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Old Jul 10, 2002, 01:57 AM
Retired, but not tired
Reformed Slimer's Avatar
Live Oak, Florida
Joined Oct 2001
209 Posts
With all this talk about Skimmers lately....

Post your Skimmer pics!!

Here's my Skimmer 400:

Graupner S400dd, Graupner 6x3 folder, Jeti110, 8x600AE, 2 hs81's. Oracover, in U of Fla colors.
Cut off plastic spoons for intake and exhaust cooling vents.
Entire ship built with medium CA except wing joint (5-min epoxy).

I also fly it with 7x600AE's, and even 6x500AR's -- nice floater on the 6 cells, but must be flown carefully -- it's not overpowered this way at all! Mildly hot on 8 cells, as many of you know - specks out in 90 - 120 seconds.

17.5 oz with 6 cells, 18.5 oz with 7, and 19.85 oz with 8.

This is my first sailplane in over 20 years, and my first e-powered one. It was a BIG surprise after flying a couple of foam slow-flyers the past few months!

Took some doing to get it dialed in; doesn't like an aft CG, and the 1/4inch washout is very necessary. Flies very well now, a really fun plane!

Per Jim Bourke's review (GREAT review - Thanks, Jim!!), I had to enlarge the forward bulkhead opening a bit to accomodate the 600AE's, but no loss of strength has been evident. It's a good flying, tough little ship!

View the pic upside down for a better look at the 'gator' decals -- I HAD to do this cover/color/trim scheme, since my club is the "Flying Gators" here in Gainesville. (U of Fla, you know)

"Go Gators!!"

Photo credit: Red Scholefield (Yes, of "Battery Clinic" fame)
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Old Jul 10, 2002, 11:26 AM
Registered User
Corvallis, OR
Joined Mar 2000
1,164 Posts
Mines' at http://www.community.webshots.com/user/dfjets.

Has flaperons, zero dihedral, and no rudder.
Geared initially w/ a ModelAirtech GB-50, then replaced w/
a Hobby Lobby nearly-inline Titanium GB spinning a cutdown 9.25x6 Sonic Tronics on 8 600AEs or 8 1100AAUs. The latter gives me a flying time of at least 20 minutes. With ailerons, can handle the breeze w/ ease.

Got 2 FMA S-80 flaperon servos and HS80 elevator. Kontronik Easy 1000. Monokote. RTF weight around 20 oz.

Ron
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Old Jul 10, 2002, 11:31 AM
Registered User
Corvallis, OR
Joined Mar 2000
1,164 Posts
Re: With all this talk about Skimmers lately....

"Took some doing to get it dialed in; doesn't like an aft CG, and the 1/4inch washout is very necessary. Flies very well now, a really fun plane!

It's a good flying, tough little ship!"

_________________________________________________

Agree w/ the above based on similar experience. Have crashed mine 2x bec. the 2 Sprite 25 controllers I have used conked out
during flight. Result was negligible damage...I never expected it to survive bec. I lost control of the plane while it was still kind of high up.


Ron
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Old Jul 17, 2002, 10:38 AM
Retired, but not tired
Reformed Slimer's Avatar
Live Oak, Florida
Joined Oct 2001
209 Posts
Skimmer pics

C'mon, guys, let's see your Skimmers and Skimmer 400's!!

Jamie
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Old Jul 20, 2002, 09:03 PM
RGS
Registered User
NJ
Joined Nov 1999
13 Posts
Hi, 'Reformed' -

I saw your post regarding the Skimmer and it inspired me to take a photo of my old Skimmer today. I built this back in 1996. It was my first electric (I'm also a converted slimer), and I wanted to make it a bit more exciting, so I built the wing essentially flat and added ailerons. At the time I had no idea what a hotliner was, but this is actually a great 'hotliner trainer'.

It was first powered by a Graupner 1717 Speed 600 w/ planetary gearbox, 12x10 folder and 10xN1700SCRC's. Then it flew for years with an Astro FAI 15, direct drive, 8x5 Aeronaut folder and the same battery pack. Now it flies with a Hacker B40/9S w/ 4.4:1 gearbox, 11x6.6 Aeronaut folder and 10xCP1700SCR's. With the present power system it goes vertical at the beginning of the flight. This isn't what the Skimmer was intended to do, but it does a good job. I flew it today.

Good luck with the Skimmer.

Bob
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Old Jul 20, 2002, 11:04 PM
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Reformed Slimer's Avatar
Live Oak, Florida
Joined Oct 2001
209 Posts
Talk about Skimmers....

Electricflyer:

Kewl! Versatile, fun plane, huh?

RGS:

Wow! That's no hotliner trainer, now it's a genuine hotliner!!

I know I'm really having a ball with my 400, specking it out, then stretching the glide as far as possible, finding lift at times, making low passes the length of the field a couple feet off the deck, etc. (our field isn't famous for thermal activity - you have to fly a lot and HUNT for it).

To all:

C'mon, guys, let's see your Skimmers and Skimmer 400's!!

Jamie
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Old Jul 20, 2002, 11:27 PM
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soholingo's Avatar
Laurel, MD
Joined May 2001
12,688 Posts
Is the wing a solid wing or two pieces? I was wondering how you guys transported the plane?....

Lastly how do you apply washout to this plane?

Thanks,

Jay
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Old Jul 20, 2002, 11:47 PM
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Reformed Slimer's Avatar
Live Oak, Florida
Joined Oct 2001
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soholingo:

The Skimmer 400 is a solid wing, 57" span. I'm not sure, but I think the full-size Skimmer (70") is the same.

The 400 fits in the back seat of my Camry with the wing mounted on the fuselage - as in "one piece airplane"!

For the washout, get your heat gun or covering iron ready and, holding the wing carefully, twist the washout into it, heat it to remove the resulting wrinkles, then continue to hold it for 30 seconds or so till it cools. Ideal is 1/4" washout at the tips -- make sure (to the best of your ability) that the two wingtips come out with the same 1/4 twist.

You'll be able to turn this plane on a dime (using a bit of "up" elevator to help) without any tip stall or snap roll tendencies!

Good luck!

Jamie
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Old Jul 20, 2002, 11:58 PM
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soholingo's Avatar
Laurel, MD
Joined May 2001
12,688 Posts
Thanks Slimer!

What about that big 70" wing on the speed 600? Is that a two piece wing?

Thanks...

Jay
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Old Jul 21, 2002, 12:02 AM
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rcav8r2's Avatar
United States, PA, Beaver
Joined Sep 2001
3,521 Posts
OK you asked for it

Mine is built pretty much stock execpt I i opted for a bolt on wing. As far as a 2 piece wing and transport, the wing really isn't that big enough to worry about. The only reason I would go this route is to keep the washout in... you know store it by rubber banding the wing halfs togeather with a block of scrap balsa at the tip to keep the washout. I have to re-add the washout occationaly. Then again a 2 piece wing will only add weight.
Oh yea, to add washout. Keep the root flat on the board. Place a 1/2 piece of balsa under the tip at the TE. Hold the LE down flat against the board, and re-shrink the covering. This will give you about 1/4" washout. It is necessary as I flew mine first without, and it tip stalled like crazy.

I am using an old technology NMH 8 cell 1000mah pack. Climb is marginal at best, and I only get about 3 minutes of good motor run. After that full power is just to keep it level.

This is the first sail plane that I have been able to consistantly thermal with . Our field is not known for having great thermal activity, but on the first day out at 10 AM ( also not good thermal time) I had a 19 minute flight on a 3 or 4 minute motor run. Other flight have yeild the same results. Quite a few times i had to bail out, just to re-climb again.

I don't know if it's just my Skimmer, but I can not seem to "bust" through the downdrafts of those killer thermals. Days when you can almost see the thermals ( big puffy clouds with well defined edges) I can't seem to climb. I hit the downdraft and just can't seem to break through to the good stuff inside. Just as well as it may go OOS. Any one else experience this?

Also this is my first electric sailplane. I plan on getting better batteries for more power. Question is how long can you stay up after the BEC shuts down? With the pack I have now it is not a concern as I have run the motor for about 15 minutes after I land (Intermittantly of course) just to see how much juice is left. I only have 2 HS 80s so they can't draw that much current, but I don't want to lose it due to not enough power for the receiver/servos.

Thanks
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Old Jul 22, 2002, 03:45 AM
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Reformed Slimer's Avatar
Live Oak, Florida
Joined Oct 2001
209 Posts
rcav8r2:

You wrote; "Climb is marginal at best, and I only get about 3 minutes of...."

What's your all up weight??? This is the first time I've heard anybody say anything about "marginal climb" ability for the Skimmers!!

Also: "Question is how long can you stay up after the BEC shuts down?"

I don't know exactly, but I've never run out of power for the controls, even gliding back from "specked-out heights"

Nice looking Skimmer, man.

Thanks for your posts, guys!

C'mon, people, I know there are a LOT of Skimmers out there -- let's see them!!

Jamie
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Old Jul 22, 2002, 01:16 PM
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Allan Wright's Avatar
Lee, NH, USA
Joined Jun 2001
5,189 Posts
Mine - dead stock, before I sold it.
Flew fine - I just had too many sailplanes at the time.
Washout necessary for sure.

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Old Jul 22, 2002, 01:52 PM
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Reformed Slimer's Avatar
Live Oak, Florida
Joined Oct 2001
209 Posts
Nice, Allan!

Unusual color scheme, for sure. How was it for visibility/orientation??

Jamie
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Old Jul 22, 2002, 04:13 PM
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United States, PA, Beaver
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by Reformed Slimer
What's your all up weight??? This is the first time I've heard anybody say anything about "marginal climb" ability for the Skimmers!!
All up weight with batteries is a whopping 18.96 ounces. This Pack is about a 1 year old NMH. I never got great performance out of this pack. When used on a Sig Rascal power was VERY marginal. on the Rascal with a very old 7 cell 600 mah Nicad pack Power is great. Flight times were actually longer with the 600 Nicads than the 1000mah NhMs. I have since removed the gear and used in the skimmer, but "somehow" misplaced the 7 cell Nicad pack, so I can't try it in the Skimmer. I'm sure the performance would be much better.

I spoke with the guy I got the pack from. He basiclly said I didn't know how to treat batteries and I killed it. Hummm all my other packs work just fine after a lot of abuse. And I even treat the Nmh packs "gentally" as I hear they are not as tollerant of abuse as their Nicad counterparts.

Also on the motor on the Skimmer, there was a ring around the can. I removed this, and it made no difference what so ever. If I remember correctly it is drawing about 77watts for a few minutes, then it is down in the 40-50 range for what seems like forever. It is about this time ( when flying ) where there is just enough power to hold altitude in dead air. I think I just have a bum Nmh Pack.
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Old Jul 22, 2002, 07:17 PM
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Laurel, MD
Joined May 2001
12,688 Posts
What's the climb rate on the stock skimmer? I am wondering how big of an area I will need to fly this plane. Currently the location I am in has a field the size of a football field and it's surrounded by trees, will this be adequate?

Jay
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