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Old Apr 06, 2013, 09:54 AM
flying ninja!
ican3d's Avatar
Joined Jun 2011
844 Posts
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Scale FPV flight – share your passion, medias, setup & tips.

Hey everyone, come share your cool flight experience on scale FPV, would like to see how many people around here fly scale plane with FPV. Post & share your cool scale FPV planes here. Share also some of your scale flying tips and advice. Sharing is caring.


Why fly scale?
The only way to appreciate and experience the world of aviation and experience the true meaning of flying scaled aircraft.
I love warbirds especially Mustangs. For 25 years i have been great fans of warbirds and prop planes. I collected models, fly them, now with current technology i can seat inside and fly like a real aviator does.

The more i fly them as scale FPV the more i love and appreciate the replica of real flying machinery and aviation technology.
Hearing the props roar, watching riveted wings on your side, moving ailerons and manage to land a scale like touch down a perfect landing give max satisfaction inside the cockpit.


Latest updates:
----------------------------------------
My video FPV flight: Pitts Special V3: Cloud Walker
A walk in the clouds with Pitts.
Location: Flying in various local places.
Wing span: 860mm
FPV Pitts Special - Cloud Walker (18 min 51 sec)



My video FPV flight: Pitts Special V3: Test flight above the clouds
Test flight on my 3rd build Pitts Special.
Location: Flying in various local places.
Wing span: 860mm
FPV test flight - Pitts Special v3 over the clouds (Reloaded) (3 min 24 sec)



My video FPV flight: P-51D Cloud 9
Every scale FPV pilot dream, the ultimate flight for 2013.
Location: Flying in various local places.
Wing span: 960mm
Cloud 9 - Greatest scale FPV adventure P-51D Mustang (10 min 54 sec)



My video FPV flight: P-51D Pilot's Sky Crawler
Ultimate FPV Mustang flight pushed to the edge of extremeties.
Location: Flying in various local places.
Wing span: 960mm
Scale FPV P-51D Mustang - Sky Crawler (4 min 24 sec)



My video FPV flight: P-51D Pilot's Sky Adventure
Here's a video summary of some of my great scale FPV flights inside P-51D Mustang.
Location: Flying in various local places.
Wing span: 960mm
FPV P-51D Mustang - Pilot's sky adventure (7 min 8 sec)





My video FPV flight: P-51D Mustang - Sunrise scale landing
Scale landing at old airport runway early before sunrise.
Location: Flying along the beaches and inland
Wing span: 960mm
FPV P-51D Mustang - Scale landing (3 min 9 sec)




My video FPV flight: FPV epic flight on PITTS SPECIAL
Beautiful flight from morning till sunset. Enjoy the beauty of scale flying with Pitts Special.
Location: Flying along the beaches and inland
Wing span: 860mm
FPV Pitts - Beautiful adventure (5 min 11 sec)



My scale flight video: PITTS SPECIAL
Best cockpit view over the wings. Better visibility. Nice sunset glare.
Wing span: 860mm
Beautiful FPV flight on Pitts Special bi-wing (5 min 0 sec)



My scale flight video: P-51 MUSTANG
That's how people fly a warbirds back in the old days. Imagine how they land this one on wavy aircraft carrier in WW2.
Wing span: 960mm
Scale FPV flight on P-51D Mustang (3 min 2 sec)




About my planes:
I’ve been long time FPV on Bixler @Sky Surfer, AXN Clouds Fly, 3D profile plane, car & multi-rotor, but flying on scaled FPV platform such as P-51D Mustang, Pitts Special, Coota seaplane and Drifter Ultralight give another level of thrilling FPV experience.

For safety reason most of my scale FPV plane wing span sized between 850mm ~ 960mm, weighted approximately 760gm made from EPS foam. Uses basic FPV hardware, light weight 5.8ghz 200mw nano VTX run on 1S 350mah lipo for vtx, DIY CL antenna, simple lightweight G-OSD with GPS for altitude checking. 3A/5V micro BEC, FrSky d8R-XP telemetry rx, 18- degree 9g pan servo, 520tvl mini cam with 150 degree lens, 20~30A ESC on DT750 mushroom motor powered on 1000mah 3s 35C lipo. For long range plane i installed RTH system on high wing such as Drifter Ultralight only.

I keep my plane simple, super lightweight, clean and nice to look at, also give nice impression to the public eye too.




Scale piloting rocks! Why.

1. Feels like being part of real aviator pilot. Fly like scale.

2. Satisfaction of landing on tail dragger especially warbirds.

3. Nice scale view over the wings, nose cowling, dash panels, props, moving ailerons and scale stuff around you. If you're lucky you might caught up with scale like props sound.

4. You'll get some Ohh!! and Ahh! Compliments from public/people around you. Probably your local cops praise how cool you’re P-51D Mustang or your Spitfire, may draw their attention away from thinking it as a drone. (Unless you properly setup your plane without any modules, hardware or bulky antenna outside the visible surface which ruins the scale looks).

5. Your buddies, friends and people around envy because you're flying a Mustang on weekends.

6. It doesn't look like a drone anymore. Another peace of mind flying in the public.

7. Flying FPV or LOS the plane still looks cool.




Thumb rules on setup a scale FPV planes


1. Highly recommended you put 180 degree full 'Pan' mechanism to pan your camera left or right with slightly ~15 degree static camera tilt down to get excellent view your where about during flying especially if your cockpit located above or behind the wings. Wider view give more sense of direction.

2. Keep your plane as light as possible, cut any long wires, trim out any excess foams and move your electronics to counter CG problem than using counter weight item.

3. Lighter planes give you ample time to float around and reduce risk of stalling and damage to property or peoples life on the ground if crash should happen. Choose plane with EPS foam, they are lighter, floaty and breaks immediately before someone life “breaks”…remember you can hot glue back your plane but you can’t hot glue people’s life back.

4. Some fancy gizmo such as RTH module, wing gyro stabilizer, overweight BEC, sensors, tilt servo are not necessary if you're park flying or short ranged flight. Some RTH or gyro won't do well on low wing or high stall planes. Too much stuff kills your BEC and weight so watch out for brown out or sink rate too.

5. If you cut out a front windows/windshield from the bubble canopy of the cockpit for camera viewing make sure you cut another hole behind the canopy, the incoming gusts of wind from the front entering the cockpit need to exit immediately from the rear. Without it will trap the wind, create pockets of air resistant which can act as an air brake that will cause your plane to slow down and stall.

6. Best use sponge or soft rubber as your landing tire to avoid your landing being too bouncy.

7. Get an FrSky radio telemetry module on your TX for safety such as SP/XP. Affordable, will give you good solid range, diversity antenna and also will give you audible sound range warning on your TX if you don’t have RSSI. Save you extra weight on the plane then spending on overweight OSD with RSSI/RTH.

8. Remember keep your plane scale like, simple clean electronic setup, lower your cost down, keep it lightweight and make sure your planes are floaty. Trust me you will have a peace of mind flying and at the same time enjoy the excitement being part of real aviator. Before flying, plan your flying route via Google map and find a failsafe spot if emergency landing required.







FPV Flight check: Safety & flying ethics.
Because the nature of camera been always in the cockpit your view always blocked by dash panels, wings, nose, cowling and etc. leaving you narrow point of view and disadvantages seeing most of the ground visual especially during landing but face the fact that’s how real pilot flies a plane in such condition. Also do check for your your local suirrounding make sure its safe to fly. So here some tips to make sure you know how:

1. Make sure you have lots of "Line Of Sight" flying experience and bunch of hours under your belt especially during takeoff and landing, you need to get to know how your plane handles. Eg: Flying a Warbird tail dragger, EDF, civilian replica plane is far different than an beginner/intermediate glider.

2. Know your surrounding or view your Google map, check some recognizable landmarks. Most of your view in the cockpit are blocked the only viewing you have is the horizon view so make sure you know some key landmarks from straight afar.

3. Always put your propeller nose cone for those that has props in front. Must use rubbery, epo, epp, eps, or blunt plastic propeller nose cone for safety reason so you can avoid hurting people on the ground during crashes.

4. When you go towards your destination always fly against the wind then when you need to fly back home you can fly ride along the wind direction towards home to give you extra boost or for fail safe reason.

5. Increase your altitude to a safer height progressively as you fly further distance away from you to get better L.O.S signal. Also thus give more buffer height for safe recovery if stall or sudden brownout.

6. Remember you are flying a scale plane not a glider. Speed is your friend, and always standby on the elevator during banking/turning.

7. For tail dragger, when approach for landing keep your nose straight align with the distance horizon. As the plane slows down slowly pull the elevator down proportional to the speed of the plane to make sure the tail wheel touch down, standby on the rudder control.

8. Front propeller plane. Make sure your familiarize with your prop RPM especially your optimal cruise prop RPM status. Check that on your L.O.S flight first and check where you're neutral throttle stick position are so that when you are flying on FPV you don't have to struggle to do guessing where your cruise RPM should be. Its hard to know your stall speed on scale plane in FPV than on LOS so keep that in mind.

9. Enable audio, a big help in troubleshooting problems by hearing the motor/props RPM or bad glitchy servo.

10. If your OSD indicate your main lipo is at 10.5V you better go home quickly because the voltage will sag & drop fast.

11. If you don’t have RSSI or radio telemetry to gauge your radio signal range then there a trick how to check your radio signal strength. When at distance try pan your camera left or right, if it lags, stuttering or jitters slowly turn around and head back home immediately before you loose your tx radio signal.

12. Before flying make sure you know where you are, never fly at heavily congested or where commercial/private and other real plane passes by your local flying spot. Always keep away from such place, drive far a way to remote places or unpopulated area where no real flight route above the sky have taken place. Important to check your local ATC, interniew various commercial/private pilot and check on the internet for example: http://skyvector.com/ to plan your flight.
Must research and know their VFR, IFR and weather condition that possibly affect their flight path to build up common sense when flying even if your flying location is very remote away from their (real plane) flight plan/path. (check: http://skyvector.com/).








TIPS: Dealing/entertain curious public. How to talk to them.
Scale flying can attract huge public attention around you especially for curious people especially FPV. If you ignore their curious question and interest they will put negative assumption you might be doing some drone spying thingy and start to gossip around and exaggerate to the Medias. Generally public have no idea what FPV is about so the best solution is to give some hands on "live" by bringing the FPV experience to them. Invest some money on a ground setup with VRX and LCD panels to let public see what you are doing. If you are doing FPV scale flights don’t worry about the typical drone question and critics. If your plane is a scaler and you’re flying via cockpit then you can explain to them that you're enjoying the attributes of a real plane or experience flying a replica plane only and not interested in privacy invasion. The obstructed cockpit view with limited ground visibility provide strong point that you're not into ground surveillance or watching people’s property other than enjoying the horizon view and with panels around the cockpit and view over the wings.
No doubt that having a pure scale plane with scale cockpit view in FPV setup will sure give positive public feedback and welcomes public enthusiast into aeronautic modeling. You'll be happy if someone compliment: "Awesome! It’s a Mustang!” …than "officer! It’s a drone!" then you need to review back your plane setup.


1. “Hey mister, is it safe to fly? Will it crash often?”
Before you start talking make sure you know your plane very well. What words you are about to say they may use it against you. Public around you may raise some question about safety about flying a scale plane. Question such as, "Hey, is this plane going to hit someone or going to break something?" First look at your plane. if it’s a light weight EPS foam 800mm P-51D Mustang with low power 1000mah 3S and 1s vtx on 5.8gz under 800gm then you are probbably can say good things about safety. But if you're flying 1.7m monster HK P40 Warhawk on 6s try your best to avoid it with a smile... which is why i rather fly a small/medium size foamy scaler.


2. "Is it a drone? Are you spying?...is it possible"

Another typical controversial question... Sometimes it’s hard to explain them in words but if you have spare video goggles or ground station with LCD screen let them see if they could spot and describe a dog, a cat, a car plate number, or what those people doing down the road from minimum 520TVL cam or CMOS camera from scale cockpit view with panels and wings blocking your way. Is it possible to spy around or take videos? None? So tell them straight.


3. "Is flying 'First Person View' are safer than 'Line Of Sight'?”
I've never had bad crash on FPV but more crashes on LOS because losing orientation….Yes, you won’t loose orientation on FPV. When you are on FPV you know where you are going and you can avoid the last minutes direction where it should crash. On LOS you can see your plane but you don't know where the plane is pointing at. If you're crashing on LOS you just make 'assumption' where is could be at? Always in the mind of LOS pilot..."What or where did it crash? What did i hit?"… So i guess you know what words you can put if question arises.
A properly tune VTX can beat TX radio range so it’s almost impossible to lost video range first than radio. Usually my TX radio loses first before VTX.


4. Do not reveal your vtx channel details

Do not reveal details of your channel where your VTX is tuning at. There bunch of hardware that public can get their hands on that could shot down your frequency. Or probably jealousy lurking around the bushes.




5. "Hey its cheap, it’s from china and it’s made of foam, you can get plug n fly too" (IMPORTANT: Big no no when you say something to the public.)
That's bad, you’re inviting noobs to get hands on cheaper FPV solution and wreck the whole community of hobbyist by making headlines on tomorrow news. Keep your heads low, just say it needs lots of LOS training, skills, learning curve and be a member of flying group to do tha. Keep yourself ethical, responsible and at the same time be friendly with the public. If they really wanted to join FPV they should try to learn it the hard way or google.com around or join some rc members at flying fields every weekends.


6. “Hey mister, try fly at that building, bridges…..and etc”
As an ethical FPV pilot if you think that was a dangerous request try to decline from doing it especially if it were requested from the press media or local authority in demo events. Even if you have skills and capable to fly through such location try not to show off in front of the public because they might able to capture, record or having evidence that “drones” actually capable to do that and might endanger public security and stuff. Just say “No, for safety reason I’m not allowed to fly there.” You’ll get A++ in public impression by saying that. Keep it to yourself because FPV technology is too your for public to understand for this moment.






























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Old Apr 06, 2013, 10:35 AM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
Joined Sep 2011
4,977 Posts
scale FPV is surprisingly very limited in the FPV world. Not too many doing it. And I don't do it as much as I'd like to. It does impress the LOS flyers more than our foamie trainers do.

I have a Wildcat with scale dash I fly regularly. I am building a big, heavy complex balsa/ply/covered Tiger Moth at this time also. Hope to maiden that in a week or two. Have a foam 1.4m Mustang, Su26, a CL415 and a balsa Beaver waiting in the wings to get FPVd later this year.

Wildcat (2 min 13 sec)


dash of the TigerMoth - with moving control sticks. Have installed FY30a in it.



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Old Apr 06, 2013, 10:54 AM
flying ninja!
ican3d's Avatar
Joined Jun 2011
844 Posts
Thanks for sharing your scale video BC, ouch the last part really hurt.
Sweet Tiger moth you got there, i was thinking getting a moth but in foamy kit at HK since it looks nice from cockpit view. Where you mount your vtx and antenna?

Yeah, its sad not much people taking scale FPV seriously. Which is why lots of "droning" issue pop-up in the news. If it was a scaler type FPV maybe will shift public view on FPV especially AMA as positive activity thing.
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 10:57 AM
Everyone is an idiot (or I am)
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United States, TX, Red Oak
Joined Jun 2012
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Nice posts! Grats and thanks for sharing
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 10:59 AM
fly by night
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Joined Sep 2011
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oh the Wildcat comes from Parkzone without gear. It is supposed to go down into the grass like I did. A tough little bird.

Tiger ,moth - I am putting the P&T n the aft cockpit. I cut out the middle section and will video the front cockpit. I am thinking the vTx will be located in the fuel tank (middle section of top wing). The Moth scare me a bit - so many hours involved in the build, and it is heavy as a oem plane, but only 1.23m. wingspan
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 11:08 AM
flying ninja!
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Joined Jun 2011
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Any plans to show off videos of your wildcat doing scale landing, would be interesting presentation for scale FPV community. Where your stock canopy?

Any concern of vtx interference near the fuel tanks of your moth?
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 12:38 PM
fly by night
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Joined Sep 2011
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The 'fuel tank' is just a plywood box - the plane is electric. The real Tigermoth has its tank there.

FOrgot to mention: on the TigerMoth I am doing scale synth audio too! I picked up a TBS Mini synthesizer, which is linked to the throttle. I flashed it with the Tiger Moth engine sounds, and I will run the output into my vTx. Then I will hear the scale engine sounds on the ground station - might need a big subwoofer for that!

this video isn't mine .. but it demonstrates the same synth sounds I will be using
Rc tiger moth with sound system (0 min 59 sec)
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 12:46 PM
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North vancouver, B.C. Canada
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Here my attempt at scale war bird

Corsair

http://vimeo.com/m/2940186
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 12:51 PM
fly by night
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Joined Sep 2011
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nice. reminds me I need to gets me some 360deg servos.
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 01:00 PM
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you have some nice planes there... love the P-51.

I'm really looking forward to BC's tigermoth too, that thing is going to be stellar!

It's certainly true that it's very limited in the FPV community, but I think it appeals to many people, they just don't want to invest the time and would rather get up and flying with a simple build that won't hurt the bank or the heart too much if it crashes.

Quite funny that it's so limited when one of the pioneers of FPV was in fact doing beautiful scale builds too - VRflyer is the daddy of truly scale FPV in my opinion. As you say I think it's extremely healthy for the hobby too and I've had comments before saying people feel it's a big positive for the community to see videos like these to deflect from "drone" connotations and put it back in the world of modelling.

Anyway here's my FPV eurofighter I built last year


Eurofighter FPV maiden (6 min 1 sec)



and this is a link to my current BIG project, almost 6 months in so far, but I think (hope) it's going to be something pretty special when it's done (warning, HUGE thread lol)

http://fpvlab.com/forums/showthread....-build-project
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 01:08 PM
fly by night
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Joined Sep 2011
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your projects are awesome, Rusty.

VRFLyer - he has moved on to making some amazing micro sized scale fpv planes. Very impressive - I tried to do some of that and have run into overweight issues. He managed to find some ultramicro low noise regulators to save weight and use 1 battery.

Yes, these serious scale projects are way more involved, even though mine is still kind of a hack job The scale planes are often heavy, skittish and very fragile, may not have a lot of room for electronics. I can envision 10 ways my Tigermoth maiden could end in disaster. Hope the Feiyu unit helps make it go smoothly, but I suspect it will be a tip-staller.
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 02:42 PM
my karma ranover my dogma
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Joined Jun 2007
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I'd love to see a scale P-38 and B-17 done up right and flown FPV.
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 03:36 PM
..in a Johnny Cash voice.
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Canada, NS, Beaver Bank
Joined Aug 2010
310 Posts
Rusty that's a fine build. The scale stuff is really rad. A Moth is great or anything really..it's not like we'll be able to take an ol girl up for a spin anytime soon. Good challenges.

A scale bird might be the third or fourth plane in a hanger. Many people have trouble keeping a single plane prepped and ready for flight let alone a longer more involved project.. *drool*
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 05:27 PM
Too many numbers
United States, OH, Troy
Joined Oct 2010
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Awesome stuff guys. Looks like my Parkzone P-51 will have a new life soon. lol Thanks for the inspiration.

Rusty- you the man. Except your appoaches. Other than that, you the man. You've given us something to shoot for. Awesome stuff.
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Old Apr 06, 2013, 05:48 PM
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PMSL... That was the maiden flight and my pan/tilt was out of service (goggle module problem)... Give me a break lol.

But fair comment, you win this round my man you win.
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