Friday, March 29, 2013

Versatility & Cox SkyCruiser

I had been looking at the Cox SkyCruiser sitting on the shelf in my favorite hobby shop Everything Hobby for sometime thinking I could use this plane for slope soaring from small slopes. The plane is a glider with an electric motor on a pod above the wing. Everything is included ready-to-fly for under $100. 

This looks like it might be a good plane to learn to fly radio control with, and it might be except that it will fly fast if you advance the throttle. Any of the crashes I had were at reduced power over fairly soft ground and there was no damage. No doubt crashing fullspeed into pavement would break something, at least the motor is way back from the nose and should not get damaged.

Snow was sticking to the nose on this day.

After the first few flights I could tell that although there was adequate control for turning with the power on, in the glide there was not near enough. My solution to that was to extend the rudder surface with balsa, this helps the turns in the glide, which is really needed for slope soaring. It was getting to be late fall so I only had a couple of chances to try slope soaring from small slopes but it did alright and there was the motor backup if you got in trouble. This should give me the ability to risk flying over slopes that I would not be able to recover the plane from if the lift quickly died.

Preparing to do Touch and Go from Snow

After the first snowfall I got the idea that maybe I could take this plane off the snow because the propeller was way above ground level. It looked like this would work but the radio equipment was moving off center with the cold temperature, it was around 25 degrees F. As one who does not give up easy I tried it again from early spring snow with temperatures in the mid 30's range. It worked great, I had fun taking off and then doing touch and goes. On the next day the snow was sticking more to the plane but I found if I started in a groove made from a ski I could still take off. So now I had a model plane for soaring and for warmer days of flying off the snow.  The next thing is I want to try to thermal soar with the SkyCruiser.

Slimming Across the Snow

Bill Kuhl

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