Vortex 700 First Flight


700 Class Trex Build (Flight Video to come still in editing)

My friend and I are in the process of building a Traditional Heli. I would love to get feedback from the community.

The Vortex 700 is a Traditional style Helicopter UAS designed with Police forces and Search and Rescue in mind.  The Vortex 700 can be equipped with a variety of payloads depending upon the mission.

The Vortex 700 is designed around the Align Trex 700 Dominator mechanics, a proven, reliable helicopter.

The Vortex 700
Length:  53 in.
Height:  22 in.
Width:  8 in.
Main Rotor Diameter: 62 in
Empty Weight: 9 lbs.
Calculated Flight endurance: 30-45 min
Range:  2 miles (C2 Link depended) 
Payload: 4 lbs
Auto Pilot: PixHawk from 3D Robotics


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I've seen a few around... I'm trying to remember... Century Heli may have one, but only in one size, IIRC.  Or check Airstar International.  Really limited sizing though.

I don't think you have to abandon them entirely but, check them regularly.  Overspeeding is a critical factor.  Though I do wonder how they hold up to root shear when heavily loaded.

Thanks, I will look into them. However, I will make it a point to really look at them very good during both my pre-post flights.

I appreciate it.


Just a short update on the status of the rebuild. 

  • Rebuilt main rotor head
  • Replaced main rotor shaft
  • Rplaced tail rotor gear box
  • Replaced tailboom
  • Replaced torq drive shaft
  • Rebuilt tail rotor assembly
  • Repaired payload mounting case
  • Replaced main blades
  • Replaced tail rotor blades
  • Repaired 900mhz 1\4wave antenna and mount

Things to complete pprior to flights

  • Replace tall gear. The gear I had on it is not in stock and the vender doesn't know when it will become available again, so I am taking some inspiration from Rob and I am constructing a 3point landing gear to give me the clearance I need for out payload case.

I will post info after this weekends re-maiden of the vortex

Thanks for all the help guys. Truly appreciate it. Here's hoping there is no vibrations.

Great... cant wait to see it flying again.. good luck mate 

Finally got it ready to fly again. 

We test flew it on Saturday. All went well I had to perform some minor pitch and tail P adjustments. Performed 2-3 auto circuits and it flew just as good as before. Initial test flights had the stock low profile gear and I was so nervous that the tail would hit the ground, but all went well... I have completed the landing gear modifications and I have installed the payload box with ccd gimbal and photo mapping camera. The gimbal is a simple servo driven gimbal for roll and pitch compensation. it is utilizing a minimOSD with basic data. GPS, Voltage, amperage, altitude, etc... We will get some recorded footage this week end and continue the flight testing for possible demonstration early next year.

I want to thank everyone for their help during this project. I have learned so much. I will continue to update this blog on status so that everyone can learn from my mistakes...  

Glad you got it back in action. hope to see a video from you soon... keep it up guys

Well we completed the test flights with the gimbal/mapping payload. worked great. My buisness partnerr is putting together the flight videos for youtube as we seek. I have added AC 3.2 RC14 it worked great. during spin up i did get a warning of "Bad AHRS" I then dis armed and it went away. Restarted and no problems. I will also post a picture later. I really love the landing gear setup. Thanks for the insperation on that Rob.

please get the video up soon !!! :) 

@UAS_Pilot, the bad AHRS comes up if you're using the EKF (i.e. AHRS_EKF_USE = 1) and the EKF hasn't quite settled yet.  Normally it'll clear up by itself if you give it another 30 seconds or so.  I don't suspect anything catastrophic if you take-off before it clears but I would just let the vehicle hangout on the ground for a bit until the message goes away (or arm/disarm) like you did.

Anyway, looking good!

Thanks Randy. I appreciate the guidance on that. I wanted to be safe on that.

Here is a little taste from the flights...

This was a great shot. I will be posting a video from the gimbal. It is not a HD camera just a 700 Line camera

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