Mini UAV backpack capable FPV plane

by Mafco Designs | January 28, 2019 | (3) Posted in Projects

Hello Flite Test community!

It has been a while since I posted an article here on Flite Test and I am happy to introduce everyone to my re-design of the Mini Guinea that I am calling the Mini UAV, a backpack plane with FPV capability! I have been wanting to bring this idea to fruition for a long time and after months of work it is now ready to let all of you check it out. To begin with, I have built other planes that had been good designs for the parameters I was looking for like the Mini Arrow and the Super Bee. The Mini Arrow was a great flying plane and it's compact size was great for backpacking, but it's FPV capabilities was limited for me. I wanted to mount my new Runcam 3S to the plane as well as my standard FPV camera setup, and the Mini Arrow has a small cargo area. I did a re-design of the Mini Arrow by widening the center pod that I called the Mini Spear and it did work pretty well, but I still had something else in mind.

The next plane I tried was the Super Bee and what I really liked about this design was the twin motors with differential thrust for yaw control. It could easily handle both the Runcam and other FPV gear, was able to fit 3s 2200 mah batteries in the fuselage, and very compact and backpack capable. I used this design for a while and even built two different planes, but the things I wasn't too excited about was the open bottom fuselage and that the plane seemed to want to fly fast all the time and I really wanted something that could fly a bit slower and get some cool FPV footage!

Enter the idea of the Mini UAV. I really liked the FT Mini Guinea and how it flew, for me it was an easy to fly and slow landing plane and the first twin motor plane I had built with differential thrust. It wasn't long after I had been flying my Mini Guinea that I decided to ditch the rudder and it's servo, with the differential thrust I was not using it anyhow. From there I began to imagine how I would re-design the Mini Guinea and started to cut up my plane to become the prototype of the Mini UAV.

Upon the very successful flights of the Mini UAV prototype I took all my notes and what I had learned from flying it and proceeded to build a new one from scratch and document the process. The simplicity of the changes means that most of the plane is built the way Flite Test recommends building the Mini Guinea like the entire wing and motor set up. The main changes to the original design are the omission of the rudder and rudder servo and using differential thrust for yaw control, the relocation of the elevator servo to the inside of the fuselage, reducing the height of the fuselage and nose to three inches, adding doublers to the fuselage like the Super Bee, reducing the length of the fuselage and nose by one inch each, and the lengthening of the battery tray and making it removable. Not too many changes, but I feel it really turns it into a new and exciting design!

I now feel that I have a plane that fits the bill for everything I'm looking for, a compact design that can be backpacked, an enclosed fuselage to keep the electronics free of debris when landing, enough power to carry the Runcam 3S and FPV camera, and a removable nose that allows me to fly different variations of the same plane and be easily replaceable in the event of an accident. 

I really like this design and the next thing I want to do is figure out how I want to paint it and what graphics I want to put on it! Please let me know what you think? Do you think that it is a fresh and interesting take on an already great design as I do? Thanks for checking out my article and please check out my videos on this project!

Hope you have great flights!

Mafco Designs     



jorgepi on February 6, 2019
Hello, great job! Would you share the plans with the modifications you made?
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Mafco Designs on February 6, 2019
Thanks jorgepi, I was not planning on making up any plans for the design which is why I made the videos describing the changes that I made, it's not complicated at all. If you check out the videos you will see that it's pretty easy to figure out.
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jorgepi on February 7, 2019
Thank you very much for your reply. As you mentioned the changes are very straightforward to implement. I will make the changes myself in the plans in order to feed a laser cutter
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Flying Kiwi on February 8, 2019
Great mods . Make such good sense

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Mafco Designs on February 8, 2019
Thanks Flying Kiwi, I'm pretty happy with the results!
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RevJim1952 on February 13, 2019
What size battery?

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Mafco Designs on February 14, 2019
Hi RevJim1952, My prototype and final build were flown with 3s 1300 mAh lipo batteries. The plane should have enough room for a 2200 mAh 3s lipo which will be my next tests but I think the battery tray would need some modifications to fit a 4s lipo, but eventually I would like to try that as well!
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Mini UAV backpack capable FPV plane