by Red20RC | November 27, 2013 | (7) Posted in Projects

I’ve wanted to get into FPV for a long time now and it wasn’t until recently that I decided to take the plunge and order a Fat Shark AttitudeSD setup from HobbyKing. I’m going to be matching it up with the awesome GoPro Hero 3 for vision and recording. Of course, this is a lot of cash to spend on one project so I wanted to make sure the airframe I used kept to the Red20RC mantra of “maximum fun for minimum expense”.

The project then is to design a purpose built FPV platform that is:

  • Built from our favourite Depron or Foam Board
  • Stable in flight yet able to handle some wind and a variety of speeds
  • Efficient so we get some longer flight times
  • Easy to repair or replace
  • A repeatable design

Initial FPV Wing Concept

After my success with the Versa Wing and the obvious advantage of some of the Flite Test build techniques I decided to base my design on the VW and inject some of the design concepts seen on the RiteWing Zephyr II. I would extend the wing panels slightly to give a more efficient and stable cruiser. I would then add a central bay with recessed camera mount in the nose.

Planning out the FPV Wing

From the initial drawing it was only a matter of adding a number of lines and measurements before I had a completed plan. This was then sliced up and converted to PDF so it could be poster printed.

Initial sizing meant I would be using one large sheet and one standard sheet of foam board; not bad for a wing of this size.

Cutting the FPV Wing components

By this stage my new GoPro Hero 3 had arrived so I put it to good use capturing some time-lapse footage of the build. This first video shows just how quickly you can cut an entire model from foam board.

Assembling the FPV Wing airframe

Moving quickly on, it was time to fire up the hot glue gun and start sticking some foam together. For a prototype I was really pleased with the fit of the parts.

As with the Versa Wing, the strength in the final wing is astonishing. Here is the final airframe next to a standard Versa Wing for comparison…

Now all that remains is to tackle the gear installation and I'll be ready for a maiden flight!

You can keep up with the full series of build articles on the Red20RC site - http://www.red20rc.org


bladezx2 on December 7, 2013
Awesome looking plane. I have a Versa SBK on order, just hope I can make it look as good as yours. At one point in your video you are using some tool that looks like you are making holes? What tool is that and why did you make the holes?

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Red20RC on December 7, 2013
Thanks! The little tool is from a set of small steel punches I bought from a bargain bin years ago. I use them to punch out access holes for battery leads and the corners of hatches etc. There isn't any real reason other than it looks good and maybe prevents weak spots in the corners of square cuts.
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1100hanniball on December 7, 2013
Hei, very nice build. I am going to build one. But where is you CG?
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Red20RC on December 7, 2013
That is a very good question! See the forum post and video here > http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?6555-When-CG-measurements-go-wrong
I messed up the calculations at first. The CG on this one should have been between 160 - 200mm from the points of the wings but I had it about 50-80mm back from there with almost disastrous results!
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jaxterblax on December 7, 2013
Nicely built. Let us know when it's finished and how it performs. This might be my next fpv plane. Thanks for sharing!
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Red20RC on December 7, 2013
Thanks! See below for the follow up...
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RICHGCOOP on December 7, 2013
WOW. You are FAST. LOL
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Red20RC on December 7, 2013
Well, it will take another few weeks before a follow up article gets on FliteTest but you can see the full build, videos and conclusion at www.red20rc.org.
The first flight was nearly a complete disaster as the CG was wrong and I had very little control. Fortunately I was also filming, which makes for a laugh... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9pasNF_Zzs
I did the second "maiden" today with even more excitement. The CG was fine and it flies nicely - BIG presence in the air. As it was the first proper flight I wasn't wearing the FPV goggles but I did plug them in and let my nearly 4 year old daughter watch the view (which she loved). From the off I could tell the motor/prop combo wasn't great but it did have enough thrust. Sadly the cheapo ESC I dug out of the draw did not and after 2 or 3 minutes of flight the center of the wing burst into flames! Of course the BEC died and I lost control, nosing in from about 150ft.
The awesome thing was that, with the exception of the ESC; everything, including the airframe survived - there was just a bit of melted foam in the center section.
Anyway, there will be a full article and the epic final video up at www.red20rc.org soon - and here when it gets published...
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