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Dec 22, 2012, 07:39 AM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP

FPV Drifter Ultralight - 95cm wingspan

Hey guys, bought and flown this plane as an FPV platform.

(**Updates 18 May 2019 - New version of Drifter Ultralight available at:

What can i say i love it! Its a great FPV for light weight FPV setup. Posted my flight videos on youtube, check it out:

My flight videos:

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Cloud Paradise (26 min 4 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Sub Zero Visibility (18 min 54 sec)

Windy tropical clouds - FPV drone Drifter Ultralight plane (25 min 35 sec)

Mayday! Mayday! Engine failure! - FPV Drifter Ultralight (5 min 25 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Clouds Surf Up (25 min 55 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Cold skies (19 min 40 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Sea Cloud Surfing (16 min 6 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Ocean Roam (22 min 21 sec)

Cloud Surfing season VIII - FPV drone Drifter Ultralight plane (14 min 45 sec)

FPV drone Drifter Ultralight - Cold Surfer (21 min 0 sec)

20km Wetlands mission, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (29 min 21 sec)

21km Hazy Adventure mission, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (27 min 6 sec)

20km Down Town mission, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (25 min 1 sec)

17km Destination Runway mission, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (22 min 25 sec)

24km Delta River, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (31 min 57 sec)

19km City Marina, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (23 min 27 sec)

18.6km Morning Tour, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (24 min 54 sec)

20km Beachline crossing, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (25 min 35 sec)

18.5km River cross, UAV drone - Drifter ultralight (23 min 7 sec)

Ruler of the wind & clouds - FPV Drifter Ultralight (20 min 46 sec)

FPV flight Eyes of Eagle - Drifter ultralight 2015 (4 min 4 sec)

Aerial 3D mapping - Building area using UAV Drifter ultralight on APM (8 min 37 sec)

Aerial 3D mapping - Green lake area using UAV Drifter ultralight on APM (9 min 56 sec)

Aerial 3D mapping - Reservoir area using UAV Drifter ultralight on APM (6 min 53 sec)

UAV Drifter ultralight - Shoreline mission flight on APM (22 min 17 sec)

UAV Drifter ultralight - 18km cross country autonomous flight on APM (23 min 48 sec)

UAV Drifter ultralight - 15.36km autonomous flight on APM (21 min 23 sec)

FPV Drifter ultralight - Cloud surfer 2015 (11 min 14 sec)

FPV Drifter ultralight - 9km Sunrise flight (21 min 12 sec)

SELFIE camera test - FPV Drifter Ultralight (3 min 13 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight V3 - Walking in the clouds. (14 min 17 sec)

Super Clouds - FPV Drifter Ultralight v3 (8 min 31 sec)

The Fog - FPV Drifter Ultralight v3 (7 min 12 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - Beyond the Sky (7 min 31 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight - The Journey (3 min 8 sec)

FPV Drifter Ultralight test flight (4 min 48 sec)

FPV Drifter ultralight - How to scale landing (2 min 48 sec)

FPV/UAV ES Drifter Ultralight build log/documentation/review
Click here to view the build log for FPV specification (Year 2012):

Click here to view the build log for UAV specification (Year 2015):

FPV setup ( *** as in latest date: 10/2013)
- 5.8ghz 200mw vtx on 3S
- Home made clover leaf antenna
- 808 #16 HD cam with D-lens (120 degree)
- Frsky telemetry combo radio
- HXT900 modded 170 degree swing.
- Using 18A ESC
- Added HK micro 5A/5V UBEC for safe extra servo support.
- Frsky telemetry with di-pole antenna
- Flightmax 2200mah 3s 25C lipo.

Range flown: Approx 6-7km (10~12km on patch) with CL antenna located upside down at the bottom of the plane directly on second seat. Extremely good LOS antenna position.

Flight time: 30~45min

Full flying weight: 710~730gram (depending on lipo size ~2200mah 3s 25c)

Hardware setup schematics/diagram:

Ground station
-5.8ghz VRX receiver 8ch
-SPW home made antenna
-HK mini DVR wireless recorder hooked to external VRX 5.8ghz
-Foxtech AIO goggles

Average flight runtime (30%-45% throttle): 35~50 minutes on 2200mah 3s 35c. (Updated: 15 June 2015)
Glide capability: Moderate - Need 30%-45% linear throttle to keep it afloat.
Handling (25km/h Heavy wind): Floaty and need 50% throttle to bail out, twitch but manageable.
Handling (Calm wind 0-5km/h): Handle excellently well, very light on the control stick and responsive. Nimble, Good tracking.
Landing: Very easy
CG point: 35% from the leading front edge of the wing.

Here are two 3d printed parts build specially for ES Drifter to support 808 #16 HD camera:

a. Cockpit 808: XL-RCP 16.0 XYCLOPS : Cockpit camera pan-tilt for 808 #16 HD camera

b. Nose mount 808: XL-RCP 14.0 HAWX EYE : Nano camera pan-tilt for 808 #16 HD camera.

Latest photos

Drifter as stable aerial photography platform (Updated: June 2015)

Last edited by ican3d; Nov 18, 2020 at 03:14 AM.
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Dec 22, 2012, 10:31 AM
Flying away...
Sweet, looks pretty neat! Great job on the build, and nice flying spot.

Dec 22, 2012, 07:55 PM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the compliments

This week i already putting 5 hours of flight time, so far not yet encounter any mechanical problem and no handling problem. I totally forgot about my other FPV plane after having fun all day with my drifter. The fun factor of FPV on this plane is strong. I'm adding extra accessories such as aviation lighting kits or stobe lights, extra mods for 270 degree servo pan. Also need to trim those messy wires to make the airframe looks scaled.

I'm getting another drifter soon for aerial photography since it can hover stable and also added KK-board for extra stability.
Dec 23, 2012, 06:37 PM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
For second phase i added stripped SONY Bloggie components with modded 120 degree wide angle lenses as stand alone HD recording at 60fps mode. Located directly under CG point.

The plane flew well without any problem struggle climbing to my usual altitude.
I made an error not to secure the camera well and ended having heavy vibration. Will improve again on next flight.

So far happy that this plane still could carry extra heavy payload.
Dec 24, 2012, 01:26 AM
Registered User
Awesome, Im thinking about getting that plane now. Keep us posted, please.
Dec 24, 2012, 02:46 AM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
now that is a scale cockpit. The electrics sound not to far off what a chainsaw motor on an ultralight would sound like!

very well done. cool. The pilot doll looks like he is really enjoying it also - ha
Dec 24, 2012, 03:15 AM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the support guys i will keep em posted.

I needed to test how much cargo payload it could carry before i decided to put spiffy scale gadgets and FPV accessoriessuch as real instrumental panel, navigation lights, secondary pan servo for second passanger, 3 position switching for multiple camera and etc. This plane open huge possibility of FPV mod.

This morning i manage to take off and landing at very scale approach with my AIO goggles strap-on without hard thuds on landing...its like i'm landed on cotton wool or something. I felt it was a perfect touchdown on all three wheels. Usually i took my video goggles off for take-off and landings but now its felt much easy on both takeoff and approches with it on than LOS sight. Sweet! ...............Okay, that was in the moring..not much wind.

After dozens of tests i'll clean out all those messy wiresand stuff and keep the plane looks scaler.

In 40 minutes i'm going out to fly em again.
Dec 24, 2012, 05:53 AM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
I think the wing loading will become an issue with not too much equipment and FPV-endurance-friendly batteries, sooner than you suggest here. I see this ultralight as a fun scale flyer, with smaller battery and cool scale items. But not for long flights, nor a GoPro, nor long range.

A flying wing in this size would haul more, handle wind better and not have that draggy undercarriage. But then I have not flown this ultralight yet. The TekSumo/Popwing would be good choice - they have more wing area, can fly real slow and real fast. One regular poster recently flew 19km total on 2600mah 3S with a Teksumo and EZOSD. Sometimes it is nice to go fast to overcome headwinds and even just to get somewhere without crawling along at 30kph.

I don't think I have ever landed a plane by LOS after flying it FPV. Landing via FPV is easier no matter what I'm flying. I kinda suck at LOS flying, though. LOS just doesn't interest me.
Last edited by BCSaltchucker; Dec 24, 2012 at 06:00 AM.
Dec 25, 2012, 09:05 AM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
Once again another successful flight in HD, will post HD videos soon. Put the cam under the right wing with no over weight or sink rate issue. The other FPV'er at our local field was impressed and ordered another PNF at HK.
Dec 25, 2012, 09:36 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
That was nice ican3D.
I enjoyed that!

I may try that with the newer FoxTech v3 HoryzonHD camera.
Latest blog entry: My FAVORITE FPV CockPits'!!!!
Dec 26, 2012, 08:57 AM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks rclab1, i wanted to get HoryzonHd too but im in tight budget right now so i stick to my modded Bloggie HD for a while.

Btw I placed my Bloggie above main pan cam. Now i get much better recorded view. Drifter have awesome climbing performance. As you can see it pretty much almost touching the clouds above. Also another FPV drifter join in as my wingman. Today successfully pushes the plane towards almost 1.5km distance on CL antenna with 5.8ghz nano 200mw at high altitude with overall return trip endurance of 12 minutes leaving me extra 30% fuel left. Will post video soon in HD.
Dec 26, 2012, 09:03 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
Great Images!!!!
I'm liking this little ultra-light plane....
Looks like you are having lots' of fun....
Latest blog entry: My FAVORITE FPV CockPits'!!!!
Dec 28, 2012, 07:42 PM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
Yes had bunch of fun daily on drifter without any unwanted incident....except for my buddy his drifter gone fireball. He lost his control when his OSD indicate his main motor power went 0V leaving no power to UBEC and the tree jump in his way and crashed. After manage to retrieve his plane it looks like he shorted the stock JST plug causing overheat and spread the wild fire all over his main core totalled his motor, esc, servo and bec. The motor mounting which part of the main frame was melted Main fpv gear, osd, vtx and radio rx survived. Bad day for him but he click add to cart another new one last night so he'll be back fpv and being my wing man soon.

On the other development i'm working on FPV my P-51D Mustang still on its way doing setup.
Dec 28, 2012, 08:12 PM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
I wish I was there.... we can do this together....

(4 min 0 sec)
Last edited by rclab1; Nov 24, 2013 at 06:12 PM.
Jan 13, 2013, 06:51 PM
ultra cheap pilot
ican3d's Avatar
Thread OP
Awesome scale flight you have there rclab1, really like the scale dude in the cockpit wish i had time to build me a pilot in there.

Btw since last flight on drifter ultralight i was addicted for more scale like flying. Got me busy FPV on Pitts Special. Had a sweet stunt flight daily.

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