new Wal-Mart RC plane - sky (not air) surfer... - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Nov 10, 2003, 12:23 PM
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let us know how yours flys. I think a couple of slightly bigger motors, props, and maybe an extra cell could make it fly well.
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Nov 10, 2003, 01:23 PM
ndflicks's Avatar
I don't know much about twin motors, just what I've messed around with... But if the torque of the motor is causing it to spiral in one direction or another, here's what I wonder... The R/C twins I've seen with standard controls(not diff thrust) require one motor to run differently than the other... Is it that the prop is backwards or something? Otherwise it will do what you're describing... I used wattage lightning motors on the one I made... They are pretty effecient and I get around 10 to 15 minutes with a 6 cell 300mah nimh made of 2/3 AAA. It really goes fast too.... I've noticed that if only one motor is pulling strong or straight, it does limp around... Hope some of this helps...

Nov 10, 2003, 01:44 PM
Registered User
robo456's Avatar
Just a side note for all the people that are dissapointed in the Sky Surfer:

No, I haven't put mine up in the air yet, but here's my thinking. This is not a 50 or 100 plane, with another 80 dollars in electronics. It's 20 bucks. With everything. It's a kid's toy.

For me, I have 6 other planes (7 including the e-starter still sitting in it's box) I got one of these to have something silly. I like weird flying things (heh, I think the pizza-box is next)

I'm not expecting really much of anything. If it can stay in the air for a few minutes, than it's worth it to me. Even if it doesn't, I'll modify it until it does!

That's my 2 cents.

Nov 10, 2003, 02:17 PM
Registered User
I bought two of these - just in case. For the money, it's really hard to be disappointed. Nevertheless, I'm disappointed. The critical issue in differential thrust control is that both motors have to be capable of running at the same RPM. The little N20 motors supplied with this plane seem to have come from the bottom of the barrel. On neither of the two planes I purchased would both motors run at the same RPM. The result was a constant turn to the side of the slowest motor. The plane would probably fly with enough tinkering, but I simply ran out of patience. I can see that the plane probably has some potential with a motor upgrade and changing out the batteries for lipos, but as an out-of-box flyer? Another near miss.

Nov 10, 2003, 02:35 PM
Registered User
Rob - I agree for $18 not to expect much, but it seems like it is very close to flying well but just misses - would've been happy to pay more if it actually flew in a climbing, controllable manner for a minute or two.

JT - you are probably right that it is a thrust difference between the two motors that causes the turn. In which case it probably needs new motors to work well at all.

NDflicks - what are those wattage motors and what are the props? Maybe a good upgrade.
Last edited by tnkenyon; Nov 10, 2003 at 02:38 PM.
Nov 10, 2003, 02:54 PM
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robo456's Avatar
Just real quick, I flew it across the office today...

It was pretty funny. It seemed to glide pretty well, it had a list off to the right, so a little bending is going to be necessary. Mine seemed to have plenty of lift. Look at the sheet of paper that came with it that shows the bending instructions. That may help.

Also, it is the RPMs that control the turns. Both motors turn, one faster than the other. I'm assuming this is to keep the plane somewhat level on the banking.

So, first impressions of a 5 second flight across the room, I think it'll be a fun addition worth the 20 bucks.

Nov 10, 2003, 04:16 PM
ndflicks's Avatar
The wattage motors are a bit bigger than n20's or m20's. I got them on eBay by purchasing wattage lightning bare airframes for 8 dollars a pop. They made good FF and micro RC planes and when my step daughter and I were finished killing them, the motors were good for projects. The props are 2.5 inches and I'm sure the GWS 2.5 x .8 or 2.5 x 1 props would be very close to a match. The EDP 20 motors from GWS seem to be similar too.... That upgrade would run you about 20 dollars retail for 2 motors and 4 props... The guy selling the airframes on eBay was selling them here in RCGroups too, but I'm not sure of his screen name.... here's a link to the eBay ad...

Here's a link I just found for replacement motors and props for wattage lighting, cheaper than new GWS ones.

incidentally, NONE of the wattage micro motors I've had run at the same RPM... some are drastically different.... I just choose similar ones as I have the luxury of having several to choose from. Perhaps a resistor(or capacitor or some other electronic thingy, lol) on one of the motors could help equalize them.

Nov 10, 2003, 04:25 PM
Registered User
Thanks, I will probably go this route at some point - for now have a few GWS props coming to try on stock motors. A resistor might actually work to balance the motors...
Nov 10, 2003, 05:51 PM
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robo456's Avatar
Ok, I guess some people must be getting bad planes or something. I stopped at a field on my way home. Here's how it went down.

Flight time was about 2 minutes total. It took ALOT of bending to "set" the trim levels. The range was about 50 or so feet, so you kinda have to run around with it. I'd say it made it up to 30 feet or so before the batteries had enough. (probably could have gone for more height, but I used 95% of the battery setting it up)


Q) Is it a hard core plane
A) No.

Q) Is it good for a beginner?
A) Yes and No. It's pretty durable... I had a few nose ins, no problems, picked it up and threw it. It does take time to trim everything out and get used to it. Seeing as I don't have kids, I can't say, but I could see it frustrating for a small kid at first.

Q) Can it actually fly?
A) Yes! I had it flying level in a straight line, did some hard turns, all with no problems. (there again, after bending and tweaking) One comment, it would have been good to have counter-rotating props on it. The torque from the sync'd motors is quite extreme, making right turns REAL touchy. Stick with left turns for slow gradual smooth turns. It can float along the grassline and had enough juice to raise up about 3 or 4 times. I'm not sure if it's a speed thing or not, but it does shimmey around left to right for a few seconds before everything levels out.

Q) Would you recommend it?
A) As a first plane? Eh... not sure. But for someone who has been around the block and wants something different, for $20 bucks I say definately. My dad and I (I'm 27 BTW) were running around like dopes chasing it (because of the limited range), but we were laughing at it the entire time.

So, that's about it. Take your time trimming it out and it can actually be fun! If you're looking for a serious plane, move on.

Nov 10, 2003, 06:38 PM
ndflicks's Avatar
Heck, I think it'd be worth the 20 bucks just for the parts to mess around with...

And being 27 and chasing around a toy plane in the yard with your dad does not make you a dope. It makes you lucky to have something to enjoy with your dad!

Nov 10, 2003, 11:04 PM
Registered User
lad3's Avatar
I enjoy the unpredictable nature of this thing - esp. in a little wind. If it is up high enough, you can just blip the steering with the throttle off and it will do a fairly sharp turn - but only w/ adequate height and in the wind's direction. It can move downwind really fast too, so you have to keep that in mind. In no wind, all it really does is circle around. I think the easiest trimming adjustment is just bending the center tail for climb or wind conditions.

It could certainly stand some more climbing power and run time. I haven't indulged in lipolys yet (heck, a single batter would be 1/2 the cost of the whole plane.) But for something you can just grab n' go to fearlessly knock around with (and fly around people and pets), it is hard to beat for the money. While it doesn't fly as well or as long as the Airsurfer, somehow I enjoy this more (or maybe feel less embarassed about being seen with one ).
Nov 11, 2003, 12:10 AM
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wallasan10's Avatar
Mine flies pretty well, my buddy at work has one that flies even better, I have one still in the box that I dont know about.
Fly it only in no wind.
I have a tiny boat on the same freq and it's transmiter does something different to this plane. The inside prop STOP's when you turn rather than just slowing down. One of my idea's for this thing all along has been to build a small indoor blimp out of it and this feature may help. Havent tried to fly the plane with the boat TX yet, just tested it.
A 700mah kokam only weigh's a tiny bit more and has the same volts. I think that alone makes this worth playing with as most flight packs wont opperate on that low of a voltage. This cell costs $10, not too bad, BUT the S/H is a killer. Next time I order something from Hobby Lobby or the like I'm going to get one and try it.
Things are fun on dead calm days, but do take some tweaking to get anything out of em. They sure can take a beating. I have done everything but stomp on mine and the the only problem is that the foam is getting soft where I "tweak it" so much.
Happy veteran's day!
Nov 11, 2003, 10:11 AM
Registered User
Mine has never been 30ft high, that's for sure. Maybe 10ft shortly after launch, and then it tens to slowly descend. There may be big differences in motor quality betweeen units. I did get some new GWS props yesterday but haven't tried them yet. If the GWS props are pitched in opposite directions, I will flip the polarity of one of the motors. It would be nice if it would climb for a minute or two, then you could glide it back down. Agree that it is pretty durable, partially because it's so light. Also agree that the range is very low, mine starts glitching almost immediately. Wonder if a longer antenna would help?
Nov 11, 2003, 09:18 PM
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scooterdude's Avatar
Broke down and got one these a few days ago. Initial flight was same as everyone else; one circuit around the park and that was it. Today I removed some weight by eliminating the plastic fusealage base and removing the On/OFF switch. ALso I will be using an Etec250 Lithium battery (1/2 the weight of original). Stock motors and props.

I hope I have a chance to test it in the morning.
Nov 12, 2003, 11:04 AM
Registered User
good ideas for weight reduction, esp the switch - anxious to hear how your flight went