Scale FPV Cockpit in a Tiny WW1 Fighter

by JamesWhomsley | September 10, 2017 | (5 Ratings) Posted in Projects


Once upon a time, I designed and built a twin-engined aircraft that I called the Twin Warbird. This was primarily made to carry a heavy FPV setup that would go within a fully detailed cockpit, to give the illusion of actually being inside the plane. It is a few years later and I've been itching to do it again - but this time, on a far smaller scale. 

Firstly, here's how I detail my RC aircraft cockpit interiors




Secondly, here is my journey to build a tiny scale FPV experience in a First World War model aeroplane - because why not? This stuff is cool!



Build

The foundation for this project is an FT Mini Scout. This plane is a superb flyer for its size, having only a 20" wingspan. One reason for using a smaller plane for flying scale FPV is that it is lighter, more durable and better suited to bouncing off things if the flight goes awry. 



Here is the build video including a time-lapse and flight testing:



Modifications

Modifications were then made to the Scout. One simple addition was to make a little instrument panel. This was a piece of card coloured with Sharpie marker pens - it's as simple as that.



The plane was then was seriously modified by adding a servo just behind the cockpit. This was plugged into the rudder channel.



After that, I installed a micro FPV camera to the new servo. This is a Hyperon 600TVL Minicam (5.8GHz, 25mw) if you're interested in acquiring one for your own projects. It's absolutely tiny and extremely lightweight. For power, you can just plug the lead straight into your receiver.



The servo for the pan function is put into the obsolete 'rudder' channel (it's obsolete as the rudder uses the aileron channel of the receiver on this 3 channel plane). What this means you can do is use the rudder channel to move your 'head' inside the aeroplane to look around. 



While flying, this means that you can look all the way down your wingtips while turning, just like when banking a real light aircraft. 



By the way, the tally on the side of the cockpit is to record how many flights I've made, not how many pigeons I've shot down or something like that (in any case, I'm a vegetarian).



Testing

Initially, the first ground tests of the airframe without the FPV modifications were somewhat comical. I had neglected to spend enough time ensuring that the landing gear was sound. This meant that the wheels kept flying off. Here is another recent video involving the airframe before it was upgraded. 



Later alterations to the gear made the wheels far more reliable and the Scout reached its full potential as an all round great flying aeroplane. 



The first FPV flights were done without recording the downlink (I didn't have the equipment needed), so I'm afraid there is no footage to show you. Here is a view through the goggles taken by a camera placed against the eye cup. 



Panning to the Left or right reveals the entirety of the wings.



Future Fun Flying and Missions

In the future, I would like to use this plane, and others like it to do fun missions. These could include identifying targets and dropping 'bombs' in scenarios akin to those First World War squadrons would have undertaken. Here is another plane I built recently to join in with these missions (let me know if you want plans!).



It would be great to put these onto my Youtube channel, Project Air, to entertain my subscribers. I think something like this would be very fun indeed. Make sure you check out the Project Air Channel so that you don't miss this. 

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If you liked this article, please do give it a rating and a comment to let me know what you think. Thank you!

- James. 

COMMENTS

FoamTest on October 30, 2017
That biplane looks great, I would love to see the plans added to the article, or make another article just on that plane. I have been looking for another buddy for my fpv scout.
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JamesWhomsley on November 13, 2017
Afraid the plane didn't fly too well so it's back to the drawing board. I will be coming up with some of my designs for everyone to build at some point though! Sorry about that!
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amissall on October 30, 2017
Yes please! plans would be awesome.
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JamesWhomsley on November 13, 2017
Sorry, didn't fly too well :(
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Capt_Kitt on November 7, 2017
Great tutorial, I’m going to gave to try this. And yes, biplane plans would be AWESOME!
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JamesWhomsley on November 13, 2017
Haha I'm glad. And, I'm sorry about this, but no plans as it didn't fly well at all - will be designing something else just as cool in the future though.
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