The Skeeter 36 is born!!!
Well Bros, Quinn says this one isnít a secretÖ
Hereís my take on the new Skeeter 36. Itís almost all laser cut, and dead on the money. I really dislike building, but this plane was as easy as it gets. Really, most of the plane is laser cut, and all that is left is to cut a few short pieces of 1/8 x 1/4 stick to length. Most cuts are 90 degrees, so thereís no guessing here. There are like a half dozen sticks in the fuse that need a slight angle, but thatís it. I didnít even have an instruction book. It just fell together. The wood quality has to be seen to be believed.
All of the necessary wood (mostly laser cut), a photo enhanced instruction manual (in production), and plans are carefully packed in the box. The nose of the plane is laser drilled to accept the included wire landing gear. There are nylon straps and screws included to attach it. I elected to begin flight testing with no gear. There will even be some extremely light weight (clear) doculam covering included. Yes, it comes with covering. This was not available at the time my kit was shipped, so I used Ultracote Lite instead. The builder must supply the horns, hinges, and other small hardware. There are more opinions about hardware selection than anything else.
The fuselage is built from laser cut parts, plus a few sticks, then sheeted with laser cut sheeting. It is light and stiff. I used CA for assembly, and white glue for the sheeting. I sat my plate glass cutting board on top of it to dry overnight. Quinn mentioned having an option of basswood or balsa in the box for the top and bottom sticks (longerons?). I did all balsa for my plane. With the sheeting, I donít think basswood is necessary, unless you are sure you are going to dork it a few times. Quinn will have to decide what to do here.
The wing is just like a Skeeter 30, only a bit larger. To me, it was easier to manage than the 30. It just slips together, and then hit it with thin CA.
The ailerons and tail feathers are simple too. Notch ďAĒ lines up with notch ďBĒ, and then drip thin CA again. Add a little 1/8 x 1/4 to the middle. BOOM DONE!
I used a bit of thin CA, followed by a bead of medium CA to assemble the primary components, and was ready to go.
I covered everything but the wing before assembly. With the REALLY light and thin wood on the center of the wing, I didnít want to risk scratching the wood, while cutting away the center portion of the covering. After the wing was CAed in, I just slid the covering into place, and ironed it down along the edges of the wing.
White Ultracote Lite was used as a finish, and Iím still waiting for some inspiration for a splash of color. WaitingÖ WaitingÖ WaitingÖ I got nuttinÖ With Ultracote Lite, only 225 degrees is required. It sticks quickly, and will start to shrink at that temperature.
Iíve put in five flights now, and Iím getting more excited as time goes on. Why? Well, I loved the Katana 35 ES Quinn did, and the Skeeter 36 is very similar, with a few main differences. First, the wing is a hint fatter. Spaz wonít approve, but I do. Next, the fuselage is a hint taller. LOVE IT! Next, the plane is lighter. Both of my Kat 35s hit about 22 ounces. This plane weighs 19 & 3/8 ounces. Thatís a great thing fellas, I tell you.
So, hereís the TT breakdown of the experience so farÖ
1 STAR=SUX RUMP. 5 STARS=KILLER!
How did it build? 5 STARS
How did it fly? 4 STARS (as equipped)
Bang for the Buck? 4.5 STARS
Hovers: 5 STARS
Harriers upright: 5 Again. Pretty much elevator only. No work involved here.
Harriers Inverted. 5 Again. As good as it gets.
Knife Edge: With the HS-55s in command, only 4 STARS. The 56s will help. It will loop, but not pinwheel. There is a hint of pull to the canopy, and a hint of roll with the rudder. Really though, it is just a hint. Iím gonna retrim my ailerons up a beep, and try it again. Iíll bet the coupling is gone.
H.A.K.E.: Same as above, just slower. No change in coupling.
Walls and Chutes. SWEET! 5 STARS
Rolling maneuvers. I suck at these. Maybe 4 STARS. Seebot could pull all 5 out of it, Iím sure.
Snaps: With the 55s in command, and a thick airfoil to overcome, maybe 3.5 STARS. The 56s will help a ton, with better throw and quicker response. Negative snaps are OK, positive need help.
Spins: 4 STARS Itís a bit of work to get the plane to start a spin, but once it begins to spin, itís slow and purrrdy. This is one area I think the thicker airfoil hurt the plane. The Kat 35 would just fall into a spin. Again, maybe a little more servo authority and throw will help this too.
Dead simple to build.
Nice clean looking plane.
Flight envelope is wide open.
Set up for HS-81 Size servos in the tail. My plane has HS-55s, and balanced dead on. With a PolyQuest 1800, the pack goes up against the wing, on the nose. With the Thunder Power 1320PL, the pack goes about 3/4 inch further forward. These positions give a CG about 1/2 inch AFT of the spar. Heavier servos would make a light weight powerplant a no-go. You fellas, with the big bore e-power systems, go ahead and do the HS-81s or similar. My HS-55s are lacking a bit in torque, and will soon be replaced with HS-56s. To me, this might be the perfect set up. The 65s would be killer, Iím sure.
Online sales (soon):
Nice review BTW, bro.
EDIT: those servos torques are actually quite similar.
After hanging out with the Bros in Memphis, I've been talked out of the 56s completely. The 65s performance is awesome, and I'll likely snag two more soon.
Somehow, the Skeeter survived Mempho Pro Bro. I think I only flew it like 5 times, however. It was pretty windy there.
It wasn't ever supposed to fly just white. Any colors will camo the laser marks real fast.
And for me, flying is the deal. Other guys can pretty them up much better than me, but I'm at the field a day or two sooner. No plane looks good sitting on the bench, IMHO.
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