The E-flite 60-120 90° rotating retracts add realism to the Skyraider and are worth the
modifications required to install them.
assembling the fuselage. By this time, I was in the groove, and
the fuselage went together quickly.
Without a manual at this point, I installed the two-piece
horizontal stabilizer. Each half of the stabilizer received a
liberal coat of epoxy on the root rib, and I slid both halves
onto the aluminum joiner tube I had already installed in the
tail. With plenty of epoxy on the tube and stabilizer halves,
it wasn’t going to come apart! The elevator halves and
rudder were attached with CA hinges and thin CA glue.
Moving on, it was time to install the elevator and rudder
servos. After installation, each servo was connected to the
receiver and centered, and I taped the elevator halves and
rudder in a neutral position. The pushrods were assembled
and installed from the tail end, bent at the correct length,
and secured to their respective servo arms with snap keepers.
Because the tail wheel bracket was preinstalled at the
factory, assembling the rest was easy. I slid the sprung wire gear
into the bracket and secured it with a setscrew in the tiller
arm. A separate pushrod controls the steerable tail wheel, and
a lightweight plastic shroud covers the opening in the fuselage.
The motor mount, motor, and ESC were next. The motor
was attached to the mount before determining the correct
placement of the adjustable mount. The E-flite Power
60 motor required the mount to be secured in its longest
position. The motor and mount assembly were attached to
the Skyraider’s firewall, with the Castle Creations Talon 90
ESC attached to the bottom of the mount. This setup should
provide ample cooling air to the ESC.
I ran the battery wires and receiver connection inside the
fuselage through the small hole in the firewall, and secured
a 6-inch extension to the receiver wire. The 6S 5,000 mAh
LiPo battery was then attached to a plywood tray with
Velcro straps before the assembly was secured inside the
fuselage. With this setup, it was easier to secure the straps
outside of the fuselage and then install
the battery and tray as one unit.
It was at this point that I received
the “rough draft” of the manual to look
over. (Yes, I had a hand in the manual
I attached the dummy radial engine
to the inside of the cowl using a few
dabs of Shoe Goo. This adhesive
remains semiflexible, even after curing.
The center of the dummy engine was
trimmed to clear the motor, and I slid the
cowl in place.
One of the problems I found was with
the upper mounting locations for the
cowl. Per the new manual, the upper
cowl mounting locations are under the
top air scoop that is epoxied in place. If I
Next, I installed the pilot and canopy. Although I was glad to
see a nice-looking pilot figure included, he was too large to be
scale, but still too short to see over the instrument panel. This
was a minor issue.
Almost done! I attached the Hitec Optima 9 receiver on the
servo tray, slid the aluminum wing tube through the fuselage,
and installed the wings. A nylon bolt secures the wings to the
The belly/battery hatch was attached using a pair of
machine screws. I would have liked to have seen an easy open
latch used here, but I might be too picky. It’s not too hard to
deal with a pair of machine screws.
With the Skyraider back on its wheels, I attached the rear air
scoop and two antenna masts with a small amount of 5-minute
epoxy. Seagull Models likes to add a scale touch!
A quick check of the center of gravity (100mm behind the
wing’s leading edge where it meets the fuselage) showed that
my Skyraider was perfectly balanced! I set the control throws
to the high and low recommended rates in the manual and the
A- 1 was ready to fly!
The maiden flight took place in the early morning hours
before the official start of one of my favorite events, WATTS
over Owatonna. If you’re unfamiliar with this event, I
recommend that you look into it.
WATTS is an all-electric event, and 2015 was its sixth year.
With nearly 150 pilots and vendors attending the three-day
event, it’s been a blast each year!
The Southern Minnesota Model Aircraft Club (SMMAC)
75 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com