York flight

2009 cockpit Ground Control Station Yoke Simulator transmitting from a Walkera Devo F12E with CompuFly USB to PPM More »

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Training modules includes disaster search & rescue, sinkhole inspections, fire command & tactical deployment. Slides @theme options More »

Ranger Plane

Scorecard : Drill that usually involves 3 or more SAR volunteers. The Pilot and Sensor Operator will call out GPS coordinates on scorecards. More »

MultiGP Spec Formula Race May 2016

Peek at the Walkera F210 Spec Formula Race, hosted by Drone Mission and the Orlando RotoRacer More »

Voyager 3 Test Flight

Maiden flight on Walkera 2015 quadcopter the Voyager 3. More »

 

XK A110 Predator MQ-9 EPP Glider 565mm

xk-a110-predator-mq-9

XK is one of my all time favorite manufacturer that makes ready to fly (RTF) self-stabilized drones.  This XK A110 is a scale model of the Predator MQ-9 drone using 3 channels.

The pusher propellers are dual-engine powered and rotates in opposite directions to cancel each other out of the counter-torque; that keeps it more stable and in path. Comes built-in a 6-axis gyroscope flight auto-stabilization system with dual rates, allowing me to perform some aerobatics such as roll.  More updates to come …

Motive-RC R8SB Telemetry Receiver on Taranis X-Lite

Motive-RC R8SB

I still fly lots of planes the old school way, without any flight controllers, so this Motive RC R8SB all-in-one receiver even though a D8, it allows me to use my Taranis radio transmitter and most of the features.  Add a voltage sensor and I am all set.  The receiver comes with various model type SBUS, physical channel PWM outputs, PPM and RSSI.  The RSSI warns me about the signal strength before I fly too far out.   Here is a video on how I add a RSSI bar to my X-Lite screen using the Motive-RC R8SB.

The R8SB is like the FrSky V8R7-II receiver but with telemetry functions.  It bound instantly and lights up like a green lantern. There are more pins than a usual receiver, but they are nicely color coded to help me determine signal, power and ground.  The upper set of pins are your 8 channels or SBUS/PPM.  The lower set of pins are RSSI, two analog telemetry ports (A1&A2), A1 for internal receiver battery voltage sensor, A2 for external battery voltage sensor (0~30V, 1~6S) and one digital data-stream port (Rx, Tx)…

FrSky Taranis X-LITE Review Spring Unloaded

Frsky taranis x-lite

Introducing the FrSky Taranis X-LITE, the ultimate gaming radio transmitter. Made to match the ergonomic modern design of a gaming remote control, this radio transmitter has all the capabilities of a traditional radio and more.

One advantage of this FrSky radio is I can switch out to a R9M 900MHz frequency system for long range, low latency, going as far as 10 km.

First impression is good, it is more refine than anticipated.  The speaker sound is so much more superior than the Taranis X9D .  Equipped with the latest M12 Lite hall sensor gimbals.  Hall sensor gimbals are more precise and durable than traditional gimbals using potentiometers.  The switches may feel a little too small, but for casual flying (not competitive racing), this radio does just fine…

FXT Mars S T71 Micro FPV Camera 1000TVL

FXT mars s t71

Introducing the FXT Mars S T71, easy to setup 1000 tvl fpv camera. In a nutshell, it shows me the voltage and that is a big win for me. The color production and sharpness not so much.

This little camera comes in various colors and displays the voltage balance on screen. Orange and red color is an added advantage to help me locate a lost camera in an open field. Wide-angle, as I can see the cockpit from the wing, on a plane.

Input voltage DC4.8V to 36V allows me to safely power up from the main flight battery or a secondary battery. This camera is super small, about a size of a penny, and lightweight. It is wired ready with a standard JR transmitter signal, ground and power cable. The power cable is separated, so you can power your camera in various ways. However way you decide to power up, keep in mind the screen will display the voltage, a useful feature that is built-in…

F2S Autopilot GPS, OSD and RSSI All-In-One

F2S FC diagram

Amazing F2S all-in-1 flight controller, I think this is worth sharing.  The F2S coverts your fixed wing planes into a drone with GPS return home.  In addition, it adds all the telemetry information on your screen.  Best of all, no tuning needed.

We configure the F2S on an Eachine Mini Skyhunter Racer for this episode with a Mobius Mini. It does a nice turn on Return Home and circles in a 8 formation upon returning and begins to climb that 328 ft (100 m) preset. I have been flying this plane without Gyro, so at Manual mode, I still retain the full experience and know I can bail out at any time. The Mini Skyhunter is a fast plane, I noticed the Heading Mode seem to zigzag-drift occasionally, other than that, the rest is good so far. I get the most 11 GPS satellites so far. Here is a video of everything you need to get setup.

Pros – can be installed and tested under an hour, multiple flight modes and comprehensive OSD
Limitations or maybe good – little customization or tuning available or needed. Setup by radio, no computer required…

Fire Fighting Drone Walkera Zhun FE15

Wallkera FE15

Happy 4th of July and we are not here to talk about a cannon for fireworks but a cannon for Fire Fighting, called the Zhun.  Walkera has began developing and testing with their local fire agency to secure a bid for a full scale deployment.  The Zhun has an ultra strong load capability and anti tremor design, folds up ready for a fire fighter’s deployment. The quadcopter carries a high magnification telescope and the high frame rate night vision camera. With high precision, it can launch the fire extinguisher projectile accurately in a complex fire weather environment.  I had the privilege to preview the testing and edited this video.

It is amazing the Zhun is able absorb the amount of force created from the cannon. The real-time target control points are displayed on the ground control points, which greatly improves the accuracy of shooting and improves the efficiency of rescue…

Eachine Mirage E500 VTOL Vertical Take-Off Landing

Eachine Mirage e500

A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is one that can hover, take off, and land vertically. Eachine recently released a budget Mirage E500 VTOL Wing, and this is great venture into the next generation of radio control aircrafts.  When I can take-off and land vertically, I don’t have to worry about a runway.

We received a bind and fly sample to test, and with it includes a basic 3rd party FrSky receiver to complete the tests…

Walkera Furious 320 Racing Drone

Furious-320

At the Photo Expo in New York, we got a sneak peek of the prototype Tilt Rotors Fixed Pitch racing quadcopter, According to Walkera the 320 size recorded high speed can reach 120km/h, with 1700kv motors. The recommended radio to pair this racing drone is with a Devo 7 or 10, since you will need an additional channel to tilt the rotors. When the rotors are tilted forward, the quadcopter gets a boost in speed.

The battery suggested is 14.8V 2600mah to give a flight time of about 9-10 minutes.  This is not the first fixed-pitch rotors that Walkera  has developed, the company had gain a lot of experience when helicopters were the best sellers a few years ago.  A GPS version is on the plans…

Walkera Drone VR Games Devo F18

drone virtual reality

2016 might be a great time to get those Gamers outdoor for a new challenge. We have been wondering what it would be like to bring Gamers and First Person View (FPV) Pilots in one room or rather in one field for an intense world of Virtual Reality competition. Walkera Drone VR Games are not only Virtual games, but a Reality concept that is applied to GPS Racing Drones. Pilots actually fly their GPS drones into virtual Funnel Gates or shoot on virtual targets using the new advance Devo F18 radio transmitter.  See these initial tests we recorded.

If this has not caught your attention yet, I am sure it will with the AMA or FAA. First in the world, Walkera initial beta test included three Real Flight modes: Battle mode, Race mode, Classic Collecting mode. In Battle mode , FPV pilots will get on their F18 and begin an intense battle with targets. In Race mode, pilots compete on an Agility Course featuring various obstacles, funnel gates and hairpin turns…

X25-1 Space Explorer Flying Car

flying-car-x25-space explorer

This Christmas a popular gift was the X-25 which can race around on the ground and take to the air when throttled up. While in the air engage the 3D Eversion System and perform stunts and flips with ease. The auto return function lets you recall the drone back to its take-off point.

While the x25 is made by SongYang, there is also a Syma X9 version out there that looks exactly the same. Syma does make really good helicopters, so that is another consideration.