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Nov 19, 2013, 05:15 PM
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New Product

New Zeta Science FX-79 Flying Wing UAV/FPV

The new FX-79 is the big brother of the FX-61 but with removable wing sections, a larger wing span and most importantly much more payload area.

We have been using the FX-61 as a UAV testing platform for the PX4/Pixhawk autopilot development work. It has been ideal due to it's wide speed range, stable flight characteristics and the ability to take punishment. The only disadvantage has been that it is pretty crowded inside. Until now.

The FX-79 will become our new UAV dev airframe and will be the main focus of this thread, at least for me.

This isn't really a build log as it came pretty much assembled. I just need to mount the electronics and it will be ready to go.

Motor: QC-3328 700Kv
Servos: 4 x Hitec HS-65MG Micro Metal Gear Servo (fits perfectly)
ESC: Castle Creations Phoenix Ice 75 Amp ESC (overkill)
Prop: 12 x 3.8
Lipo: DesirePower 6400 mAh 4S

Pixhawk running PX4 firmware

Zeta Science's thread: New FPV Age ZETA FX-79 Buffalo 2000mm Professional FPV Fly Wing
Build Log: Zeta Science FX-79 Buffalo Professional FPV Flying Wing


Zeta Science FX-79 Buffalo maiden flight (2 min 57 sec)
Last edited by wabu66; Nov 27, 2013 at 01:23 PM.
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Nov 19, 2013, 05:19 PM
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Unboxing and a look at what you get.

I put a Nexus 4 inside the payload area to give you an idea of its size.

The removable wing outer sections just slide into place (the fin hasn't been glued in place yet) and the zip ties on the hatch are just for something to grab onto to remove the lid.
Last edited by wabu66; Nov 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM.
Nov 19, 2013, 05:21 PM
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The hardware pack.
Last edited by wabu66; Nov 21, 2013 at 12:58 AM.
Nov 19, 2013, 05:24 PM
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I will be using all 4 control surfaces.
Last edited by wabu66; Nov 21, 2013 at 12:59 AM.
Nov 21, 2013, 01:03 AM
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Pixhawk autopilot installed and ready to go.
Last edited by wabu66; Nov 30, 2013 at 04:28 AM.
Nov 25, 2013, 03:55 AM
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this plane seem amazing ! any videos ? how is the payload ? i wan to add my FPV equipment in it.
Nov 25, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by crazy4airplane View Post
this plane seem amazing ! any videos ? how is the payload ? i wan to add my FPV equipment in it.
It is pretty much ready for its maiden flight, unfortunately bad weather the whole weekend spoilt my plans. I am hoping for a flight this week or weekend and will post it here.

I have the FX-61 and use it for FPV and it handles this very well. The FX-79 has tons more space for gear and can carry more weight than it's smaller brother. If you want to place the camera in the nose there is a place for it that seems much better positioned than the FX-61s. It is now in the nose and not under it facing down.
Nov 27, 2013, 12:32 PM
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I was able to maiden the FX-79 today. It was pretty windy (and cold) but I didn't want to wait. Not the most comfortable of flights especially for a maiden but it went reasonably well.

Initially I used a 12 x 2.8 prop but then switched to a 13 x 6.5 which worked better for my setup and could punch into the wind better.

The launch was easy, as you can see in the video. The only thing I noticed that is not uncommon for bigger wings is that it yaws. I was wondering what it would be like given that the fins are the same size as those on the FX-61. I would be interested to see what larger fins would do here.

Zeta Science FX-79 Buffalo maiden flight (2 min 57 sec)
Last edited by wabu66; Nov 27, 2013 at 01:23 PM.
Nov 27, 2013, 02:43 PM
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Fantastic review! Loved it. I'll be receiving mine this week, so i find you biuldlog very helpful.

Nov 29, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Here is a chart generated from the Castle ESC log data. The graph shows three flights. The first two are with an APC 12x3.8" Slowflyer prop and the last is with an Aeronaut 13x6.5" folding prop.

The APC RPMs are too high for its rated max of around 5500 RPM. The Aeronaut looks much better and while that flight was a bit short to draw accurate conclusions about avg amp draw it's probably around 7-8 amps and performed much better.

On the weekend I will try an Aeronaut 12x6" as well.
Dec 01, 2013, 02:59 AM
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Hi guys, nice video, you handled it very well on a breezy maiden, there is a discussion thread on the go (as you know), feel free to jump in.
Dec 01, 2013, 06:08 PM
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Flight filmed from a TBS Caipirinha

i took the FX-79 out for another flight today. This time with the Pixhawk installed, unfortunately I couldn't fly with it yet due to a last minute config issue, so I flew in standard RC mode.

In this video you will see some sequences filmed from a chaser, the TBS Caipirinha. It was pretty windy again unfortunately making it a bit tough on the TBS which was flying flat out.

Zeta Science FX-79 with FPV Chase Plane (1 min 45 sec)

Tuning on windy days isn't so easy but I can say that using full elevon travel and a slightly different CG that it flew much better and didn't show the yaw behaviour I noticed on the last flight. Hope to pin down the optimal point soon.

I also tried using the flaps. It's unfortunately not on video but it crawled in for a landing with the butterfly setting.

A little side track now I also flew the little Z-84 (aka Wing Wing) with the PX4 FMU autopilot, in manual mode for the maiden flight. A 370g UAV. Lot's of fun!

FX-84 / PX4 UAV Maiden (1 min 47 sec)
Last edited by wabu66; Dec 08, 2013 at 01:45 PM.
Dec 06, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Im looking for an fpv plane that breaks down and can carry a gopro3 . do the wings on this have tpo be glued?
Dec 06, 2013, 06:57 PM
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You can carry two gopros, or three The wings separate and are held in place with a singe screw on each side at the spar. I don't feel that is strong enough if I have a landing that would hit the wing tip front on (ie: longer grass) so I put some fibre tape around the join on the leading edge.

When broken down it fits into the back of the car easier than the FX-61.
Jan 04, 2014, 03:24 PM
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Autonomous Flight with Pixhawk

I had the Pixhawk autopilot running PX4 firmware tuned and flying nicely on the first battery. On the second I loaded a search pattern for an autonomous flight which went really well.

Here is the somewhat boring video showing it's flight and the attached image shows the mounted Pixhawk.

Zeta Science FX-79 UAV (Pixhawk) Search Pattern Flight (2 min 54 sec)

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