New build Skywalker X5 ready for maiden flight with new APM 2.6

I’ve retired my APM 2.0 as it took a hard knock in a crash that destroyed the HobbyKing Go Discover it was in.

I went for a Skywalker X5 from HobbyKing as the replacement with all new hardware. It’s a bit smaller and easier to get in the car. Maiden flight in 2 days when wind speeds drop. See photos for finished build. Spec is:

Motor - Turnigy D3536/5 1450KV, 655W
8x6 APC electric prop. Open to other prop size suggestions.
ESC Hobbyking 50A
Battery 4 cell 5200
APM 2.6
Ublox NEO-6M High Precision GPS Module (sunk into left wing root)
433mhz 3DR Telemetry Kit
APM damping mount with integrated PDB BEC Module
No air speed sensor - I’ve never had great faith in their accuracy. What I do is set min throttle to 35% and this covers for strong tail winds.

Mods made to the plane are:
Extra laminated balsa tail skid (also help for yaw stabilising) to protect prop on landing. 2 carbon rods fixing it in main body.
Balsa layer on front landing skid
Elevon hinges far too tight. About 60% of the EPO hinges cut away and gaps taped to prevent pressure equalisation
Larger servos fitted. Wing recesses enlarged to fit.
Elevon linkages upgraded. Original horns and rods very flexible and free play in joints with sloppy response
Additional GPS tracker with SIM card powered by lipo mounted in canopy top. I can call in and get position and speed if out of range (or if it never comes back).
Polaroid cube camera in nose. Will upgrade to FPV camera with SD card soon.

Total flying weight 1.33 KG / 2.95 Pounds

Any ideas / suggestions welcome before maiden flight. After I’m happy with the flying I’ll use the Autotune to get it ready for autonomous flights. I’ll be starting from scratch with the parameters for this so if anyone has any tips, they’re more than welcome.

It looks really nice!

What kind of flight time do you think you’ll get?

I’m expecting about 30 minutes, maybe a bit more on about 40% throttle.
It’s quite small and slippery so it could work out more.
It should be around 15 to 20 miles if I’m lucky.

Hiya. I have a simillar build sitting at home waiting for a maiden. I was just wondering how you got on with this, where abouts your COG was I relation to how it’s marked underneath, what sort of throw your elevons have and also what sort of reflex to the elevons you had to apply for your launches…

I’m at work for the next two weeks but all I have to do is set it up mechanically I.e center the servos and then adjust the control linkages and I’m ready for a maiden when I get home.


My COG is slightly forward of the recommended but not much. It’s a really easy fly like this. I started with the recommended throws which seem fine.

Mine weighs in at 1.4KG now and launches can be tight if I’m not launching into wind or there’s no wind as I’ve downsized the motor to a Turnigy D3536 950KV running a 11x6. This gives me much more range (30 miles plus now) but not so much grunt at launching. It cruises along at 55mph on 50% throttle on autonomous flights.

I throw hard with my left hand with a bit of upstick with my right and it launches fine. I trimmed it out on the servo linkages so there’s no trim or subtrim in the transmitter. This works best for the Pixhawk (upgraded from APM 2.6 to allow for terrain following).