Life has been a little busy recently and I missed the April update, to it’s high-time I let you all know what has been going on and what is coming up…

Red20RC Site Problems

red20_mark_200.fw.pngRed20RCIt was all going well until the most recent update to WordPress hit the shelves, then everything started going wrong. Most of the problems are back-end so you may not have even noticed but there have been errors popping up all over the place.

Without getting too technical it seems that something isn’t working right in the newest version and lots of the the plugins I was using are no longer fully compatible. As a result I have had to remove some of the functionality from the site, the most obvious of which is the ability for users to submit posts.

I’ve now got the site up and running again, hopefully even a little quicker than before. However, if you would like to submit content for publication on the site I would ask the you contact me directly at red20rc@gmail.com so we can sort something out.

Remote Pilot Launch

It seems to be taking forever to get the Remote Pilot website launched! Both Red20RC and my life outside of aeromodelling has conspired to keep me away from working on this project for a long time and the site is still sitting behind the “Coming Soon” page.

Interested parties can rest assured though that work IS continuing on this new venture and the site will launch hopefully sometime during May.

If you want to keep up-to-date with what is going on then the Remote Pilot Twitter feed is a great place to start.

remote-pilot-ad

KFm-6 Flying Wing – Plans & Update

KFm6 Flying WingIf you haven’t noticed already I posted an article a couple of days ago offering the KFm-6 Flying Wing plans for download.

After spending some time watching videos of the awesome FPV49 Depron wing from Europe I started to fall in love with the simplicity of the KFm airfoils again and have started planning the next phase in my own take on the KFm-6 design.

I have already ordered a GoPro camera bay from Team Black-Sheep and am planning on working on two versions – a hardcore FPV model and a fully kitted and autonomous UAV/drone. This will mirror the work I have also been doing with the Flite Test Versa Wing, so it should be an interesting comparison.

MicroWing

MicroWingThe MicroWing is a spinoff project from the KFm-6 wing. The idea was to build a small, fast, robust flying wing from a single sheet of foam purely for the fun of flying it.

Sporting a KFm-4 airfoil and very simple design process it certainly fulfilled the goal of a quick and simple build. Unfortunately the weather has turned now here on the East Coast and the MicroWing is still sitting on the bench waiting for a maiden.

Watch this space for a full build article, flight videos and free plan downloads…

FT Flyer Build Article

FT FlyerLooking for something to build one rainy evening I decided to revisit the first Flite Test model I ever built. My original FT Flyer was built from Depron, which sadly couldn’t support the length of the wing and quickly curled so I decided to build another from foam board and see how it flew.

There will be a full build article coming soon, with video when I get some. All I’ll say for now is it does build quickly and cheaply and it does fly – but how well?

Versa Drone?

I’ve been fiddling with the APM 2.5.2 on the bench for some time now and it is starting to get embarrassing that I haven’t put it into a model yet!

With the success of my modified Blunt-Nose Versa Wing I decided to stop trying to design something from the ground up and simply build another BNVW to carry the autopilot. The build was a bit messy because I rushed it over some late night sessions but I do now have a second blunt-nose sat on the bench with the APM installed and ground tested.

This will eventually become more of a Remote Pilot project but watch this space for more details and videos as I explore the process of tuning and tweaking the airframe for its first fully autonomous mapping and surveillance flight…

Versa Drone

Careful with that APM!

APM 2.5A final word of warning that comes from an experience I had this week…

If you are using an APM autopilot (Both 3DR and the HKPilot) you will no doubt have recently updated your version of Mission Planner and ArduPilot. Are you now scratching your head because the artificial horizon is wobbling all over the place and it keeps squawking “Bad Gyro Health” at you?

Apparently an increase in the buss speed in the latest software version has highlighted a problem where people have unknowingly blown the 3.3v regulator on the board and the Gyros are trying to operate at an unsafe 5v. This is exactly what happened to me this week and it left me a little annoyed.

The fault is caused by incorrectly powering your APM whilst playing around with it on the bench. Nobody is quite sure how or why exactly but suspicions are that it includes activities such as plugging the GPS or RX into the board when it is only powered by the USB cable (something I almost certainly did at the start).

Fortunately, it is possible to buy the 3.3v regulator chips here in Australia (I got mine from Element14 in Sydney – just watch out for the shipping cost). If you have a steady hand and some decent soldering gear it is possible to replace the chip and 30 minutes of sweating rewarded me with a fully functional APM board once more.

IMG_20140428_161836

That’s it!

So there you have it for another month! Lots has happened and lots more to come I hope.

Thank you for your continued support of Red20RC both here and over at Flite Test. This site is now enjoying well over 3000 visits a month and my published articles on Flite Test crossed the 50,000 views a couple of weeks ago.

I won’t be co-publishing this update over there though as it isn’t really an article and the last didn’t rate as highly as I would have liked. If only other would learn the same lesson and stop posting just a YouTube video with nothing to accompany it (that’s what the video forum is for)!

Anyway, fingers crossed for a bit of sun over the next week or two so I can get out flying again…