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Posted by Svede | Feb 29, 2016 @ 10:55 PM | 1,623 Views
As the title indicates the goal is an FPV plane that weighs less than the 250gm FAA registration limit. I would also like to squeeze in a Vector autopilot and achieve flight times in excess of an hour at partial throttle settings, or up to 1/2 hour at full throttle. Essentially, I'm attempting to achieve all the capability we are used to in our larger FPV planes at this low weight restriction.

The first attempt was a Horten style wing which I'd never done before, and the more I flew it, the less I liked it's handling characteristics. May be how I built it, wrong airfoil choice or just a poor planform for widely variable speeds as the speed dependent trim changes were rather dramatic and annoying after a while. I also missed the weight goal by 20-25gms with the Vector and batteries I wanted to use. So a lighter airframe was called for as that was the only place to save significant weight.

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Galaxy LOS test (2 min 54 sec)


While a conventional configuration would probably perform the best here, the plank is simpler, weighs the same and is probably more durable which will be a factor with the lighter construction. After drawing up the wing in DevWing Cam and printing the plans out, the wings are now complete at 12.3gms each and covering will add minimal weight with RA Microlite. The fuselage will be constructed of the lost foam method, the halves are ready for composite application and bagging. The goal for a complete fuselage is 28gms or 1oz, and a bare airframe weight of 60gms. This should save more than the weight needed with a little buffer to spare.
Posted by Svede | Feb 26, 2016 @ 11:14 PM | 2,058 Views
An old video I'd forgotten about testing the Graugans pan unit.

Planks Are Worth It (3 min 9 sec)

Posted by Svede | Nov 25, 2015 @ 02:50 PM | 2,562 Views
Yoda test (1 min 19 sec)


On a fresh charge this morning my four fastest passes average both directions was about 101mph, max of 103mph and low of 100mph according to the RCSpeedo app. It's quick, but not as fast as I was hoping. The only way to really get a direct comparison would be to make a much smaller body and see if the oversize fuse is holding the plane back or not really making a difference.
Posted by Svede | Nov 24, 2015 @ 04:32 PM | 2,482 Views
Some paint added, I think it looks not bad. A bit porky at 27.5oz AUW.
Posted by Svede | Nov 22, 2015 @ 09:46 PM | 2,639 Views
This one should be interesting, I'm sure some observant viewers will be able to figure out what concept I'm trying to exploit. The motor is rated for 260 watts, the prop should reach a calculated pitch speed of 112-116mph on 4S and I hope to get an actual 110mph-ish out of this 39" wing. There are several reasons why this experiment may fail, but certain previous designs lead me to believe it may have some merit at this scale/speed and configuration.
Posted by Svede | Jun 07, 2015 @ 10:07 PM | 3,454 Views
After attempting unsuccessfully (little sold ) to get out of the hobby and having some spare time on my hands I started another project. It essentially incorporates all the lessons learned from Nessie but now incorporating the Phobotic driven DYS Smart gimbal and doing away with the excessively large fuselage. The vTx antenna will be on the wing out in the wind, but the LRS antenna will go in a winglet for some drag reduction. As with Nessie the wings are removable without tools and the horizontal tail comes off with a single nylon screw for transport.

72" wingspan, AR of 10 not accounting for winglets. Will be ecstatic with a 4.5lb AUW but expect closer to 5lb with a 5S 5000mah battery. Flaperons will make short landings easier and its EPP construction should give it good durability. Hoping for great things and loooooonng flight times.
Posted by Svede | Nov 04, 2014 @ 04:27 PM | 4,838 Views
Posted by Svede | Oct 06, 2014 @ 07:09 PM | 4,904 Views
Twilight Canyon Cruise (4 min 30 sec)

Posted by Svede | Sep 19, 2014 @ 10:43 PM | 5,233 Views
Posted by Svede | Sep 07, 2014 @ 08:13 PM | 5,524 Views
Designed for close to medium range filming, this is the smallest I felt a fixed wing plane could get while comfortably lifting a 3 axis GoPro gimbal and still having an acceptable landing speed. The maiden went well, a few clicks of trim was all that was needed to get it locked in.

The left side of the wing outside of the vertical is removable for transport, creating a pretty small package to travel with.

With a full FPV setup, DYS gimbal w/GoPro and a 3700mah 5s battery, weight is 4.3lbs. Wingspan is 52", 660 sq. in. wing area. Very hopeful the PC controller meets expectations.
Posted by Svede | Jul 20, 2014 @ 01:13 PM | 5,463 Views
Maiden completed off of grass and could not be more pleased. Some tuning was needed and there is more tuning to come but overall, very successful. What is left is to fabricate the water rudder and see how she handles on water, if that is successful then get the DYS gimbal mounted and working.
Posted by Svede | Jun 20, 2014 @ 12:13 PM | 6,295 Views
Very similar in construction to all my other builds in the last year or two, nothing new there. Wings and horizontal tail are/will be removable for transport. Wingspan will be 82" approx. once the wingtip floats are attached and carved. Planning on about 7lb. AUW with one 5000mah 5s for power, room for much more depending on whether or not I have enough floatation

The nose is designed to be modular. There is a DYS 3 axis gimbal making its way to me after I found a very promising/excellent video posted by another user here flying a 3 axis gimbal on a Skywalker. However, I have seen mostly poor videos so there will be an option to quickly swap in a hard mounted GoPro or a pan unit with head tracking. That proved to be the demise of Nessie, hacking into the nose one to many times until I was able to come up with a solid head tracking unit.

I have an ET Vector unit on hand, fortunately it will be a while before install so I'll be able to follow along with other users and see if any deal breaking bugs are found.
Posted by Svede | Feb 07, 2014 @ 05:26 PM | 6,124 Views
The AHI on the RVOSD5 that has been with me for the last year in the Queen Bee quit working, RangeVideo was incredibly gracious and sent me an RVOSD 6 upgrade. Despite a slight rain I put two flights on Nessie to test the autopilot. RTH worked as expected, I will test and tune FBW another day as the rain began to pick up more than I was comfortable subjecting the ground station and radio to.

Currently the plane is under propped, peaking at 345w of the 470w the power system is rated for. Regardless, it still achieves 85mph flat and level. The plane should be able to briefly tolerate 550w, so I will be experimenting with other props.

With the Vtx antenna inside the plane and closer to all the internal components there is too much picture break-up, so I have moved the antenna externally. This was an oversight on my part, had I realized the antenna would have to be external from the start I could have narrowed the fuselage a good two inches and still had more room for more battery than I could safely hand launch the plane with. This would have boosted the performance a little.

Nessie -3rd flight (2 min 36 sec)

Posted by Svede | Jan 29, 2014 @ 12:16 AM | 6,416 Views
This is the latest of my efforts to create a high performance/ versatile FPV aircraft. For a long time I was flying a Windrider Queen Bee, I got side tracked with life and in the meantime decided I wanted a smaller, more transportable and easier launching replacement. This is what I came up with though not an exact replacement as it caries a GoPro 3 on a head tracking gimbal rather than having a fixed Rx100.

Having only done the LOS maiden without an OSD I don't have any hard performance data yet but will update numbers as I get them for anyone interested. AUW is 6.3lbs with one 5000mah 6s Zippy Compact battery with a wing area of approximately 5 sq/ft. There is obviously room for a LOT more battery. With nearly full span ailerons it is surprisingly aerobatic. While fast and agile it only has a 500 watt motor and a high pitch prop, so climbing performance is not unlimited and you really need to give it a hard throw on full power for launch.

I wanted to try a few ideas I haven't seen implemented yet with FPV aircraft (doesn't mean they haven't been done, I just hadn't come across them). The head tracking unit on the front of the aircraft is faired by the body of the plane and hopefully will achieve an overall reduction in drag as well as creating less aerodynamic stress on the gimbal and allow higher speeds without being problematic for the gimbal (jitter, trouble centering etc. on relatively small 9gm servos). Something else I wanted to implement was internal...Continue Reading