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Old Mar 26, 2012, 12:37 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
Paducah, Kentucky
Joined Nov 2004
825 Posts
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Originally Posted by skyhawk newbie View Post
Anybody up-graded to a brushless motor yet?

Sean
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1592502
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 05:05 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Rancho Palos Verdes
Joined Mar 2012
48 Posts
First flight today. Noticed ailerons were a bit off but figured I'd do a couple power off throws to see how bad it was. Even with the aileron and rudder trim full right it was turning left. Still managed to get a little feel for it though. Seems like the controls throws are short so response is not amazing, anything I can do about that? Thanks to fr8dog and everyone else. This plane is gonna be fun

Edit: Just went out again in too much wind. It flew much better this time but I decided to quit before something broke
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:11 PM
Once you taste flight...
skydvejam's Avatar
United States, VA, Fort Belvoir
Joined Dec 2011
2,660 Posts
Well I have my sky surfer, and it is my first plane, although I fly heli's. Nice flier for sure, went though one fuse and tail set learning, and have had to solder some stuff on the boards from less than graceful landings, but it is a nice flying bird. I have been using Zippy 350 20c battery's in her and figured out how to get the CG right with a little trimming of the canopy's foam. I can get 25-45 minute flights easy depending on the wind and thermals. I have found a lot of enjoyment flying this little plane until it is just a spec in the sky. I have had some fun times with birds, and plan on getting it's big brother soon.
Like I said I am a heli guy, but this has me converting for some nice relaxing flying. I do fly it in winds that are too high most likely, but I just can not wait for the perfect day sometimes.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 12:04 AM
unlicensed helicopter nut
zen@lanset.com's Avatar
Berkeley, California
Joined Jan 2007
3,699 Posts
skydvejam— I'm with you; a heli flier venturing into fixed wing. I had an EasyGlider Pro that I managed to wreck beyond repair and now am waiting for a Skyclimber to arrive from Hobby King.

I find soaring enjoyable, though compared to rotary wings it feels like I'm 'standing around under the glider'. Less tension and adrenaline but maybe we'll live longer this way .... ? At least we don't have any problem integrating the roll axis with the rest of the controls.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 06:05 PM
Balsa Builder. With some foam.
ArneHu's Avatar
Eastern Norway Scandinavia
Joined Dec 2009
1,071 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febtober29 View Post
First flight today. Noticed ailerons were a bit off but figured I'd do a couple power off throws to see how bad it was. Even with the aileron and rudder trim full right it was turning left. Still managed to get a little feel for it though. Seems like the controls throws are short so response is not amazing, anything I can do about that? Thanks to fr8dog and everyone else. This plane is gonna be fun

Edit: Just went out again in too much wind. It flew much better this time but I decided to quit before something broke
Use the "pro mode" on the transmitter. Much better control. Read the manual how to do it.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 09:33 AM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
Joined Sep 2003
2,183 Posts
I went out to maiden my new Sky Surfer yesterday. I'd checked everything, zeroed the controls as best I could (out of the box there was a huge amount of right rudder deflection with the servo centered...check ALL controls carefully!) and balance appeared fine. I arrived at the bowling alley parking lot in my power wheelchair carrying the large box...and getting a lot of curious looks enroute from gawkers...and proceeded to set up. Once all was ready, I applied full power and gave it a toss.

Uh-oh, twenty feet from me she quit climbing and the motor screamed. I chopped power and set her down. Yep, the prop/spinner unit had come loose. I hadn't anticipated this and didn't have my Phillips jeweler's screwdriver, so I was done. I went home, put a teeny dab of 'magic Chinese glue' on the tip of the motor, pushed the spinner back on, and tightened the set screw firmly.

Back at it this morning...including the screwdriver just in case. Same as yesterday, gawkers and all. I set up, applied full power and pitched the Sky Surfer forward.

Okay, I think I'm in love.

It climbed out at a steep angle, enough to warrant a couple of clicks of down elevator. This plane looks majestic in the air with its high aspect ratio wing, and I did slow circles up to altitude. Shutting off power, it seems to have a decent glide, though it's hard to be really certain; this area always seems to have a goodly amount of chop once you're fifty feet or so above the treeline, even with calm or nearly calm wind right after sunup.

I got two batteries through it today in 3 sorties, and probably could have flown longer with the two Thunder Power 250mah 2S packs, I have, I swapped packs after my second landing, perhaps a bit overcautiously, but like the Durafly micro Slick 360, this thing does cover ground quickly, and this parking lot is surrounded by obstacles of varying heights, along with the big metal bowling alley sign near the road. After the third landing, I decided not to push my luck, packed up and went home.

Yet again I curse this stupid disability that has me in a wheelchair and unable to use the many potential flying sites not far away...but unusable for me until I reach my fundraising goal and modify my vehicle for wheelchair access. Soon, I devoutly hope...I now have 3 planes I'm not comfortable flying from this bowling alley parking lot, the Skyangel 35mmEDF Hawk jet, the Durafly micro Slick 360, and this. I'll likely fly it some more from this site, but my Champ, UM T-28 and Sky 500 are what I'll be flying when I want a relaxed experience.

The Sky Surfer is a lovely motorglider, but I have some observations and cautions:
  • This is NOT a beginner's airplane despite that claim in the ad copy and on the box. It's an aerodynamically clean, performance oriented glider and the wing, while a nice solid airfoil with some substance to it, seems a bit critical and prone to tip stalling. The rudder is quite effective, and it'd be easy for a beginner to put this machine into a spiral dive by overcontrolling. If you're a beginner, stick with the simpler and slower Sky 500 or Hobbyzone Champ.
  • The ailerons are large and effective, but once you slow down, there's a critical airspeed where their effectiveness really falls off. Doubtless I'll get more comfortable with flying it at different speeds with practice, but a beginner who's only used to having 'primary turn' on the stick with 3 channel trainers might not be fast enough to start using that rudder on the left stick (Mode 2) if they get slow...or a rank beginner might not think to use it at all. In the air at moderate cruise speed, the Sky Surfer makes really beautiful turns if ailerons are coordinated with rudder and elevator, but again the plane's clean lines need to be kept in mind. It's slippery, and can accelerate quickly, so it'd be very easy for an inexperienced pilot to come to grief, especially with losing situational awareness if the plane's pointed straight at or away from them when it presents a minimal profile.
  • Again...CHECK THAT ALL CONTROLS ARE ZEROED as best you can with the transmitter trims at neutral. Upon reviewing my setup, I saw that the couple of clicks of nose down trim I had to use were needed because the elevator had just a bit of upward deflection.
  • Even with the controls zeroed, the plane will still exhibit a lot of nose up tendency at full power. I'm not surprised; the horizontal stabilizer has some negative incidence and with the strong prop blast wants to pitch up at full power. This is NOT a CG problem, but the plane's natural tendency to pitch up as that downforce on the stab increases. Normal aerodynamics, but it could be confusing to a beginner. With reduced power the plane cruises nicely level and it has a surprisingly flat glide with power off. Just don't start adding nose weight when you see that nose rise under full power; it's not a CG issue as I mentioned, just get used to applying forward pressure until you back off on the power.
  • Last, be careful when replacing the canopy when you're ready to fly. There's not much room in there, and I found careful positioning of the battery wires was needed lest they interfere with the linear servos for R/E.
Nine Eagles has a winner with this Sky Surfer, and once I can get to a larger site I'll be able to fly it more comfortably...right now it's a bit nerve-wracking, all things considered, so I'll be using the Sky 500 more than I'd thought I would be.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 04:43 PM
Registered User
United States, CA, Rancho Palos Verdes
Joined Mar 2012
48 Posts
I sloped it today!
Went down to the space I normally fly and got the feel of it for a few minutes. Noticed there was a rare south wind blowing into the cliff so I decided I had to try it. Threw it out over the 100 ft cliff with my heart pounding even though I knew I had a motor to save me. It flew great! I got several back and forth level passes with no motor use at all just pure glider. Wind fell off a bit after that so the next couple flights were gentle descents until I motored home.

ArneHu : I did have it on high rates, I was just trying to fly in too small a space. I had to get used to it being far less nimble than my champ.

Mu2: That's great your flight went well. I second your comments on the way it flies. I'm coming from 3 channel so coordinating rudder input is something I'm working on and part of the reason I got this plane.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 07:08 PM
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United States, CA, Rancho Palos Verdes
Joined Mar 2012
48 Posts
Update: I was sloping it again and doing great when it stopped responding to control inputs. I watched as it gently circled downwind away from me. After a 45 min search I located it on the side of the cliff. Retrieval from the beach will be possible but not easy. Tx batts were at 2/3 and ships batt was fresh with no motor runs at all.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 09:46 PM
unlicensed helicopter nut
zen@lanset.com's Avatar
Berkeley, California
Joined Jan 2007
3,699 Posts
This happened with my first powered fixed wing model. The landing was not as nice as yours, either. Time to put your reliable Rx in it.
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Old Mar 31, 2012, 10:25 PM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
Joined Sep 2003
2,183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febtober29 View Post
Update: I was sloping it again and doing great when it stopped responding to control inputs. I watched as it gently circled downwind away from me. After a 45 min search I located it on the side of the cliff. Retrieval from the beach will be possible but not easy. Tx batts were at 2/3 and ships batt was fresh with no motor runs at all.
I haven't had that happen, but as I said, if a battery wire gets NEAR one of those linear servos it can jam. I've had several instances where everything was fine and the battery was in place, but one or the other servo wouldn't move.

That's the hazard with the NE gear, it's hobby grade, but low end hobby grade and isn't as fine or precise as the Spektrum or even HobbyKing gear I've tried.

Removing and carefully replacing the battery and wires each time has cleared it up every time for me. As I noted on the HK site, I'd prefer to use my DX6i but haven't kicked up a fuss since with these little sailplanes having all the computer radio features is really overkill.

Perhaps going to the trouble of replacing the NE brick with a Spektrum one would be worth your effort if the problem persists. The Sky Surfer certainly has a good airframe, with a high quality receiver/servo/ESC brick it'd be superb.
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Old Apr 02, 2012, 11:18 AM
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Joined Mar 2012
4 Posts
It was strong wind gust, I lost control for a moment and crashed my plane. In result: nose part of body (with motor and propeller still attached to it) is broken apart from plane; one major and few minor cracks on head part of plane. It seems that electronics and servos is good, main motor seems good too. So (I believe) I need only some glue to bring parts together and repair cracks.

I found it is recommended CA glue but I'm not sure about PVA glue.

Is PVA good enough to glue Sky Surfer's body?
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Old Apr 02, 2012, 01:26 PM
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United States, CA, Rancho Palos Verdes
Joined Mar 2012
48 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by mu2freighter View Post
Perhaps going to the trouble of replacing the NE brick with a Spektrum one would be worth your effort if the problem persists. The Sky Surfer certainly has a good airframe, with a high quality receiver/servo/ESC brick it'd be superb.
Yeah I'm thinking that my champ brick would work great in there since the servos seem to have better travel and spektrum would be nice for the future. Too bad I like my champ and I'm not ready to cannibalize it.
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Old Apr 02, 2012, 01:39 PM
unlicensed helicopter nut
zen@lanset.com's Avatar
Berkeley, California
Joined Jan 2007
3,699 Posts
FWIW the orange DSM2 Rx's from Hobby King (8 - 10.00 each) have proven reliable at long range for me and others who fly locally. I use a satellite antenna with the two that I fly and have never lost control of a model.
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Old Apr 02, 2012, 11:10 PM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
Joined Sep 2003
2,183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen@lanset.com View Post
FWIW the orange DSM2 Rx's from Hobby King (8 - 10.00 each) have proven reliable at long range for me and others who fly locally. I use a satellite antenna with the two that I fly and have never lost control of a model.
Agreed, and that could certainly be an option if needed, I've got some R415 receivers and like them fine. With some of the 1.7g HK-5320 servos and a suitable speed controller you'd be all set.

I just prefer not to mess with a decent stock setup if I don't have to, I like that the Sky Surfer generally works just fine as delivered, making it a heck of a deal, especially if you already have a transmitter and get the BNF version as I did.
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Old Apr 02, 2012, 11:19 PM
easily confused
mu2freighter's Avatar
Nashville Metro, Tennessee, United States
Joined Sep 2003
2,183 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febtober29 View Post
Yeah I'm thinking that my champ brick would work great in there since the servos seem to have better travel and spektrum would be nice for the future. Too bad I like my champ and I'm not ready to cannibalize it.
I'm of the same mind, but if it came to it, if you shop around you can pick up a Champ fuselage with electrics for around $30, not too painful to get a brick, motor and gearbox.

With my reduced function in my left hand from MS (and of course I'm left handed) I wouldn't be too enthusiastic about replacing the stock motor and I do like that folding prop.
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