After having some difficulty launching the heavier Raptor140B+ (carries three 5Ah batteries) I decided to invest the time into building a crossbow launcher.

It has a few key features that make it an excellent launch platform:
-Totally retains the airplane in all directions (gust of wind won't knock it off the the launcher)
-Trigger mechanism to quickly release the airplane
-Provides distance between the prop and the pilot
-Quick to use (takes only a few minutes to set up)
-Small space (small launcher and some cable)
-Easy to use (set it up, aim it, pull the trigger)
-100% repeatable

Tested it on the Raptor140A (now a glider) and it worked perfectly! After a dozen tests, I put the Raptor140B on it... Victory! The exit speed of the Raptor140B was 90kph/56mph, a perfect speed for climbing.

This will add a lot of safety and repeatability for launching these heavier flying wings.

See you next week!


Safety note: I maintained line of sight during this flight, and had my controller close by to take manual control as needed. The altitude read over 120m, but elevation increased during flight. True AGL for the flight is 100-120m. I avoided all airports and populated areas.

Raptor 140b+ Stats:

Weight: 2280g
Max Flight Time: 70min
Max Range: 97km
Stall Speed: 35kph
Cruise Speed: 90kph
Max Speed: 135kph
Radio Range: 1.5km
Energy Carried: 167wh (15,000mAh at 11.1v)
Drive Power: 850w
Total Flight Time on Craft: 7.0 hours
Total Flight Distance on Craft: 498km

The equipment used---
Raptor 140 airplane:

Radio Tx: ParkeFlyer Turnigy 9x Tx:
Telemtry: 915mhz 100mW 3DR
Laptop: Compaq Presario CG57
GPS Dongle:

Flight Controller: APM2.6
Reciever: 6ch FlySky
Telemtry: 915mhz 100mW 3DR
Battery: (3) 5.0Ah 20C Lipo:
ESC: 60A Brushless
Motor: 3542 1450kv brushless
Prop: 10x7 Carbon Fiber Folding
Servos: 11g digital
Onboard camera:

Learn More:
Raptor Details:
USA Trip Details:

Follow the Show:
Skype: MyGeekShow

Filmed, Edited, Produced and Published by Trent in Arkansas, USA

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • I appreciate your enthusiasm, but for the love of god "&autoplay=0". I can't be the only DIYD user that doesn't appreciate your super loud Youtube videos auto-loading every time I load the homepage. Thanks.

  • Also, you've earned back my YouTube subscription.

    I was probably one of the first subscribers to your channel, but I unsubscribed a while ago. (I forget exactly when; Nick was still in front of the camera almost every episode.) When I figured out that your DIYD posts had videos associated with them, I went back and watched some of your recent stuff and was really impressed.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Hey Trent, I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, But I can never see any of the videos you've embedded anywhere on the internet. I think it has something to do with the old-style embed code you use. I can make the videos show up if I disable HTTPS Everywhere and HTML5 in YouTube (the old embed code is not compatible with HTTPS or HTML5) but to be blunt that's more than I'm willing to do just so your posts show up with all their flair.

    You should probably upgrade to the current embed code and always provide clickable links to the YouTube page. This is especially true because many people access the internet via mobile devices which often don't handle embedded video very well, if at all.

    Here's what I see:




  • i thought it was all built onto the cross bow , maybe the next design is somthing completely self contained

  • Very Cool!

  • @Hugues,

    A "Robin Hood' in archery, is when you shoot straight down another arrow, already in the target.


    Kind of be when Trent launches "through" the car :-)

  • still no fullscreen...

  • That's a pretty cool innovation.  Haven't seen it before, and I can see how it improves the launch process. Nice work.

    You should get some kind of extendable tent pole and 3 guy wires.  Use that to anchor the bungy.  Wouldn't it work better with an elevated anchor point?  Then it's not being pulled down to the ground so much?

    Is that you doing donuts in the field? ;)

  • Hugues: Ha ha! That would be awesome! 

  • MR60

    You've earned a "Robbin Hood" patch on your diydrones logo !

This reply was deleted.