The Spacewalker manages to capture all the spirit of Aviation's Golden Age of the 1930's, Making it a perfect model to introduce you to the scale modelling world.
In actual fact, the original Spacewalker was designed by Jesse Anglin of Hendersonville, North Carolina in the mid 1980's. Despite the fact it's a relatively new design, the Spacewalker still manages to capture all the spirit of Aviation's 'Golden Age' - the 1930's.
This is an icon of American civil aircraft. Particularly appreciated by amateur aircraft makers, the space walker is an aircraft with delicious old-fashion design, inspired from what was produced in the 30's, the absence of a canopy being a characteristic of this period.
Designed from the start to handle any kind of sport aerobatics, it has proven to be one of the most enjoyable models to fly - Especially authentic in the air when fitted with a .61 four stroke. The big wing area, thick airfoil, and long tail moment make for predictable, stable approaches and soft, slow landings.
The build quality of this model is very good, the workmanship is very nice indeed! The vivid color scheme is highly visible and very well finished.
A great handling model for those lazy Sundays at the field.
• All-wood construction
• Almost ready to fly
• Quick and easy build
Weight: ~2300 - 2900g
Radio: 4 channels, 4 servos
Engine req: .61-.70 (4 stroke) or electric equivalent
When I looked at real Spacewalker photos, I realised that they have tail wire rigging and sprung struts on their undercarriage, so I added Tail wires and the sprung strut details to my Spacewalker, Photos included here. These are "stand-off" scale mods, no turnbuckles used! I also added a fake pitot tube to the leading edge of the fin. I like fitting fake pitot tubes to all my balsa models, which I use as a damage indicator and reminder to check the airframe thoroughly if the Pitot gets loose or damaged in any way, by way of reasoning that if the pitot got knocked askew, then there is probably damage elsewhere on the model, whether caused in flight, on the ground or during transport.
Also, in the Strut & Motor Box pic I uploaded, you'll see (through the cowl) the custom motor box I had to build because the PropDrive 4238 motor I used was too short in length to fit onto the supplied stand-offs.My Spacewalker turned out to be a really nice model, here is how I did it :
The build and finish quality is about what I expected after reading reviews, where people had different experiences, mine was pretty average all round, and at least there were no warped parts except for a minor built in Rudder warp. I had to repair a stringer that was broken, probably while I was handling the plane during the build, but it may have been due to a flaw in the balsa where it joined a rear bulkhead, anyway, I had to cut a section of Yellow covering material on the underside to access the break so I could fix it with epoxy resin.
The Covering material is weird, it's just a giant sticker, albeit, it seems like a good quality sticker. The covering is heavier than normal and just melts/sags in sunlight, it's bizarre, then it cools and shrinks in the shade. I think that airflow over the plane is enough to cool the covering film enough to shrink tight during flight, and after a dozen or more batteries that I've flown, I can't think of once that I saw the covering loose in flight or fly-bys, but I have taken off with saggy covering! The upside is that you get a couple of generous repair samples of the sticker covering, which is actually a joy to work with, it's so easy to apply and work with.
The first thing I noticed out of the box was the peculiarly narrow strip ailerons, so I googled up some images, and mine seemed narrower than all the pics I saw, also, the trailing edges of the ailerons were about 5mm thick! I decided immediately to add more area to the ailerons and this meant I had to add a small section of wing trailing edge (30mm) to each of the inside wing panels near the fuse. It also meant that I could feather the trailing edges down a bit finer from the existing 5mm thick. I ended up adding 15mm to the trailing edges of the wing, almost all of it to the ailerons. (See my uploaded pics)
The product description describes a long tail moment with stability benefits, well, this is not true, as this plane has a relatively short tail and a smallish Vertical Stabiliser, so I added a Dorsal fin ahead of the Vertical stab, as you can see in my photos. It probably is not needed, but the mod was easy to do, and it makes my Spacewalker unique I guess :)
I fitted a HK 4010 820kv Donkey motor, and after a dozen or so batteries, I managed to burn off a couple of magnets from the motor's can while heat testing with different large props. The motor seemed too hot on this 2.6kg plane, and I needed better ventilation for the engine bay, so I took the plane home to fit a 4238 PropDrive 750kv motor on 4S.
When I unboxed the 4238, I was astounded at the small size, and I immediately wanted to return it, as the can (stator) length was only 18mm, and not 38mm like the model name implies...... but after considerable deliberation, I decided to try it anyway, it was, after all, rated to 780 watts, and looking at this light weight little motor, you would think, "No Way!"
Well, I test flew it today with the new motor, it had plenty of power and stayed cool on a hot day in Queensland.
At 750kv on 4S, the little motor was missing some high end rpm, but the 14x7in prop fitted had plenty of thrust and speed for my flight envelope, and didn't lack at all for this sport plane.
I also scrapped the wired undercarriage and built a custom one piece aluminium undercarriage, considerably longer than the original, but maintaining the original width. This results ina better stance on the ground, it's lighter, and easy to mod using included components from the extensive hardware included in the box.
The SpaceWalker is a great flyer, I needed this plane, something to relax with and fly when I'm not in the mood for flying "on the edge" with my more expensive aerobatic models. Also, this plane is the right size and weight (keep the build weight down!) to make a really nice intermediate trainer type, or second plane for someone coming off a trainer.
When I glued the wings together, the included plywood joining spar was not a tight fit vertically, this allowed to make slight variations in the final dihedral angle when glued, so
I opted on the minimal side, without opening too much of a gap for epoxy to fill on the upper wing join surface, I recommend this as the plane is very stable and doesn't need much dihedral to keep it that way, and the plane aerobats fairly well with this arrangement.
Another surprise was the symmetrical wing section, (or nearly symmetrical - I haven't measured it), I was really happy about this, as many Spacewalker models use a Clark Y or other flat bottomed wing. Also, the wing decalage is set to a low angle of attack and it produces a surprising amount on lift in this configuration.
The manual says the thrust lines are preset to the angle of the built-in firewall, but I found that this was not the case, and my model needed additional down and right thrust to get co-centric with the Cowl's motor shaft opening. A look down at the completed model with the cowl looking nice and straight down the centerline of the aircraft, and everything lined up perfect, the plane flies perfect, just like that! I have not trimmed my model ever, it's amazing how sweet this thing flies at zero points on all surfaces.I like this model.....it is nicely built and flies well.....I have a 4 stroke 52 in it but I think it would fly on less depending on the all up weightthis is easy to assemble model and a good pricethis was an easy model to assemble and a good priceafter about 20 flights I am very pleasedthis is a nice relaxing flying modelI like this plane ...flies niceEsta de lujo hoy fue su primer vuelo y todo perfecto no fue necesario trimar nada hk un Diez con este avión giaciasI receive Spacewalker today March 3, this is a very beautiful plane. I haven't started to build it yet, but you can tell it is compact built balsa plane, I will be using the G60, already an overkill motor for this kind of plane. Im excited on building this already.
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