Here is a compilation of clips from the best flights from my first month flying my new FPV Deep Reaper wing. The first minute or so is my maiden flight, and the rest of the video features clips from various flights around the Denver area.

Here's a shot of my plane and ground station:

And here's a close-up of the plane:

This plane turned out a bit heavy for a Deep Reaper (around 6.5 lbs) so I am currently working on finding the right motor combination to keep the plane as light and balanced as possible while having enough power, speed, and endurance. Flight times are currently around 25 minutes with an NTM 35-36 motor and 9x6 prop. Next I plan on trying the lighter NTM 35-30 motor with the same prop to see if I can cut a few ounces and get the correct CG without putting led weights on the nose.

I am using an 800mw 1.2 Ghz video TX with a cloverleaf antenna on the plane and crosshair antenna on the ground. Control radio is a ChainLinkDare UHF LRS mounted on a cheapo FlySky TX.

Views: 1316

Tags: Colorado, Deep, Denver, FPV, Reaper, flying, wing

Comment by Michiel Andreae on December 10, 2012 at 6:06am

Awesome video Patrick! As a total beginner I have a few questions:

- You fly your Deep Reaper pretty high and pretty far away. Aren't you afraid it'll hit power lines, lose signal or crash somewhere out of your reach? To me this always seems a big risk when operating FPV or autonomous.

- How expensive is a ground station in the setup that you have? It seems like at least a couple hundred bucks.

- Do you use FPV goggles to do your flying or do you watch a monitor?

Hope you a have a minute to answer a few beginner questions ;).

Best,

Michiel

Comment by Patrick McKay on December 10, 2012 at 10:04am

Michiel,

There's always some risk of the plane going down at a distance and that's happened to me a few times with my previous plane, but once you have some experience and know what you're doing, the risk is pretty low (though I did have a close call with some powerlines in that video when I got too caught up following the ridge line and forgot they were there). The few times my plane has gone down, I've always been able to find it after a few hours of searching because my ground station recording of my video feed told me approximately where to look.

I fly with an LCD screen rather than goggles since I wear glasses. I've probably put a couple hundred bucks into my ground station, but it's not a huge amount. This is the components I use:

$30 tripod

$30 DSLR camera case (the box that forms the backbone of the ground station)

$50 video receiver

$30 used portable DVD player I bought as-is off ebay with a non-functional DVD drive but working video-in jacks

$10 video splitter

$20 Vupoint DVR from Amazon to record the live feed

$20 video selector switch to switch the screen back and forth between the direct feed and the DVR output

$10 flagpole holder from Home Depot and the cannibalized top of another tripod to mount my directional antenna

Random other parts like braces, bungee cords, and plywood to reinforce weak parts of the case and hold it on the tripod securely

The most expensive part of a ground station are the antennas though. Currently I'm using a $60 Blue Beam antenna set from DPCAV, which has a cloverleaf omni antenna to go on the plane and a skew planar wheel omni for the ground station. If I want more range than the omnis, I just bought a $60 10db crosshair antenna to use on the ground. Before that I used a V antenna and an 8db patch when I was on linear polarization instead of circular.

Hope that helps.

~Patrick

Comment by criro1999 on December 10, 2012 at 12:51pm

nice video...

wondering if not better to put the 2 battery from wings as longitudinal (along and parallel to motor axel), instead the actual position. actual position will increase the drag and the flight time. just an opinion.

which frequency and power are you using for TX (uplink), video downlink and telemetry?

Comment by Patrick McKay on December 10, 2012 at 1:58pm

Well that might have a little less drag but the way the spars are arranged would make cutting the battery bays that way very difficult.What I wish is that I had cut the battery bays a bit deeper so the batteries would be flush with the wing. They stick up a bit now and I'd like to redo them, but the plywood strips I put at the bottom of the battery bays are glued in so well it would be really had to get them out.


And I use an 800mw (Fox800) 1.2Ghz video TX on the plane and Cyclops CE OSD. No independent telemetry or auto-pilot. It's strictly FPV.

Comment by Joe Jackson on December 10, 2012 at 4:13pm

I used to fly with LCD as I wear glasses.I moved over to Fatsharks with lens inserts. I took an old pair of glasses and removed the temples(arms).Taped the rest of the frame to the underside of the Fatsharks so that they hang down and can swing forward or backwards .I hand launch with the Fatsharks at eyebrow level so that the glasses hang down in front of my eyes and can see the plane on launch.Once happy with the launch move the goggles down and fly with them on.

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