Step 5 - Servos and Receiver Installation
Prepare the elevator and rudder servos by adding an 18” servo lead extension to each of them. Use a connector clip or 3/8” heat shrink tubing (photo 36) to lock the connectors safely together before installing the servos into the tail of the aircraft. You may need to also add a 3”-6” servo lead extension to the aileron servos depending on the lead length of the servos you selected.
Install the servos into each of the servo slots for their respective control surfaces. Output shaft end of servos towards front for the wings and output shaft towards tail for the elevator and rudder servos.Pre-drill the servo mounting holes using a 1/16” drill bit so that the servo mounting screws do not split the wood mounts. Install the servo mounting screws.
Install the receiver into the aircraft using a piece of double-sided foam tape and nylon zip ties. Use two 6” servo lead extensions (one for each aileron) and secure all wiring using nylon zip ties (photo 37).
Next assemble the servo control arm assemblies. Turn your radio on and make sure all servos are centered. Check the stock servo arms for proper neutral alignment when installed on the servos. Rotate the servo arms until the satisfactory alignment is achieved or very close. Your radios sub–trim can be used to correct minor alignment issues.When you are satisfied with the alignment, glue each of the servo control arm extensions on to the stock servo arms using Foamtac or medium CA glue. When dry, screw the servo arm extensions onto the stock servo arms using the small tapered head screws included with the kit. You may need to drill 1/16” holes through the extensions into the stock arms if the holes don’t line up naturally.
Screw the ball links onto each of the control rods until the threads on the rodsdisappear. Attach the ball links to each of the servo arms using the 2mm socket screw and locknut included with the plane kit. I added my own 2mm washers to the screws under the head and before the locknut (photo 38). Be sure to use blue Loctite even though locknuts are supplied. It’s good insurance and building practice. Remember, when it’s metal to metal, use Loctite!
All servos and control rods have been installed on the ailerons, elevators and rudder (photos 39, 40, 41 and 42).
Step 6 - Radio Setup
I setup the servo travel, triple and exponential rates on all control surfaces at this time as I already have my radio out for previously centering the servos. How mild or wild you go is userpreference. I will share my radio settings at a later time.
Step 7 - Landing Gear and Tail Wheel
Prepare the landing gear cuffs. Take 2 of the white foam pieces and make a landing gear cuff by gluing two pieces together at the outer most front and back (curved) edges of the cuffs. Do NOTapply glue to the straight edges. Foamtac is the perfect glue for this. Apply a 1/16” bead along the two curved edges and let it dry completely. Repeat this process so that you have two cuffs. Once they are dry,apply a bead of Foamtac along the outer seams of the two curved edges that were previously glued. Let dry completely. See photo 46 for example ofhow they will look later when you install them onto the landing gear.
While the cuffs are drying, we’ll build the main landing gear and later install it on the aircraft. Gather the wheels, axles, and wheel collars. Place one wheel collar onto an axle, slide awheel on, and then put a second wheel collar on the axle. Use blue Loctite on the grub screw in the wheel collars and tighten the wheel collars snugly against the wheel but loose enough for the wheel to turn freely and without excessive play (photo 43). Repeat the previous steps to build the second wheel assembly. Tip - leave the 1st aka inner wheel collar about 1-2mm away from the axle flange. This will center the wheel inside the wheelpants when they are added later.
Insert the completed wheel assemblies into the wheelpants. Put the outer axle shaft in firstand stretch the foam to pop the threaded axle portion through the wood reinforcement (photo 44). Repeat for the other wheel & pant.
Slide the landing gear cuffs onto the carbon fiberlanding gear BEFORE installing the wheelpant assemblies. Simply open the cuffs and slide them up the landing gear legs with the long portion of the cuffs facing the plane’s tail. See photo 46 for reference.
Install the wheelpant assemblies onto the landing gear. Use blue Loctite on the lock nuts! Adjust the angle of the wheelpants on the landing gear so they are 90 degrees to the LG legs and in alignment across from each other. Next, drill a 1/16” hole in each leg and install the anti-rotation screws (photo 45) so that the pants don’t move. Lift the rear of the previously cut EPP flap covering the landing gear mounting plate on the bottom of the fuselage. Install the completed landing gear (photos 46 & 47) using four 3mm socket head screws, flat washers,and blue Loctite. Push the cuffs up against the fuselage bottom (photo 48) to complete the look. No glue should be needed to hold them up as the fit is tight on the landing gear legs. If you need to glue them, use Foamtac sparingly in case you need to replace the landing gear in the future.
Install the tail wheel assembly using the screw eye and four screws (photos 49 & 50). Be sure to use blue Loctite on the wheel collar.
Install the prop and 2.5” (63mm) spinner (if using one).
Step 8 - CG, Battery Mounting, and Final Check
Check the CG location by fully assembling the plane and with the canopy off, test the placement of your LiPo battery. Remove the battery and place a Velcro strip where the LiPo achieved the proper CG. Note - the CG is marked on the top of the wings by the factory. Recheck the CG by putting the LiPo back into the plane with the canopy on. Make final battery position adjustments and mark it so it is easily repeatable when you go flying. Use the supplied battery strap to secure the LiPo by looping it around the LiPo and wooden battery platform. Double check your radio setups to ensure all surfaces are moving in the correct direction and amount. Make sure your throttle is calibrated and that rates and expos are set for its maiden flight.
Charge your batteries and go fly!
I hope you enjoyed the build and enhanced your building knowledge and skills.
ImagesView all Images in thread
Updated Posts # 1 & 2
My build has been completed.
Post # 1 has been updated to reflect the changes to components that I used.
Post # 2 has the complete build text and photos added.
Thanks to those who subscribed to this thread and for everyone's patience while I completed the plane and documented my build.
Just need some warm weekend weather so I can get the maiden flight in and dial it in.
It's a lot of work putting something like this together but the payoff is in helping others.
However, I wouldn't say no to a nice discount or if they sent me a 38" Edge in the green scheme and maybe the Hengli motor and servos for it too...
Ah, but I am dreaming now.
|Category||Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|New Product||Skywing's 55-in Full-fuse Edge-540T||feda||3D Foamies||344||May 23, 2015 07:26 PM|
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|Wanted||NIB Skywing 55" Edge 540 EPP||JC Spohr||Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W)||0||Dec 15, 2014 10:02 PM|
|Idea||Dear Skywing: please make a 55"-58" full fuse Epp/ply plane for us||STANG KILLA SS||3D Foamies||2||Jan 28, 2013 05:13 PM|
|Build Log||75" EPP Edge 540T Full Fuse Build||AndyBloom||Foamies (Scratchbuilt)||25||Aug 05, 2011 12:52 AM|