|Flying Weight: 2lbs 7oz as reviewed|
|Motor: 2212 Brushless Outrunner 2200kv|
|Prop Size: 6x4|
|Battery: 3S 3000mAH Lipo|
|Available From: Banggood|
Flying Wings have been a popular choice for sport flyers as well as FPV die hards. Most planes need to be retrofitted to work for FPV and finding space for all your gear can be a challenge. That's where the Mako comes in. It can be a fun sport plane if that's all you want, but this thing is really made for FPV with lots of pockets and room to place your gear as well as having a removeable domed nose for your camera. Banggood was nice enough to mail me the Mako along with some great FPV gear that we'll get into later. First, let's take a look at what's inside the box.
The Mako arrived in a shipping box only so I don't have the box art to show you. It suffered some minor damage on the top hatch where the two plastic domes were setting on it. They were bubble wrapped, but the long journey gave the foam some dings. I used a sharpie to touch up the black paint and it's hardly noticeable.
When you pull everything out, there's not a lot of parts really. The main fuselage already has the motor and esc installed and the two servos are installed into the wing panels as well. You get a carbon fiber wing joiner, two vertical fins, the Bubble Nose with a clear and tinted dome, two EPO landing skids, and a bag with the prop and hardware.
There was no manual, but I'm no stranger to figuring things out and there was so few parts that it was no problem. The CG marks are actually molded into the foam on the bottom and I wasn't too concerned with control throws so I didn't really need any additional information.
The first thing I did was install the carbon wing joiner and slid the wings onto it against the fuselage. The servo wires need to be fed through the slot in the fuselage.
There is no glue required to secure the wings and they are removable for transport later if you want. They give you plastic covers that are labeled with arrows and letters to indicate where they go. You use two screws per set from the bottom to the top to lock the wings in place. I did notice some slop in the elevons that I didn't like. The clevis pin was the culprit. Either the pin was too small, or the control horn holes were too large. I swapped out the clevises with some I had laying around that fit much better and greatly reduced the slop in the linkage.
Next I installed the vertical fins with one screw each and glued on the foam landing skids onto the fuselage. The skids hang over the area where the front nose cover goes so don't put glue on the skids at the front. You can add rudder servos if you want, but I chose to leave it stock.
That's all there is to the airframe assembly. It only takes a few minutes to complete. After the airframe was together I started laying out the rest of the gear and FPV system to get an idea of where I needed things to go for balance and function.
I started with the Pitot Tube from the 41AP Lite. I carved out some foam in the bottom of the left wing and made a shallow slot for the sensor wires to run into the fuselage. I used some contact adhesive to secure the pitot tube.
Next I removed the foam cover from the right wing. I wanted the GPS sensor to go here, but I also wanted a clean setup. If I just placed the GPS unit on the shelf, it would stick up in the airflow, so I cut a recess out of the foam and secured the GPS unit inside and replaced the foam cover for a stealth look. You can't even tell there is anything there.
Next I dealt with some of the larger components in the fuselage. I mounted the 41AP main board at the rear of the plywood deck using foam tape and positioned the ESC and Power Manager as far back as I could to get them out of the way and also to help with the CG.
Next I installed my receiver in the left wing panel and put the satellite inside the fuse.The wiring was run along side the battery tray to stay out of the way when installed and removing the battery.
Now it's time to install the FPV gear. I cut out a slot for the pan servo in the plywood tray and mounted the pan/tilt camera setup using wood servo screws. This position was as far forward as I could mount it with the stock plywood tray. There is a little less than an inch from the camera to the clear dome when mounted.
Then I installed the 1.3Ghz transmitter with Velcro in the nose. This transmitter is a little overkill and fairly heavy, but will be great for long range flights with a UHF system later on. Again I wanted a stealthy setup, so I used an antenna extension and small plywood rectangle to mount the antenna on top and allow the cover to be replaced for a clean look.
Lastly I made a little pitot tube cover to avoid getting anything inside when it's not flying and attached the front bubble nose. I chose to screw the clear dome onto the nose, but they also provide a tinted dome if you want to use that instead. I then setup the 41AP Lite and radio program and waited for some nice weather to go flying.
Takeoff: The Takeoffs with the Mako can be a little tricky, especially if you load it up with heavy FPV gear. The flying weight of my Mako is 2lbs 7oz and I'm sure it can built lighter, but it handles the weight well once you get it in the air. There are some indentations in the bottom of the fuse where you can grab the plane, but I prefer to hold it slightly aft of that position. I ran up to full throttle and gave it solid toss mostly straight out. The plane gets up to flying speedy fairly quickly. I'm a lefty so that makes things a little easier for me being able to toss it with my right hand on the control sticks.
Aerobatics: The Mako is a great sport wing if that's all you want. Put the standard nose on it and go burn some holes in the sky. I cranked up the rates on mine and had a blast doing loops and rolls, and inverted flying. It's not quite a 1:1 thrust to weight with my setup, but it has plenty of go juice. Build it lighter and you'll have even more power to play with.
FPV: There are so many ways to setup your FPV equipment on this plane. There is room enough on the front mount for a GoPro should you want to record HD video from a fixed mounting point. I chose to use the Fatshark Pan/Tilt camera instead so I could look around while flying. I really enjoy flying from the nose with no obstructions even though I mostly fly with the camera facing forward so I can tell what the airplane is doing. I only change the camera angle when the stabilization is engaged. That way I know the Mako is always flying straight even though my view has changed. You can look around in all directions with about a 120 degrees left and right and it's cool to look down and see what's below you. I didn't see any issues with the dome so my camera placement worked out pretty good. The 800mW 1.3GHz video transmitter is a bit overkill for my flying, but it works great and will allow me to do some down low tree hopping when I want to. The Mako makes for an awesome FPV platform because it gives you options both in how you outfit it and in how you fly it. I love that I can cruise around slowly, or full throttle it with some acro. The 41AP Lite is a great autopilot system that has worked flawlessly for me. The loiter mode is great for after you launch to give you some time to get your video goggles on and get situated for the flight without having to worry about controlling the plane. I can trigger return to home via a switch and as a failsafe condition should I lose the radio signal. It gives me peace of mind that if I fly out of r/c or video range, that the autopilot will bring the plane back to me.
Landing: Landings are simple. Wings like this are hard to stall out, so you can just fly it to the ground without power and flare at the end to let it slide on the grass. The prop is well protected and I didn't have any breaks on any of my flights thus far. The glide ratio is pretty good too, but you can get it down in small fields pretty easily if you have some experience.
|RCGroups.com Mako FPV Wing Flight Video (2 min 39 sec)|
The Mako is a fantastic airplane for sport flyers, but it really stands out as an FPV platform. There is loads of room for your gear making it simple and easy to setup and use. On a 3S 3000mAH Lipo at cruise power, you could likely hit 30 minutes of motor run time making it ideal for long range flights, but it also handles great at slower speeds meaning you can keep it tight for smaller fields. Aside from having to change out the elevon clevis's, the rest of the hardware and electronics have been working great. I really like the magnetic front dome and large battery hatch for when you need to get in and make adjustments to your gear or change out the battery. I've been having a blast with every flight and would like to thank Banggood for making this review possible.
|Mar 25, 2015, 10:01 AM|
Yeah there are lots of options for the ground station. This review was more about the plane and electronics on board.
You would need a video receiver and some sort of display, either video goggles or a monitor. Some of those have built in receivers mostly on 5.8Ghz so you would want a 5.8 video transmitter in the plane. The cost varies so much on different components, its hard to nail down a cost.
|Mar 26, 2015, 11:22 AM|
That is the same Mako as from RMRC but without some of the RMRC decals and you can see the price difference benefit @ RMRC:
|Mar 27, 2015, 09:17 PM|
Jamaica, Saint Catherine Parish, Portmore
Joined Jan 2014
Always wanted one fast fpv plane. Have a set a 31ap some were 4ch ezuhf, will see how this little bird really is
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