Skywalker X5 - Phase 1 build and setup

The finished product - Skywalker X5 fully built
Overall it was a straightforward build, no major surprises. I think the finish on the EPO foam is ok but not as good as other models I've had. I am however a massive fan of the wing design, the Skywalker X5 has some real curves and looks more like aircraft than the flat wings that dominate this category.

Here is a list of the specs;

ESC: Turnigy 40amp Plush
Motor: Turnigy Aerodrive D2826/10 1400KV
Prop: Master Airscrew 7x4
RC Rx: ORX 6 ch 2.4 Ghz
Servo: 2 x Hextronic HXT 500
Battery: 2 x Turnigy 2200mAh 25-35c 3S
Wing area: approx. 22dm2 (0.22m2)
AUW: 970g

I've installed component just as the manufacturer has suggested, 2 x 2200 maH batteries in the front compartment, the camera will be mounted into the middle compartment and the Rx and autopilot will go in the rear compartment.

The main trouble I had was that elevons was quite twisted (and the hinge was ripped) during shipping I assume. I contacted Ted and he suggested pouring boiling water over it and then massage/straighten it up. This worked well and it wasn't long till the elevon was around 95% fixed.

Double adapter

For now I have only mounted the Rx in the rear compartment, however I have placed some coins in there as ballast to represent the APM. That way I can do initial testing with close to the planned AUW. I have also placed coins as ballast for the uBlox GPS.

The Rx and coins to act as ballast for the APM

I think one of the best features of the Skywalker X5 is the way that the hatch is fixed to the airframe. Double screws that screw into plywood bulkheads, creates a very, very strong fixing and helps to provide rigidity to the fuselage. The only thing I am concerned about is the screws (they are small) and when I un-screw the hatch in the field that I'll loose them in the long grass! So I hot glued a couple of plastic drinking straws into the screw holes. Now I can still get my screwdriver in however the screws can't fall out.

Straw glued into the screw hole to stop screw falling out in the field
I had a look at the foam hinges and was not really impressed so decided to create tape hinges but sticking vinyl tape on both sides of the elevons. I've been really impressed with how this system works and can see that it's infinitely more robust than foam or even plastic hinges.

The stock recess for the ESC is in a great location, I just love how Xen Skywalker have designed this, however it wasn't deep enough to have a flush finish. So I pulled out the trusty modelling knife and made a deeper recess. I plan to create an ESC cover in future that has air vents for better ventilation but for now the ESC is simply covered by a piece of vinyl tape.

Tape used for wing hinge
Coins on motor mount for uBlox
Deeper recess