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Old Aug 21, 2012, 04:17 PM
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Don Srull's Micro Skipper Designs

Welcome. This thread is for anyone who has made or is interested in the Skipper RC electric airplanes designed by Don Srull.

There are two versions of the airplane that I am aware of, and possibly a third. The first version appeared in the October 1993 Flying Models Magazine as a micro electric 2 channel, (rudder and throttle?). And the second is a remake of the original in the June 2012 issue of Flying Models. Iíve seen references online to a 58 Skipper. (wingspan or year?) I donít know much at this point because I have to order the back issues. Perhaps there is someone out there who can shed some light on this.

I built the 1993 version way back then. Wow, has it really been 19 years? I sold all my old magazines years ago when I got out of the hobby. A few months ago I was wondering about this little airplane and if anyone else out there still had theirs. But I couldnít remember the name of the plane or the designer. Then, a few days ago, I found the cardboard guide I used to trace out the wing ribs. It had one word on it: Skipper. Searching for that and HiLine Mini-6, I came up with Donís name and an amazing result. Just 3 months ago in Flying Models, a remake of the model appeared.

Back in 1993, electric flight was still in its infancy. Yeah, I know there were guys doing it much earlier, but the technology hadnít changed much. And to fly a micro sized model back then was nearly impossible. I mean, this skipper was like flying a brick! You could tell the design was stable, but with all that weight, it was 2 minutes of sheer terror.

I always wondered how this airplane would fly if the technology improved. Now we will know.

From the one image Iíve seen of the new design, it looks like he (Don Srull?) elongated the nose and made the fuselage a stick and tissue type design. Exactly what I was going to do. The originals 1/16th sheet sides made the fuselage heavy, and with the shorter nose, it would be impossible to balance without adding weight up front.

Here are some photos of my 1993 Skipper.

Photo 1: 35 gram fuselage! Ouch! Iím going to hack some holes into this fuse, and make the nose longer.

Photo 2: The wing only weighs 20 grams.

Photo 3: This is the gear Iím planning on putting into the 1993 bird. 48 grams.

Photo 4: This is an estimate of the weight inside my original configuration, as I no longer have the Mini-6 motor or the 110 mAh NiCdís. Actually I think it was more heavy than that. I also had a micro switch on the bottom of the fuselage that would turn off the motor so it wouldn't burn out when it landed. I ditched the landing gear after it broke off.

After I finish modernizing the 1993 version, I plan on building the 2012 one. I hope the wing is still the same, because then I donít have to make another one.

If anyone else has some info on this classic design please let me know. Iíd love to see other peoples photos of this or other versions.
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 07:37 PM
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More Skipper pics

More Skipper pics. The holes I cut out saved 5 g off the tail. Calculating the moment arms, that saves me from putting 8.5 g of weight into the nose. I thought the holes might weaken the structure, but doing a twist test revealed that it's still quite strong.

Nose has been lengthened and a round firewall installed. 4 degrees down thrust added and a bit of right thrust was built into the fire wall position.
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 10:07 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
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Looking good. It's been a few years since I've seen Don, so it's nice to see one of his designs take shape.

Gordon
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Thanks. Its nice to hear from somebody who knows Don.

I learned a lot about building RC airplanes by pouring over those old magazine construction articles. With all the ARF kits on the market today, building from scratch is in the minority. Which is funny because if you build it yourself, you usually get a better flying airplane.
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Old Jul 05, 2014, 06:47 PM
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Skipper thread dead or what?

Hi
This thread looks like it is dead, but I thought I would post a reply anyway, since Finicky_Sir put out the question!
I still have and regularly fly a Don Srull "Skipper" with original HiLine Mini-6 motor and 4 NiCads. It has a Pixie-7 ESC and Hitec HFS-05MS Rx. It's about 12 years old and has done "lots" (wasn't counting) of flights.
Oh, and it's rudder and motor control (Look mom, no elevator). It's a great formula and flies extremely well. Best flight was 20mins thermal flight.
Gerry
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