Eachine Micro Skyhunter 780mm 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.  ■ by Leo @dronemission.com

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.

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.

eachine-micro-skyhunter-unbox.jpgMotor 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

In terms of ranking, I would say it is in the top 3 favorites during this release recorded Dec 2016.  An update to follow.   (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

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Editorial from the DroneMission.com Review News PR Team

Reptile S800 FPV Flying Wing 3-Axis Sky Shadow 820mm

Reptile S800 is the latest Flying Wing entry into the world of FPV racing and at an affordable  price.  Looking like the recent release of BLADE FPV Manta, flat on the nose block, FPV ready. A 3-axis gyro for stable flight and a 700TVL Camera is included for the PNP version. The PNP is almost a kit, requires complete assembly ■ by dronemission.com

s800.jpg

Market Segment
Keen Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves,   Budget $ (PRICE CHECK: $109 PNP & $59 Kit ■ Dec 2016 at Arthur’s Pick at Banggood)

Design  the material used is light-weight Expanded Polypropylene (EPP), a durable flexible foam. It is impact resistance, and strong enough to take a direct impact against a tree or slamming onto concrete.  Why EPP, for some racing pilots a key component to racing wings (see experiences).

reptile-S800_1.png

Competitor / Similar Models

Users have considered these 2016 alternatives: Blade FPV Manta, Blade Theory

Camera

The camera is a sharp 700 TVL camera with low latency

Factory Specifications
EPP foam construction, durable and lightweight
3-Axis flight control ensures a more stable flight
200mw image transmission enables real-time image transmission
700TVL camera gives you a clear fun FPV

Package Included:
2 x Wings
1 x Fuselage
2 x Small Wing Tips
1 x Nose Block
1 x Main Hatch Cover
2 x Emax ES08A Servos
1 x 3-Axis Flight Control
1 x Flight Control Circuit Board Base
1 x Sunnysky2205 Motor 2300KV
2 x 6045 Propellers
1 x 700TVL Camera
1 x 200mW AV Transmitter
1 x 20A ESC
1 x Sticker
1 x User Manual

7dcb2683-133c-46a7-a999-af77c49db39e

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From the DroneMission.com Desk Industry and competitive analysis (ICA)

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.

xk-a600-side.jpg

Similar Models

Users have considered these 2016 alternatives: XK A1200, E-Flite Ultra Micro Carbon Cub

Factory Specifications
Model: A600
Material: EPS
Motor: High performance 1404 brushless motor
Flying Time: Approx 10min
Battery: 7.4V 300mAh 25C Li-Po
Charging Time: 30-60min
Control Distance: 80 – 100 meters
Rotor Diamater: 25cm
Length: 23.3cm
Height: 7.7cm
Flying Weight: 90g
Futaba® Radio Control Systems

1: Aileron
2: Elevator
3: Throttle
4: Rudder
5: Gear
6: Flap
7: Aux 1

xk-a600-unbox2.jpg

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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).

From the DroneMission.com Desk Industry and competitive analysis (ICA)

Eleven Hobby F8F Bearcat 1100mm

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.       ■ by dronemission.com

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 stabiliser 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.

bearcat-f8f-box

User Segment
Intermediate, Bind N Fly, Collectors, Budget $189 (source: August 2016 Banggood)

What to expect
If you hear your servo making a noice, just reduce your servo pin.

  • LiPo: 427 g tail heavy
  • Addon Weight: 42 g
  • Add AA battery: 24g
  • Total: 493 g

Similar Models

Users have considered these 2016 alternatives: Eleven Hobby T-28, Eleven Hobby P-51D, FMS Zero Fighter

eleven-bearcat-set

Factory Specifications
Brand Name: Eleven Hobby
Item Name: F8F Bearcat
Wingspan: 1100mm (43.3in)
Overall Length: 882mm (34.7 in)
Flying Weight: 1330g
Motor Size: 3536-KV850
ESC: 40A
Servo: 9g Servo x 6
Requires Radio:6 Channel
CG (center of gravity): 90-95mm (From Leading Edge)
Prop Size: 10*7.5
Recommended Battery: 11.1V 2200mAh 25C
Aileron: Yes
Elevator: Yes
Rudder: Yes
Flaps: Yes
Retracts: Yes
Approx. Flying Duration: 5-8 minutes
Minimum Age Recommendation: 14+
Experience Level: Intermediate
Assembly Time: 5 minutes
Wing Load: 54.3 g/dm² (0.12 oz/in²)
Wing Area: 24.5 dm² (379.7 sq.in)

Flaps

  • Choice of assigning flaps to a switch or knob.  Using a knob allows us to manage the flaps.

Checklists

  • Add failsafe to kill throttle or idle at 10%
  • Add a safety switch
  • Set timer to a conservative 4 minutes for initial runs
  • Add a little locktight to the propeller head.
  • Tape up hinges if you like, but this is well cut

DeviationTX fans

  • Flaps Tip: We assigned it to Aux 4, the left knob.
  • Slow down the flaps.  Go to Mixer page -> channel properties (eg CH6) -> ‘Speed’ = Adjust maximum servo speed. Zero is disabled (fastest), 1 is slowest, 100 is fastest rate.  We set it to 2.

What is essential we hope to see in the next version

  • TBD

eleven-f8f-manual-4.jpg

eleven-f8f-manual-5.jpg

eleven-bearcat-f8f-prop.jpg

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Volantex Ranger 757-4 Review

Synopsis Ranger 757-4

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.

ranger-00001.MTS.Still001

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.

I would say that for the most part, all the things looks good, and well-built. The decals look fantastic. I have a few minor concerns that I would like to take a further look at, but i think it is well designed. I will reserve my judgment on anything that I think might be an issue until I get the chance to take it in the air for a few test flights.

ranger-757-4-Still020

The inside of this plane is enormous, a warehouse fuselage to store all your fpv gadgets. There should be no complaint of a lack of space. As I began to inspect the plane, i did noticed that there is no way to attach or hold the high wings down. After a few days of research, I realized that a bracket is missing to bolt the wings. My favorite dealer was quick to promised to get me a bracket, but in the mean time i will have to build it out of a popsicle stick and re-enforce with velcro on the front and sides. The only other thing to adjust is the tail wheel which was not perfectly align straight for take-off, other than that, those wheels are very strong.

Factory Specifications

  • Brand Name: Volantex
  • Item Name: Ranger 757-4 Airplane
  • Wingspan: 1380mm
  • Flying Weight(without battery): 800g
  • Motor Size: 2812/1400KV powerful out runner brushless motor
  • ESC: 30A brushless ESC
  • Servo 9-gram Servo * 4pcs included
  • Recommended Battery: 11.1V 1800mAh Li-Po
  • Charger: Not included
  • Flaps: Yes
  • Retracts: No
  • Recommended Radio: 2.4Ghz 6-Channels
  • Experience Level: Beginners ~ Expert
  • Recommended Environment: Outdoor
  • Assembly Time: Less than half hour
  • Is Assembly Required: Yes
  • Requires: PNP requires Radio System, Battery and Charger

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Conclusion

To conclude, the Volantax Ranger 757-4 is well-engineered, there are some minor quality concerns. Love the color scheme and the decals are professionally designed. It is simple to assemble and flew very well without any modifications. Take-offs will need some space, and landings are easy. We do recommend the Ranger 757-4 for anyone who is looking for a perfect trunk size FPV plane.

In terms of ranking, I would say it is in the lower half of what’s new in the market April 2016, unfavorable flying characteristics out of the box. (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

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Contribution by the DroneMission.com R&D Team, a member of the Linux Foundation dronecode.org and executive member of Walkera USA