SkaT by Steve Belknap

SkaT Rest in Pieces If you want to order a kit or for more details e-mail Steve Belknap

Number of launches 10  
Total Time 34 mins
Wingspan 32" 0.81 m
Wing Area 90 in² 5.8 dm²
Flying Weight 0 lb. 14¾ oz 0.42 kg
Wing Loading 23.6 oz/ft² 72.0 g/dm²
Motor Robbe Power 400/35 6v
Propeller Graupner CAM 5 x 5 & precision spinner.
Batteries 7 cells - 500AR
Speed Controller Schulze slim-18be - 18/25A - 6 to 8 cells - BEC & Brake
Receiver Multiplex Pico - 4/5ch - PPM - 35MHz
Servos Elevator - Union ultra-micro UM-9G
Ailerons - Union ultra-micro UM-9G
Static motor parameters  12250 rpm @ 12.3A, estimated output 60W/lb. after 30s.
Flight performance Jeez it's fast. Climb is a comfortable 20°. Once up to speed it really grooves. Low passes from a dive to build up speed are lightning fast. Loops can be really large due to the speed at entry. Rolls are axial at speed and a bit barrely slower. Roll rate is only about 120°/s, but considering the ailerons are at the wing root this is good.

The kit contains an epoxy-glass fuselage and foam veneer wings. Also offered is the complete power pack consisting of Speed 400 motor, CAM 5 x 5 propeller, Graupner spinner, speed control with brake & BEC and 7 cell 500AR battery pack.

I have just completed construction and taken the photographs. The fuselage is painted (Ford Rosso red) with a blue canopy (British Leyland Pageant Blue). The wing and tailplane are covered in Solarfilm with the fixed surfaces being in white and the ailerons and elevator in dark red (almost a perfect match for the fuselage paint).

23 Aug 98 - I did a range check and attempted the first flight on 16 Aug 98 with little success - the model nose dived straight into the ground and broke the only propeller I had. Having managed to get some new propellers I tried again on 22 Aug 98. It flew away from my hand and streaked around at tremendous speed.

This is not a model for the faint hearted or those with poor eyesight as it is extremely quick and small. When the model is flying straight at you it almost disappears. This is because the fuselage is less than 1½" diameter, the wing 32" span, 1/ 3" thick at the root and less than ¼" thick at the tip. With the tiny fin and tailplane, this gives a total frontal area of about 10in² - (about the same as a 3½" diameter spinner).

24 Aug 98 - I was shot down by an unknown transmitter while I was flying a reasonably low and relatively slow pass at about ¾ throttle. The motor stopped, the model pitched up, stalled, spun and hit the ground at about 60° nose down. The fuselage was ripped about ½" behind the motor and just behind the wing root. It was also split on the underside for most of the distance between the rips. The wing, tailplane, controller, radio gear, motor and amazingly propeller survived without damage. A replacement fuselage is on order to facilitate repairs.

21 Sep 98 - I received the replacement fuselage on 17 Sep 98 (late evening) and began construction immediately. After about an hours work it was spray painted and left to dry. It will take approximately another 2 hours work to complete (mainly radio gear installation & set-up). I took the SkaT with me on 19 Sep 98 to complete a test flight with the replacement fuselage. For some reason the elevator was in a marked down position despite being set-up correctly & I decided not to fly. It turned out the servo tape I'd used to mount the elevator servo was faulty & had come adrift - very fortunate I decided not to fly. After replacing the servo tape with new I took the model with me again on 20 Sep 98. Everyone was extremely impressed by its speed and how quite it is.

14 May 99 - The other day I bought a couple of the Graupner CAM 4.7" x 4.7" propellers to see how much this increased the flight time. I'll see how the model flies with the smaller propeller & then maybe try and increase the pitch on one.

15 May 98 - Flew the model today with the smaller propeller. It didn't seem to affect the model's speed, but did increase the flight duration to 4 minutes. Sadly, I was caught out upwind of the landing area with insufficient height & speed to make a circuit. I ended up landing cross wind and hit the fence at the bottom of the field. It did a lot of damage to the wing and it is not repairable. I found the model with the broken wing embedded 6" on to one of the wires of the fence. The fence chopped off the outer 5" of the starboard wing, ripping off the aileron. One of the fence wires had entered wing and travelled spanwise through the wing for about 6" along the carbon fibre reinforcement.

16 May 99 - On further inspection I noticed a small crack in the fuselage at the front of the wing seat. I have therefore consigned the whole model to the dustbin.

Return to Electric Aircraft Models page