FPV Flight Trainer - AXN Clouds Fly / Floater Jet
08/05/2012: I bought this AXN Floater Jet from HobbyKing specifically to build a very inexpensive FPV plane. It has turned out to be perfect. Top speed is 72mph (55-60mph w/ FPV), slows nicely. It costed about $75 shipped. The only thing I added besides the FPV equipment was a RX and batteries. The FPV system is a cheap HK system as well with a CMOS camera ($50 for Camera & TX). The entire value of everything in the air is about $160! The FPV RX, Goggles and Recorder are much more expensive but they never leave the ground! FPV Tx is 900MHz @ 500mW with 3dBi antenna. All up flight weight is 1.5 lbs.
08/08/2012: I took the plane to the park and flew it on the grass soccer field first (non FPV) to see how she flies. It takes a lot harder toss now, but after the first time I had adjusted for it. The stall speed is much higher and she is prone to tip stalls now, so you have to keep your nose down on landing approach.
08/08/2012: Came back in the afternoon and did my first FPV flight (watch video at left bottom). The 5dBi Duck on the Rx is too small for the speed of this plane. My next flights will be with the 8dBi Patch. I haven't had time yet to test the system, but I suspect that the video failure caught in the recording was caused by the Surveillance
Recorder. I think it stops if the signal degradation is too great.
Unfortunately, it was inline rather than parallel to the FPV stream. No worries, she is still in one piece.
08/30/2012: I have had a few nice FPV flights now including the training flight below. Added 3 position flapperons to the Floater Jet. Launching is much easier with 70% flaps and 5% up elevator. For landing, 90% flaps with 10% down elevator and she floats right in with only minor elevator correction. With the patch antenna I am getting a 1 kilometer range. I am however getting brownouts on the Ar8000 RX at that distance, even with a satellite RX (rf interferance from the 900Mhz FPV transmitter). I will order a dual sat. RX for it, but in the meantime, I'll move the 1 sat. out on a wing further. For range greater than 2K, I'll have to make some changes that won't be cheap.