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Old Mar 02, 2012, 06:03 PM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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Question
ARF FPV plane design - I need your input

Some of you know that I am planning on releasing a RTF FPV airplane line. The first airplane will be my Specter and it should be ready in about a month or so. The Specter is designed to be a relatively easy to fly and durable airplane capable of aerobatics and 20 minute flights. Price tag is going to be around $600 or so for everything. The Specter will come completely topped out with performance parts. Basically a high performance small field flier.

That said, I'm looking to design a long range FPV plane capable of longer flight times. However, since I'm not much of a long range flier, I have no idea what people want. I'm not looking to compete with the Zephyr built be Trappy and his team, mind you. However a flying wing is a consideration if it is preferable.

What type of plane should I build?
Flying wing?
Dual boom pusher?
Twin motor (like a P-38 lightning)?
Glider?

How big should it be? 48", 52, 56, 60" wing? 72"?

What features should it have?
OSD programmed and installed?
LRS already installed?
Antenna tracking?

How much would you be willing to pay for an RFT FPV plane capable of 10+ miles?

If flight stabilization is wanted, how much would you pay for that already installed?

Thanks,

-Alex
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Old Mar 02, 2012, 09:50 PM
Formerly bUd~Fokker
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Australia, NSW, Eurongilly
Joined Aug 2008
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Gosh man, i thought you have been doing this stuff and been in the forums long enough to know the answer to these questions.

But heres my thoughts.

I think it be hard to sell a plane as a FPV ARF because of the high initial costs.... but i am sure there is a market out there for that...
Didnt somewhere sell arf fpv planes consiting of an easystar with everything you needed for a crazy amount of money .,... they sold but i think there was some "issues" with selling such a setup.

To sell a ARF you will need to be able to source all the components at a much cheaper price than the average person can to make it worthwhile as most people will do the maths themselves to see if your offer is worthwhile or if they could indeed do the same for less money.

As for what airframe, well it dosent take much to see what the most popular exsisiting models are...
There isnt many hugely popular twin boomers, but personally I like that configuration.

As for features i think it would be good to offer from the most basic setup which includes a basic OSD, to the full house setup which includes a OSD with RTH setup.
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Old Mar 02, 2012, 10:05 PM
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Canada, BC, Vancouver
Joined Sep 2009
282 Posts
I personally think its not that good of an idea for people to just go ahead and buy a RTF FPV plane as most newbies want to go 10miles without any experience as an RC pilot or an FPV pilot. FPV as we know now needs a lot of researching, reading various forms and talking to more experienced pilots to slowly build up their foundations for a successful FPV flight, and that makes it safer for most of us and the general public.

just my 2 cents

Taiping
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Old Mar 02, 2012, 10:08 PM
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United States, TX, Mansfield
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvV FANG Vvv View Post
Gosh man, i thought you have been doing this stuff and been in the forums long enough to know the answer to these questions.

But heres my thoughts.

I think it be hard to sell a plane as a FPV ARF because of the high initial costs.... but i am sure there is a market out there for that...
Didnt somewhere sell arf fpv planes consiting of an easystar with everything you needed for a crazy amount of money .,... they sold but i think there was some "issues" with selling such a setup.

To sell a ARF you will need to be able to source all the components at a much cheaper price than the average person can to make it worthwhile as most people will do the maths themselves to see if your offer is worthwhile or if they could indeed do the same for less money.

As for what airframe, well it dosent take much to see what the most popular exsisiting models are...
There isnt many hugely popular twin boomers, but personally I like that configuration.

As for features i think it would be good to offer from the most basic setup which includes a basic OSD, to the full house setup which includes a OSD with RTH setup.


Yes, the price point for a quality RTF long range FPV ship would likely scare many newer people away, I think. And the more experienced will likely be very picky about the components, etc...

I know it's more work, but perhaps you could develop 'combos' to let the users choose a more customized (but verified by you to work well together) grouping of equipment:

i.e. This airframe supports camers A, B, or C, but not D or F. It support vTX B or D only, and so on...



If you offered a large choice of equipment, AND your expertise testing, tuning, etc., said components to work together, I think you could sell quite a lot...


Just offering some initial thoughts here. Good luck with your venture, Alex aka IBCrazy, and thank you for the invaluable information, etc. you contribute for FREE to everyone...


Best Regards,

Charles T.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Greece, Central Macedonia, Thessalonika
Joined Jun 2008
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Hello Alex.

It is a little vague to me what do you mean by RTF FPV, since there is such huge variety of sophistication and complication levels in FPVing. Can you please share a link to a thread where I can follow up with the evolution of this project of yours?

I wish you the best on this venture - may the outcome reward your important contributions to FPV.

Regards,
Stavros

P.S. A flying wing may be easier to produce, set-up and ship, and harder to damage in a crash. The are cons too ofcourse...
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Sydney, Australia
Joined Jun 2006
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I think something quite big would be good able to carry a heavy payload of batteries (at least 10,000mah 3S). A decent wingspan to be able to fly well without using all of the battery power to sustain flight. Some thing that can thermal and glide, but be quick as well... Personally I would not want a twin motor set up. Maybe all of that is not possible but hey you asked!

As for all of the electronic gear installed, I'd be more interested in the bare airframe. I agree with some of the others that it takes time to learn about FPV, and jumping straight in to do long distance cld be dangerous without understanding the limitations. I would have thought that experienced users already have their own preferences for frequency, OSD, etc etc... But if you are going for the beginner market I think a short range, more simple RTF plane makes more sense. For the long range I think everyone might want to do it their own way? Could be wrong though...

I do wish you the best for luck with this venture. You have given all of us so much through your contributions and genius.

PS...If it was a flying wing I think a very big one would be cool. Someone in Australia at the moment is converting an 8 foot wingspan wing to FPV for super long distance!
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Bangkok
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As for the plane itself you may want to check the last one I did and see if there's anything there you find useful.

Things I do find useful in planes of this type, modularity and ease of access. Components should be easy to replace and upgrade.
On my model I'm planning to later on make a camera gimbal instead of the fixed forward looking camera, I'll simply make a new nose section and replace the old one to keep as a spare.
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Old Mar 04, 2012, 08:05 AM
Kiwi in Germany
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Germany
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I would just head for the medium range market. There is a larger market there than the high priced models. To sell the higher priced models you are going to need marketing. Trappy done that with his flights and now currently with his lastest set of videos.

Anyone one who knows anything about IBCrazy know that you build top of the line antennas and planes that are a lot of fun (and don't break). A good part of your marketing in the middle range planes are done. I would first think how you can market the long range planes before you start building them.
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Old Mar 05, 2012, 07:05 AM
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my planes have to be able to land on just about any terrain. i fly over water just as much as i fly over land. so that being said, i would like a plane to do that and have no prop in the video. speed is always good too... the ability to carry big batteries and handle wind helps.
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Old Mar 06, 2012, 06:38 PM
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Birmingham, Alabama
Joined Jun 2002
2,970 Posts
do what you love. forward swept canard wing+double tractor motor on the main wing
then just decide if you want a 2-3 pound hand tosser or a 4-6 pound hand tosser / maybe gear for anyone that doesn't wanna throw a plane

then people like me can get their sportyness with anhedral or straight wing
the stability hoes can epoxy together a dihedral wing
little to no danger of getting chewed up by a plane thats odd to hold & throw
no prop in the video "but something fun to look at out to the side & behind"
easier CG/MAC to work with in regards to packaging forward/mid cameras
easier packaging (all FPV gear may be kept in the nose. all normal radio gear can stay back. lots of space for battery capacity infront with & behind the wing, just carry the fuse off behind the wing, but not enough to have an interference problem when the nose rises on takeoff/landing)





if i could. id gut & mod a sig tristar in that style. i've still got the plans for one i had as my 3rd r/c plane many years back. loved that thing. (tho... they required... an EPIC amount of modifying to actually be stupid good fliers. like.. double the glow engine size, move the CG back like... many inches from marked. modified landing gear, etc) maybe keep the general outline & throw the specifics out.






how slick as owl's stuff would an FPV tristar look?




isn't it signflyer with the nice little FFF example as an avatar? its somebody baller that hangs around
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Old Mar 07, 2012, 03:45 AM
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I would like to see something similar to the Scan Eagle and an improved X8 wing that BEVRC sells, maybe with retracts mounts designed in. Actually, copy it exactly (would be nice to see it reversed for a change) just the fact that it was available would be an improvement over the X8. I agree with some of the above comments that it should be an airframe only. It would be attractive to more people and wouldn't make it "too easy" for non experienced people to FPV. Something similar to AleG's design would be cool, maybe as your 3rd design (a compact traveler).
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Old Mar 07, 2012, 07:13 AM
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Amherst, VA
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Thanks for the comments, guys. This is a long way away. I am working with Volto on a design of a specialty flying wing for this project... and it looks nothing like the Zephyr or the X8. I have the Specter ARF coming out in a month or so which will be a high performance ARF park flyer FPV plane, but there is a market for a bigger plane capable of long range flights.

The reason I'm looking into this is that many people are just too intimidated by the technology and would rather just buy something. By the time this comes out I expect to have a new video transmitter ready (secret project) which will eliminate the noise floor issue and my antennas already take care of the multipathing problem.

Many of us experienced flyers know that there is nothing fun about long range. However you cannot tell that to anybody who has it in their head that long range is what they want.

-Alex
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Old Mar 07, 2012, 07:26 AM
RTFM
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Will it be possible to buy just the Specter plane?
ive seen your movies and it looks to be a good performer
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Old Mar 07, 2012, 07:27 AM
RTFM
octane81's Avatar
Antarctica
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ahh i see you plan to release a Specter ARF , thats great

edit : im intressted in the specter plane, without all the fpv gear... ive got that already
but an ARF with motor , esc , servos would be nice
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Old Mar 07, 2012, 09:15 AM
Engineer for Christ
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Amherst, VA
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The Specter will be available as a kit, Kit with flight electronics, as well as an ARF. Price should be about the same as any other airplane out there.

-Alex
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