Introducing the Sky Observer (Skylark) UAV from ZETA

We received one of a few Sky Observer samples ZETA Science had available for testing a couple of weeks ago for evaluation before they go into production, assembled it and took it for a test flight.

The RTF model is very near completion with all electronics and cabling cleanly and accurately pre-installed. Apart from installing your own gear (cameras, receiver, LiPos, autopilot, etc.) only a few simple assembly steps need to be performed which include: freeing the pod door for access to the payload area, gluing the rudder/elevator in place, gluing the wing central wing joiner down.

Overall this looks like a very very well thought out and product with a high quality finish and has loads of room in the pod for all your UAV gear.

Material: EPO foam 
Length: 78.71in (2000)mm 
Wingspan: 59.51in(1511)mm 
Flight weight (AUW): 2500-3000g

Radio: 2.4G 7ch TX /7ch RX 
Battery: Li-Po/ 3S 11.1V/5200-10000mAh/20C 
Balance Charger: 2-4S 
Propeller: 12*6 prop 
Motor: Out-runner brushless 4250 KV950 
ESC: Brushless 60A ESC 
Servos: (4pcs 9g + 4pcs 12g metal) 
- 12g Analog metal servo*2pcs (Aileron) 
- 12g Analog metal servo*1pcs (Elevator) 
- 9g Analog servo*1pcs (Pod’s door) 
- 9g Analog servo*1pcs (Rudder) 
- 9g Analog servo*2pcs (Flap) 
- 12g Digital metal servo*1pcs (Vertical landing/forced landing)

Here's a video of our first (manual only) flights on a cold foggy day. We'll follow up with some autonomous flights once we get a Pixhawk in there and hopefully with some better weather.

Some of the issues uncovered during the build and test flights have gone back to the manufacturer and will be corrected.

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Comment by Simon Wunderlin on December 10, 2014 at 3:16am
Have tried it's stall behaviour? IIRC it should be capable of deep stall landings

Comment by Gary Mortimer on December 10, 2014 at 3:20am

Won't that break the pod off? Deep stall normally requires bits to give.

Comment by Simon Wilks on December 10, 2014 at 3:24am

I haven't tested it yet, will do in the next round of flights. In the picture you might notice the servo arm foremost on the elevator. This is used for raising the whole horizontal tail.

I've been told by ZETA that it is "for fun" and not meant to be the normal landing technique. The Israeli Skylark inflates an airbag underneath when the deep stall is initiated which this one doesn't have. I think I'll be testing it in long grass the first time.

Comment by Simon Wilks on December 10, 2014 at 3:30am

@Gary, the pod feels quite strong. I'm more worried about the vertical force on the wings.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on December 10, 2014 at 4:04am

Yeah the Raven famously lets its wings fall off in the deep stall landing, energy has to go somewhere cool that they are thinking of it though.

Comment by Morli on December 10, 2014 at 3:06pm

Looks  good, any idea/hint on price ?

Comment by Justice Bentz on February 23, 2015 at 3:47pm

Is there anything like this airframe that has polyhedral wings so there is just elevator and rudder? 

Comment by Euan Ramsay on October 16, 2015 at 12:03pm

Very interesting. What sort of flight times are you getting on this? I'm tempted to go for an endurance setup on one.

Comment by Airfix4 on February 6, 2016 at 5:24pm

@ Simon.

Any updates? Hows the Observer holding up?

Have you installed the Pixhawk and flown autonomously?

I'm also interested in flight times and durability. 

I see HK offers kits for just over $200. 


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