Snow Skimmer Scratch Build

by matthewolsen74 | January 30, 2021 | (0) Posted in Projects

Long winters with short days leave us looking for fun wherever we can find it and when RC is your sunshine, look to FliteTest for inspiration! My search for winter builds led me to the FT Snow Skimmer challenge video and then on to James Whomsley's version and printable plan.  With a few adjustments, I was able to put together a racer that moves well in the powder or on packed snow. I used leftovers from other projects for the electronics, and ended up with the following setup:

  • Receiver: 6 ch OrangeRX
  • Servo: 9g
  • Motor: 2204-2300KV
  • ESC: 20A
  • Prop: 5045 bullnose quad prop
  • 3S 1500mAh Lipo

Without much access to Maker Foam or water-resistant foam board, I just used the standard Adams Reddi-Board. To get it ready for snow, I coated the cut pieces with Polyurethane. I built up the motor stanchion into something a little more solid and had to make some adjustments to the plans to completely enclose the sponsons. 

I added a magnetic hatch and then put together a second hatch with a rudimentary FPV setup (canopy looks rough but will keep the snow out).

While I still had everything open, I stripped some lights off of a decommissioned flying wing and ran them through the hull and out into each sponson. My struts are CF rods and i had some clear shrink tube that fit perfectly over the rods and LED wiring.

To help with tracking in the snow, I added some bamboo skewers to the bottom of the hull and sponsons. I found some 3mm thick tape strips at the dollar store that are meant to reinforce box corners but are fantastic for using with scratch builds and repairs. I used them to cover the bottom of the hull and the sponsons to add strength and reduce friction.

The whole build was about 4-5hrs over about a week, thanks to my very basic and slow soldering/wiring skills. James’ plans allow for innovation and improvisation and provide a great template for this project. I learned a lot and had some fun with this build, and I’m happy to have a Plan B for snowy winter days! Hope you enjoy the video:)


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Snow Skimmer Scratch Build