The first FPV wing suffered a balance problem followed by a catastrophic on-board fire during the maiden flight. I didn’t want to trust the old airframe so I started work on version 2.0…

FPV Wing 2.0 – welcome an old favourite

The first FPV Wing design suffered a number of problems but the most glaring of these was that I made it a bit big! Whilst impressive in the air (for the short time it did fly) it was far too big to fit easily in the car. One of my current drivers is to find UAV designs that are easy to fly, easy to transport and quick to get into the air.

I knew from the first FPV Wing, and other builds that the Flite Test Versa Wing is (as the name suggests) an immensely versatile design. The only problem was the lack of space in the center. The obvious solution was to take the wing panels from a FT Versa Wing and add a center section. I would recess the nose as in version 1 to house the GoPro and push the electronics across the wing to reduce interference.

Bringing it all together…

There is no point going into the building of a Versa Wing as I’ve done that before…

The center section proved to be a bit of a pain and took a long time to come together as I had to wait over Christmas for some parts to be delivered. In the end the easiest way I found to do it was to cut the foam board, lay everything out and then glue just the bottom sheet into place. Once this was done I could hook up all the electronics before pulling the top layer over and gluing into place.

FPV Wing 2.0

Fitting the electronics before closing the lid.

Test flight number 1…

The first day I went out things looked good. I had tested everything and the airframe was sound. I even ran up the motor as I walked out to the field to check there was no interference in the goggles.

FPV Wing V2

I stood on the runway and hit the throttle. Much to my surprise the prop forgot to open, vibrating the motor mount clean off the back of the airframe… bugger!

Test flight number 2…

So apparently there is such a thing as a “prop-stopper” when you turn a folding prop around. Live and learn!

The damage was minimal and I rebuilt the mount quickly. I replaced the prop with a solid APC style electric prop, just to be sure. Heading back out to the field the weather was not looking good. The wind was getting up and I really should have known better…

I also didn’t have anyone with me so I was going to have to hand-launch myself and hope for the best. So… everything checked, throttle up, throw the plane… straight into the ground… bugger!

Test flight number 3…

Fake GoProSo apparently it’s not a good idea to hand-launch pusher-engined wings that are completely untrimmed and un-flown. Live and learn!

Again, the damage was minimal so I put it all back together. This time I also removed all the FPV gear and replaced with a stand-in weighted GoPro to get the balance right.

I had learned my lesson from the last attempt but I still didn’t have a spare hand to launch the model. So I decided to bungee launch the model so I could at least get some height to start the test.

This proved to be a great idea, right up to the point at which I started the motor too soon, fouled the tow line and burnt the motor out… bugger!

Test flight number 4…

So apparently it’s not a good idea to start a pusher motor whilst the bungee is still attached. Live and learn!

It didn’t take long to get the motor swapped out and back to the field. This time it was a nice day, I was well prepared and I knew the pitfalls of previous attempts.

I was going to go with the bungee launch again as it worked right up to the point where I stuffed it up. Things looked good, model tracked straight up the line, didn’t start the motor early, hook won’t release… what… bugger!

PING!

The line finally released and we were off. A little bit of trimming and the model was flying straight and true. After that I tried some hand-launches at it proved pretty easy with the model now trimmed out – so much so I strapped on the GoPro to get some footage:

A happy ending at last!

Finally the FPV Wing project has reached a successful conclusion with the FPV Wing 2.0. Although, we’re not quite there yet… this model still hasn’t actually been flown FPV.

Well, the gear is now back in and we are ready to go so stay tuned for the footage…

FPV Wing 2.0