PHOTOS BY HOPE McCALL
This plane is ideal for newcomers and experienced pilots alike!
Up, up, and away! The Hitec SkyScout is easy and safe to hand launch.
- Model: SkyScout R2GO
- Type: Electric Ready to Fly
- Distributor: Hitec RCD (hitecrcd.com)
- Wingspan: 54.5 in.
- Length: 38.6 in.
- Wing Area: 372 sq. in.
- Weight: 24.5 oz
- Wing loading: 9.48 oz./sq. ft.
- Radio req’d: 3- to 4-channel (ailerons optional)
- Motor req’d: 235 watt brushless outrunner (included and installed)
- Price: $249.99 (R2GO), $219.99 (H2GO), $164.99 (P2GO), $79.99 (SkyScout kit)
- ⊕ Lightweight and rugged
- ⊕ Complete and easy to assembly
- ⊕ Easy and fun to fly
Watch the video at ModelAirplaneNews.com
When it comes to durable, easy-to-fly planes, Hitec/Multiplex has offered several excellent flyers for years. One of the newest get-in-the-air-quick planes from the folks at Hitec is the SkyScout. This familiar-looking sport plane combines the durability of the popular Multiplex EasyStar II airframe with dependable Hitec electronics. Wrapped up with new graphics and available in a variety of packages, the new Hitec SkyScout is a great choice for any beginner or experienced pilot looking for an uncomplicated project. Its top-mounted pusher-pod motor/prop arrangement both protects the power system from rough landings and increases the modeler’s safety during hand launches. The outrunner motor provides plenty of power, and the 3-channel, rudder, elevator, and throttle control layout provides excellent, user-friendly control response. For the more experienced pilot, aileron control is optional and the control surfaces and the servo wells are already molded into the wing.
The SkyScout has a neat folding propeller that comes already installed on the R2GO version.
The SkyScout is available in three packages. The R2GO (Ready to Go) version comes completely ready to go and includes everything you need, including a Hitec Lite 4-channel 2.4GHz radio system. The H2GO is the “Hitec to Go” version, which comes with all the necessary onboard radio and power gear installed and just requires a Hitec transmitter to link up to. The P2GO, or “Plug-in to Go,” package has pre-installed servos, a motor, and speed control, and only needs the receiver, transmitter, and motor battery. A kit version including the foam airframe components and all plastic parts is also available.
The entire airframe is made from Elapor molded foam and there is an internal wing brace tube that slides into the panels to join the panels and strengthen the wing. Under the main hatch there’s plenty of room for any size LiPo battery pack you might want to use. The servos and pushrods all come installed, and the only control linkage connection required is to slip the elevator connector over the pushrod as you attach the horizontal stabilizer and tighten the setscrew. The rudder and control linkage come installed and connected.
TURNS ARE VERY EASY AND WITH THE PUSHER PROP BLASTING AIR OVER THE TAIL SURFACES
IN THE AIR
With the SkyScout’s impressive family history, there’s little surprise that this new offering from Hitec scores big in the flight performance department. Field assembly requires about 30 seconds to install the wing panels, and with several fully charged 1300 to 1800mAh 3S LiPo packs in hand, it takes no time to get airborne. A quick range check of the Hitec Lite 4-channel 2.4GHz radio system to confirm everything was in working order and the fun began. With the familiar top-mounted pusher motor pod configuration, hand launching the SkyScout brings no surprises, and on a full charge it has a spirited climbout. Throttled back to cruising speed, you can play with thermal lift and then come down for fun buzzing the runway at higher speeds.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
- Stability: The SkyScout is a great sport flyer and it has excellent hands-o stability. Straight out of the box with its 3-channel configuration, this plane makes a great sport plane that can introduce newcomers to the hobby with its trainer-like flight characteristics.
- Tracking: Just like its trainer-like stability, the SkyScout’s tracking is right on the money. Turns are very easy and with the pusher prop blasting air over the tail surfaces, the response to control inputs is very quick. Even at reduced power settings, rudder and elevator authority is always there.
- Aerobatics: As a 3-channel flyer, the SkyScout can easily loop and roll. To do sport aerobatics you need to increase the control throws. There is plenty of power, but a slight dive to increase speed helps increase response. Loops are easy and can be entered from straight and level at full power. To do a roll, increase power and enter a shallow dive. Pull back on the elevator slightly and then add full rudder. As the plane gets into a knife-edge attitude, hold rudder and ease o up-elevator so as you go inverted, you are at neutral—if not, apply a slight amount of down. Barrel rolls are also very easy.
- Stall and glide performance: The SkyScout is fairly light and has a very attractive wing loading. Its performance with the power chopped is very glider-like. The plane is clean aerodynamically so you can really stretch the glide. For accurate landings, I recommend having just a little power applied all the way down to the runway, then when you are just about ready to touch down, cut power and let it belly in. Power-o stall is very mild and very easy to recover from. Just release elevator back pressure and apply power—nothing to it!
What’s not to like? The SkyScout from Hitec is a direct descendant of the ever-popular Multiplex EasyStar II, and it has all the same great features that make the line of electric-powered sport flyers so popular. It’s stable and rugged and flies great. It also makes a great trainer to introduce newcomers to the world of RC. I brought mine to the local school yard and after getting it about three mistakes high, I handed the radio to my daughter, 21-year-old Rebecca. Becca hadn’t touched a radio in many years but she easily piloted the SkyScout and even threw in a few barnstorming loops for good measure. I talked her all the way back down to an uneventful landing that took her completely by surprise. If you are looking for an easy-to-fly, electric-powered fun machine, Hitec has got you covered!
- Motor: 2350-watt brushless outrunner (installed)
- Radio: Hitec Lite 2.4GHz 4-channel transmitter (included), Hitec Minima 6S receiver (installed), two HS-55 servos for rudder, and elevator servos (installed) (hitecrcd.com)
- ESC: 18-amp brushless (installed)
- Battery: 11.1V 3S 1300mAh LiPo (included)
- Charger: DC balancing charger (included)
The Hitec Minima 6S comes installed and is ideal for a later upgrade to aileron control. It features simple push-button binding.
The test model is a SkyScout R2GO and it only took a few minutes to get it flight ready. Its folding propeller comes equipped with O-ring elastics that pull the blades back when the motor is not running, and the pod motor mount setup supports the power system nicely for a minimum amount of vibration. Both the wing panels and detachable horizontal stabilizer take seconds to install or remove, which makes storage and transport easy. It’s a great design to keep in your car for impromptu flight sessions.
Assembly includes sliding the joiner tube into one of the wing panels and sliding that panel into the side of the fuse-lage. You just slip the second wing panel onto the joiner and bring the two panels together within the fuselage. There’s a plastic lock tab in the bottom of the tail—pull it down, slide the horizontal stabilizer into place, and click the tab back into place. Secure the elevator connection to the push-rod and you’re ready! The SkyScout R2GO comes with a Hitec CG-115 2S/3S LiPo-balancing DC charger, but to speed up the process you can use any quality adjustable LiPo charger. Set your charger up properly for the battery pack you are using.
Installing Aileron Servos
All the accessories for adding full-house control are available from Hitec RCD and are very easy to install. Cut the ends of the ailerons free of the wing, and then wrap clear tape round the servos to prevent glue from seeping inside. Use 5-minute epoxy to glue the servos into the wells under the wing and press the servo leads into the wing channels. Glue the control horns in place and center the servo arms with your radio system. Slip the preformed end of the pushrods through the second hole from the end of the output arms, and then slip the other end of the pushrods through the aileron horn’s swivel. With the ailerons centered (so their trailing edges align with the wing’s trailing edges), tighten the setscrews. Now attach the wing panels to the fuselage while plugging the servo lead connectors into the receptacles at the wing saddle area. Check for proper servo direction and you’re good to go.
Also included with the SkyScout are a 3S battery pack (Thunder Power 1350mAh with the test plane) and a DC 2- and 3-cell balance charger.
Rudder and elevator servos are easy to get to with these hand side hatches.
When you want to have fun, sometimes all you want from a model is to be rugged and to fly easily. That’s the very definition of the new Hitec SkyScout. A close relative of the popular EasyStar II from Multiplex, the SkyScout offers a variety of “completeness” options, so you can have it anyway you want it. The R2GO version can be in the air in as much time as it takes for you to charge its battery and it’s all fun from there. Simply put, it’s a relaxing, easy-to-fly sport plane with plenty of appeal.