FPV-anybody gone Amhibious?CL415 & POLARIS story - RC Groups
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Sep 04, 2011, 03:56 PM
ggtronic's Avatar

FPV-anybody gone Amhibious?CL415 & POLARIS story


wanted to share my amphibious story & learning :

flying close or above lake often end up with no run way to land...

being a long time since i wanted to built myself an amphibious
FPV airplane...

usually i go to scratchbuilt route but with this new lead , i needed
a learning platform : the famous Bombardier CL 415 :
please redirect your airframe concern & talk to this thread
so everybody keep learning...lots of mods to get a good plane...

ALSO, feel free to suggest your best amphibious plane for FPV ?

i had several success flight... first video here:

Bombardier CL 415 (4 min 4 sec)

FPV is already a challenge in the dry side of our world LOL
i let you imagine the challenge to expose a good camera to
water spills...same with video TX & antenna

-we need a good tuned antenna so video TX is not heating
up while inside the fuselage...

-FPV camera location is a challenge... water spills do happend...
the smallest amount of wind give you 6" of wave wich is big
for our scale !

-regular RC plane already had its challenge to prevent water
spills to electronic component ! lets share water repellant
methods ?

-FPV add weight balance issue so scale airframe doesnt help...
if we want to go to HD route... it only get worst ! yet i only flew
with HDkeychain on rudder top...

in the next few post , i'l show other nice flying video... but
also the dark side of my amphibious FPV story
Last edited by ggtronic; May 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM.
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Sep 04, 2011, 05:44 PM
Suspended Account
Very nice
First plane I bought was intended for FPV on the lakes, an Icon A5
I've had to step back a bit and buy a Skysurfer to learn to fly properly first though but as soon as I'm ready the camera is going on the Icon

The Icon will take a GoPro in it's waterproof housing and the Pixim 690tvl cam from security2000 comes in a case which is not difficult to make water tight
As for the vtx, that could be mounted on the horizontal stab which is way up in the air

Here's the maiden flight of the Icon

Icon A5 1800 EPO Maiden Flight (3 min 6 sec)

And here's the 2nd flight with GoPro onboard

Icon A5 2nd Maiden (2 min 15 sec)
Last edited by TeeJayBee; Sep 04, 2011 at 05:50 PM.
Sep 04, 2011, 09:00 PM
ggtronic's Avatar
Originally Posted by TeeJayBee
Icon A5 : I've had to step back a bit and buy a Skysurfer to learn to fly properly first though but as soon as I'm ready the camera is going on the Icon
i have a hard time in visul flying so i maiden my CL in FPV mode the A5 doesnt seem to be easy to handle in visual mode ? the CL was hard to take off... had to wait till the
hull raise up & keep both wing skids clear of water before applying too much power... all this with virtual FPV feelings lots of challenge ...

fun story TeeJay...keep news comming up....
Sep 05, 2011, 02:28 AM
Suspended Account
The 1800m Icon is quite easy to handle, it flies much more stable than my Skysurfer
It looked a little awkward in the video as they were my first ever flights with any plane

The Skysurfer is smaller and less intimidating but the Icon feels very solid in the air
Sep 06, 2011, 06:34 PM
Registered User
Toysrme's Avatar
Build an oversized Polaris. I had one. They fly alright. I nosed mine over once (didn't see the wave I plowed on final)

Or go all out and build a Northstar.
Sep 06, 2011, 08:45 PM
ggtronic's Avatar
hello toyrsme

any pic? this plane ?

polaris & NorthStar seems good choice

-single engine mean less point of failure

-center engine like that may be protect of water spills ?

but delta wing often fly very fast wich might be hard
to handle over ruff water dont know...
just want to find a good amphibious FPV candidate ...
Sep 06, 2011, 09:03 PM
Registered User
Toysrme's Avatar
yup that's a polaris (comes from the NorthStar, which were really cool balsa/2-stroke kits back in the day)
ya scratch you ought a good 150% polaris. (I'm saying scratch you ought a 150% because itll handle the weight way way better).

they can haul ass fairly well. 50mph+ pretty easy on most of them. they can fly fairly slow to fast. If you get one in high alpha / high AOA slowly they can have a little wing rock, but that's just god's way of saying speed back up. handling waves really isn't a big deal. no model handles waves well so you have to define what a wave is. they have good water handling & they settle down & grease landings really easy.
they are sport planes... they will do basic aerobatics, so if you're looking for a super hands off / dihedral plane they may not be for you. I loved mine. (I actually ripped my FFF Polaris to pieces to repair a friends headlight wiring. The motor wires were really long & the correct gauge. friends > $10 dollar FFF model)

i like sport flying FPV way more than fly in a striaght line at all times Fpv. i wouldn't give a second thought about a 100% polaris with only a 1/3" ccd cam or a 150-200% polaris flying a gopro/countor.

youtube/vimeo searches will leave you with dozens of videos. Polarii are extremely popular scratch sport planes.

RC Polaris Seaplane Parkflyer @ Nuttings Lake (1 min 41 sec)

about the only concern I'd have on a polaris, is the length of the motor/battery wires. however, with the added nose weight of FPV equipment im sure you could find a way to cheat the lipo/esc backwards and shorten the runs.
Mar 12, 2012, 04:48 PM
ggtronic's Avatar
really good advice Toysrme ! i'm actually building a
133% size polaris... i hope it will hold both FPV gear

nice flight with the CL415 fpv

CL 415 au lac Brompton (5 min 43 sec)
Mar 13, 2012, 01:11 AM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
I am building the HK Catalina - very similar to the CL415. Plan to make it FPV, of course. But will do plenty of testing off grass, water before doing FPV flights. Have a brackish lagoon in my backyard and the ocean to fly over. I am going to great pains to ensure it will be waterproof and well cooled electrics. Had bad luck trying to fly other chinese foam seaplanes in OEM setup, and that did not work out well.

I have seen pics of one guy who converted his Easy Star into a seaplane - just sealed up the fuse and pontoons on the wings. Fuse as the hull. I guess with larger power system.
May 03, 2012, 09:45 PM
ggtronic's Avatar
here is my new XL POLARIS in fpv mode , very fun to fly :

KEYCHAIN hd video :
ONBOARD POLARIS (2 min 18 sec)

ground video
POLARIS (2 min 15 sec)
Last edited by ggtronic; May 06, 2012 at 04:47 PM.
May 03, 2012, 10:10 PM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
hum it appear tp fly very well. I hope to see you this weekend GG if the weather is finally on our side
Sep 06, 2012, 04:04 PM
ggtronic's Avatar
flight together with VrFlyer :

Les Grands Airs de Varennes (3 min 25 sec)

latest flight with the 415 :

Lac Bompton (4 min 17 sec)
Sep 06, 2012, 05:20 PM
400' ..... NOT
Martin Y's Avatar
Nice flights GG, you repaired them both. You have been busy.
Latest blog entry: 1280mhz vs 1090mhz
Sep 06, 2012, 05:30 PM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar

I am planning to move to mostly- seaplanes for my FPV flying over coming months.

I had my first FPV seaplane all ready to maiden last week. A HK Catalina, which was flying very easy and fun via LOS. But on the maiden FPV flight last week, an ESC blew up and the plane went up in a ball of fire! Luckily the waterproofed FPV pod and waterproof servos are still fine. So I plan to put it all into a HK CL415 like yours.

Sep 06, 2012, 09:33 PM
ggtronic's Avatar
Originally Posted by Martin Y
Nice flights GG, you repaired them both. You have been busy.
thanks Martin... the 415 was really easy to repair and flew it last weekend (latest video)

the POLARIS need more work and didnt fly yet(up here is 1 month old video)... i'v cut its nose and
made a dedicated GOPRO platform with it... i'm not shure how it will
handle the extra weight

Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker
awesome.I am planning to move to mostly- seaplanes for my FPV flying over coming months.So I plan to put it all into a HK CL415 like yours.
Thanks ... my best water plane is the POLARIS... twin motor receive lots of splash water wich can harm ESC & motor... the 415 fly REALLY good but this airframe is fragile and power plant reliability is a real problem. My 415 is in bad shape and will retire very soon
one of my 415 crash almost endup like your catalina... OUCH

i have 2 new POLARIS construction to come ...

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