Sky Surfer - aka Bixler See Post #2 & #3 for parts & mods B4 asking
Hi guys (gals welcome too). Welcome to the Sky Surfer (aka SkyS) thread. This thread is for those folks who have bought a SkyS or who are thinking about buying one and is looking for resources to learn about the SkyS. All folks are welcome here. The only thing I request is that everyone should be polite. This plane is bound to become a very popular and inexpensive alternative to the Easy Star (which is also an awesome plane). Under no conditions will I delete or refuse a post from anyone. Those difficult decisions are up to the moderator of RCG. I see my job here as just another person who posts and learns from all of you folks and the librarian for this page. Most of what I have learned in RC has been from many, many nice folks on other threads and I am deeply indebted to them for their sharing. I reserved post #2 & #3 for the ideas that you folks come up with that should be shared with everyone. So, Posts #2 and #3 are from YOU for YOU.
Vendors, Assembly Tips, & specs
1. Hobby King now carries this plane in the USA warehouse under the name of Bixler - It is a Sky Surfer, V1. Here it is:
It is also carried in the international warehouse in both Kit (No Motor, No Servos, No ESC). and ARF (same as USA above) formats.
Thanks to gtoguy who noticed that an update to this information was necessary.
2. ReadyMadeRC is a supplier of this plane. I have received 7 comments from members on this thread about this vendor and the comments have been stellar. They carry 3 models (Kit, ARF, RTF) of the Sky Surfer with no pictures. It is confirmed to be the plane that we all love. However, be aware that the pictures shown on his website are of a part V1 and part V2 plane. The V2 is a more popular plane. I do not know what he is shipping for sure.
Contributed by motoguy1.
Thus far, the reports on this company continue to be stellar.
3. Banana Hobby is a supplier of this plane. But, their reputation is so bad, I cannot suggest ordering anything from them. Lately, the orders for ARF's have been doing pretty well in regard to the order to delivery time. If you have ANY problems with the ARF or ANYTHING else, their customer service is close to non-existence and you will be sorry you ever dealt with them. I did not post a link to them because they are so horrible to do business with. You have been warned.
UPDATE: (12/10/11): The V3 that BH advertises now is just marketing BS. All that has been changed is the radio (I suspect it is a lower quality radio). It is just labeled V3 to sucker you into buying from them. I would not trust them on this at all. Choose another vendor.
UPDATE (1/1/12): The V4 was recently released. The pictures of a V4 shown here were contributed by Ron RC:
Also, please read this documentation, Also from Ron RC (good reading): http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...ostcount=11779
UPDATE (1/17/12): The V4 is very different from the V3. Thanks to Dkumagai for the following detail pics:
See Version discussion below.
UPDATE (10/22/12): The Bixler 1 is identical to the Sky Surfer Version 1 except for the decals.
UPDATE (10/22/12): The Bixler 2 is a very different plane because it has a wing span of 1500mm and several other differences.
4. In the UK, you can purchase the Sky Surfer from this link: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=4577
Contributed by peterpiper.
5. Skip Miller models carries this plane. Link Contributed by garymcc. But, read the warning (writeup) about this vendor FIRST!!
OR <direct link>
6. Here is a link to a store in the UK. Contributed by fpsazerbaijan. http://www.marionvillemodels.com/rc-...r_5501274.html
Parts List - The stuff needed if you buy JUST a KIT:
1. Motor -http://www.himodel.com/electric/HiMo...t_B2835-D.html
OR Contributed by shunyata: http://www.advantagehobby.com/39424/...mpaign=product
2. ESC - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=2164
2a. The Mystery 30A ESC has a couple of not-so-good reports. You might want to read them and make up your own mind if you want to use it.
Contributed by studa66: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=4949
3. Servos - Get 4 - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...?idProduct=662
4. LiPo - Get 2 (1-spare) - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=6308
5. Charger - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=7028
6. Power Supply for charger - http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...er_Supply.html
7. Prop Adapter - Use a 2.3mm for V1 & V2 BL. Thanks to ozair for this correction.
Miscelleneous - optional - but a good idea:
1. Hot Glue Gun - Medium Temperature - http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053 -Any source of your choosing would be fine for this one.
There are many choices for the above parts. The ones listed are the proven/reliable ones that have worked for everyone who uses them. If I have forgotten anything, please post.
Assembly Tips and Build Logs
1. CG for Sky Surfer (all versions V1, V2, and V3) and Bixler should be 60mm from LE of wing. The CG for the Sky Surfer V4 should be 71mm-thanks to Hayabusa for the update from his manual.
1a. Besides the CG, another very important thing is to get the prop on correctly. See the picture below. Credit goes to Mac50L for his suggestion to post the information here.
2. Wings MUST be secured. See #4, #5, and #6 in mods below.
3. Gluing the halves together. We get asked questions so often that the topic needed to have a spot in assembly tips. Contributed by Prof100:
4. The Decals on the Bixler are horrible and need to refastened. Contributed by StarHopper44.
5. This is the most detailed build log of all of them. Contributed by kmihalkov:
6. A detailed build log with information for all. Contributed by Papo_60: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=332365
7. Another Excellent build log. Contributed by Prof100: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=165037
8. A video build log contributed by Solidarn.
9. Another nice build Log. Contributed by orcoz: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1472914
Cautions and LiPo's
1. Read this about the handling of LiPo's (contributed by jeeper1977):
2. Watch this video: It is a bit long. But, until someone recommends a better one, I will use it:
Specs & Definitions:
Motor Specs - Brushless
Here are the numbers (all static with WattsUp meter):
11.37 Vm (stock battery)
Differences Between Version 1 (V1) And Version 2 (V2), V3, V4, V5, Super, and Pro Sky Surfers and Bixler models:
1. V1 has black painted canopy. V2, V3, V4, V5 have a clear canopy with pilot inside.
2. V1 has push rods on the outside of the fuselage. V2, V3. V4, (not V5) push rods are on the inside.
3. V2, V3, V4 push rods are longer than V1 push rods. Contributed by belize pilot.
4. V1 had antenna exit hole in the bottom of the fuselage. V2, V3, and V4 has none.
5. V1 has a channel on the bottom to put in a CF tube. V2, V3, and V4 has none.
6. V2, V3, V4 is better reinforced inside the fuselage. See Pictures at the bottom of this post.
6a. V4-The new one - 1372mm WS. Just like the original V1 except for the WS.
7. V5 is a 1400mm WS and includes flaps
7a. Mini - 850mm WS. Available HERE in RTF only.
8. Pro has a 1600mm WS, folding prop, Digital servos, and flaps. Uses a 4S LiPo.
8a. Super - 2000mm WS - Thanks to robschonk for this addition.
9. Super - 2400mm WS - Full 5 channel airplane.
10, Bixler V1 - Like the V1 Sky Surfer.
11. Bixler V1.1 - Like the V2 Sky Surfer. See thru canopy w/pilot.
12. Bixler V2 - 1500mm WS. See thru canopy.
13. The Washers/weights/etc in planes so equipped. If you want to see what weights come with which plane then-> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=5915
14. The Flight Test Contributed by Josh & Josh:
15. Listed below is a brief summary of the differences in the versions:
V1- The original - The largest internal storage of all versions.
V2- Reinforced fuselage, servos inside fuslage, canopy is clear with pilot inside.
V3- Really it is just a V2 with a different Radio (FlySky radio)
V4- 1372mm WS. Bolted in wings, improved motor mount, see Pictures: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...ostcount=12303
Pro-1600mm WS, Digital servos, Flaps, folding prop
Super-2000mm WS. Available HERE . Thanks to robschonk for this addition.
Super-2400mm WS, full 5 channel.
Bixler 1 - Same as V1 Sky Surfer.
Bixler 1.1 - Same as V2 Sky Surfer.
Bixler 2 - 1500mm WS, Flaps
The picture below is from the manufacturer of the SkyS motor.
Everything I read for definitions of RC plane configurations overlaps from time to time. Here is what I adopted - be it right or wrong:
RTF - You don't need anything in the way of parts. It is totally complete.
RR - An RTF without the receiver (usually includes a battery). Always comes with motor, ESC, and servos.
PNP - Plug and Play (plug and pray) - An RTF with no transmitter. You must use your existing transmitter.
BNF - Bind and Fly - see PNP. Synonymous.
ARF - Everything else except a kit, scratch build, or plans only.
Kit - All pieces/parts and plans/instructions with no electronics (may or may not have a motor).
Long Kit - See kit above.
Short Kit - All complex parts are included (Canopy, LE, TE, cowling pieces, odd shaped parts, any pieces that are not easily built or obtained). Common parts (like balsa, piano wire, glue, wheels) must be purchased. I have built a couple of these.
Scratch Build - Plans only. No parts at all.
Plans Only - self explanatory.
ImagesView all Images in thread
1. How to remove the worthless washers. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=124
2. How to remove the worthless washer #2. Thanks to flyvertigo for this one. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=236
3. How to remove the Prop Adapter. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=124
4. Deans or XT60 separating tool. A MUST have IMO. Contributed by StarHopper44: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=7399
5. Wing holding method #1: (Contributed by ajbaker) http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=306
6. Wing holding method #2: (Contributed by ajbaker - original designer-unknown): http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2149
********ONE OF THE ABOVE MODS (5, or 6, or variation) IS REQUIRED************** OR Glue the wings in (per instructions)
7. Spar Cover attachment Method - Very clean - Contributed by Ron RC: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2433
8. Sky Surfer Universal Motor Mount - Really nice UMM contributed by antennahead. Superb craftsmanship.
9. Universal Motor Mount - A simpler less elegant way to make a UMM: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=34
10. Motor Mount using a GWS plastic mount - Nice work - contibuted by Weekend Flyer: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2861
11. Laser Cut Motor Mount: http://www.readymaderc.com/store/ind...products_id=13 Contributed by Prof100.
12. Landing Gear Addition: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=173
13. Replace all control horns with THESE (contributed by StarHopper44). You will need 4 (6 if you put the flaps mod in.) The ones that come with the plane are too thin and cause two problems. The elevator horn breaks easily during landing AND there is way too much side to side play in the linkages causing sloppy control authority.
14. Replace The ESC with an 18-20A ESC. It is too substandard to use. If it is run down to LVC, ALL electronics may stop working (i.e. Crash).
15. Replace the prop with a TGS (or APC) 6x4E prop. It is less than 1/2 as loud as the stock prop and produces 30oz of thrust at a paltry 11.8a. CAUTION: Using other brands can cause damage to you or your plane.
16. Install a 3mm carbon fiber rod under the bottom of the fuselage. It is necessary to avoid fuselage flex. Mandatory for FPV folks.
17. ESC relocation - ESC runs too hot: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=249
18: ESC Cooling #1: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=252
19. ESC Cooling #2 (contributed by 2500GENE): http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attac...mentid=3257370
20. Replace 6mm spar with 8mm Spar (contributed by Crist Rigotti): http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=364
21. OR, install a 4mm CF rod inside the stock 6mm spar.
22. Wing Spar Reinforcement (contributed by Prof100) - MANDATORY if you plan to do aerobatics:http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=669
23. Additional Wing Spar Reinforcement (contributed by Prof100) - This adds additional strength at the rear of the wing next to the ailerons. Great extra strength for the folks wanting to do agressive to extreme aerobatics or to protect the wing from extreme or panic pull-outs. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1026
24. Yet another way to do a major spar reinforcement for the V2 only: (Contributed by AJbaker) http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=2682
25. Modify wing spar to 8mm: Contibuted by Limited Flyer - Documented by ajbaker
26. A much easier way to remove and attach the ailerons: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1044 For a couple of other pictures, see these: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1043
27. Removable tail feathers mod. For those of you that need more space when transporting the SkyS/Bixler - Here is a very nice mod & well documented. Contributed by Lafayette: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=288699
28. Remember to disconnect all the surfaces and exercise the foam hinges to make sure they move fairly free (suggestion by Prof100).
29. Replace the foam hinges with larger hinges if you want to really make them work well. HERE are the hinges I recommend (3 on each aileron).
30. Review Tip stalls in the Videos section.
31. Replacing a servo: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=1574
32. Sky Surfer(s) Carrying Stand-While not really a "mod", This design is so good, I felt it deserved a place here. Contributed by Eagle-Eye.
33. Specific to the V2 - Servo mounting to allow servo changing without tearing the fuselage apart. (Contributed by ajbaker):
34. Ways to hold the canopy on: Contributed by jrjr http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=6434
35. Another way to hold on the canopy: Contributed by rchank - http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...postcount=6400
36. For those of you that are going to go FPV on your SkyS. Contributed by ilovefpv: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1533848
37. Prevent canopy from going through the prop - contributed by taz101: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...ostcount=14719
Here are some of the generally accepted guidelines to taking and posting videos to make sure you get the most viewers:
1. Keep the video to around 3 minutes in length (some say less than 3). Otherwise, it gets boring.
2. Keep the plane as close to you as is safely possible for you and others in your group. It is hard to see those really fine acrobatics when you can't even tell what they are.
3. Mute the motor sound or replace it with music of your liking. Remember that most of us are in the gray hair generation and Heavy Metal is not very nice on our ears.
4. If you able to talk while flying, it is nice to hear what you are doing before you do it and your reaction during and after the stunt/procedure. I have received many, many compliments about this one thing and I don't know of anyone else that has done it (although, I am sure there must be some).
5. Please do not take crotch shots. Nobody cares and it is borderline disgusting.
6. Do not make us watch while you go out and pick up your plane to get it ready for the next launch.
7. Edit out all those little things that are of no interest to anyone.
TIP STALLS - Here is a primer on them and some thoughts on managing them:
What happens if you don't securely attach the wings........
Κύπρος, Λευκωσία, Πέρα Χωριό
Joined Jan 2010
Joined Aug 2009
My bud is still up in the air about buying one.
I hopefully got mine yesterday at my winter home in Yuma. (I'm back in Washington for a week to do spring yard work.) Thanks for the list of suggested mod's. I'll do them when I get back down to Arizona. I'm looking forward to getting it into the air. Lately I've been flying my EZ with the landing gear on it. Its a blast. I've got some video of some T & G's to post when I get back.
Thanks again for the list.
Are BH the only people that stock them? Do you think that BH are manufacturing them, or I wonder if they are clones of other models but with the Sky Surfer name that BH gave them?
As you know there are a few 'look alike' EZ*s about.
My name is Saralyn C. and I am a customer service representative of Banana Hobby, the proud distributor of the Sky Surfer. Just for reference here are some links:
Banana Hobby Sky Surfer RTF
Banana Hobby Sky Surfer ARF
Sky Surfer Parts
As far as I know, we are the only one to carry the Sky Surfer, and Pete worked with the manufacture is developing this glider.
Should anyone have any questions or concerns regarding an order please feel free to PM me or email me directly at BHSara09@BananaHobby.com.
Joined Aug 2009
I planned on putting in a BL anyway. I am looking for a motor that is better than stock. My WH has the 2212-06 motor 2200kv with a 6x4 prop.
I think that combo is a little too much for the WH, SkyS and all the other similar planes. Any suggestions for upgraded motor for the SkyS?
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