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Old May 01, 2009, 06:23 PM
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United States, CA, Marin County
Joined Apr 2009
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Just got an offer I (probably) can't refuse...

I've talked quite a bit with people on the forum over the past week or so about my upcoming FPV setup. I'd decided on the Cularis and the EasyStar. I went to buy the Cularis from my LHS and discovered that he sold the last one this morning. There was an old guy in the store who planned to hand his scale warbird over for consignment at a price of $300. I asked what he had, and he showed me a beautiful fully built warbird (only flown once). He told me he has approximately $500-$550 tied up in it with retracts, engine, servos, flaps, etc. After the LHS owner told him it could take a while given the state of the economy, he and I spoke and he told me that if I bought it by tomorrow he'd let it go for $200. After he left, the LHS owner told me that he is a solid builder and he vouches for the quality of the plane and build. He also told me that the guy installed one of the LHS owner's favorite glow engines that has plenty of power (again, can't remember which). This would come it around half of what I expected to pay to buy and complete a Cularis.

I am embarassed to say that after leaving the LHS and going to dinner and a movie with the family, I have completely forgotten which airplane it was. I think it was a spitfire, but I could be wrong. It's one of those WWII tail draggers. It wasn't a P-51 or an F4U, so the spitfire seems like a good guess.

Has anyone used a warbird or other plane similar to the Hangar 9 spitfire (7-10 lb flying weight, 60-75 inch wing span, glow powered) as an FPV platform? If so, what are the potential problems?

It seems like this would be a great platform for reducing interference by creating space between the plane's Rx and the video Tx. It would also be a great model for lugging around a little extra weight without needing to have a jet or something irresponsibly fast.

Anyway, I have to make this decision fast. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

TL

P.S. If I buy this model, I will probably give it a couple of weeks and log at least a couple hours of flying time prior to setting it up for FPV. That way I'll reduce my chance of nose-diving on the first FPV adventure.
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Old May 01, 2009, 07:43 PM
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Carlyle Harper's Avatar
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1,278 Posts
I can't think of a reason I would want to use a warbird for fpv. Some might say to put the camera in the cockpit.

If you want a bigger plane to separate the rc rx and vid tx then use a Sr. Telemaster like I do. It's not a fast plane but very stable and the weight of the extra gear won't bother it, plus if setup with the right power system can stay in the air for 40+ minutes, sometimes 50+ Maybe even longer if fuel powered.

If you're still stuck on the warbird then you will have to consider the extra channels you will need. The warbird you mentioned has retracts and flaps that will each need a channel. If the elevator and flap halves each have their own servos you'll need a servo synchronizer for each to prevent using an extra channel there. So for a full video setup with pan/tilt and osd control, you'd need 9 channels, 8 without osd control. This means a bigger radio if you don't already have one.
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Old May 01, 2009, 08:01 PM
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United States, CA, Marin County
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Carlyle,

That's a good point about the extra channels. I'll have to ask about that to see if it's going to be a problem. I definitely want pan and tilt, but I don't know about OSD yet. I'll figure out whether that will be a setup for which I will need 9 channels with this plane.

As for the camera, I would like to mount it below the plane. I know it adds some realism, but the videos from cockpit mounted setups always make it seem like they would be difficult to fly.

Thanks,

TL
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Old May 01, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Yeah, that's what I've always thought about the cockpit camera too. You'd spend most of the time looking at the sky and without an osd would be difficult to find home. If you decided to go with an osd in the future the return to home feature wouldn't work reliably with a warbird. They are not stable planes like the easystar, cularis, or telemaster. If you're going to put the camera underneath then I don't really see the purpose of using a warbird. Warbird fly where you put them. If you bank or pitch it, it will stay banked or pitched until you correct it. You'll constantly be on the sticks. Not sure of your goals but for me I want to enjoy the scenery a little without having to worry so much about correcting a dive or bank angle that could escalate in a hurry to something bad, even in calm weather. For the telemaster, I just give it rudder inputs every so often to keep it on course and it does the rest.

Some people don't like belly mounted cameras because it has a floating effect. Personally, I enjoy this and it gives me a better view of what I'm flying over, another reason I chose the telemaster.

Also a belly mounted camera solves the problem for me of the automatic gain control in most cameras which blackens the ground when most of the image is sky or the sun. I just tilt it down until the horizon is near the top and the ground lightens right up. Can't do this with the typical easystar or cularis setups. Look at some of my videos on vimeo and notice how I use the tilt to keep the ground lit up.
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Old May 01, 2009, 08:51 PM
No guts no glory
pratorian's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2007
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IMO you could fly that model FPV but if you take-off/ land it FPV you will most likely end up crashing it sooner than later.

warbirds usually stall at high speed and balsa models like that one are very fragile, you can easily break a retract on an almost perfect landing etc.
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Old May 01, 2009, 09:09 PM
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Torrance
Joined Feb 2005
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I've tried it with a 1.20 sized hellcat, weighed 11 lbs. the problem for me was the motor was too powerful the scale speed at full throttle felt like I was flying at 400mph, very stressfull, I never had issues with stalling the plane it would float all over the place and was tough to land.

If I where you go with a tricyle landing gear plane, or a 60" sailplane. tail drager is a hard to land and take off unless you have a smooth runway.
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Old May 01, 2009, 09:13 PM
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United States, IA, Mason City
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It is only $200 for a plane that is worth a lot more than $200. Even if it means putting off the cularis/easystar for a month or so I would jump all over it.
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Old May 01, 2009, 09:18 PM
No guts no glory
pratorian's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2007
1,677 Posts
buy it for 200$ sell it for 400$ and buy more FPV planes
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Old May 01, 2009, 10:29 PM
Seeing the Farside.
Blaze.45's Avatar
Seattle WA, USA
Joined Aug 2005
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Haha

Or better yet, sell it back to the guy for $400 after the economy picks back up.



Lol, you crack me up.
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Old May 02, 2009, 12:41 AM
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United States, CA, Marin County
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Thanks for the info guys! I may pass up the offer after all. Although I like the idea of making some money off of the warbird (or simply getting a great deal), this is certainly not a hobby I planned to use to make money. The cularis might be my best bet yet. I took a look at the Senoir Telemaster, but it looked like it would be ridiculously epxensive to get up in the air.

I've asked this question five times already, but every time I ask it I get a new answer that opens up new possibilities, so her goes again: what plane do you suggest I use if I want something that can fly with some wind (10mph or less)?

Thanks again,

TL
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Old May 02, 2009, 01:10 AM
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North vancouver, B.C. Canada
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a glider
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Old May 02, 2009, 01:21 AM
Crashy McLandington
Northern Colorado
Joined Dec 2005
590 Posts
Anything that goes 20 mph? A plane has absolutely no clue that it's flying in wind, just like a boat crossing a river. It's the gust factor that makes 'em squirrelly.
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Old May 02, 2009, 03:18 AM
Time's fun when ya havin flies
cncoz's Avatar
Qld, AU
Joined Sep 2007
445 Posts
Just watch your camera placement so you don't get that sticky fuel/oil over your lens and camera gear. Also be aware that vibration can be more of a problem on a stink plane. I have never had a problem with FPV take-offs and landings as long as I've got a carpark to use.
Go for it !
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Old May 02, 2009, 08:42 AM
No guts no glory
pratorian's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtl0715
Thanks for the info guys! I may pass up the offer after all. Although I like the idea of making some money off of the warbird (or simply getting a great deal), this is certainly not a hobby I planned to use to make money. The cularis might be my best bet yet. I took a look at the Senoir Telemaster, but it looked like it would be ridiculously epxensive to get up in the air.

I've asked this question five times already, but every time I ask it I get a new answer that opens up new possibilities, so her goes again: what plane do you suggest I use if I want something that can fly with some wind (10mph or less)?

Thanks again,

TL

Cant go wrong with either an easystar or an easyglider, the cularis is just too big IMO. You can add a couple cheap gyros to help with the wind, 10mph isnt a problem, the image is just not as stable but you can fly no problem with either of those airframes in 10mph wind.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bob loblaw
Anything that goes 20 mph? A plane has absolutely no clue that it's flying in wind, just like a boat crossing a river. It's the gust factor that makes 'em squirrelly.
Uhm its a little more complicated than that Bob
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Old May 02, 2009, 08:49 AM
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United States, CA, Marin County
Joined Apr 2009
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I may have to buy the plane just because it's such a good deal, even if I don't end up using it for FPV. If I do use it for FPV, I'd mount the camera on the bottom of the plane in a makeshift gunner's turret. Maybe use half of a hamster ball or the top of a panty-hose container. I'm sure there's a perfectly good solution for covering the outside of the camera equipment.

As for vibration, I guess the solution there would be some sort of foam (or something soft) in the mount that can absorb most of the vibration. I"m sure there's even some sort of gyroscopic mount that can hold the camera super-steady.

That takes care of the vibration and (possibly) the fuel issue. I guess I'm just going to have to mill over this for a while longer. Keep the opinions coming, they're a huge help!

Thanks,

TL
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