Category Archives: Fixed Wings

XK A110 Predator MQ-9 EPP Glider 565mm

XK is one of my all time favorite manufacturer that makes ready to fly (RTF) self-stabilized drones.  This XK A110 is modeled after the Predator MQ-9 drone using 3 channels.  XK A110 Predator MQ-9 is very light and uses differential trust, just like a quadcopter, to power the turns instead of using a rudder. Two small propellers, one on each wing. A little disappointing, the back larger propeller is just a dummy prop that only adds some drag.

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 loops…

Eachine Mirage E500 VTOL Vertical Take-Off Landing

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…

Eachine Micro Skyhunter FPV RC Airplane

Skyhunter, has been an all-time favorite plane for lots of long-range FPV pilots. Eachine doing it’s match, takes on the micro version, at 780 mm, 3 channels, plug and play.  Take a break from the racing drones, here comes a racing plane.   If you are looking for a budget, simple hand launch RC FPV plane with some speed, you may be in luck.

User Segment


Keen Beginners, Park Flyers, Plug and Fly, Budget $59 BNF (source: Dec 2016 Banggood)

What To Expect

The Micro Skyhunter FPV is one of the coolest miniature version of the Skyhunters released under the label of Eachine.  I have here the FPV version with 40 channels and 800 tvl camera which you can just slip on or remove anytime.

Here is a video of everything you need to get setup.

The Skyhunter comes in this small box just under 1 1/2 feet, very well pack, box in a box and individually wrap.  All electronics are pre-assembled,  plug and play, so you can begin flying on the same day.  It comes with a few cabon fiber spars, the main spar and re-enfocement along the wings.  You can see the signature look of a skyhunter with two veritical stablize.  I like how everything is pre-installed, 5 grams servo, servo linkages are all ready using JR connectors.  Included is a Hobbywing 20 amps electronic speed controller(ESC) with a XT 60 plug.

There is plenty of room, you have three separate compartments, one section for your receiver and flight controller if you are using one, and a two in one canopy held on by magnets for the battery and a convenient camera fpv bay.   The wings are held together with two bolts.

The camera is pretty good, other than the 25 mw range limitation, we have no complaints. You can of course always use a different video transmitter.  There are some crack lines, along the joints, but nothing too serious, I just add a little tape along it and tape along the leading edges, wing tips and base for additional protection and to prevent wear and tear.

Motor is powerful for this size plane, 2300 kv 2204.

The camera comes with a holder plate, very nice, and you simply secure it on the camera bay when in use.  I just tape the plates down for easy removal.

Decals are included, but I like my usual red/blue white colors.

Overall, this plane has everything you need, easy to assemble as all the electronic are installed.  It uses XT 60 which means LiPo batteries are easily available in the market.  The bigger question is, are you up for a 3 channel plane, if you are, this is definitely a keeper within budget.

Flight Characteristics

Tracks very well, but not a great glider.  We are currently completing a few more flights before reporting back.  Standby.

Camera & Video Transmitter

The camera is okay, a 40CH 25MW VTX 800TVL 1/3 CMOS FPV Camera.  See video for results.

Factory Specifications

Brand Name: Eachine
Item Name: Micro Skyhunter
Wingspan: 780mm (31″)
Length: 540mm (21″)
Channels: 3
Weight: 230g (without battery)
Color: White
Material: EPO
Camera: Eachine EF-01 AIO FPV camera
ESC: 20A 2-3s with XT60 connector
Motor: Eachine 2204 2300KV
Motor MAX Thrust:440g
Motor Weight: 25g
Motor Shaft Diameter: 3mm
Propeller: 6×3 or most 5-6″ multirotor props
Servos: 3x 9 gram

What we love about it

  • Well design and quick assembly

What is essential we hope to see in the next version

  • Nothing really to change, but love to see more miniature version of classic planes under the Eachine label

360 FPV videos

What the Andoer Dual-lens 360°, Ricoh Theta S and Samsung Gear 360 have in common are the dual-lenses that allows you to film and upload 360-degree videos.  This give rise to a new perspective if drone aerial first person view

YouTube and Facebook now supports uploading and playback of 360° spherical videos. To watch 360° videos, you need the latest version of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, or Internet Explorer on your computer. On mobile devices, use the latest version of the YouTube app for Android or iOS.

(Best viewed in 360 youtube app or goggle directly by opening this link https://youtube.com/360)

For an immersive experience, you can even watch 360° videos with a cardboard goggle attaching the YouTube Android app.

After a week of filming, we begin to discover that is just a few things to consider before creating the video.

  • Decide the best way to mount the camera without appearing to be holding a tripod or showing too much head (realizing you are being filmed no matter where you stood in 360).
  • What if you want to incorporate text on the video or include a logo, not knowing if your audience is looking front, back, sides, down or up.
  • Storyboarding and sequencing scenes in 360.  How do you you mix 2D and 360 footages.

The following 360 cameras are compatible with YouTube and are available today:
• Andoer Dual-lens 360° (budget $125 source: Nov 2016 camfere.com)
• Ricoh Theta S
• Samsung Gear 360

For the best results, encode your video at a high resolution and according to YouTube’s advanced specifications. YouTube currently supports 360° videos with 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, or 60 frames per second. We recommend uploading 16:9 aspect ratio stitched videos in 4K (3840×2160) resolution as a loss of resolution is inevitable when playback in youtube 360. A 1080p video, when stretçhed and wrapped around the sphere will look like 480p.

When uploading your 360° video, don’t make edits to the video using the YouTube Video Editor and Enhancements tools on desktop or mobile. These tools don’t currently support 360° videos.

Before publishing, schedule the video for a later date and verify that the file has 360° playback enabled by watching the video on your device. It may take up to 30 minutes for 360° playback to be processed after uploading.

360° videos on a browser feature a pan button in the top left, and can be rotated using the WASD keys, so look for these features to confirm your video is in 360.

If you take the video straight out of the camera and try to upload it to Youtube, it’s not going to work properly. The video will upload and be available, but when you go to view it you’ll see a stereoscopic image–an odd-looking video of side-by-side circles, each showing the hemisphere captured by one of the two lenses.

To make it work properly there are two steps you have to do before uploading it.

1. You will need to convert the image from stereoscopic view to an equirectangular one. That will combine the two hemispheres into a wide view with dimensions where the width is exactly double the height (otherwise known as a 2:1 aspect ratio). And the tops and bottoms of the frames will look strange and stretched. But when used in a specialized 360° player those stretched parts of the frame will fill out when you look up or down, wrapping around the sphere 360.

If you own the budget Andoer 360 camera, you can use the recommended unregistered Symax 360 software – Open Convertor, set Video Quality = High, Start.

2. In order to upload and playback a 360° video file, you’ll need to modify the metadata of the video file with an app or script before uploading.

Follow these instructions to install an app that will add the necessary metadata into a new file for you.

  1. Download the 360 Video Metadata app for Mac or Windows recommended by YouTube
  2. Un-zip the file, then open the 360 Metadata Injector app. If you’re on a Mac, you may need to right-click the app and then click Open.
  3. You can also add the metadata using a Python script.
  4. Select the original or edited 360 video file
  5. Select the checkbox for My Video is Spherical (360) and click Inject Metadata. Do not select the “3D Top-bottom” checkbox. For more information, refer to upload instructions for virtual reality videos.
  6. Save the file that will be created suffix with “injected.mp4”.
  7. Save the file. A new file will be created automatically in the same location as the original file.
  8. Upload the new injected file to YouTube.
  9. Wait for the 360° conversion to process. This may take up to 30 minutes for a 7 minutes video.

Tip: Andoer Dual-lens 360° 960p on Premiere Pro, follow 1920x 960 size, h.264

XK A600 DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver

XK A600 with 6G is a 6-axis gyro DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver single-engine, high-wing, propeller-driven airplane. Notably the DHC-2 was designed as a short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft, widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft.  XK brings the model A-600 to life with this fun RC electric model of the DHC-2, with 10 minutes of flight time, on an attractive orange and white paint scheme.  ■ dronemission.com

Market Segment

Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Collectors, Budget $78 (source: GearBest Oct 2016)

What To Expect If This Your First Flight

You can easily spend 15 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 8-10 minutes. On a Mode 2 radio transmitter, throttle stick is on the left.

Power on your radio transmitter first, make sure your throttle stick is at the lowest point.  Check to make sure all your switches are up (position 0). Connect your battery to your plane, lay the plane flat on a hard surface immediately. This will allow the plane to self-level the gyroscope.

Once you have successfully bind with the radio, the sticks come to live.

Practice taking off and landing on a runway using a flight simulator, this will help you tremendously with your final approach.  Use rudder to keep the plane in a straight line and use throttle to control your rate of descent.  Keep in mind the throttle is mixed with the elevator.  More throttle will ascend this plane.  I take-off with 6G but usually find it easier to land in 3d mode on the final approach, because of the mixed-in elevator and throttle

Flight Characteristics

There are two flight modes, Stabilize (6G) and Aerobatics (3D).  You change the modes by pressing down on the aileron right stick.  Since it uses the Futaba® Radio Control Systems, you can easily use a compatible radio transmitter as a substitute.  No mixing is needed, as they are programmed into the flight controller.

You can loop, fly inverted and roll with ease in 3D mode but yet the gyro will keep it locked on course and compensate for any wind.

In 6G mode, the A-600 has it aileron and rudder pre-mixed to provide a smooth and gentle coordinated turn.   Adding more rudder will give you a very sharp turn. When you throttle up, the elevator pitches up gently to ascend, therefore you may find yourself needing to pitch down just a little during landing, as you will need some speed to prevent it from stalling while landing.  Your challenge is to keep the speed as constant as possible and descending as slow as possible without stalling.

In 6G it will not let you exceed 45 degrees angle to perform any aerobatics.

The A-600 handles 10 mph winds well, which allows you to hover in the air for an extended period of time or even fly backwards

Opinions

Xk A600 categorized as a entry level RC Plane, durable, and aerobatic.  In terms of ranking, we would say it is in the top 3 budget favorites in this category as recorded Oct 2016.  A positive recommendation for dealers.  An update to follow.   (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

Eleven Hobby F8F Bearcat 1100mm

bearcat f8f

Lots of buzz about the Eleven Hobby Bearcat F8F recently.  The Bearcat has always been a favorite warbird but few models have been made for it.  Bearcat F8F is one of the best looking and famous wings that served the US Navy.  It was designed primarily as an interceptor-fighter and this model is docile yet commanding presence in the air. It arrived today, tight, protected and double boxed.  For those who are still guessing who is Eleven Hobby, their recent T-28 was very well received. It comes as no surprise to some, as Eleven Hobby shares it’s affiliation with FMS, a leading manufacturer of RC Planes.

First Impression,  the Eleven Hobby Bearcat F8F asssembly was easy and fast, the cuts are precise and snugly fitted, bolt down the wings and horizontal stabilizer with 6 screws and the rest is adding your receiver and programming your radio.  Wingspan is a perfect 1100mm (43.3in) that fits into a typical car boot (trunk).  Optional gluing needed, if you plan to add the wing cannons. It is very tail heavy, but you have some room to move everything to the front. I would not recommend this plane unless you are a experienced pilot, as it is not easy to fly.

Volantex Ranger 757-4 Review

TODAY I took a look at the Volantax Ranger 757-4 that we purchased online for just over a $100. The 757-4 is a scale down version of the popular 2m Ranger Ex 757-3 FPV Drone plane. It is resized to 1.4m 1380mm, just small enough to fit into a standard size car trunk/boot without taking it apart.

One of the more interesting feature of the plane is that it is designed for GoPro or FPV cameras.. it comes tail heavy, so you can install multiple fpv cameras and large batteries. A weight is even included in the event you are not ready to fly with a camera. We had to fly it with a 3S 5000 mAh LiPo battery without a GoPro weight on the front, to get the correct center of gravity (CG). It is quick, easy to assemble, no glue is required.

Volantex Ranger 757-4

TODAY I am going to take a look at the Volantax Ranger 757-4 that we purchased online for just over a $100. The 757-4 is a scale down version of the popular 2m Ranger Ex 757-3. It is resized to 1.4m 1380mm, just small enough to fit into a standard size car trunk/boot without taking it apart.

One of the more interesting feature of the plane is that it is designed for GoPro or FPV cameras.. it comes tail heavy, so you can install multiple fpv cameras and large batteries. A weight is even included in the event you are not ready to fly with a camera. We had to fly it with a 3S 5000 mAh LiPo battery without a GoPro weight on the front, to get the correct center of gravity (CG). It is quick, easy to assemble, no glue is required…

Freewing F9F Panther 64mm EDF

Flying a Navy EDF Fighter Jet. Synopsis: It is a normal progression at some stage if you are still into this hobby, to begin exploring EDF Jets. So we began our journey to look for a reasonably priced EDF, at least 64mm, moderate speed 60 mph that uses our existing 2200 mAh 3S LiPo we use for our FPV Planes and Quadcopters 350. The F9F Panther met the perfect fit for just under $85 shipped or you can locally pick it up for $70.

Specification
•Wingspan: 27 in (685 mm)
•Length:730 mm (28.7 in)
•Flying Weight: 1.2 lb (552 g)
•EPO foam construction
•64mm EDF
•Motor System: 4300KV outrunner brushless motor
•Speed Control: 30A ESC
•Servo: 9g micro servo (3pcs)
•One 3S 11.1V 1500mAh-2200mAh LiPo at least 20C

Features
•Quick assembly PNP
•Designed landing plates

Parkzone Ultra Micro P-51D Mustang AS3X BNF

The Parkzone Ultra Micro P-51D is based on a Realistic 334th Fighter Squadron trim scheme with 4-bladed prop running off a 8.5mm brushed motor. It uses a DSM2/DSMX receiver with Artificial Stabilization 3 aXis (AS3X, giving you smooth flight performance and yet full control authority over your plane.

Specification
Wingspan: 16.2 in.
Overall Length: 14.1 in
Flying Weight: 1.5 oz (43 g)
CG: 1.38 in (35mm) behind the leading edge at wing root
Recommended Battery: 3.7Votes 1S 150-180 milliampere hour LiPo

Feature: The AS3X turns on when throttle is raised and handles turbulence, moderate winds well, allowing you to perform aerobatics comfortably…