First Flights

After waiting for all the gear to arrive, this week-end finally arrived. I decided to go for a modular setup and start by mounting all the aircraft items on a board made from balsa and ply. I mounted the receiver and the camera on a swivel, giving me basic left-right panning.


To test the setup, I mounted the whole thing on top of my son’s RC Tiger tank and went for a romp through the garden in the dark, whilst sitting in my lounge. The little Sony camera did admirably, as it only had the two led lights of the tank as light.

First FPV “flight” – Tiger Tank

I decided to use my old trusty Electrasport glider as platform for the first FPV flight. After installing all the equipent on it, I was a bit concerned about the weight. The all-up flying weight turned out to be around 700g. A bit much for a 800mm span glider that originally flew with a brushed motor and NiCd pack! Well, I DID upgrade the glider to a brushless setup not too long ago, which gave it vertical performance. The plan was to fly it regular RC style, whilst recording the video on the ground.

My fears, unfortunately were well founded as the glider never really get off the ground (hand launch) and the flight ended in a crash. Fortunately, no FPV gear was damaged and only the glider’s wing and rudder suffered damage. Some duck tape and epoxy should fix this, but the FPV gear will never go on the glider again!

Second FPV flight and crash – Electrasport Glider

A friend at the airfield offered his Trojan as plarform to try out the FPV. What an amazing plane! It flies as if on rails and lands like a dream. The second flight went without incident and was flown as planned, regular RC style. I did discover afterwards that the aerial got pushed flat to the horizontal position during the range check we did before, thus giving mismatched polarization with the aerial on the ground. Apart from that, the flight was uneventful. I did the whole flight regular RC style with my daughter recording the flight on the laptop.

Third FPV flight – Trojan

Next step will be to get a new plane and put the gear in that, and then my first real FPV fligth, flying from the video on the ground.

But I’m happy, I reached my first goal, not without incident, but at least without disaster at least!


About delabu

I am a software developer, coding mainly in Java and specializing in the GIS field.

2 responses to “First Flights”

  1. Werner says :

    I’m thoroughly enjoying following this blog. It’s the confluence of high tech and the best excuse for men to be boys again! Great stuff, I can’t wait to see the video footage. Remember to take Dramamine to stave off motion sickness before the first FPV flight; -else you may need a good auto pilot feature to return your craft to mother earth.

    • Neline says :

      Haha, we have a buddy box system that allows you to give control of the airplane over to another controller whilst in flight in case something goes wrong if we try flying with fpv goggles, we’re not quite at that stage in any case, but we will get there!

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