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Cox Sky Cruiser EP 2.4 GHz RTF with FlightFlex Construction Review

This is small, but agile pusher plane. While you can fly it indoors, go ahead and take it to the local park for some fun flying. The Sky Cruiser has plenty of power and excellent flight duration.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:27.6"/702mm
Wing Area:87.9sq in /5.67dm sq
Weight:3.3 oz./94g
Length:20.2"/515mm
Wing Loading:5.41 oz/sq ft /16.5 g/dm sq
Servos:Proprietary built into circuit board
Transmitter:4-channel 2.4 GHz with two flight level functions (dual rate)
Receiver:Proprietary
Battery:7.4v 250 mAh LiPo
Motor:Brushed
Prop:Safe Prop - 2 provided
ESC:Proprietary built in
Typical Flight Duration:10 minutes +
Manufacturer:Cox Models
Available From:Your Local Hobby Shop
Price:$99.98

This is a pure RTF aircraft designed for entry-level flyers age 14 plus. It is a quick build, and you can even slip the wings off and put it all back into the provided foam packing and take it with you: The Sky Cruiser comes with the tail feathers attached, and they remain attached for storage just as it was shipped. Using a 7.4v LiPo, the Sky Cruiser has an incredible amount of power, and it will give you hours of great fun in the air. I am not sure I have ever flown anything with any greater accident survivability.

Kit Contents

The Sky Cruiser includes everything you need to fly. Nothing is required. Cox even provides extra props, the transmitter batteries and an AC LiPo charger.

The Sky Cruiser is complete with some high quality items.

Kit Includes:

  • EP foam fuselage with receiver, motor, horizontal and vertical stabilizer installed with linkages
  • Plastic magnetic canopy
  • Fully decaled (painted) wing set
  • Carbon spar
  • Two Safe Props
  • 2.4 GHz Transmitter with dual rate, digital trims, battery level, and percentage of power with LCD read out.
  • AC balancing charger
  • 7.4v LiPo 250 mAh
  • Photographic instruction manual

Kit Requires/ Replacement Parts:

  • Nothing required to fly the Sky Cruiser
  • Hardware set (COXA5875)
  • Motor (COXA5876)
  • Prop and Spinner (COXA5877)
  • Tail set (COXA5878)
  • Fuselage (COXA5879)
  • Canopy (COXA5880)
  • Wing set (COXA5881)

Assembly

To get this into the air, all you do is install the wing into the fuselage and install the battery. While this seems really simple, let's pay attention the battery installation so that your flights will be greatly enhanced.

Wing

The wing is a two-piece system that uses a carbon spar. Wing tips roll up to provide dihedral-like stability. The two halves interlock inside the fuselage and hold very well. Using Flightflex construction, the wings have an incredible ability to bend.

That is it! The Sky Cruiser build is complete.

Fuselage and tail

The fuselage is extruded polystyrene (EP). Everything is placed inside prior to the two halves being glued at the factory, including the motor, linkages, and receiver. It is a very well constructed package, and even with a few wrecks you will not see any movement or breakage of the interior components.

In the forward compartment you have the receiver and battery compartment, which is covered by a magnetic canopy that is black and really provides an excellent contrast in the air.

Completion

The Sky Cruiser is only 20" long so the CG is critical. I measured mine at 35mm, and I was amazed at how as little as a quarter of an inch of movement changed the CG to between 37mm and 33mm. Now this may not seem like much to you, but given the short fuselage IT WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD IN FLIGHT.

Safe Props

The safe prop system is designed to allow the prop to pop off if it hits something. In the pusher configuration this is unlikely, but if you hit the ground upside down then it could save the motor shaft. This is a beginner plane, so it could end up in tree where something might stall the motor. The props are a secure fit, and I am pretty sure you will have little need for both props, but having two is always good.

The props snap onto the motor using a two-part system with the male portion in the motor and the female portion on the prop.

The 2.4 GHZ Transmitter

The transmitter has many great features and is far from a basic radio. First, it has a bright LCD screen that shows clearly your battery charge level, trims, and in the middle you see the level of throttle input as zero to 100 percentages. The transmitter also has a dual rate (New Pilot, Experienced Pilot) feature that provides a great starting point for beginners and a way to advance to more performance later. While some 2.4 GHz. do not require you to turn on the transmitter first, the Cox transmitter does. The transmitter will come bound from the factory to the receiver.

Binding

Binding is simple and requires you to follow the steps which include disconnecting the battery, turning on the transmitter and lowering the throttle to zero, turning off the transmitter, reconnecting the receiver battery, turning on the transmitter while pushing in on the throttle stick until you either hear the servos activate or you see the red light on the receiver illuminate.

Dual Rates

The process of setting the dual rates is simple. You simply push in on the right stick until the symbol changes. It takes just a second or two. I have provided a video below for you to see the two settings in action. The change in movement is enough to gain more aerobatic performance and somewhat quicker input response.

LiPo Balancing Charger

The charger is AC and uses the balance leads to charge. An audible beep will tell you the charge is complete. A blinking green LED is used to indicate the charge is underway and is shown on the video below. To get the 250 mAh into the battery takes about 45 minutes.

Flying

The Sky Cruiser is a gentle flyer designed specifically for a new pilot to learn to fly R/C. I have always thought no such plane existed. Many planes, even trainers, cannot tolerate a crash. But I can tell you that the Sky Cruiser is a durable plane capable of not one, not two, not even three full throttle nose impacts, but as many as you want to throw at it as you learn.

Now let me explain my crash experience. Above I have provided careful attention to the location of the battery.

When you place the battery too far forward, and this is pretty much your only choice for movement, the Sky Cruiser gets nose heavy. It gets so nose heavy you cannot apply enough elevator to compensate and when you hand launch it, the plane will nose into the ground. But it handles this very well. If you are so lucky to get it airborne you will see it porpoise up and down with no way to control the flight path.

What can also happen is that you can nose it in, pick it up and scratch your head and do it again because the battery is now even further forward. So make sure the battery is in the correct location.

With the battery correctly located, the Sky Cruiser flies great. It will easily fly at half throttle and has a wonderful glide slope. The rudder provides ample turning authority without stalls. I found that I could enhance the speed of the turns by a slight throttle bump, but overall you will get comfortable with the flying quality. The Sky Cruiser has a long battery life capable of more than ten minute flights, and should you get really good at flying the plane it will fly at pretty good speeds. So you get a wide range of flight: from slow as you learn to fast when you get better.

Wind is a definite influence on flight, and I noticed as the wind came up I had trouble getting back to the flying field into the wind. I would say 4-5 MPH is about all it can handle, so keep this in mind.

Taking Off and Landing

The Sky Cruiser is a hand launch plane that requires just a gentle push into the air. When the CG is correct, the plane flies level and straight. Landings are easy: The glide slope is gentle and stalls are not an issue. Just keep a steady line down the runway and let it settle to the ground.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The best I could muster were continuous loops. They were really kind of fun as they will sustain themselves in a straight loop as long as you want. I did not get much in the way of barrel rolls.

Is This For a Beginner?

Without a doubt, hands down this is for a beginner. It is a great plane to take to the park and one you can indeed learn to fly.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Downloads

Conclusion

I have to say for about $100, this is one of the best entry-level planes I have flown. It is durable, well designed, well made; EP foam that takes a beating, and it is 2.4 GHz. You get it all: It flies as designed giving you hours of fun. I wish I had something like this when I first started flying. If you take it to the park with some grass to land on or crash into, I think you can learn to fly the plane and enjoy the experience of RC. Give the Sky Cruiser a try!

Good

  • 2.4 GHZ Transmitter
  • Dual rates
  • 10-minute flight times

Bad

  • End user misunderstanding of CG location
Last edited by 78dave; Sep 20, 2011 at 06:03 PM..

Discussion

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Old Sep 21, 2011, 11:07 AM
ooops
StCalvin's Avatar
Dekalb,Illinois
Joined Oct 2003
1,452 Posts
Made by Nine Eagles? Certainly their transmitter....
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 04:01 PM
Balsa Builder. With some foam.
ArneHu's Avatar
Eastern Norway Scandinavia
Joined Dec 2009
1,084 Posts
Looks very like my Nine Eagles Sky Surfer in design. But Sky Surfer is four ch. and more fun to fly.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 06:28 AM
Registered User
United States, PA, Butler
Joined Jun 2006
1,002 Posts
Just a slight fix in the description of the foam because there are several different foams that people throw around the names of and they all have quite different properties....

This wouldn't be extruded polystyrene. It would be expanded polystyrene. Extruded polystyrene is extruded in sheet form such as the favorite Dow fan fold foam, Depron, Rediboard at the Dollar Store, etc. Expanded foams would be individual beads expanded from plastic pellets and steam molded into a shape such as this airframe.

On top of that, at least with the wings, this from their website.....



.... leads me to believe it is not polystyrene but polyolefin or possible polypropylene. Expanded polystyrene is very very light, but also very brittle in that it won't flex but will snap because of how very little steam is used in the molding process fusing the little foam beads together. Polyolefin is a mixture of polystyrene and polyethylene which allows it to be far more flexible. Polypropylene is quite a bit heavier, but even more flexible and would be nearly crashproof compared to the other 2 foams.

I work with expanded foams manufacturing, so I just wanted to clear that up because it does make a difference in crash resistivity. I don't see on the website where it tells what foam is used in manufacturing. All I see is a small link to where they describe "FlightFlex Foam" as being flexible and crash resistant.

Looks like a neat little Easystar style micro model, something to put in the hanger to add a pusher prop glider to the micro warbirds for some relaxed cruising.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 11:54 AM
Registered User
Joined Oct 2004
4 Posts
Cox Sky Cruiser

Yep it's made by Nine Eagles.

This is IMO a terrific low wind flyer... I've found that it responds well to launching at half throttle.
Good review, Dave.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 01:24 PM
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United States, CT, Hartford
Joined Jun 2009
5,336 Posts
Nice review, was waiting to see one. Perhaps a tad high for the size, but nice to see a 4channel plane this small!
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 02:50 PM
Bye Bye VP Aug 2010 - Aug 2012
Gerry__'s Avatar
United Kingdom, London
Joined Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Nice review, was waiting to see one. Perhaps a tad high for the size, but nice to see a 4channel plane this small!
It's actually only 3ch.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 04:43 PM
Balsa Builder. With some foam.
ArneHu's Avatar
Eastern Norway Scandinavia
Joined Dec 2009
1,084 Posts
This one is 4 ch. And it's about same size:


Nine Eagles Sky surfer. Nice and fun flyer. Actually I have experienced my first real thermals with it. I have one ready to fly, and one hanging in a large Birch.

Wing span: 780mm
Overall Length: 520mm
Flying weight: 110g
Battery: 7,4V 250mAh Li-PO
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Last edited by ArneHu; Sep 22, 2011 at 04:49 PM.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 10:27 PM
Registered User
Canada
Joined Nov 2000
6,939 Posts
I thought COX closed it's doors.. years ago.
So someone is using the name on 'other' products.
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 12:27 AM
Dude, I do fly all day long!
rcalldaylong's Avatar
San Jose, California
Joined Dec 2007
5,828 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
I thought COX closed it's doors.. years ago.
So someone is using the name on 'other' products.
yep. Doesn't look like the real cox, otherwise, it won't get off the ground. Those cox/estes planes didn't fly and were more or less garbage.
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 01:35 AM
Bye Bye VP Aug 2010 - Aug 2012
Gerry__'s Avatar
United Kingdom, London
Joined Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
I thought COX closed it's doors.. years ago.
So someone is using the name on 'other' products.
Someone was claiming the Sky Cruiser to be an all new and original deign by Cox. This claim was challenged at the time only for the individual to get all defensive/offensive.

In truth the Sky Cruiser is just a Nine Eagle Sky Runner with different decals.



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Old Sep 23, 2011, 06:01 AM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
Joined Sep 2003
2,183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry__ View Post
Someone was claiming the Sky Cruiser to be an all new and original deign by Cox. This claim was challenged at the time only for the individual to get all defensive/offensive.

In truth the Sky Cruiser is just a Nine Eagle Sky Runner with different decals.
Good call, if you look at the photo of the RX board it says "Nine Eagles" on it...

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Old Sep 23, 2011, 08:12 AM
multi rotors,foamies,car lover
windfou's Avatar
Joined Dec 2008
1,449 Posts
Dear mister dave78 i think you have really lot of spare to time to do such a review on a 100$ rtf piece of foam , You really inspire me to make a review on my new BMW i just bougth but when i will have the time(but when?) i will phone my friends to made a review about my car with some detailed picture like you done really nicely on your review thank you for your review i will dream about this plane tonigth and maybe one day my dream will come true and flown this incredible plane.
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Last edited by windfou; Sep 25, 2011 at 06:40 PM.
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 12:15 PM
Speed Nut
Joined Jan 2010
479 Posts
it's a toy, it's not a model.
no standard radio, no standard servos, no standard receiver---equals----toy
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 12:15 PM
Transmogrified.
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Southern California
Joined Feb 2006
2,830 Posts
I was originally slated to review this bird, but I had a lot of problems with my sample.

The part about the wind is absolutely correct and led me to the erroneous conclusion that it was unflyable. I tried mine in what seemed to 5 mph winds and it was just all over the place. The CG was wildly off as well.

After adjusting the control throws - and yes, double checking the CG - I have a wonderful little flyer if the winds aren't blowing. It's remarkably fast and agile, but it needs a bit of power on even if you're trying to glide. The rudder loses its effectiveness if the prop isn't blowing air across it.
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