Category: Long Range

E-Wings experience

For almost a year I’ve had a chance to fly FPV wings designed and made by Ewan Harwood from E-Wings – Scotland based pilot who decided to make his own aircrafts and sell them to masses.
I have built and flew every single wing Ewan has designed and also I helped him with beta testing. In this article I will put my thoughts on each of the wing to shed some light on their flying properties and so on. Let’s get started!

Vortigaunt (Vorti)


This was my first E-Wings creation purchased as an upgrade from AR Wing which reached it’s limit of crash resistance ha ha (see my previous post for details).
It is 1200mm big bird with generous fuselage holding compartments  for components and large battery, both of which are super spacious giving lots of options during the build.

My Vorti setup:

Turnigy SK3 3536 1400kv with 8×6 Graupner prop
60A YEP ESC
Matek F405 Wing
M8N GPS
Crossfire Nano RX
RunCam Eagle
GoPro Session/ Hero 7
Multistar 5200mah 4S

How does it fly? If I could use one description it would be “flying bus”. It is a large wing and gives very stable flying performance. Wind does very little to the overall stability so it’s perfect wing for unpredictable flying conditions.
I flew Vorti in 30mph gusts and I noticed that I was being pushed off the course but there was no additional shakes etc often visible on smaller wings during windy weather.
Due to it’s size and lack my neat wing building skills it turned out on a heavy side. 5200mah 4S packs gives me rather modest flight times of around 10-15 minutes but it’s by no means a slow cruise. Vorti can do around 160km/h easy but large motor consumes amps easily because it’s not a light aircraft. Mine including battery weights around 1.6kg.

Who is Vorti best for?
Vorti is without a doubt best suitable for more experienced pilots who like to have very stable aircraft that can go fast.

Below few flight videos from Vorti:



 

Firefly


This is a different style of wing to Vorti. It has 1000mm wing span (same as Mini Drak) but battery bay is big enough to accommodate Multistar/Turnigy 5200mah 4S LiPo which is great bonus.
It is a very versatile wing suitable for general flying as well as long range adventures.

My Firefly setup:
SunnySky 2216 1400kv with 8×6
YEP 40A ESC
Matek F405 Wing
Crossfire Nano RX
Partom 1.2Ghz / TBS Unify VTX (I switched between the two)
RunCam Eagle 2
Turnigy TGY9018 Servos
Multistar 4S 5200mah

How does it fly? Firefly flying performance depends on the motor choice but the one I chosen for this wing gave me very fast performance while maintaining good efficiency throughout. I clocked 165km/h with this wing so far. Average amperage was lower than Vorti so I was getting slightly better flight times on the same battery (5200mah 4S), purely because Firefly is simply smaller.
Firefly is very stable in the air – very similar to Mini Drak although it is not as agile as MD because of a different wing style.

Who’s Firefly best for?
Firefly in my opinion is a very versatile wing, suitable for beginners as well as advanced pilots.

Below few flight videos from Firefly:


Vortini

Here comes the recent addition to the E-Wings family -> Vortini. It’s Vorti little brother or child if you wish 🙂 Scaled down version of the mighty Vorti. Ewan asked me if I could do some test flying / beta testing this little bird so I was actually flying Vortini No. 00001 weeks before it was actually released! Lucky guy am I? 🙂
Anyways, Vortini is approximately 690mm small wing that can be build to meet 250g weight restriction (proven by GizFPV).

It has pretty generous battery bay but components compartment i rather small so bet suited for tiny bits like Matek F411. Please bear in mind that I didn’t get the final revision of Vortini, so my flying experience is purely based on the prototype kit I was flying.

My Vortini was not built with weight saving in mind so I ended up with rather heavy aircraft. I have started this build to be run on 2S and F20 T-MOtor with 4″ prop but it didnt even lift so after testing 3-4 different motors and props I settled with 3S batteries and F80 motor + 7″ prop. That gave me plenty of speed (120km/h tops) and pretty good efficiency (cruising at 4A and 50-60km/h). My aircraft has RunCam Split 2S fitted at the front as a second camera just for HD so I am still able to get HD footage of decent quality.

My Vortini setup:
T-Motor F80 1900kv + APC 7×5
LittleBee 35A Blheli_32
Matek F411 Wing
Crossfire Nano RX
TBS Unify Pro SE
Emax ES9051 4.1g Digital Servo
RunCam Phoenix „Oscar Liang” FPV camera
RunCam Split 2S HD Camera
3S 1550-2200mah

How does it fly? Vortini has the smallest wingspan out of all wings I talked about and as a result it doesn’t fly as stable as the bigger siblings but….with really calm weather it is possible to get this bird on rails. Overall I find Vortini stability in the air to be even better than popular AR Wing which is 900mm!
It doesn’t take much effort at all to launch it which is huge bonus. You can fly that thing for a long distance as well as do close proximity fast flying.
One note worth mentioning – Centre of Gravity (COG) location has big impact on performance. It should be around 1-1.5cm from the wing front edge. If it’s shifted to the back Vortini will show “pitch jumping” which is super annoying.

Who’s Vortini best for?
This is easy question – for pretty much everyone. It’s great for long range pilots as well as occasional close proximity wing fliers. Depending on the setup it can be super lightweight as well as more powerful with big prop – all depends.

Below few flight videos from Vortini:





Summary

I wrote about Ewan’s wings in the same order I got the build. Vortini is one of it’s kind with fantastic stability. Firefly can be easily treated as Mini Drak alternative for those who need cheaper wing but offering similar performance. Vortini, as the smallest here offers a lot in a small form. In my opinion E-Wings aircrafts offer wide variety of flight performance and everyone can find one that would suit the most.

(I can tell you a secret: my favourite one is Vortini 🙂 ) 

Miniquad guy flies FPV Wings

Miniquad guy flies FPV Wings

I thought about this article for a long time now. My idea was to tell the story, explain the reasons for choosing to fly FPV Wings and to describe the process of switching. Hopefully my journey will shed some light for those who want to start flying FPV on an aircraft that has (usually) just one motor 🙂

Why on earth one would want to fly wings?

My reason for wings was simple – I was never into flying quad between flags and gates. Partially because of lack of time for constant practice sessions, also it become very boring to me over time. I even stopped watching racing clips on social media etc. Boring boring boring.

What I wanted to do was to fly in its purest form which is – straight forward 🙂 Flying mini quads is kind of pushing the pilot to change flight direction all the time, to do lots of YAW movement, to flip, to roll, to go through gaps, to the point where it becomes more of a „jumping in the air” contest or „trick show”.

Flying just for sake of flying is actually very enjoyable and relaxing. It’s pure chill, also I could fly for longer distance and just enjoy the views.

Before I decided I wanted flying wing I looked at the last strong argument – drones are not always positively recognised in places where we normally fly. Fixed wing aircrafts on the other hand make people more curious and less angry. Old school RC flying was all about planes and not multi rotors, drones, whatever you call it.

I decided to go for it and I built my first wing.

My First wing choice

There is many wings to choose from. I wanted to utilise mini quad parts I already had and was looking for something to buy in UK shop upfront. I’ve chosen AR Wing sold by HobbyRC. Aircraft cost was around £50 with postage. Plan was to use the following parts:

  • ZMX 2207 2140kv motor with 6×4 prop
  • Aikon 30A BlheliS ESC
  • Matek F405 FC
  • TBS Unify HV
  • TBS Crossfire
  • GPS
  • RunCam Swift V2
  • 2 x MetalGear 9g Servos
  • 1300/1500mah 4S lipos used in mini quads

AR Wing has lots of space inside for electronics. Also I was able to push ESC, 5V Servo BEC inside bay in front of the motor. It didn’t look pretty (see photos) but worked. I was able to fit 2 x 1300mah 4S lipos in parallel too.

First attempts

It was almost year ago in November 2017 and we were heading with kids to Scottish highlands for the weekend. My wing was ready and I decided to take it with me for a maiden in epic location.

During my first launch what the wing did was just going own hitting the ground with the nose. Each throw was unsuccessful. The more I was throwing the more damaged it caused to the front section. Decided to put the wing down and fly quads instead. Later on I checked that prop was put incorrectly on the motor.

As a result there was no push and wing didnt fly because it couldn’t fly without any thrust 🙂 Lesson learned the hard way. Back to the bench for repairs.

Next try was month later after our local FPV race. My each throw was cracking the aircraft frame, also I nearly lost both wingless as a result of that. This time I’ve asked someone to throw the wing for me because I still couldn’t do it.

Wing launched and I flew! It flew for about 20-30 seconds before someone turned on his quad and instead of being my wing I saw his FPV feed in my goggles 🙂

Maiden footage:

My next try was during quick lunch session. I launched it myself. I was in LOS for a moment when my phone rang and I got distracted. Lost control and went straight into ground. Wing cracked almost in half and I destroyed the front HD camera attachment.

Back in business

After that unfortunate flight I have glued the wing back and left it for months only to come back to action during summer 2018 during my holidays in Poland.

I gave it a try again. There are some nice open fields 50km east of Kraków where we’ve got a house.  Weather was nice and I tried to launch it again and again till I got it right. What was crucial was COG (Centre Of Gravity). I have set it correctly by putting the small stones to the front of the wing 🙂 It worked!

Footage:

 

Wing flew very smooth. I tried ANGLE mode first but then ACRO (with gyro) and that’s how I fly it now.

Few days later my mate managed to record our 6am chase video with his quad: Wing chase

During visit to my parents house I flew my wing there too. Even got it stack on the tree 🙂

Those successful summer flights got me thinking that wing was a good choice. It suits my flying style, it gives me a lot of fun and satisfaction from flight.

I’ve made a small cut at the bottom of my AR to allow for better grip when launching. I still don’t know how to launch a wing by holding the actual wing as weird it may seems. I only toss it by holding the bottom of fuselage.

 

I watched a lot of YouTube footage from folks flying bigger wings. What appealed to me was that bigger wing meant more stable flight, even in windy conditions.

My AR was perfect on a calm day:

With the strong wind my flight was like this one:

 

That was enough reason to build another one 🙂

Second wing

One would say: „With bigger wing comes bigger responsibility” and that’s the truth 🙂 Those are a different pair of shoes. Also I couldn’t use my mini quad parts there any more which brought some challenges because of my lack of knowledge of parts that were not in mini quad world 🙂

After speaking to Greg on FPV Scotland he suggested checking new wing from E-Wings (local Scottish manufacturer) called Vortigaunt. At first I couldn’t even spell it’s name and quickly started referring to this wing as Vorti.

I’ve ordered a kit incuding everything required to build it and also got the laminate to make it nice. Ewan – Ewings owner is a very helpful and nice chap. Him and Greg talked me over the parts needed for this project and the final part list looked like that:

  • Vorti wing
  • Turnigy SK3 3536 1450kv motor
  • Graupner 8×5 prop
  • YEP 60A ESC
  • Matek F450 wing FC
  • Turnigy MG 12g servos
  • RunCam Eagle 2
  • TBS Crossfire
  • 1.3Ghz for video (Partom from BG)
  • Multistar 5200mah 4S battery

I entered totally unknown territory when it comes to parts, also this wing required assembling which was totally new to me. AR wing didnt required that much of work.

Also I used 1.3Ghz for video here so needed to make a ground station with 5.8Ghz repeater to my goggles:

 

It took my over a week, working on Vorti in the evenings when kids were in beds 🙂 I watched Gregs video about assembling Vorti. He has made the whole series: E-Wings UK Vortigaunt FPV Build Series | Part 1 | Fuselage & Wings

Vorti was laminated, glued, and made nice. I’ve gotten few 3D prints with the lipo tray and camera „nose”. It was a long process required a lot of DIY.

What I liked about this wing was the separate bays for FC/ESC etc and the lipo bay. Vorti offers tons of space for building – another advantage of bigger wings.

TOP TIP: for laminating you can just use your house iron set to lower temperature.

First big wing flight

Maiden day came through. Conditions were nice, all systems working in place, servos passed „high five” and I was mentally ready to launch that thing of beauty into the sky.

And I did. At least I tried, because what happened was this:

The core of the failure was that I set throws too much .They were wayyy too much and even my slightest stick movement was causing wing to be very unstable – impossible to fly properly. Vorti was smashed during landing upside down and one wing was slightly detached.

I’ve done necessary repairs and was ready for second try a week after. This time I have adjusted servo throws, added expo and reduced servo rates. All seemed to work on the bench. During second flight it launched properly but I have had an impression that motor wasn’t producing enough trust at all (compared to my AR Wing). I launched it regardless and after 20-30 meters it didnt have power for more lift and smashed the ground hard.

Damaged was eyesore:

After conversation with Ewan (Vorti designer) we came to conclusion that lack fo trust was the biggest failure here and that was caused by the ESC default setting which is „HELI” setting allowing for different throttle curve, called „slow start”. At the moment I am in the process of repairing Vorti and once thats done will have third take and I am expecting nothing but good from that wing 🙂

THIS ARTILE WILL BE UPDATED AS THE STORY CONTINUES 🙂

Brother Hobby SpeedShield 2207.5 1750kv motor review

BrotherHobby Speed Shield 2207.5 1750kv motors review

SpeedSheld is BrotherHobby new series of 2207.5 motors and I’ve had an opportunity to test the 1750kv version.

They can be purchased from GetFPV or local suppliers depending on availability.

Testing motor samples were supplied by Brother Hobby.

Specs

Speed Shield motors have one size – 2207.5 but they have quite few available KV options:

  • 1750
  • 2108
  • 2400
  • 2700
  • 3400

As you can see some of the KV options are a bit „extreme” 🙂 I have chosen 1750v „low KV” to test because I feel there is a hole in the market for that speck of motors, predominantly made for 6”or 7” cruisers but also for high voltage racers with 5” props. Unfortunately I don’t have such racing setup and I only checked the long range cruise option with those motors.

Speed Shield come with titanium alloy hollow shaft, Japanese NMB 9x4x4mm bearing, 7075 aluminium bell, N52H arc magnets, support 4-6S voltage and weight around 32g out of the box (around 29g with shorter wires).

At closer look

Motors are packed in the plain and simple box as any other BH motors I’ve seen.

From the first look they feel like a premium product. Finish and material quality is very good. They come with around 16cm of 20AWG wires. When spun by hand they are very smooth. The magent resistance is not as strong as previous returner R3 series though. Bearings are smooth and quiet. Shaft is held by a screw as opposed to C-clip still commonly used in motors.

What’s interesting with those motors is that the bell design is very different to any of the previous motors done by Brother Hobby – they are made to look like Captain’s America shield. Even colours are the same. Big plus for all the Marvel fans out there 🙂

Motor Testing and flight performance

I was extensively testing Speed Shields on my 7” cruiser:

  • TBS Source One 7”
  • KISS FC V1
  • KISS 32A ESC
  • TBS FPVision
  • TBS GPS
  • TBS Crossfire
  • GoPro Session
  • various 4S and 5S lipos
  • Gemfan 7042 props (my personal favourites for 7”)

Prior to testing this motor I’ve had R3 2206 1720kv installed on this particular machine.

So what was the flight performance of this motor? What can I say – I really like it. It was smooth from the first second. No visible oscillations in FPV feed and GoPro footage was clear! That was really good bearing in mind that it was 7” quad and they are really hard to tune and to get satisfactory footage.

1750kv is a little bit higher KV for 7” meaning that it can make quad flying fast but at the cost of higher amperage. That was a case here. I was cruising at around 70-80km/h using around 13-15 amps on 4S. With 5S amps draped by around 3 and this is actually my recommended voltage but it didn’t feel slow with 4S either.

My quad felt very responsive and the overall flying experience was very pleasant. 7” machine is all about having good cruise without any of that freestyle nonsense moves and in my opinion SpeedShields can be used for that purpose without any issue.

Flying footage

My two flying videos:

 

Conclusion

Time to gather positives and things to improve about Speed Shields

Good things about Speed Shield motor:

  • good build and materials quality
  • reasonable price
  • they are smooth!
  • good performance on 7” with 1750kv
  • interesting bell design with the Captains America shield
  • no C-clip

Things to improve:

  • can we get Iron Man bell design please? : )

BrotherHobby yet again came out with an interesting motor for mini quads. Good build quality with reasonable price plus smooth flying performance – that’s exactly what one would expect from a good motor.

Testing TBS SourceOne 7″ (Trappy’s quad)

In May 2018 TeamBlackSheep announced an „open source frame” called Source One.
Raphael „Trappy” Pirker offered sending his own Source One 7” version across for testing purposes and in this article I will take you through testing and share my thoughts about it.

Open Source Project

Source One files are available via GitHub

It is very unusual project in FPV world where frame design is basically shared to the people to make it better. At the same time frame at the current revision is being sold under the TBS brand for very cheap  – around £25 in UK – same price as the chinese’s no-name or cloned frames!
Very different approach to the frame design compared to anything else currently on the market currently.
My colleague and fellow blogger Philipp Seidel is the guy who manage this project.

Source One 7” RTF

Source One quad I was testing had the following specs:

Frame: Source One with 7” (6mm thick) arms

Motors: TBS Endurance

ESC: Flycolor 30A 2-4S blheli-s dshot

Flight Controller: TBS Colibri Race

Video Transmitter: TBS FPVision with TBS Triumphs

RX: TBS Crossfire Nano with Immortal-T antenna

FPV Camera: TBS ZeroZero (replaced by me with RunCam Swift V2)

Quad came completely ready to fly, so I had to bind my radio with crossfire nano and it was all ready to go. Trappy mentioned during TBS couch episode that he crashed this quad from rather high altitude and I saw the marks on arms ends  🙂 FPV camera wasn’t working properly so I replaced it before my first flight. I can only assume it stopped working after the crash.

Lipo on this particular machine is meant to be attached at the bottom. S1 came with Ethix lipo strap and battery landing protector taken from Oblivion – clever solution. There are also foam pads isolating battery from the frame.

Immortal-T antenna was attached to the underside of the arms by 3D print. Video pigtail antenna was also attached to the frame by 3D print and zip ties. Very neat and functional .

Source One with 4S 2200mah lipo attached weights 664g.  Around 750g with GoPro Session 5 and 3D printed GoPro mount.

Frame quality

I can’t say a bad word about carbon fibre quality in this frame. Top plate is 2mm thick, bottom plate 3mm and arms have impressive 6mm thickness. Plates looks very solid and I haven’t seen any imperfections in carbon fibre or anything that would indicate cheap quality or cutting corners.

Frame is very very stiff thanks to thick arms

Testing

Before flying Source One I’ve added a GoPro mount and TBS GPS puck. I had to make the BST splitter harness.

Also, in addition I’ve added the 25V 470uf caps to all ESCs. It was fitted just in case to remove unwanted electric noise.

Flycolor ESCs dictated lipo voltage I could use and it was 4S maximum. Normally I fly 5S on my 7” Reverb but I gave it a go.

Test lipos:

  • Turnigy Graphene 1500mah 4S and
  • Turnigy (blue, cheap) 2200mah 4S

Firmware: Butterflight 3.5.1 / Betaflight 3.3

Test props:

  • HQ 7×3.5×3
  • HQ 7×4.5
  • Gemfan Flash 7042

In my tests Betaflight performed better actually. Strangely enough quad experienced much less oscillations. Don’t ask me how 🙂 I have flown in both cases with all filters on and PT1 enabled. ButterFlight had fast-kalman turned on.

With HQ 7×3.5×3 quad was shaking pretty bad. There was no jello in the footage, just shakes. PID tuning, filters had no impact on that.

After putting HQ 7×4.5 on I have immediately noticed that shakes were gone and I had a silky smooth footage on that one.

Gemfan 7042 gave me a little bit of visible oscillations (in FPV cam and GOPro footage) but it wasn’t too bad overall.

HQ 7×4.5 (strangely) won this test. On this prop quad was flying „sharp” if you know what I mean. I enjoyed it.

As for flight times. I had 11 minutes from 2200mah pack when pulling 8-10amps and with cruise speed of around 50km/h

I managed to fly 7-8 minutes on 1500mah 4S  pulling the same amount of amps.

Those were very satisfying flight times. Looks to me that it is possible to have 15-20minutes flight time with 3000 or 4000mah lipo. I haven’t got one that big yet, so can’t prove it though.

Flying experience with this machine depends greatly on props used but overall, compared to my other 7” rig I was very satisfied with it. Endurance motors are not super powerful but this is not actually needed in the machine that is made for a mellow cruise and not floppy floppy ripping 🙂

Oscillations are common on 7” builds but the right prop / motor combination can make it to work. Oddly enough I had nothing but just bad experience with HQ 7×3.5×3 on this quad. Maybe there is a weird resonance between frame and that prop on Endurance motors causing it? I don’t know – it simply didn’t work for me.

Flight video will be posted as soon as I get some nice material to share.

Conclusion

I would like to say big thanks to Trappy for sending his quad across to Scotland for testing. This allowed me for first hand experience available before frame even hit the shops.

Overall I was happy with how it flies and there will be more flights (and videos) published here as the summer goes on.
It is great to have a frame at this price point and with such good quality. It may not be to everyones taste when it comes to look but design DXF file is available to download so literally everyone can make it to desired look. Sky is the limit 🙂

To the Source (Infinity) and beyond! / Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story

Getting smooth footage on 7″ quad

I’ve built my first 7” mini quad few months ago. First flights were pretty rough when it comes to performance and fight times. Ever since I built it I tested numerous motors, props and battery combinations and finally found the good solution that gave me smooth footage. One of my colleagues – Kamil Bujniewicz (kbfpv – well known smooth freestyle pilot and absolute genius when it comes to PID tuning) commented my recent video recorded on 7incher „awesome and smooth as far as 7” prop can go goes”. His words mean business 🙂

In this write up I will explain the steps that I took to achieve the satisfying footage smoothness from 7” machine.

My initial 7” setup

InIn  the past I was flying 6” Alien frame with 7” arms. It was just my modified favourite 6incher I used for about 2 years.

This machine was my first 7” experience. I’ve put TBS FPVision with Colibri FC on it + Crossfire micro RX. Motors of choice were ZMX X40 2608 1500kv prototypes I had around for testing.
Prop of choice was HQ 7×4.5 and HQ 7×4 because these two were the only ones available back then. First few test flights was pretty much bumpy ride and it didnt go well.

In the meantime my quad configuration changed few times. Nothing proved to work properly to be honest. There was always some oscillations but also weird yaw twitches I was getting.

I was never happy about how it flew, it seemed like a constant work in progress.

My current setup

After changing pretty much all bits apart from FPVision+Colibri+Crossfire I ended up with this:

  • Frame: ImpulseRC Reverb + 7” arms
  • Motors: ZMX X40 2608 1500kv
  • ESC: Spedix 35A blheli32 2-6S
  • FC: TBS Colibri Race v2 (hard mounted)
  • VTX: TBS FPVision
  • RX: TBS Crossfire
  • FPV Camera: RunCam Swift V2
  • Lipo: 5S between 1500 to 3000mah
  • Prop: Gemfan 7042 (for now)

Let me take you through the choice of components.

FRAME

I have chosen Reverb because it was a little bit lighter than Alien but also it is very robust and stiff construction. Flex is kept to absolute minimum. Reverb has definitely lower profile than Alien but still plenty space inside and easy for upgrades. I have been using ImpulseRC frames for years and I am huge fan of their design work work.

MOTORS

I was lucky enough to be able to test X40 motors ever since they appeared on the market. Huge beasts @ 40g per motor. They are massive compared to typical 2207 motor. 26mm diameter and 8mm stator hight means business. Those motors deliver a lot of power even at low throttle. I  also used some 2206 1400kv motors (TBS Endurance and BrotherHobby ones)  for comparison but they were lacking power on my, rather heavy quad. This was not a case with X40s. I can’t back up my choice by any science but they just felt right on my quad and lack of power was the least of my concerns here.

ESCs

Let’s face it, most current ESC on the market are very similar. I went with well priced Spedix. 35Amps seemed all right. Blheli32 is also very smooth, so my choice was simple. Good performers ? Hell yes. No need for a change.

FC

Colibri wasn’t actually my choice but it came bundled with TBS FPVision. It is TBS own FC running F3. It integrates very well with power cube/FPVision, so I couldn’t choose anything else really. Solid performer despite F3 processor (old tech? nah…).

VTX

As a long term TBS Unify user I didnt change that. FPVision has Unify under the hood with add on of TBS integrated OSD etc. Great piece of kit. Current sensor comes calibrated out fo the box (yeah!) and it also allows for connecting external GPS to get flight info in OSD. Its my favourite piece of kit recently. Worth every penny.

RX

This machine was meant to fly far so I could either choose FrSky R9 or Crossfire. I personally prefer Crossfire because its trusted and simply more reliable system. Choice was simple. Crossfire win here for me.

FPV Camera

Camera doesn’t help with smooth footage but helps with how you see where you fly. I always used Runcams and Swift V2 is my choice and has been for a long time.

Lipo

After using 4S and 5S on the same setup I came to a conclusion that 5S handles heavier quad better. I am getting around 8 minutes on 5S 1500mah and 13-15 on 3000mah. All depends of course how I fly. Those times are for fast cruise @ around 60-70km/h and around 10A current.

Props

I have tried new Gemfans Flash 7042 after recommendation and looked no further. Those are twin blades (easier to carry), super quiet, almost like a stealth mode when flying around and give best footage. I may try different props and probably will, but for now gemfans blown me away. Can you imaging I am still on their first set and been for over 3-4 months now ? 🙂 I have never ever balanced those props. They even have few chips on them!

Tricks for smooth footage?

There is few things that made my quad flying smooth and improved the footage.

1./ ND filter

It’s not a secret that ND filter helps with jello on the flight cameras. It simply worked in my case too. I get very little jello in the footage. Because of my 3D printed GoPro mount I could only use stick on filter and I ordered few ND4 and ND8 from GetFPV. I use ND8 at the moment.

2./ Hard mount FC

It is hard to believe but that made the biggest difference actually. I can’t back it up with anything other than my flying experience, so don’t expect me to explain you why it made an improvement on my machine. I honestly don’t know. I’ve replaced soft mounts under the FPV vision with just nylon standoffs. No more weird yaw twitches and usual oscillations. All gone. 

3./ ButterFlight

ButterFlight is known for a smooth performance it gives. I tried it as well and it made huge difference to my quad too. Pretty much stock PIDs, all filters OFF and adjusted rates. I have set 8K/4K and Q at 1400. That’s all. The feel is different compared to BetaFlight – pleasure to cruise.

4./ 48Khz PWM frequency

This setting made a difference in flying. In blheli32 suite I’ve changed it from 24Khz. Much smoother performance.

5./ Smooth fingers 🙂

That helps too. If you’re notoric jumpy racer or someone who change flight direction every half second you would never get a smooth lines. Patience is a key here. Don’t over compensate the quad, let it go, be gentle and just feel the flow. It helps. Maybe I am talking bullshit here, who knows. It works for me 🙂

Result?

When higher throttle is applied (above 50-60%) my quad still gets some oscillations. I set TPU at 0.4 but oscillations are still there. It doesn’t actually affects me that much because during my cruising I never go above 50% throttle to save some battery juice. Low end throttle on 7″ has plenty of speed too.

Jello is no more. I have tested my setup in cloudy and sunny conditions. Jell is not present there!

Also no more yaw twitch and any of the shakes I had in the past on 7″ props. Now it’s time to conquer some hills in Scottish Highlands this summer!

Video from the cloudy day: 

Video from sunny day:

Hill dive: 

 

UPDATE Summer 2018Since the article was originally written I don’t actually own this particular 7″ Reverb any more.
I’ve had to downsize my quad fleet since I move onto wings recently.
I still have 7″ Cruiser but it’s is TBS Source Once with the following specs:
– BrotherHobby SpeedShield 2207.5 1750kv
– KISS FC V1
– KISS 32A ESC
– TBS FPVision
– TBS Crossfire

This machine flies even better smoother than my old Reverb.