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Thread: Tale of Fail. Launching (not!) a Skywalker at high altitude.

  1. #1
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    96

    Angry Tale of Fail. Launching (not!) a Skywalker at high altitude.

    Preparing for a trip to northern New Mexico a month or two ago, I got the idea to build a plane that would break down for airline travel and allow me to fly from my destination to the top of a mountain about 6km away. So I ordered a Skywalker 1800 (2014) from fpvmodel.com and set to work. I barely had time to maiden the plane before I left Tennessee (close to sea level). Although hand launching was harder than with the flying wings I'm used to, I got it into the air on the first try.

    My destination and eventual launch point was at 8150 feet (2,480 meters). I knew that launching would be harder, but I didn't realize how much harder. Running 4S with a 3542 800kv motor and a 12x6 prop I was only able to get the plane into the air one time out of about 6 attempts. Each of the other attempts resulted in a crash, damage, and repairs. I was never able to do more than an LOS shakedown flight before having to admit defeat and head back across the USA. I have some unfinished business with that mountain!

    Here's a short video of the one successful launch...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BKCMTwYA6WT/

    Do I just need to improve my technique? (OK, I definitely need practice) But, should I use a bungee launcher next time?

  2. #2
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    475
    The density altitude is so high the plane has to fly much faster to generate enough lift to keep flying. Probably faster than you can throw it. Tossing off a hillside would work. A minimal bungee would be the best bet and you'd pretty much be guaranteed a decent launch. Also, at that altitude you probably want the plane as light as you can make it.

  3. #3
    Navigator
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    17
    Decreasing weight
    Using a high pitch prop
    And a faster launch
    Is needed

    Sent from my SM-J200G using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Young Skywalker Rfriedman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    2,594
    Too much elevator throw. Too much weight. It shouldn't be an issue with that power setup. My 5.2lb skywalker equivalent on 4s 10*6 launches at 10k feet.

    Try a few more steps before you throw, or add some flaps.

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