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Old Nov 10, 2004, 06:01 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
My Buddy this winter? Sky Buddy.

With winter approaching & the onset of colder weather, I have found myself somewhat reluctant to Charge up six packs, load the deprons in the truck and be shivering in the field. I found myself doing a few more builds and flying noticeably less because of the cold, but I had seen one of those Wattage Micros at the LHS and purchased that first. It was a fun concept and the thought of being able to fly in a lit up cul-de-sac with a mico sized RC Plane at a moments notice was very appealing to me.

I tried the Wattage Micro Flyer and liked it however was a bit disappointed that when removing it out-of the box my rudder had a slight problem with leaning to the right. After a few days of working with it I had it flying, but wasn't satisfied with its overall performance - I ended up removing the electrics and building and entire new airframe for it and now it does fly better and It was a fun little hack. However, I didnt feel it quite lived up to my expectations with its flight characteristics and long battery charge. I wanted a plane I could literally keep in the box, and have ready to go on breaks at work

- About the same time I bought the Wattage Micro, I went ahead and purchased a "Sky Buddy" from the Plantraco.com website after seeing the big ad in FlyRC , It arrived probably about 4 days after I had been messing around with the Wattage Micro flyer - After the first flite, My vote was cast - I had the plane in the air all of 2 minutes before I knew I had done a good thing in buying this little guy!

Im not knocking the Wattage Micro at all, I still like it, and fly my re-modded micro all the time, but in my opinion, in a straight up comparison of overall performance and out of the box flyabilty between the 2 planes with SB being $35 (plus shipping) and Wattage being $40, I really prefer the Sky buddy, and if I was only going to buy one it would be the SB.

I am going to keep this plane stock except for perhaps the Lipo mod they have for this plane... It is a different setup than the Wattage plane using 2 small engines and differential thrust for the steering, but it can still fly really nicely in front of my house. The Tx has sticks no buttons and the tiny 3 cell Nimh charges in literally 3 minutes << that short charge time - that's a big thing for me. My Micro was taking 40 min to charge the small lipo for 10 min flite times. Ive been able to keep the Sky Buddy in the air roughly 7 min. on the Nimh - not a bad tradeoff when you consider the drastic reduction in charge times... I must mention however that I wore out the Tx batts after 11 or so flites, and so now I just run back into the house and charge the batt. on the Hobbico to save the Tx. Batts and that has workd great. I think im going to order another custom made little Nimh pak from Mike at CBP until im ready to go for the Lipo mod on this plane. When asked about the Lipo mod, on this plane they were quick to respond with a photo-instructional how -to on the mod. I have yet to try this mod, but it is supposed to increase flite times dramatically.

Does anybody else own one? What are your opinions in regards to this little guy? Have you been satisfied with it? If so for what reasons? Anybody try the mod and can give us a performance report? I want to point out that I am in no way affiliated with Plantraco and this is just my opinion based on an out-of the box comparison of flight characteristics
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Last edited by Hobiestoke; Nov 10, 2004 at 07:57 PM.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 06:39 PM
To many projects
66tbird's Avatar
USA, AZ, Litchfield Park
Joined Aug 2004
1,055 Posts
Interesting, and I would tend to agree with the power/time trade off. So which one is the more rugged?

I have flown the BR for a youngster at the park and it did fly good. Though he had a little trouble getting a handle on it because it was rather fast, I loved it and rang that little thing out like a fun flier needing his fly fix should. . Gave his old man a real challenge with the camcorder also
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 07:04 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
Mind you, this is just my opinion, but I feel the Sky Buddy is more rugged, because it uses two differential thrust motors instead of an actuator for steering. The main reason I had to re-build my WMF was because one of the very thin actuator wires broke when I crashed the plane into a stop sign, so I had to make an entirley new actuator for it and went ahead and build a new lighter airframe as well - see pic...Wattage plane fun to mod, but im keeping SB stock.

The differential thrust does need a bit wider an area to turn in, but I can still fly SB in the cul-de-sac in front of my house and in the park it really shines
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 07:19 PM
Registered User
Nürnberg, Germany
Joined Sep 2004
105 Posts
This 'Sky Buddy' looks exactly like the 'Syma Preserver' I have (I think i is sold at Raidentech or so).
I can only agree to it being a very easy to fly plane, although it does need some getting used to at first if you have former expereince in RC flight. The two engine steering is different.
There's a nice video showing these in flight and how they handle:
http://plantraco.com/video_skybuddy4.html

For me, the 'sound' was quite a thing also. The two engines make a destinct sound that makes this plane very well locateable if you loose it out of sight (flying against the sun etc.). I have flown mine 'blind' an many occasions and was able to safely recover each time. That's also due to the in-build flight stability. If you don't go full throttle constantly, the plane will recover from almost anything. One thing that takes getting used to is the fact that full throttle is also 'up', so it will stall if you keep it full throttle too long (depends largly on CG and trimm, but the basic behaviour is there)

I can only say that this little thing is a real load of fun, and is also quite robust...
-Martin
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 10:31 AM
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flyingflipper's Avatar
Joined Sep 2004
648 Posts
I could be wrong. but it looks exactly like the thr SYMA Preserver. www.raidentech.com sells the model for $24.95 plus $8.95 shipping ($33.90). The Sky Buddy sells for $36.95 plus $13.31 for shipping ($50.26). Another vendor is www.toyeast.com. They sell the Preserver for $15.21. They have it in a a 49 Mhz and 40 Mhz model which convinced me to buy from them. The shipping is expensive but works out OK if you buy more than 1 plane. If you buy 2 units, for example, the total for the planes including shipping is around $32.00. If you buy 4, the total cost per plane is $26.00. I ordered two of each frequency - 2 to fly and 2 for parts.
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 11:39 AM
Nathan Chronister
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Joined Jun 2003
626 Posts
How much smaller a space will the Wattage Micro fly in, compared with Sky Buddy? I really like the Sky Buddy but I have trouble flying it right in front of the house. The biggest problem is that you have to give it power in order to turn. Therefore if you have to steer it into a small landing zone it tends to stay aloft too long and crash into the tree on the other size of the LZ. That would change with more practice, but it will always be a fast little plane that needs a bit of space. Is the Wattage plane slower?
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 12:44 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
The Wattage plane is a just little bit slower and can be made to turn in a tighter area but handles more "sqirley", I fly my conversion in the cul de sac when Im flying the SB out there and it can turn in tighter spaces. The WMF instructions say when you need to land, just cut off the power and the plane lands its self - but its not a glide when you cut power off, it kind of drops very quickly to the ground - That being said, It can take a pretty fair ammount of abuse though -but ive always wondered if a lipo should be banged around that much....I always inspect it closley each session.

Link to WMF Video: http://rcgroups.com/gallery/showphot...cat=500&page=1

If you like modding stuff, its fun too. It just seemed more like trying to fly a guided missle until i modded it. like the 2nd day I had it I built new 11.5" "cub" wing for it from the thinnest foam plates I could find and that helped make it fly lots better. Im not at all unsatisfied with it and I think Ive already had more than my $40 worth of fun flying these little guys - may even get a new WMF to try to build a balsa - lite-span indoor slowflier which was actually my primary goal when I first got interested in the micros. Neither of these planes can really be considered slowfilers. The ideal flying area for each plane would be a baseball field, large parking lot or soccer field. I eventually want something I can do carrier-style dining room table takeoffs and landings on inside the house without having to go broke. I was looking at the Plantraco Microblimp video last night and its tempting to get one, very tempting, but its $129 so a bit more expensive than I was hoping but who knows - it does look awfully fun!

BTW The WMF can be made to fly using a standard sticks Tx if its on 27Mhz as well. I've taken to using an old Cox 2 ch 27Mhz Tx with it and thats great....
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Last edited by Hobiestoke; Nov 11, 2004 at 12:47 PM.
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 01:49 PM
Registered User
Nürnberg, Germany
Joined Sep 2004
105 Posts
Making a Sky Buddy / Preserver slower...
Jst thinking here, but I guess replacing the standard battery with a lighter one (LiPo) could work. Saving weight should slow it down a lot.
but that would not solve the turning-by-power problem described for landings etc. A lighter plane will probably also climb better/faster...
A proportional throttle would solve that, but that's beyond the scope of these 'toys'

-Martin
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 02:12 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
Heres the Lipoly mod Photo instructional How to they sent me - looks pretty easy to do and the Plantraco Batt shown has the same connector on it, I may have to order one up and try it - I think the weight of the plane stays the same but longer flite times - how much longer i dont know but its probably substantial... Maybe Bud from Plantraco can jump in an give us an estimate(?)
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 06:22 PM
Cheapskate freeloader!
Zeroaltitude's Avatar
Orebro, Sweden
Joined Oct 2002
3,155 Posts
I have the Syma Preserver, and I must say that it´s a very nice little plane. Not my favourite plane of course, but probably the most fun for the money spent.

Regarding what space is needed, we regularily fly ours in our single basketcourt gym on our weekly indoor sessions.

As evidence of how easy to fly this plane is even indoors in a restricted area: A kid perhaps 10 years old who has recently joined us on our indoor-sessions bought one (a buddy of mine has imported several, so we all got our Preservers from him). The kid had never flown anything R/C, yet had little trouble flying the Preserver succesfully indoors the first time he tried (okey, he did crash a couple of times, but he COULD fly it most of the time), and is now very good at it.

Another bonus point for the Preserver is that it is more or less indestructible.

The only issue with these planes so far has been setting the trimtabs correctly. We who are more experienced pilots have no problems with this, but a couple of the newbies have had some issues with it, and needed experienced help to get the most out of their planes.

Anders O
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Last edited by Zeroaltitude; Nov 11, 2004 at 06:24 PM.
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Old Nov 15, 2004, 12:07 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
Hmmm Raidentech seems to finally have the preservers in stock at $25 and shipping is only 6 bucks - I think im gonna order a preserver and try to do a little profile depron P-38 with it. Im gonna be careful to keep original plane in tact in case I want to go back and use that airframe, but at $30 I think a mini P-38 would be a worthwhile experiment as long as I can keep the airframe weight the same or lower than the original, im thinking it should be do-able

P.S. Ive found the little 2" GWS props work great on this plane too!
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