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May 07, 2016, 11:19 AM
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Mini-Review

SkyEye by E-do Model. The best FPV Plane. Build log and review in progress.


Hello guys,

Few months ago Henry from E-do Model announced their new airplane which they called SkyEye.

The name suggests from the start that this is a plane intended for FPV, and is the very common on planes which are designed for this purpose.

I liked the fact that the announcement went together with close-up pictures and videos of the plane, not only the 3D model, that way we can see better what this plane is up to – and to be honest, it got my immediate attention because I saw few features that looked very interesting. I will talk later about each one.

So, I have contacted Henry to arrange for me a sample for review.
He agreed to provide me a prototype and here the journey begins…

As always, EMS refuses to ship in my country so I had to find a workaround. The plane was sent to my family in another EU country and from there it was sent to me by bus – 2000km.

The plane arrived without a dent or scratch. It was only covered with one layer of bubble wrap and there were a lot of free space in the box. That let me think that the EPO foam out of which the plane is made, is strong enough and does not deform easily. But packing should be improved by just a little bit.

Happy to see it, I have started to build it right away, well – almost right away, because I was busy with another project that I had to finish I was according only few minutes/day, for which I have to sincerely apologize to E-do model guys and especially to Henry.

The unboxing video I have made in advance, and I have uploaded few days ago for you.
Unboxing of the SkyEye by E-do Model (16 min 7 sec)


In the next posts I'll try to explain the building process I went thru.

Let's start building...

In the box there were absolutely everything needed to assemble the plane except a manual.
I’ve put the parts together and saw that the building process is easy except the tail. I had few parts/carbon rods which I wasn’t sure where I have to install them, therefore I have spent some time figuring out how to assemble the tail – but when I found the correct way - I can tell that it is quite easy. Meanwhile, Henry has sent me some photos of how to assemble the tail – which I may suppose that they will be included in the manual.

I will not follow the exact sequence I have followed to assemble the plane, but the one that looks correct process wise. So let’s start with the fuselage.

The fuselage comes in two halves which have to be glued together. After gluing it together it will form a fuselage with two bays/decks – upper and lower. I am still impressed by how much room is available inside – and this is the first nice feature of this beautiful plane. As you can see, only in one half, into the lower bay, you can put two rows of 4x 3s3000mah batteries (8 in total - I haven't so many batteries to show).


Beside that – the access inside the fuselage also, is quite generous. From the top one can access the upper bay by removing two hatches and the lower bay via generous doors on both sides.

Before gluing the parts together it is better to do some work inside. Everything can be done afterwards, but doing it before makes the life easier.
Gluing the plywood which acts as support for carbon rods on which the wing is installed, from inside the fuselage. In this step I used the CA glue to speed up the building time. Steps like this are the easiest, because every part that has to be glued has pre-molded channels for easier alignment. If one can miss-install such a part, then going back in the ‘90s to learn the basics of aeromodeling is needed.



The next step is to cut out the doors for access into the lower bay, glue in place the door stoppers from inside and the piece of plywood in which the latch will lock. This step can be left for later but is just easier to do it now when the fuselage is apart. Also cutting the reinforcement of the door hinges later would be quite complicated; however the foam which is left out to form the hinges for the door is quite thin and soft and requires reinforcement. I came to the point when the hinge has broken and I had to glue normal hinges in place. CA used as in previous step.







After this step I continued with the most important step which must be done with care – gluing the parts together and trying to perfectly align them. Sounds easy… but is not – I use the Polyurethane glue (I think oversea it is called Gorilla Glue) for this kind of work, because it expands and fill the gaps where may be the case.
In this step I have figured out that I have to install a short carbon rod which is used to reinforce the aft of the fuselage.


The glue should be spread carefully and the excess should be removed, especially around channels where something has to be installed (e.g. tail boom).



Stacking the halves together and trying to align them as perfectly as possible using some paper tape for fixing. I choose paper tape because it sticks well on the EPO and afterwards removes easily.

The parts that one has to pay attention are the rear channel where the tail boom should be installed and of course the nose of the plane too – this will represent the owner.


Since the Polyurethane expands, I am using weights to apply some force (otherwise the force of expanding glue will dis-align the parts) and let it dry like that over the night.


In the picture above you can also notice the support and aligner(mainly a wing rib) of the wing carbon rods which have to be glued outside the fuselage. I have glued them before, but this step can wait until now. Gluing them after the fuselage is glued together, makes alignment with the carbon rods more easily. I have used for them CA but Gorilla Glue is preferable.

While the fuselage is left alone to dry, some other parts can be glued together. One of them is the forward hatch, which also can be used as a pedestal for camera, gimbal or what you can think of.
I have used CA just to speed up the process, but would use polyurethane if I had the time.

Also the supplied latch is glued in place with CA glue (On the second hatch cover the latch is glued in place identically and is the only step to be performed there).


E-do model designers are really concerned about aerodynamics, therefore in the kit they supply a nice addition - a canopy for this cover, in case one doesn’t want to mount anything on it.


The canopy has to be cut out and glued in place if one wants to use it.


The next day, after the glue cured I had to remove the excess in some places, especially from the channel where the tail boom is installed.


But also from inside the fuselage, otherwise the plywood pieces that should be installed inside to reinforce the decks would not sit perfectly.


Then I have glued into the fuselage the tail boom holder.

Guys from E-do Model provided the holder made out of aluminum. I am not sure why, because it is cheaper or because it is better
It is definitely nicely machined – I would pay a fortune to find someone around here to make a part like this, but unfortunately in our hobby every gram is counted and this part is weighting as much as 52 grams. I think this is overrated, especially for a part which is installed behind the CG.

So I took the opportunity to use the 3D printer which was keeping me busy (remember I’ve told about the second project?), which was not finished yet at that moment but able to print already.

After drawing the holder using the original measurements, I’ve printed the holder using PLA plastic.


I’ve printed the part mirrored without intention. This was my absolutely first 3D printed part so I had to learn yet to setup my printer and slicer correctly, but it was also a good calibration test part - my printer is perfectly calibrated


Guess what – it works as good as the original one, but is weighting 5x times less – at only 13 grams. So, in case I need some more tail weight I’ll better glue a 10g piece of lead in the tail and still I am saving 30g.


I’ve glued the holder into the fuselage with the CA. It works better in tight spaces, cures faster, and looks clean.


Next step was to glue the plywood ring in the nose, on which the dome will be fixed with self-tightening screws. Also here, the little misalignment between two halves of the fuselage is covered. Smart move


Not finished yet with the fuselage? No – few more steps.
We have to glue the plywood parts for the decks, and the support of the tail boom from inside.

Tail boom support fits nice and snug therefore I’ve used CA.


For the decks in the upper and lower bays I’ve used polyurethane, and again – few hours of resting with some weight applied.


Once again you can see how much space there is inside the fuselage. In the upper bay I was able to fit a 50Amps server power supply


This is how it looks afterwards.


As you can notice in the picture above, there are two channels. One can fit another piece of plywood which will split half of the upper bay in two layers. Very smart design if one wants to install a lot of electronics. This will make the installation easier and cleaner – which is another nice feature of Sky eye.

It is not necessary to glue it in place – it slides in and out or can be totally removed. There is a lot of room for that.


Gluing the small pieces of plywood for the hatches locking system and we’re almost there with the fuselage.




Single Pusher or Twin tractor? This is the question!

Well, this is the next interesting feature of this plane – you can choose to configure your plane as you wish – Single pusher version or Twin tractor version – in the later configuration, the motors will be installed in nacelles on the wings. If one is too crazy, a three-engine configuration is possible . Did you think about DC-10 or MD-11? I did for sure

For the twin motor configuration the disadvantage is that the nacelles have to be glued on the wings, so it does not give the possibility to go back to a single motor version.

This step requires less effort in building process that time to decided between which configuration to choose.

Take the supplied plywood motor mounts(two are for nacelles and one for the rear mounted motor)...


Glue them with polyurethane glue.




After this last step, we're done with the fuselage, uhhh… I hope so… anyway.. let’s start building the most interesting part...
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