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Posted by Daryth | Feb 16, 2012 @ 10:20 AM | 1,436 Views
After several flights and a little bit of tweaking, I have more to report on the Big Wing Sky Surfer.

The only thing I had not fully tested last time I posted was the autopilot capabilities of the Dragon OSD.

I tested the RTH functionality from a nice close distance and the plane simply circled overhead and held the pattern until I turned the autopilot off. It works so well that when I bring the plane in close I can just turn on RTH and then start fiddling with the video gear or the radio programming if I need to. The plane just flies in a nice lazy circle and waits or me to finish what I'm doing. It's very handy.

The next test was from almost 2 miles out. It was very windy and the plane was having a hard time holding course so I switched on RTH and it flew back flawlessly. The FY20A makes a huge difference in the stability of the plane when it is windy. After launch, I usually just switch it on and it calms the plane down noticeably. Between the FY20A and the Dragon OSD I can focus more on where the plane is flying and looking through the camera view and less on keeping the plane in a nice attitude. It's very relaxing indeed.

Lastly, I tested the failsafe settings by turning off the radio and seeing how the plane performs. Everything went perfectly; the RTH turned on, the FY20A turned on and the plane lazily returned back to the launch site.

Obviously this isn't huge news to most FPVers but it's exciting to have all these disparate components work together in such a smooth fashion.
Posted by Daryth | Dec 20, 2011 @ 12:23 PM | 2,484 Views
Here are the notes on my Big Wing Sky Surfer FPV Setup.

My goals were as follows (in no particular order):
  1. Stable flight characteristics
  2. Nice glide characteristics
  3. Large enough to carry all the electronics
  4. Minimum 30 minute flight times
  5. Good camera view setup
  6. Autopilot good enough to prevent a complete loss of the plane in the event of a control or video link failure.

Here is the equipment I used:

Sky Surfer airframe only
Easy Glider wings and fiberglass spar
1200kv brushless outrunner (sometimes switch to 1800kv motor if the winds are above 15mph and I cannot keep myself from flying so far I've flown in up to 25mph winds without incident - other than sweating bullets)
Right now, I have the Exceed Optima 450 2220-1800kv installed. Draws 6.5A at 60% throttle (my cruising speed) and 23A at 100% throttle.
7x5 APC prop
18A ESC
10A CC BEC
3S 5000mAh battery
4x MG90s Servos

Dragon Link TX
Dragon Link RX
Dragon OSD+ for On Screen Display and Auto Pilot
Feiyutech FY20A for flight stabilization

Whatever radio suits me. So far I've tried it with a Spektrum DX6i, JR X-347 (have since donated to a friend in need) and am currently using a Turnigy 9x with ER9X firmware.

Here are how my goals have turned out on a 1 to 5 scale.
  1. (3/5) The plane feels very heavy and sluggish on takeoff. The first 10 seconds after I chuck it in the air always feel like I'm moments away from total destruction. However, once it gets going it starts flying nice and smooth. Also, as anyone with an airframe
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