A high performance FPV soarer, the SkyHook Discovery

3689702739?profile=originalThe SkyHook Discovery.

Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to have been given one of the first prototypes as I helped in the design of the plane.

More info from :

There is also a pure glider version, which uses the same feathers, just a different fuselage pod

The Skyhook Discovery has been specifically designed for efficient soaring, whilst also being a good stable FPV platform.

The wingspan is 2.5 meters, but the model will break down to fit in a small box. The wing dismantles into 4 pieces, the fuselage boom separates easily from the fuselage pod and the V tail halves are easy to disassemble as well.

The plane has an MH32 wing section which includes a full length 20% chord flap. The MH32 is well known as a slippery airfoil, and the model is capable of flying very fast or very slowly depending on how you set the camber control in flight.

The wing and tail construction is foam with a glass skin sheeted over with balsa. This makes it very rigid. The surface finish is far superior aerodynamically to anything you can achieve with a foamie.

The ailerons are split with the wing panels and are hinged top side on the outer panel and bottom on the inner so you can set up an efficient "crow" flap mode too.

There is a good amount of space for gear in the "pod" between the wings and in the lower fuselage, and there are also pockets in the wings for yet more gear.

I chose a Turnigy GliderDrive 1120kV for mine and a 12 x 6 prop and an 80A Turnigy Plush ESC, and with a 3S 4000 Lipo, it get away nicely. The plane is very stable and rock solid as a camera platform , but also can do aerobatics.

So far I haven't had much time to try it beyond a couple of flights , but I'm looking forward to having some fun with this!

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  • Rob,

    Can you post more specs on a glider? Weight by each part and empty weight.

    Post more pictures on how ailerons are hinged, servo wells, schematics on how the spars are made. The more details the better.

    There are so many nice looking on a small pictures gliders offered that worth absolutely nothing on the end.

    If more information become available, I could become one of the owners of your plane. Until then I will wait.



  • For me... I have a vision / desire for an fpv gps triangle style competition.

    But mostly.. I love fpv soaring and slope soaring. None of the models that are currently used make a platform that is good enough at this role. Until now....

    Clearly the model lends itself to long range / uav flying. Not my thing personally.. But am sure it will suit this role.

    Above all.. The design has intentionally been kept modular. We can easily swap bits to tailor the setup to specific requirements. So given enough demand.. We can do a large bottom pod with payload doors. It's not going to be quite so pretty.. But will certainly work very well in this task.
  • Cool, anything specific you want to do with it or just a hobby fpv platform?

  • Ok.. I will give it some thought.

    Currently you wont vit a 7.5cm wide unit in the model.   But that can be resolved with a custom specification fuselage.

    Its possible too that we could do an option of built up wings to make the model lighter - net result is even slower flight; at the expense of some durability in a crash!

  • @Rob : Excellent ! Nadir camera inside fuselage is needed. Sony QX1 is a good candidate (small form factor 7.5 cm wide + light weight 300-400 gr). Closing door on servo command to protect optic during lading is good also.

    Of course FC is mandatory for route planning and WPs.

    My Skywalker uses 16 m/s survey speed. This forces me often to flight a bit higher than needed to get enough time between 2 successive pictures. The slower the speed, the lower I can flight, the better the final picture resolution is. Of course a multicopter take over for very accurate needs. But a plane offers such advantages in term of efficiency.

  • Hmm.. Fair point.

    I guess what's key is the failsafe to always put in neutral aileron.

    This is fine for my needs.

    Best is a decent and flexible mixer in apm. Once that arrives.. Happy days :)
  • Developer


    It will work fine on papaer , There is a flaw with this simplified approach as outlined here.

    I believe the problem there was that the plane was put in crow mode as stated in para 4.

    Basically your FC needs to know if you are in crow mode, whether you have flaps on etc or not and if necessary switch to another mode to be able to control the plane properly. If you use " pass-through" servos, the flight controller cant be effective i those "panic" moments, which are the very moments when you want to flick the RTL switch

  • Yes.   If you pop camber on - it slows right up.  The question is - what type of hardware do you want to put in the bottom pod.  How big is it etc?

    We are considering another fuselage pod option for this purpose - would you need the ability for the fuselage to have a downward facing camera?

    Some specifications of this would be useful for this as it is not my area of expertise.  But all up entirely feasible to have an alternative pod with a downward facing camera bay.  Just a question of demand!


  • Having a stable and very slow speed capable platform (with such a nice look in addition !) is always very tempting for mapping. Do you think it can fit for that purpose ?

    The overall shape make me think of a Delair, which is a very efficient mapper.

  • True.. but it is not the end of the world. Key is to use a flight controller that can mix rudder & aileron. 

    On mine I am using MFD AP.

    The solution is surprisingly simple.  You only drive a single aileron. And mix this to rudder.

    You then handle all mixing on the radio as per normal; and rely on the autopilot to get you home on a single aileron.   Surprisingly.. many full size aircraft work exactly this way!

    The ultimate of course is Andy's mixer solution :-)

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