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Old Dec 15, 2009, 01:04 AM
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The MB-7/UAV

== UPDATE: Apr-4-10

The MB-7/UAV has been flying uninterruptedly and without a hitch since the last update in Dec-31st. No crashes to report to date (knock on wood) and it hasn't required any repairs or maintenance either (more knock on wood). I am extremely pleased with its outstanding reliability and flight characteristics. After flying the MB-7 for this long I can safely say that it has outperformed and outlasted, by an ample margin, the 6th generation series in pretty much every department.

I foresee a long operational life in the MB-7/UAV future, much like its smaller sibling the MB-3.

The MB-7/UAV is now scheduled to participate at the Orlando TORCHS funfly in May 1st.

See you there.


== UPDATE: Dec-31-09

One last update for the last day of the year. The MB-7/UAV new video TX got lost in the mail, not sure when I'll get it, or if I'll get it but I had time to work on the turret mechanics and the turret now rotates with the camera inside. I did some weathering, added grilles, started doing all the rivet work and replaced the DELight controller with the one from the MB-6D which got one that was damaged from the 7 so now the front light works and can act as a landing light as well.

Added a video of the turret rotation.


== UPDATE: Dec-20-09

Got to spend some time flying at the field this afternoon and after some modifications I got the OSD/GPS mostly dialed in. I did record a 34 minute session on the TX since first spool up using the non-final pack but I'd say I landed the heli a bunch of times in between to adjust things so that should be factored in.

Amp draw definitively goes down on the 7 when it starts flying forward, way more than it did for the 6D in forward flight, so I wouldn't be surprised if 30+ minutes were actually within the realm of possibilities, provided that the helicopter is flying forward that is. We shall see. I've spent 8 months tinkering and data-logging on the MB-6 and I was able to push flight times from 10 minutes to 18 so it is still too early to accurately say what the 7 will do when its all said and done. I will probably get the SK-720 to replace the current electronics package and that will be a big enough change to grant for a new revision model: MB-7A.

I already have nearly 100 flights on the 7 since its maiden but only a handful of those flights that I've datalogged are in the open where I can put it through its paces and get real world telemetry to then make the right decisions.



The MB-7/UAV is now officially the largest and most powerful helicopter in the fleet. At almost 8 pounds AUW it dwarfs the veteran MB-6D. It has incredible flight characteristics that go beyond the MB-6D capabilities, even with 12 mph winds. The MB-7/UAV can hover hands free for nearly 30 seconds under calm conditions and it can fly in any direction/orientation, including inverted which the MB-6D couldn't sustain for very long due to limited collective travel on the swashplate.

The 7th generation, built upon the success of the veteran MB-6D, starts a new era for it shall become the benchmark by which all future scale MB generations are based upon.

-- Here is the first flight video in the open, after nearly 2 weeks of testing on the MB-Base, I mean, backyard ...

MB-7/UAV at the Orlando Helicopter Blowout. (Hughes 500 TOW Defender) (4 min 12 sec)

The video system that was tested on the MB-6C/UAV passes down onto the MB-7/UAV but with the addition of an OSD and a GPS module for long range navigation.

-- Here is the first tests flight for the night vision system. This was filmed Sunday ~7 pm after the Orlando Helicopter Blowout was over. The voices speaking are from some of my friends, I think most of us were from all over the world, Israel, Turkey, Spain....A bunch of us stayed until nightfall to see the MB-7/UAV do what it was built to do, to own the night.

MB-7/UAV Night Vision system flight test. (Hughes 500MD TOW Defender) (4 min 12 sec)

-- Video of the turret mechanics.

MB-7/UAV Camera Turret Test (0 min 56 sec)

Here are some still pictures that my friend took with his SLR camera.
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Last edited by Minibichus; Apr 07, 2010 at 11:08 PM.
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