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View Full Version : Skimmer 600 Build/Flying Set-up Discussion


Thunderbolt
01-21-2006, 04:04 PM
Any of you guys flying the big Skimmer? Not the Skimmer 400 rather the speed 600 version. I'm currently building one and wanted to know if anybody had any helpful building tips, or flying tips for that matter. I've built the wing (not covered yet) and have started on the fuselage. Any commemts are welcome. Any likes or dislikes with this plane? I just want to hear what you guys have to say about this plane.
:)

Sky Sharkster
01-23-2006, 08:56 PM
To Thunderbolt, since it looks like there aren't many Skimmer flyers reading this (too many ARF's?) I'll take a try at offering some suggestions. I haven't built or flown either Skimmer but have lots of experience with 2-meter powered gliders, including one of my own designs that uses the SD 3021 airfoil.
Try to keep the construction light, not too much glue, don't be afraid to use the sandpaper! Speaking of sanding, this is true of any wing but particularly of glider wings; Use a long, straight sanding block to finish off the wings, and sand chord-wise. That way you will even out the airfoil. Be sure to knock off any bumps or glue lumps, just leave a smooth contour, root to tip, front to back. Wipe it down with a "Tack" rag to remove dust before covering. I'd use one of the "Transparent" iron-on's, not the super light (and thin) coverings like Microlite or Solite, those are for 10 ounce "Parkflyers". Ultacote Transparent is a good choice, also SIG's AeroCote Lite.
The Speed 600 Graupner recommends is sufficent, but not outstanding, power. After you've flown it for a while you may want to upgrade to a brushless; I'd recommend an AXI 2808/16 outrunner.
The prop shown in the Graupner catalog is their "sport" folder (grey color). You will get much better performance out of the "CAM" series (black color) of props. Use the same size, 8" x 4.5", the Speed 600 has a 3.2mm shaft so order the GPC08045.
Use the center of gravity shown on the plans, then after you've flown the model for awhile, try moving it back a little, maybe 1/4" at a time (move battery back). This will make the model a little more responsive to controls and thermal a bit better.
Use ALL the rudder movement shown on the plans. Single ("VEE") Dihedral models are slow-turning at best. On the other hand, don't put too much elevator throw in, gliders are much more responsive in pitch and you could end up "galloping" if there's even a little too much elevator deflection.
To save the bottom of the fuselage, I'd put some hard-plastic "glider skids" under the nose.
To counter-act torque, put in a couple of degrees of right thrust. The plans may show this. There may also be some downthrust shown, be sure to put that in, also. Powered gliders have a tendency to "Pitch-up" under power, that is, climb at too steep of an angle. Downthrust will help this. So will a steady hand on the elevator!
Well, I've rambled on, since I don't know how much experience you already have some of this may be "old news" to you. If so, Sorry.
Good Luck, feel free to post any questions here or PM me directly
Ron

ragbag
01-24-2006, 06:57 AM
The doctor showed up with one, not sure what motor he has in it, it is LMR material. He had our local test pilot do the honors, good thing, had some warps that weren't apparent and was a hand full at launch.

He loves it, it doesn't like crosswind landings, lost it on one landing. Did a nice rebuild and loves it now that the bugs are gone. Not sure why he put a 3s1p-2100 in it, it does fly forever.

My Skimmer 400 isn't that critical, I just stay away from the crosswinds with it also.

I didn't build mine, went to a meet and a fellow had it for sale, I couldn't build it for what he was asking and probably couldn't do as nice a job. I had seen Doc's fly after he got the bugs out of it, so it followed me home.

Doc liked mine so well he got one for the grandson, who only visits onece in a while so he would have somethinf to fly when he visits grandpa.

By George:)

Thunderbolt
01-24-2006, 08:48 PM
Thanks guys! Hopefully more people will respond, but I think Ron might be right. This is the era of ARF's... I hope people don't forget how good it feels to fly something you put you heart and soul into. I'm fairly new to the hobby (about four years) and I tell ya, out of all of my planes I am most fond of the kits I built myself. Granted my kit planes don't fly as well as my ARF's, but I think that gives them character.:) AND every time I build one I learn something about the physics of flight. You really can't stay in this hobby if all you want is instant gratification. I've got a brother-in-law that is getting into flying because of me... but I won't even him fly them via trainer cord the planes that I built myself. I guess I'm too emotionally attached to them.:)

ragbag
01-25-2006, 12:39 AM
Thanks guys! Hopefully more people will respond, but I think Ron might be right. This is the era of ARF's... I hope people don't forget how good it feels to fly something you put you heart and soul into. I'm fairly new to the hobby (about four years) and I tell ya, out of all of my planes I am most fond of the kits I built myself. Granted my kit planes don't fly as well as my ARF's, but I think that gives them character.:) AND every time I build one I learn something about the physics of flight. You really can't stay in this hobby if all you want is instant gratification. I've got a brother-in-law that is getting into flying because of me... but I won't even him fly them via trainer cord the planes that I built myself. I guess I'm too emotionally attached to them.:)

I agree.
Look at the thread Gas to Glo. Here is my non-arf.
Sg Kadet LT 25 Glo conversion.

By George:)

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1012

TeslaWinger
01-25-2006, 05:49 AM
Thunderbolt, ya got a good plane there. My buddy has a Skimmer 600 and I have flown it and liked it and will buy the 400 size kit one day for use with an outrunner, as this one was. I had never flown a single dihedral sailplane of that class before and it compared well to my many poly ships.

The test of a sailplane aside from sheer glide angle and speed range is its turning ability and the big Skimmer can soar as well as any of my 2 meter gliders.

Using lipos is a thrill no matter what you are powering but a S600 without a reduction geardrive is a frustrating climb indeed.

Thunderbolt, ya nailed it- I get a lot more joy from the planes I built myself. Like playing chess by snailmail, its a lost art- but only to those who don't do it.

I was 12 when I got my first plane to fly- and fly very well to my immense satisfaction, after 2 yrs and a dozen failures. That Guillow's Neuport 17 rubber powered creation was a joy to see as it flew at walking speed around my backyard and made all the bitter lessons worth it.

Just add a foam speed 400 delta to your hangar and the buddybox time will be the best you ever had- and you'll quickly have a newly acomplished colleague (who GETS IT)- instead of just a wuffo! E gliders are excellent budbox planes too since they can learn a lot in slo mo and build up enough airtime to have a good reference. If their skills reek banish them to the simulator! :D

Electric got me back into the sport and its better than ever. One kind of bird for serious soaring, another for planet-beating and everything you never dared to do with an RC before! Why choose? Do 'em all!
Enjoy.
TW

ragbag
01-25-2006, 10:55 AM
The doctor showed up with one, not sure what motor he has in it, it is LMR material. He had our local test pilot do the honors, good thing, had some warps that weren't apparent and was a hand full at launch.

He loves it, it doesn't like crosswind landings, lost it on one landing. Did a nice rebuild and loves it now that the bugs are gone. Not sure why he put a 3s1p-2100 in it, it does fly forever.

By George:)

When I said I didn't know what motor he had in it, I left out that it is an AXI, it was the size I didn't know. That is why I made the LMR statement. It will go up!!!!
By George:)

Thunderbolt
01-26-2006, 03:15 AM
TW,

Suggestions on a S400 delta wing? I don't have one in my hangar but definitely need one.

My hangar in order of progression of my skills in this hobby:
1. Mini Telemaster - First plane first build but didn't want it to be the first plane I crashed. Bought a simulator
2. Slo V - Taught myself to fly on the simulator, but still crashed the Slo V on my first flight... nerves and no teacher
3. Wing Dragon - Bought it used never crashed it
4. Mountain Models Smooth E. Great plane to just go fly!
5. Alfa Models P47 Thunderbolt. Fast plane... still a little too much for me at full throttle. Not very forgiving.
6. Mountain Models Switchback - Another great plane to just go fly. Flies great with a brushed set up but I'm going to throw a Himax 2025 in it soon.
7. Ultrafly Ultimate - Holy crap! This plane is definitely too much for me. Really exciting to fly, but I'm not a 3D pilot. I guess I'll grow into it. It's been in the air a couple of times... keep knocking the landing gear off when I land it. Even with 50% exponential this thing is wild in the air.
8. Hobby Lobby Bonnie 20 - Under construction
9. Hobby Lobby Skimmer 600 - Under construction

Thunderbolt
01-26-2006, 03:18 AM
ragbag,

In my Skimmer I'll be using an AXI 2820/10, 3S2P 4200 TP, Jeti 40. I think this should get it to altitude pretty quick.

ragbag
01-26-2006, 11:44 PM
ragbag,

In my Skimmer I'll be using an AXI 2820/10, 3S2P 4200 TP, Jeti 40. I think this should get it to altitude pretty quick.


Sounds like what doc has in his. I just don't understand the battery.
His might be one up. Either way it ought to do the trick for you as it does for him.
Different strokes,as they say, as far as the battery I mean. It Is a nice one and like I said before, LMR candidate for sure.

He is a # 1 builder also, so it looks goood also

By George:)

Thunderbolt
01-28-2006, 03:12 PM
What do you mean by "I just don't understand the battery.
His might be one up?" I have two 3s1p 2100's I'm wiring in parallel. Do you think that is too much / too little?

TeslaWinger
01-28-2006, 03:56 PM
Thunderbolt- at 20 to 30 amps depending how you prop it- a single 2100 pack would have to supply 10 to 15 C to that motor. THAT is pushing it! A pair of them will put you in a safer power output range and they will last a lot longer. A plane this size will carry them easily.

When pairing lipos like this be sure to use similar packs- not a used one paired with a new one.

I made that mistake running up a larger motor and failed to feel the packs to see if they were sharing the load- they wern't- and one cooked since it carried nearly the whole load. The Wattmeter showed me I was in a safe amp range to the motor- it DIDNT show me that one pack was doing all the work! Feeling the packs for heat would have revealed that- but I missed it on that runup.

I suggest getting 2 new packs. Charge them each to peak separately. Then use an FMA paralleling strip (or wire them to one connector) and run them, store them and charge them joined together always as a pack, never again separately.

By not pushing the amp load to the limit, the impact of slightly unbalanced cells is minimized. If in doubt and you have the room, add a third pack- but a Wattmeter is very cheap compared to this investment so use it and max it out safely.

Until we can upgrade to the charge balancing types this is the best way to ensure your cells will be as balanced as possible. A pair or more of these packs will put them closer to the safe middle of their range and be a lot safer than pushing one pack to max. Good luck- and enjoy that climbout!

TW

ragbag
01-31-2006, 02:10 AM
What do you mean by "I just don't understand the battery.
His might be one up?" I have two 3s1p 2100's I'm wiring in parallel. Do you think that is too much / too little?

Why do you need that much battery in a glider?

I have 3s2p4200 in my Kadet LT 25. Axi 2826-10, two 3s2100 Polyquest's in a motor plane not a glider, all you need is enough to get you up there and then get you back after the thermals run out.

I wire in parallel also to make it easier to keep them balanced.

Why do you need that much battery?

I thought Doc didn't need as much as he had, then you have added twice the weight.

By George:)

Tucson Don
02-02-2006, 05:57 PM
Skimmer is a nice kit, It needs a sheeted leading edge to make building
easier and less dusty. I am putting in a Speed 600..

TeslaWinger
02-04-2006, 03:38 AM
Lipos are light. If it fits- its good! :D If one pack gets you way high with a few more climbs ready why carry the extra weight if you dont need the amp. One pack on light days, 2 packs on windy days! Ya gotta love lipos...

I went thru a couple Zagis when I first got back into the sport 8 yrs or so ago. I flew them like nothing I'd ever flown before, soaring thermals, small hills, treelines, aerobatics, inverted, speeding wildly around, slowflying, shrugged off crashes with no damage, racked up airtime like never before and that veteran AM rx is still with me. There are lots of deltas to choose from now but the tiny fast ones are pointless for me. Zip- GONE!

The S400 did a heroic job on the 4 ft Zagi but a 3 ft wing would still be visible enough and the performance would be cranked up a notch to OutRaGeouS. A S400 with a Gunter prop won't cut your finger off either when you bump the throttle before takeoff with a tailpush launch.

DON- One of the best features of my Aspire 2 meter is that it lacks LE sheeting on the entire bottom and outboard sections of the wing. It is lighter and rolls in and out of turns faster without the weight/inertia of all that wood out there. But when the going gets tough, the Aspire would win the flapping contest!

See what a difference a geardrive makes on that S600. You will be stunned too!

ratone71
04-22-2006, 01:20 PM
I just bought a Skimmer 600 first build since I was a kid. I need a copy of the instructions, they are all blurry like they were printed ontop of each other 6 times. Anyway if anyone has some the could scan it would be great. Either email or post. I have the blue prints. If not some tips to keep me from screwing this thing up.


Thanks

sawadee
04-22-2006, 03:00 PM
Donald
I am in the process of building a 600 Skimmer. Most of my kit was OK but the ribs looked like an old time crush stamp job, Very rough outline and wing sure didn't come out as good as I had wished. I'm putting an AXI 2814 in it and it's a tight fit but It's in. Since it will only be run long enough to get altitude, then shut off I hope it won't have time to get hot. Shouldn't take long to get up with thls motor. Will keep you posted as I get along.

BillM
04-25-2006, 06:25 AM
The Skimmer 600 was one of my favorites. I think I still have it somewhere in my round-tuit hanger unless I gave it away. Can't say I remember. I had 2 of them--a kit built version and an ARC. The ARC was junk but the kit was very good. I flew it for a couple of years back when speed controls for brushed motors cost $70 and more for frame rate ESC's and the hottest motor on the block was a Cobalt. Peak detection chargers were only for the rich and 1400 NiCd's were the newest available. I always flew it on 7 cells. Today it would be 8 or 10 NiMh cells. I never use anything other than NiMh in my sailplanes. You need ballast for penetration when it gets windy..
Back then I had 2 sailplanes. A Goldberg Electra and my Skimmer. Now I have 12 and only 1 is made of all balsa.

BM

sawadee
04-25-2006, 01:50 PM
Hi Bill
I just finished the fuse on my skimmer. still have the wing and tail feathers to cover. What size motor did you have in yours and was it big enough? I'm putting an AXI 2814/10 in mine and expect it to be too much motor but I learned a long time ago that you can always cut back on the throttle but if the motor is too small you can be in trouble

HermitRiver
04-25-2006, 08:39 PM
Thanks guys! Hopefully more people will respond, but I think Ron might be right. This is the era of ARF's... I hope people don't forget how good it feels to fly something you put you heart and soul into. I'm fairly new to the hobby (about four years) and I tell ya, out of all of my planes I am most fond of the kits I built myself. Granted my kit planes don't fly as well as my ARF's, but I think that gives them character.:) AND every time I build one I learn something about the physics of flight. You really can't stay in this hobby if all you want is instant gratification. I've got a brother-in-law that is getting into flying because of me... but I won't even him fly them via trainer cord the planes that I built myself. I guess I'm too emotionally attached to them.:)

Thunderbolt.. Don't worry. Still plenty of us balsa kit builders, balsa scratch builders, homebuilt designers out there. I been building, designing over 40 years.:eek: Hermit

BillM
04-26-2006, 12:10 AM
Sawadee
Man that was a long time ago. I do know it was a speed 600 but which one I just can't remember. And yes it was big enough and it was fast for its time. Mine was done in cream and orange Monokote with a brown trim stripe separating the colors. The bottom of the wing was all orange . The top had an orange leading edge about 1 1/2 inches wide--the rest was cream. The tail had the same scheme except the orance was about 3/4 inch wide. The fuse was half orange (lower half) and cream (top half).

You tend to remember the ones you liked.

BM

sawadee
04-26-2006, 01:38 PM
Billm
My skimmer will be white monocote with red and blue trim. I know the white may be a bummer to see on an overcast day but hopefully the red and blue will stand out. Forgot just how hard monocote was to work. I never liked it in the old days and still perfer some of the other coverings. My local Hobby Shop only had monocote so that's what I used.

BillM
04-26-2006, 02:16 PM
Sawadee
There are so many coverings available today that were not around just 5 years os so ago. But my favotite still is Monokote. After covering as many planes as I have ( I would estimate well over 500) using it has become second nature.

BM

Thunderbolt
05-02-2006, 02:42 AM
Sawadee
There are so many coverings available today that were not around just 5 years os so ago. But my favotite still is Monokote. After covering as many planes as I have ( I would estimate well over 500) using it has become second nature.

BM

BillM,

I have to agree with sawadee. I don't like Monokote. Just finished my Skimmer... both wing panels have very slight warps. I much prefer Ultracote from Hobby Lobby, it is much easier to work with.

With that said, I went ahead and flew my Skimmer with the slightly warped wings and it actually flew straight and level. It is way over powered with AXI 2826/10, 14X7 prop, and two 3 cell 2100's in parallel :eek: . I'm probably going to try and lighten the load by putting a smaller motor in it and using just one 2100. The Skimmer just doesn't want to come down. Maidened yesterday morning at a local soccer field, I probably could have flown it for an hour on one charge with that much amperage. I had to stop because little soccer teams started showing up. Anyways, I'm going to try and get home from work early tomorrow and take her up to see how long I can keep her in the air.

sawadee
05-02-2006, 01:41 PM
thunderbolt
Glad to hear your way overpowered with the2826/10 I'm only using the AXI 2814/10 so maybe mine won't be to far overpowered. I'm in the process of setting up my controler and getting things installed. Hope to give her a try soon.

BillM
05-02-2006, 06:07 PM
Sawadee
I just noticed you are a fellow Pennsylvanian. Where do you fly? Do you ever get to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area?

BM

Thunderbolt
05-02-2006, 10:13 PM
thunderbolt
Glad to hear your way overpowered with the2826/10 I'm only using the AXI 2814/10 so maybe mine won't be to far overpowered. I'm in the process of setting up my controler and getting things installed. Hope to give her a try soon.

You are going to love the Skimmer. What kind of battery are you going to use? Just took mine out again today with 5 to 10 mph gusts... she sliced right through the wind. Not a bad bird at all for 30 bucks! I'm extremely pleased. But mine took more than 30 hours to build (HL claims a beginner could complete in 30 hrs), maybe I'm a slow builder.

Thunderbolt
05-16-2006, 02:47 AM
All of my other pics are over the 146.5KB file limit. Red on the bottom with white stripes on the right wing panel... looks pretty cool if I don't say so myself. I keep trying to see if I can figure out how to post more pics. This is one fun flying plane... goes straight up and flies like a dream. Landings are a little faster than I thought they'd be but not crazy fast. This is the first plane I took so high I thought I might lose her. This thing hauls @55!! This is by far my favorite plane.

sawadee
05-16-2006, 02:34 PM
Hi thunderbolt
Golly , your skimmer looks better than mine. I am dumber on computers than I an on Electric flight so don't know how to send photos. My plane is white with red and blue trim. It is powered by an AXI 2814 so should be overpowered.Did buy a watt meter on advise of a couple of old time electric flyers, Now if I can just learn what the meter is trying to tell me.
Just got it balanced yesterday and will try to get it checked out for warps, twists and straightness tody if I get a chance. Then the "MONENT OF TRUTH"

Thunderbolt
06-01-2006, 02:34 AM
So did you get your Skimmer in the air Sawadee? Got any pics of your plane?

Paul

sawadee
06-01-2006, 03:11 PM
Hey Paul
Got the Skimmer done at last but still not in the air. No pics yet but will work on that and try to figure out how to send them on here. I'm not much of a computer person. Last couple of days just too darn hot to get outside.