Review: FIMI Manta VTOL Long Range Aircraft – Quick Build and Maiden Flight

by Oscar
Fimi Manta Vtol Plane

I recently got my hands on the FIMI Manta VTOL Fixed-Wing RC Airplane, and I can’t wait to share my experience with you. For those familiar with the RC hobby, you probably already know that a VTOL aircraft offers the best of both worlds: the hover capabilities of a drone and the speed and efficiency of fixed-wing airplane. In this review, we’ll delve into the aircraft’s assembly and setup process, its initial flight performance, and whether this aircraft is for you.

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New to fixed wings? Here’s a list of tools which might help you with building and repairing: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-tools/#Tools-for-FPV-Fixed-Wings

What is VTOL?

VTOL stands for “Vertical Take-Off and Landing,” which refers to aircraft that have the unique ability to take off and land vertically, similar to a multirotor, while also having the capability to fly horizontally like a plane.

The FIMI Manta VTOL is equipped with three motors. During takeoff and landing, it operates much like a tricopter, leveraging all three motors. Once it’s airborne and you’re ready to switch to horizontal forward flight, the two front motors tilt forward while the tail motor stops spinning. This transition allows the aircraft to cruise like a twin-motor fixed-wing plane.

The beauty of a VTOL aircraft lies in its versatility. It can take off and land in tight spaces without requiring a runway or manual launch/catch. Moreover, its ability to transition to fixed-wing flight makes it more energy-efficient and better suited for long-range missions than traditional multirotor drones.

Where to Buy?

If you’re in the market for an affordable VTOL, the Manta is the least expensive option available, making it a cost-effective alternative to the Heewing Ranger T1 with VTOL conversion. The build quality isn’t as nice as the T1, but I think the Manta is better value and more fun to fly.

You can get the Fimi Manta VTOL from:

You have two options: PNP and PNP+FC. I opted for the PNP+FC version for a smoother build and setup process, as it comes pre-configured on the software side. This feature is particularly beneficial if, like me, you’re new to VTOLs.

The PNP version includes three motors, four servos, and three propellers. The PNP+FC version steps it up by adding an ArduPilot-based flight controller, a 3-in-1 ESC, and a GPS module. Keep in mind that with the PNP+FC version, you’ll still need to supply your own radio receiver, FPV setup, and battery to complete the build.

For ease and convenience, I’d recommend going for the PNP+FC version. I’ll walk you through how I set up mine for its maiden flight.

Specifications

  • Material: Dark EPP Foam
  • Wingspan: 700mm
  • Length: 445mm
  • Motors: 3x 2004 2700KV Brushless Motors (Note: Earlier units might feature 2800KV/3000KV motors)
  • Servos: 2x 9g Metal Gear and 2x 9g Plastic Gear
  • Propellers: 6026 Two-blade
  • ESC: 20A 3-in-1
  • Flight Controller (FC): F405 ArduPilot
  • GPS: M10
  • Compatible Battery: 3S or 4S LiPo or Li-ion (Options include 18650 3S/4S or 21700 3S)
  • Supported FPV Systems: Analog, DJI, Walksnail, HDZero
  • Supported Radio Systems: SBUS, TBS Crossfire, Tracer, ExpressLRS, and more
  • Flight Time: Up to 60 minutes with a 3S 18650 battery, according to FIMI
  • Weight: 374g 325g, excluding FPV setup, radio receiver, and battery

First Impressions

When you open the box, you’ll find that the plane comes mostly pre-assembled. All the cables are pre-soldered to the components, which saves you a significant amount of time and effort. All the essential hardware, such as wing spars, screws, and connectors, is neatly organized and packed.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Unbox Accessories Parts

Fuselage and Electronics

The electronics, a flight controller (FC) and an ESC, are mounted on a wooden plate in a stack and installed within the fuselage. This stack is friction-fitted, allowing for easy removal if needed, but you might want to consider gluing the stack in place so it doesn’t move around.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fuselage

Inside the stack, you’ll find an ArduPilot-based F405 flight controller alongside a 3-in-1 ESC.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Flight Controller Fc Esc Stack

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Flight Controller Fc Esc Stack Mount Bottom

The battery compartment dimensions, excluding the FC stack, are 120x52x45mm. This space is large enough to accommodate either a 4S 18650 2800mAh battery or a 3S 21700 Li-ion pack.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fuselage Top

Here is the side view of the fuselage.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fuselage Side

Here’s the connector that connects the wings.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fuselage Wing Connector

There’s also a GPS module hidden under a glued-on plastic cover. Two unconnected wires are tucked inside the fuselage, presumably for a compass that the GPS module does not have. I do wish the GPS had integrated compass as it’s beneficial for a VTOL but it’s not the end of the world. Anyway, it’s advisable to trim these exposed wires to prevent any electrical shorts.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Gps

The under the nose of the fuselage features a removable foam cover, giving you the flexibility to set it up with or without an FPV camera.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fuselage Front Camera Mount

The rear motor, crucial for takeoffs and landings, is positioned on the tail. You might notice the motor is canted to one side, rest assured this is normal, it’s to counteract yaw spin from the propeller rotation. However, this design choice dictates that the rear motor must rotate in a specific direction and should not be reversed.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Tail Motor

Wings

The wings can also be detached effortlessly, thanks to a snap-on design. This feature makes the FIMI Manta highly portable and convenient to transport, especially if you enjoy hiking to various flying sites.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Wing

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Wing Top

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Elevon Servo Horn Control Surface Linkage

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Wing Side

Tilt System

The tilt system’s motor and servos come pre-installed on an aluminium boom.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Tilting Mechanism Structure

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Tilting Mechanism Motor

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Tilting Mechanism Wing Connector

Assembly Process

The build was incredibly straightforward, it took me only 15 minutes. The manual included provides steps on the assembly process.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Assembly Instructions Manual Steps

Assembling the Wings

First, peel off the yellow Kapton tape on the bottom of the wings and foam cover to reveal the channel where the boom will be inserted.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Remove Tape Wing Cover

The booms—equipped with the tilt system—are labeled ‘L (Left)’ and ‘R (Right),’ making it easy to match them with the respective wings.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Identify Left Right Tilting Mechanism Connector

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Install Tilting Structure Mechanism In Wing

Once inserted, secure the boom with a spar and a small screw.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Install Carbon Rod In Wing

Gluing Quick Connector

The quick connector needs to be glued into designated recess on the wing. While the kit doesn’t include glue, I used E6000, which gave me excellent results.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Glue Connector Wing

Reattaching Channel Panel

After installing the boom, you can now reattach the channel panel. FIMI has thoughtfully pre-applied 3M double-sided foam tape for this (red strips of tape). Simply remove the red backing paper to reveal the adhesive foam pads and press the panel into place.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Install Cover Wing

Installing Servo Linkage

Attach the linkage servo horn to the servo and fasten it securely with the provided screw.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Install Control Surface Elevon Linkage Servo Horn

Final Touches

The kit includes nacelles intended to cover the tilt system. However, I found these plastic covers to be somewhat flimsy, and they even interfered with the servo linkage. I chose to remove them, as they seemed more aesthetic than functional. If you wish, you could 3D print sturdier alternatives using PLA or PETG.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Install Plastic Cover Servos

Repeat the above process for the other wing, and you’re good to go!

Attaching Wings to Fuselage

This step is as simple as aligning the spar and connector on each wing with the corresponding parts on the fuselage.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Install Wings To Fuselage

Make sure the quick release connector clip in position and it’s not loose otherwise it could pop open during flight.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Build Assembly Release Wing

Finished Build Pictures

The assembled wing weighs in at 325g, not including the battery, FPV setup, or radio receiver.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Bottom

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Close Up 1

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Front

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Size Compare Heewing T1 Ranger

Setting Up Electronics

For my setup, I used an ExpressLRS receiver (Happymodel EP1 Dual), and Walksnail Avatar VTX/Camera FPV Setup. The Manta VTOL comes with all necessary cables to connect directly to the flight controller.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fpv Setup Vtx Camera Rx Radio Receiver Solder Cables

Here’s the flight controller pinout / connection wiring diagram.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane F405 Ardupilot Flight Controller Fc Pinout Connection Diagram

Receiver and Radio Configuration

FIMI conveniently supplies cables for both serial and SBUS receivers. The flight controller comes pre-configured for the CRSF protocol, which means it’s compatible with ExpressLRS, TBS Crossfire, and TBS Tracer out of the box. If you’re using one of these, it’s essentially plug-and-play. For SBUS users, you will need to make some changes in the software, please refer to the manual for detail.

I drilled a couple of holes in the foam, next to the fuselage to secure the RX antennas.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Flight Controller Esc Fc Stack

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Install Radio Receiver Antenna Mount

My radio setup with ExpressLRS was a breeze (I’m using the Jumper T20S radio). I created a new model profile specifically for the FIMI Manta VTOL. You’ll need two switches on your radio: one 3-position and one 2-position.

  • CH5 is unused
  • CH6 for flight mode (Cruise, FWBA, QSTabilize)
  • CH7 for RTL (return to home)
  • CH8 for switching OSD profile between HD (screen 1) and Analog (screen 2). You don’t really need this if you fly HD.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Switches Mixes Flight Modes Rtl Fwba Qstabilize Cruise Osd

The other change I made was to invert CH2 (Ele) in the Outputs: Go to Outputs in Model Setup, edit CH2, and in Direction, select INV.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Output Ch2 Elevon Invert Channel

That’s all the radio setup.

FPV System

If you opt for an Digital FPV system like Walksnail, use the provided 5-pin connector. The VTX power is directly from battery (VBAT), so make sure your VTX supports your battery’s voltage, if not you may consider using a BEC (voltage regulator).

There’s no easy way to mount the video transmitter on this wing, so I 3D-printed a mount for my FPV setup, then gluing it to the nose (it’s also secured by a zip tie where you can’t see it in the picture). It’s definitely not the best solution, but it would do for now. I will try to design a better mount, more specific for this model in the future.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Fpv Setup Walksnail Vtx Camera 3d Print Mount Install

Programming the Flight Controller

ArduPilot may seem intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was to get the aircraft in the air. Most of the software programming were already done in factory, it’s almost ready to fly out of the box, there’s not much you need to configure.

Anyway, it’s a good idea to double-check the parameters, download ArduPilot Mission Planner here: https://ardupilot.org/planner/docs/mission-planner-installation.html

After connecting the flight controller to your computer via USB, you can verify if your radio link is working, and customize the OSD settings if you want.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Ardupilot Mission Planner Software

To check if the receiver is working, go to the SETUP tab, Mandatory Hardware, Radio Calibration. Here if you move your sticks and switches, you should see movements.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Ardupilot Mission Planner Radio Calibration

You can configure OSD to your liking, it’s in CONFIG, Onboard OSD. However, unlike Betaflight or iNav where you can configure HD OSD inside their configurators, Ardupilot doesn’t work well with HD FPV system, so you might need to use an online tool (https://notes.stavros.io/ardupilot/hd-osd-tool/) to configure your OSD, save the result as a file then import it into Ardupilot. For analog OSD, the Ardupilot software works just fine and no need for the online tool.

It’s a bit complicated so I just left it at default for my maiden flight which worked fine.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Ardupilot Mission Planner Onboard Osd

You can also tweak some other settings like flight modes and PID, but you don’t have to if you are unfamiliar with Ardupilot.

Battery Options

For battery, you have choices. The official recommendation is a 3S Li-ion battery, of course you can also use LiPo but Li-ion packs offer longer flight time due to their higher capacity to weight ratio. The specs also suggest the Manta VTOL supports 4S which I am currently using and it seems to work fine. I am using both 4S 1500mah LiPo and 4S 2800mah Li-ion (18650) battery and both fits perfectly, 4S 21700 might be slightly too big for the lip to close.

Get 3S or 4S Li-ion packs here: https://oscarliang.com/li-ion-battery-long-range/#Buying-Ready-Made-Li-ion-Battery-Packs

Fimi Manta Vtol 4s Lipo Li Ion 18650 Battery Compartment Bay Install

Installing Propellers and Balancing CG

Last but not least, you’ll need to install the propellers and balance CG (center of gravity). You can find the points of CG, and proper propeller rotations in this diagram.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Propller Install Rotation Spin Direction Cg Center Gravity

I found that even with the battery placed all the way back against the FC stack, the aircraft was still nose-heavy. To correct CG, I had to attach 30g of dead weight to the tail.

Fimi Manta Vtol Plane Cg Weight Rear Tail Extra Center Gravity

And there you have it! Your FIMI Manta VTOL should be ready for its maiden flight.

Maiden Flight – How to Operate FIMI Manta VTOL?

How to Arm/Disarm

Arming and disarming the FIMI Manta VTOL is done using the throttle/yaw stick, not switches.

  • To arm: throttle down and yaw right, holding for a few seconds. The motors will start spinning.
  • To disarm: throttle down and yaw left, holding for a few seconds. The motors will stop spinning.

You don’t need to wait for GPS lock to arm.

Understanding Flight Modes

The Manta offers three flight modes in the stock configuration: QStabilize, FWBA, and Cruise.

  • QStabilize: This is for takeoffs and landings. When activated, the front two motors tilt vertically, transforming the aircraft into a multirotor. When armed, all three motors will spin.
  • FWBA: This is for forward flight. The front motors tilt horizontally and the rear motor will stop spinning. Only switch to this mode when the plane is 20+ meters off the ground.
  • Cruise: Only use this mode if you’ve set waypoints; otherwise, avoid it. In this mode the plane doesn’t respond to user elevon command.

Pre-Flight Checks

Before taking off, a few checks are in order:

  1. Control Test: Do a “High Five” test in FWBA mode to ensure control surfaces are working correctly (see below picture for demonstration).
  2. Hover Test: You can perform a hover test at home by setting the aircraft to QStabilize, arming it, and hovering it like an FPV drone. It might feel a bit wobbly and not be as stable as a typical multirotor but that’s normal.
  3. GPS Lock: Before take-off, make sure the GPS has locked on, indicated by a rapidly blinking blue LED on the flight controller. If it’s not locked, the return-to-home (RTL) feature won’t work. You can still arm and fly without GPS lock.
Fixed Wing Setup Mixer Control Surface Elevon Aileron Radio Stick

Fixed Wing High Five Test

Takeoff and Switching to Forward Flight

Begin by taking off in QStabilize mode and ascend 20 meters or higher before switching to FWBA for forward flight. If you get a ‘Transition Failed’ warning on the OSD, it could be a false alarm, i normally just ignore it.

Landing

For landing, get to where you plan to land, slow down and switch back to QStabilize mode, then descend gradually.

The FIMI Manta is impressively stable in both hover and forward flight modes. You can slow down or speed up without any dramatic shifts in behavior, which is great for both beginners and advanced pilots.

Flight Performance and Characteristics

Wind Resistance

The Manta’s small form factor does make it susceptible to windy conditions. In windy condition (15+ MPH) it could be a bit wobbly. If you know how to fine tune PID you might be able to improve wind handling.

Efficiency

I am getting about 30 mins of flight time with a 4S 2800mAh Li-ion pack going at 50km/h (31MPH), it’s far from the advertised 60 minutes flight time. Using the same battery I could get over 40 mins of flight time on my T1 Ranger (without VTOL conversion). The FIMI Manta is definitely not as efficient as the the T1, but overall I am still quite happy with the flight time considering it’s a fixed wing, and it’s got the extra weight of the VTOL system.

Climbing Tendencies

I noticed that the aircraft tends to climb / pitch up at high throttle (over 50%), requiring constant manual Elevon adjustments to maintain level flight. Lowering the throttle back to around 40% helped level it out. To fix this, you could either adjust the trim, board alignment in the software or modify the front motor servo endpoints to change the down thrust angle.

GPS and Current Sensors

The Manta uses an M10 GPS module, which, surprisingly, took over 3 minutes to get a GPS lock (sometimes 5 minutes), but I do get a maximum of 14+ satellites at one point so it’s not bad. Its performance is comparable to an unoptimized BN220 and falls short of other M10 modules I’ve tested. Additionally, the current sensor measurement seemed off, reading about 30-50% lower which I think could be a calibration issue.

Potential Software Tweaks

Fimi has done a solid job with the basic software setup, but there’s room for improvement. For example, the front motors continue to spin during zero throttle glides. Enabling the ESC brake could reduce drag and enhance low-throttle performance.

Unstable Landing at Low Voltage

If you are using Li-ion battery, make sure not to land too late. When switching to QStbalize mode, as all 3 motors are spinning at a decent speed to hover, it results in a pretty bad voltage sag, and when voltage gets too low, the plane might struggle to stabilize and wobble more than it should, it could even flip over when it’s windy. It’s less of a problem with LiPo battery as they can normally supply higher current.

Conclusion

The FIMI Manta VTOL is a game-changer in the world of long range FPV VTOL aircraft. With its almost Plug-and-Play setup, integrated ArduPilot software, and solid build, it’s an appealing choice for both newcomers and experienced pilots who want to get into VTOL.

You can get the Fimi Manta VTOL from:

Pros

  • Design: The wing-style aircraft design is sleek and eye-catching.
  • Price: Priced as low as £110, it’s one of the cheapest VTOL you can get today.
  • Components: Decent quality parts and pre-installed electronics offer excellent value.
  • Build Quality: Constructed from durable black EPP foam. Overall kit quality isn’t as good as the Heewing T1 Ranger, but for the price it’s excellent value.
  • Flight Time: Impressive endurance, over 30mins with 4S 18650.
  • Software: Most factory settings are programmed out of the box, saving users’ time.

Cons

  • GPS Performance: Generally reliable, but taking a long time for the initial lock.
  • Lack of Compass: The absence of a compass in the GPS module isn’t a deal-breaker but could improve navigation.
  • Quick Connectors: They’re glued on, not screwed—making them less secure than some might prefer.
  • VTX Mounting: There’s no easy way to mount VTX, a clean setup requires a 3D-printed mount.
  • Detachable Wings: Convenient for portability but the mechanism could be made more secure. Gluing the wings to the fuselage is an option but reduces portability.
  • Flimsy Nacelle Covers: These plastic covers are subpar and can obstruct servo movement.
  • Weight Distribution: The aircraft becomes front-heavy with an FPV setup, requiring additional tail weight, which isn’t ideal for efficiency.
  • Wind resistance: A bit wobbly in windy condition.

Is the FIMI Manta VTOL for You?

If you’re interested in a hybrid multi-rotor plane, the FIMI Manta VTOL is worth your consideration. It offers stable flight, user-friendly controls, and a smooth transition between hovering and forward flight.

For those looking to dive into the world of VTOL aircraft without breaking the bank, the FIMI Manta stands out as a well-rounded choice and it’s fun to fly. Despite some minor drawbacks, its overall performance and factory programming make it a worthwhile investment.

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26 comments

Patrice Honvault 30th April 2024 - 2:58 pm

hi,
Following a crash, I had to replace the 2 front motor tilt servos. The control rods were bent. I don’t know how the motors were placed in the drone flight position. Could you confirm for me if the motors are tilted towards the rear of the model in tricopter mode? approximately what is the angle of inclination? I set the control rods to have the motors horizontal in airplane mode, but with this setting the motors are tilted backwards in tricopter mode.
Best regards,
Patrice

Reply
Mark Judice 24th April 2024 - 12:37 am

Great tutorial! Probably the best one on this aircraft. On the wiring diagram, for the VTX and Analog Camera, the wire color order doesn’t seem to match the order shown on that FC Board in the picture. The FC board markings show (left to right) Video (in/out), 5V, Gnd, but your wire color order is Black, Red, White, implying Gnd, 5V, Video (using common color coding schemes). The 5V is right no matter which. I wired mine using the provided harness which matches the board markings. So, I assume that is correct. Hopefully, this is helpful.

Reply
Oscar 24th April 2024 - 5:43 pm

The image of the FC wiring is just a translated version of the official manual, there might be errors that they’ve fixed since then. Maybe you should follow the latest wiring diagram released by FIMI, if in doubt, just use a multimeter to verify which pads are 5V and GND.

Reply
Sabino 25th April 2024 - 9:58 pm

Ciao, complimenti per la guida.
Posso farti una domanda visto che il tuo sembra essere andato bene?
Non sono un principiante,anzi,pero dopo aver connesso la ricevente sbus (uso flysky i10 con ricevente i6b uscita sbus)
e aver constatato che su mission planner e tutto ok mi ritrovo che con gli alettoni muovo un alettone ed un motore,non ho elevone neanche nell alettone buono e altri problemi del genere.
Sembrerebbe che i connettori sono stati saldati male in fabbrica o che ci sia un altro motivo.
Anche le modalita di volo non funzionano dopo il settaggio.
Secondo te e difettoso?
Io penso di si…

Reply
Harold 16th March 2024 - 9:11 pm

Hello Oscar, thank you for this review, it was awesome. I have an issue with my manta, i think i messed up the parameters and i cant find the one i saved on my computer. Is there any way you could send me your parameters?
My TBS tracer is not even talking to FC anymore. HELP!!!

Reply
Harold 24th March 2024 - 3:44 pm

ok i figured out the controller talking to the FC, now i am having the elevon issue, when i set it up the way i know how to or the way other people in you tube has it the auto level is all jacked up, it moves differently as it should. im no newbie but this issue is kicking my behind. thanks.

Reply
Ron 24th January 2024 - 6:45 pm

You’re the best man. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Reply
Bartleby000 7th December 2023 - 10:10 pm

Oscar – Your website is the best and so helpful

I have everything on my crossfire tango 2 set up as on your screen above but notice there’s no “aileron” setup in the mixer photo (only elevator/throttle/rudder are on channels 2/3/4 respectively), and indeed, I have no roll controls when I’m testing in FBWA mode. Elevator works ok, throttle works and it will arm with the left stick and the switches work fine, so I think I have the crossfire wired up properly in CRSF mode on the receiver. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Reply
bar1 23rd November 2023 - 6:00 pm

Is Bec required with walksnail?

Reply
Oscar 24th November 2023 - 3:26 am

I didn’t use one.

Reply
Jenik 5th November 2023 - 7:09 am

hi, can you please recommend a solution to use the camera for mobile instead of fpv? I’m a newbie and I don’t understand it much:-)
I’ve already bought the manta, controller, receiver, batteries, etc. And I’m still working on the camera. thank you

Reply
it doesnt matter 3rd May 2024 - 7:13 am

otg fpv receiver

Reply
stephen raw 19th October 2023 - 10:19 am

@quadthingcopter5984
11 hours ago
I took off with my fimi manta line of sight, as i wanted to test it before fitting expensive dji fpv gear, could not get normal forward flight to engage even though the throttle was well over 50 percent, the gps module which came with it does not work! and could not get regular forward flight to work when i flicked it into this mode, the servos remained at about a 40 degree angle, but when you try it on the bench with no motors spinning the servos travel worked correctly? when i landed after my short flight my samsung 25r 20amp 4s lithium ion pack was very hot! after flying it around for no more than 3min, i fly regular quads and my hee wing ranger with these batteries and never known them get so hot, not sure if it came with 2700kv motors or 2800kv or 3000kv, as they are not labeled anyway flew it around for no more than 3min, in my opinion 6inch props are probably too big for this kv rated motor? and maybe would be more suited to a 5inch prop, i understand it would pull more amps with all three motors working, does it need the gps to be working for it to fly in normal forward flight mode? Thanks and any advice welcome.

Reply
Oscar 19th October 2023 - 4:44 pm

No it doesn’t need GPS lock to work.
And it does make Li-ion battery very warm if you stay in QStablize mode (hovering mode), same for me. As long as you either put it in FWBA mode or land as soon as possible it shouldn’t be an issue.
Wish I can be more helpful, but I am not yet familiar with Ardupilot so I don’t know what to suggest. Mine works almost out of the box with stock settings, I didn’t change anything on the FC config.

Reply
bar1 26th September 2023 - 8:15 am

Can you please share the walksnail mount STL file you created?

Reply
Dieter 25th September 2023 - 10:37 pm

Excellent and through review as always. For me, its much better than just watching YouTube videos.
I already had a very smooth maiden flight in both modes and love this model. I did not bother to install the nacelle covers.
Regarding RTL, I checked the Ardupilot settings. On my default settings, RTL_Autoland is 0 (disabled). Also, Q_RTL_MODE is also 0 (disabled). I have not tested it, but with these default settings, I’d expect the plane to just return to the Home Point, then circle at the set RTL altitude.
Also, I’m a bit confused as to the proper OSD protocol settings. Should I use 33 or 42 for my DJI system.
Perhaps you would be kind enough to clarify these settings. Thanks.

Reply
Oscar 26th September 2023 - 12:13 am

AFAIK, the default OSD protocol settings should work fine for all digital HD systems, including Walksnail, DJI and HDZero, you shouldn’t need to change anything there.
And yea RTL is basically the default config, personally I am not going to change anything right now due to the lack of time to study Ardupilot and test those settings. Or maybe I will just wait for iNav’s VTOL support in the future and migrate :)

Reply
Joe Breznai 24th September 2023 - 10:53 pm

Confused on the SBUS.. I received mine but what do I do to connect the SBUS RX? Solder to bottom of board as instructions show? I understand the changing of the board type in Audropilot, but the connectons have me baffeled.My instyructions do not show any SBUS plugs or where they go.

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Oscar 25th September 2023 - 6:47 pm

Yes I think you need to solder your SBUS RX to the pads on the bottom.

Reply
John McFadden 28th September 2023 - 5:15 pm

Sorry to be a pest but I have one final SBUS connection question. I understand I need to solder the SBUS wires to the pads on bottom on controller, but I wondering if I can use a servo cable as one end plugs into the SBUS port on a FLYSKY ia10b rec so I think I can just cut off the other end and solder the wires to the FC pads as long as the +5,ground and Sbus signals go to the applicable pads?

Reply
Oscar 28th September 2023 - 6:17 pm

Yes of course this should work.

Reply
John McFadden 24th September 2023 - 12:20 am

I have a FLYSKY iA10B rec that supports SBUS. I understand the FC version includes a SBUS cable with a connector on to plug into the flight controller but that I will need to put on a connector on other end to plug into the SBUS port on the iA10B. Are there any tricks to this or can I just solder half of a servo connection to the supplied cable? Seems hard to find any details on the SBUS connection
.

Reply
Philippe K 23rd October 2023 - 3:12 pm

Hello
Great Job.
To JOHN MCFADDEN I confirm, I soldered a servo wire on Serial6 on the back of the flight controller main board and connected it to .FS-iA6B i-Bus Servo connector. Up to now, I did not really take off , only static tests ……
With FlySky transmitter (mine is FS-i6X), don’t forget to configure it to S-BUS in “Output Mode” settings (default setting is i-Bus)
To Oscar, in your “tutorial’, you said: For SBUS users, you will need to make some changes in the software, please refer to the manual for detail.
In the realy poor documentation coming with it, i did not found anything about it. So if you have a little more infos about it, please communicate it. Thank You

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Oscar 23rd October 2023 - 3:55 pm

Wish I could help, but unfortunately I am not familiar with Ardupilot enough to give you advice on how to config Flysky receiver. I used ExpressLRS receiver and it was plug and play.

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Julian 22nd September 2023 - 11:05 am

Any good ideas where to mount DJI O3 Air Unit?

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Oscar 23rd September 2023 - 3:27 pm

Probably need to 3D print a mount and glue it in the nose like I did in the article.

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