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Posted by smoothvirus | Apr 15, 2019 @ 11:11 AM | 8,800 Views
Parts List:

X-UAV Talon EPO 1718mm Wingspan V-tail FPV Plane Aircraft Kit V3 $129.90

HobbyWing Flyfun 80A V5 ESC (3S-6S)$59.99

Cobra C-3520/14 Brushless Motor, Kv=700

Aeronaut CAM 13x10 folding prop



Dragon Link Micro Receiver

DragonLink 1.2 / 1.3 GHZ Video Transmitter Antenna - 1.5 Inch ( 4 CM ) Semi Rigid Coax Extension

RMRC - LC Power Filter - 1.7A

Heavy Duty Pan and Tilt

Actobotics Flat Bearing Mount (3/8")

25 TOOTH 0.375" X 1.00" SERVO SHAFT

GWS 360 Degree Sail Winch Servo

Runcam Swift II - IR Block - NTSC Orange - 2.1MM

Matek UBEC DUO, 4A/5~12V & 4A/5V

EMAX ES08MA II 12g Mini Metal Gear Analog...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Nov 24, 2018 @ 12:38 PM | 13,925 Views
Parts List:
STRIX Nano Goblin - High Performance FPV Plank - PNP

STRIX Ochi 650 FPV Camera - 2.3 Lens NTSC

Matek F405-MINI Flight Controller w/ F405, 32k Gyro, BFOSD, 32M Flash

Lumenier 4Power Mini PDB

DragonLink Nano Receiver - Remote Antenna

RCGroups Thread

virtual current sensor

How to setup the Nano Goblin
How to setup the Nano Goblin (6 min 55 sec)

Strix Nano Goblin- Setup & Flight Review
Strix Nano Goblin- Setup & Flight Review (7 min 32 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Jul 24, 2018 @ 11:53 AM | 14,017 Views
The Phantom is the newest addition to our range of First Person View (FPV) models. It is a great flyer with very predictable handling qualities, excellent stability and lots of wing area to cope with additional loads for FPV use.

The Phantom features tough EPO construction with moulded in camera bays - one forward looking just under the nose and another mount in the top of the canopy with a plywood support pre-installed. This updated version features premium 3K wrapped carbon tube spars, and now breaks down into three pieces for easy transport.

Assembly of the airframe is very simple, literally four glue joints required - foam glue is also included!

This being the kit version you will require your own choice of 9gram servos, motor and speed controller - we suggest a low current power system not exceeding 30 amps, this will provide you with flights in excess of 30 minutes on a 3s 4500mAh lipo.

FPV pilots will appreciate the space under the canopy - it's cavernous! There is plenty of space for your choice FPV gear.

• Kit Version - Assemble and install your choice of electronics
• Ultra though EPO construction
• Ultra stable flight performance
• Excellent FPV platform
• 30 minute plus flight duration on 4500mAh 3s lipo
• Easy to Hand Launch, Easy to Land
• Stable Handling at Low and High Speeds
• Updated with 3K wrapped carbon tube spars
• Updated with removable outer wing panels for easy transport

...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Jul 02, 2018 @ 02:51 PM | 16,829 Views
Once again thanks to Mark and Judy for hosting such a great even and thanks to Bob for being the "Rogue Squadron Official Photographer". ...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Jun 10, 2018 @ 07:22 PM | 14,140 Views
No I don't mean the popular soft drink, or some kind of supernatural entity, but a type of upper atmospheric lightning. Here's how the Wikipedia article for upper atmospheric lightning begins:

Upper-atmospheric lightning or ionospheric lightning are terms sometimes used by researchers to refer to a family of short-lived electrical-breakdown phenomena that occur well above the altitudes of normal lightning and storm clouds. Upper-atmospheric lightning is believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. The preferred usage is transient luminous event (TLE), because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning.
Being a science enthusiast, since I first heard about the discovery of Sprites in the mid 1990's, I've been fascinated by the subject and have tried to find as much information as I could on this mysterious phenomenon. Red Sprites are the most common type of TLE, and appear above powerful thunderstorms, shooting up towards space. Some of them have been observed to go up 60 miles, all the way to the air glow layer at the edge of space!

Now I'm wondering if some of the starlight cameras we are putting on our model planes and multirotors could be used to capture video images of Red Sprites. I already have a Runcam Night Eagle 2 and I'm planning on building a night flying FPV wing with it using a Zeta FX-61...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Oct 16, 2017 @ 11:09 AM | 16,359 Views
I watched Matthew Ogbourne's videos on the new Sonicmodell F1 Wing and decided to order one. I'd like to do some more low level high speed flying and I'll need a tough EPP plane for that kind of mission. The EPP in the F1 Wing is supposed to be the toughest a lot of FPV pilots have ever seen.

Parts List:

Sonicmodell F1 Wing 833mm Wingspan Super High Speed FPV EPP Racing Wing RC Airplane PNP


Compare to:
Posted by smoothvirus | May 16, 2017 @ 03:56 PM | 20,659 Views
There was a lot of buzz in 2015 when this glider first came out, a full house 3.7 meter e-glider for under $300! In 2016 Hobby King released the version 2 of this glider but had to raise the price to about $350. However I got a deal and was able to get an Aether kit for 30% off.

We're going to FPV this sucker up!

The HobbyKing Aether is back and better than ever!

The fuselage is now fully fabricated from epoxy and where possible carbon fiber has been used for some parts providing exceptional strength without a weight penalty. The fiberglass firewall now comes pre-drilled ready to accept a motor of your choosing.

The large size and low cost make this a perfect entry level ALES model.

The Aether arrives as an almost ready to fly model, allowing you to customize it how you choose. Though it is a large model it disassembles easily. The wing breaks down into 4 pieces with a rugged carbon tube joiner for the center two wing panels and the tail assembly bolts to the fuselage and that means it will fit it all but the smallest of vehicles.

The large volume pod gives plenty of space for your battery and other equipment with access through the large carbon fiber canopy hatch being a breeze. The large wing, along with a generous amount of wing dihedral makes the Aether 3700 ultra stable. so its relaxing to fly and with large flaps to slow the model down, landings are feather light.

If you have never flown a large model, the Ather is confidence
...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Apr 17, 2017 @ 11:15 AM | 25,773 Views
I grabbed a Wing Wing Z84 kit during a Black Friday sale last year and since then have been deciding what to do with it. Since then I've become intrigued with the iNav firmware and the low cost flight controllers that use it.

Parts List:

Zeta Wing Wing Z-84 Z84 EPO 845mm Wingspan Racer Flying Wing KIT Green

30.5*30.5mm Betaflight Omnibus STM32F3 F3 Pro Flight Controller Built-in OSD BEC Current sensor

7M/8M Ublox M8N GPS Module for APM Pixhawk CC3D Naze32 F3 Flight Control

RunCam Micro Swift - NTSC

SunnySky 2208 1500kv

Suleve™ M3NH1 M3 Nylon Screw Black Hex Screw Nut Nylon PCB Standoff Assortment Kit 300pcs

APC 6x4EP Pusher Prop

Excellway® 20Pcs Mini Micro JST 1.0mm SH 6-Pin Connector Plug With Wires Cables 150mm

Hobbywing FlyFun 30A ESC Build-in BEC 5V/2A (2-4S)


Marbelo build log

Wing Wing Z84 and INAV
https://www....Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Mar 27, 2017 @ 04:24 PM | 19,998 Views
I've been impressed with the Pitlab OSD/Autopilot for a long time now and I finally got one this spring. I was originally going to install it in my Finwing Sabre but I feel like the Sabre is so well tuned that I don't want to spoil a good thing. So I will be installing the Pitlab OSD into a brand new XUAV Mini Talon.

Parts List:

OSD and Autopilot FPV kit

X-UAV Mini Talon

CXN - Mini Talon FPV Pod

CXN - FPV Camera Pan/Tilt (32x32mm)

RunCam HD2 - Orange

Dragonlink - Rx Antenna with 12" (30cm) Cable

1.3 GHZ Video Transmitter Antenna - 3 CM Extension

RMRC - 1.3GHz 400mW Transmitter - US VERSION

Airspeed MicroSensor V3

Cobra C-2221/16 Brushless Motor

Cobra 40A ESC BEC

Dragon Link V3 ADVANCED Large Complete System

RMRC - LC Power Filter - 1.7A

Turnigy Multistar Twin Output 5/10 Amp (6-50V) SBEC for Lipoly

Xoar PJN Electric 9x6 pusher prop 1m Mini USB Cable Cord - A to Up Angle Mini B - Black (USBAMB1MU)


Main Page

Download Page

RCGroups Thread

V Tail Config

Pitlab OSD Playlist

Micro Receiver with Telemetry

V3 Quick Setup


How to change OSD layout in flight

Autopilot tuning questions
Posted by smoothvirus | Mar 24, 2017 @ 07:36 AM | 23,003 Views
Parts List:

C1 Chaser 1200mm Wingspan EPO Flying Wing FPV Racer Aircraft RC Airplane KIT

Eagle Tree - Vector FPV Controller Package - XT60

CP Laminating Film - 3 Mil x 18"

SunnySky X2212 KV1250 II Brushless Motor

Cobra 40A ESC BEC

Aeronaut CAM Folding Propeller 8 x 5

Aeronaut Yoke for Turbo and Black 2-Blade Spinners 38/8mm

8mm x 5mm Bushing

EMAX - ES08MA II - Metal Gear Servo (x2)

RunCam Swift Mini

EzUHF Nano Reciever

Dragonlink - Receiver Antenna For Dragon Link - SMA Mount


mark_q build

markqv C1 Chaser Parts

How To - Set-Up a Pusher Style Folding Prop

New model C-1 chaser1200mm flying wing EPO foam RC airplane KIT w/HD camera Big wing wing Z84 (4 min 50 sec)

Compare to:

Skywalker X5

Skywalker Falcon

Sonicmodell HD Wing
Posted by smoothvirus | May 17, 2016 @ 10:51 AM | 21,073 Views
Here's the third installment of my Budget FPV Build article. Prices for FPV components continue to fall and you can now get a really nice full setup for just over $500. If you decide not to buy a high res video camera that brings it down to only about $437! Two years ago I struggled to keep the cost under $1000. The build is also getting simpler as you can now buy the full video setup as one package deal for about $100.

This year I really wanted to recommend Stone Blue Airlines Phoenix 56" but the kit is $134.99 and that does not include the electronics like servos, motor, or ESC. Made out of EPP foam, it's a more durable plane than the Bix3, but the goal here is to keep the costs as low as possible, while avoiding cheap junk.

I am still a fan of the RMRC Surfer but the price has climbed slightly so I left it out this year. However if you are in the USA and the Bix3 is sold out, then the Surfer is a perfectly acceptable alternative for only a few dollars more.

The components I'm selecting here might not be something I'm flying but are well regarded in the FPV community.

Like my other blog posts this will be a work in progress and your input is welcome!

* - A word of caution, a lot of these items are very popular and can become hard to find during flying season in the northern hemisphere (April-November).


HobbyKing™ Bix3 Trainer/FPV EPO 1550mm (PNF) $89.74

Main Battery + Charger

Turnigy...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Apr 21, 2016 @ 02:03 PM | 21,885 Views
Copied from Reddit but I'll redact the user's name:

Hey there - I picked up your name from a reply to a post 9 months ago.
I've recently put together a decent quadcopter build with FPV gear. I've been thinking how nice it would be to have a plane to tool around using some of the gear that is easy to borrow from the quad (mainly just the Tx, the "goggles", etc).
Is there a major difference between the Skywalker / Bixler / Skysurfer? Wondering if they are basically different badges put on very similar products. Also there are at least 3 versions of the Bixler - is one the "best"?
At the moment I was thinking of just having the standard gear (2 servos and esc) and FPV equipment. I'm seeing some other gear for flight stabilization, GPS for "return to home", etc. Is any of that gear pretty much a must have? I've seen a few setups that are just ridiculously complicated, and am interested in getting the best bang for the buck.
I'd like to buy whichever plane in a kit. I'd love to get the servos and motor, etc, but do not want the Rx/Tx because I feel they would be weak-ish and I'd rather use my Turnigy with the FrSky module - upgraded to ErSky9x.
I'd appreciate any direction you might have the time to provide.
The Skywalker, Bix, and Skysurfer are all on a similar layout but the Skywalker is a little different.

Skywalker - a venerable and proven FPV platform. There are several different models available....Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Mar 05, 2016 @ 12:07 PM | 23,594 Views
So I have been flying FPV for going on three years now, and thought I understood what the Fresnel zone was, but as it turns out, I was completely wrong. I thought the FZ was something you "flew into", as in, flying behind a building on 5.8 would be "flying into the Fresnel zone." Alas, this is completely incorrect.

I was doing some web surfing on the FZ and stumbled across this illustration:

..and BANG! I realized I have been wrong all along about what the Fresnel zone is.

The definition from that site is this:
The Fresnel zone is a football-shaped space between two transceivers – the longer the distance and the lower the frequency, the further across the Fresnel zone is.
Of course, for our application, the FZ would be a football-shaped space between a transmitter and a receiver.

I found this site useful as well, for visualizing what is going on.

Since I tend to be a very visual person, I made a quick illustration of what I think it might look like if you could actually see the FZ from the point of view of your video receiving antenna. Please forgive the MS Paint cartoon version of my flying site, and I can't claim that it's completely scientifically accurate.

So, in my illustration there are two FPV aircraft flying at the same distance away from the receiver. One has a 1.3ghz VTX and the other has a 5.8ghz VTX. The FZ would probably look a bit more "swirly" if I was using CP...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Oct 08, 2015 @ 04:38 PM | 29,928 Views
Wingspan: 1300mm
Length: 830mm
Flying Weight: 1000~2000g
Wing Area: 30 sq. dm.

Parts List:
X-UAV Mini Talon

Mini Talon Power Package
(no longer available! This came with a SunnySky X2216-1250, a 30A ESC, Emax servos, and a 8x4 and a 8x6 prop)

Eagle Tree - Vector FPV Controller

Vector Airspeed Expander with Pitot

CXN - Mini Talon FPV Pod

Runcam Swift - IR Block - Orange

CXN - FPV Camera Pan/Tilt (32x32mm)

RunCam HD2 - Orange

EZUHF 8 Channel Lite Receiver

Dragonlink - Rx Antenna with 12" (30cm) Cable

Graupner E-Prop 8x5

1.3 GHZ Video Transmitter Antenna - 3 CM Extension

RMRC - 1.3GHz 400mW Transmitter - US VERSION

HENGE MD260 260 Degrees Metal Digital Servo ( for camera pan)

RCGroups Thread

Rangler's Blog

UAV Experiment

X-UAV Mini Talon Build


Mini Talon X-UAV Build Number 2

Mini Talon EAGLETREE Vector Config

Mini-Review X-UAV Mini Talon

YouTube Mini Talon playlist

Four Props for the Mini Talon

Cobra 2221/12-1250kv vs. SunnySky 2216-1250kv

Overpropping the SS 2216-1250kv

An important note about the CG

Control Surface Throws

MarkQ Stuff

Mini Talon Parts Compilation

Compare To:

Mini Sky Hunter
Posted by smoothvirus | Aug 19, 2015 @ 10:51 AM | 29,502 Views
1) Make incremental increases in flight distance, 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles

2) Do 360 degree turns intermittently to check your video and control link against changes in polarization

3) Fly into the wind on the way out, glide back with the wind

4) Maintain a 10:1 altitude ratio (500ft to 1 mile away) to avoid Fresnel Zone violations

5) Plan your flight on google maps beforehand to get a feeling for the area

6) Set a clear goal and fly to it and back, don’t detour, stick to the plan

7) Fly in a place where you can recover your aircraft should it go down

8) Get comfortable! Be prepared for anything including a bathroom break

9) Don’t push through interference, better to come back and refine your setup instead of losing an aircraft

10) Static happens, keep calm and don’t jerk the controls

11) Stay level in the turns to maintain polarization

12) Long range is in your head. A trusted aircraft will go as far as your control/video

13) Turn around when you start to see snow, get control glitches, hit your battery limit, or hit your goal

14) Record your flights with a DVR. Even if you don’t lose your plane it can be helpful for diagnosing problems in the air

15) If possible, fly along a long stretch of road. Use it as a reference, and use it to drive to your aircraft should it go down

16) When testing battery constraints fly out ½ mile and back until the
...Continue Reading
Posted by smoothvirus | Jul 12, 2015 @ 02:31 PM | 29,024 Views
The Sabre will soon be the newest model of FPV aircraft from Finwing, known for their excellent Penguin FPV plane. Finwing graciously sent a pre production sample of this new plane for me to review. I only received the airframe kit so all the electronics I am installing in it are my own. I'll be using the Eflite Power 25 for a motor since I have a spare one in the shop.

Parts List:

Finwing Sabre 1900 FPV/UAV Elite - Basic

Finwing 390 Mini Pan & Tilt

RMRC - 1.3GHz 800mW* Transmitter - US VERSION

VAS - 1.3 GHz Airscrew Ultra Antenna RHCP

Transmitter Cable (Large Plug)

EZUHF 8 Channel Lite Receiver

Eagle Tree - Vector FPV Controller Package

Vector Airspeed Expander with Pitot

Scorpion SII-3020-890 V2 Brushless Motor

60-Amp Pro Switch-Mode BEC Brushless ESC

Xoar 11x5 PJN Electric Series Beechwood Propeller

RunCam 600TVL Plastic Housing FPV Camera - US
-note: the...Continue Reading