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SkyDart 2X upscale R/C RBG

This model was made possible by JimZ's web page of plans of old kits. Click here to see the original SkyDart's plans on his site.
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Original Estes SkyDart kit

This model is based on the Estes K-57 SkyDart kit from the early to mid 1970's. The 2X version uses 2" NCR tubing (from old NCR shuttle kit), and a custom nose cone turned by Balsa Machining Service. The wing is 1/2" (.55" thick) blue foam sheet, with no reinforcement other than 1" wide 1.5 oz glass cloth to give ding-resistance to the leading edge. Rudder is 3/16" blasa, removeable for transport.

Span 26", area 270 sq in. Liftoff weight approx 11 ounces. Power by E12J reload in a 24mm "RC" casing.

Radio controlled by mixed elevons. Futaba 8UAF Transmitter provides electronic mixing so each servo directly drives one elevon. Hitec 555 receiver and HS-60 servos. 50 mAh nicad battery pack. W.S. Deans whip antenna inside of body tube.

Model was not covered or painted as seen in these pics, to see if it worked out OK in test flights first. Most flights launched at 45 degrees, some at 60 degrees, using a C-rail. Altitude about 400 feet, glide time about 60 seconds.

Servos installed directly into wing by cutting outline in foam slightly undersized. 1/16" balsa scrap glued flush with top of wing, the 1/16" thickness makes up for the difference in thickness of the blue foam and the servo. Opening covered over by package tape. Servo output arm sticks straight down, to drive the elevon directly via a short pushrod. Troughs cut into foam to run the servo wiring.

The pic at left shows the bottom of the wing before the wing was glued to the body tube. Servo wiring runs inside small openings in body tube.

Test flights made at the March 1999 HARA launch in Ardmore, Alabama.
Pictures below courtesy of Ronny and Greg Tipps of Waverly, Tennessee.


The SkyDart 2X after decaling, shown at an "undisclosed location" in Colorado in 2000. Decals made by Tango Papa Decals.

The SkyDart made a lot of flights in 1999 using E12 RC reloads, but proved flyable on D7 and E6 reloads as well.

In summer 2004, the Orbital SkyDart Project. This used the SkyDart 2X as an "orbiter" staged/air-started off of a twin G12 powered R/C flyback booster. Click the link to find out more info and pics.

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