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On June 23, 2014 the FAA released their Interpretation of the Special Rule For Model Aircraft effectively banning the use of all FPV goggles and all flying via first person view.  


That interpretation is open for public comment until July 25, 2014.  


Once the comment period closes, the FAA will consider public input (and the degree of public interest) and finalize their interpretation.  At that point, there will be very few opportunities (short of lawsuits) for the drone community to push back against the FAA’s rule.


Please take a moment to comment on the proposed regulation to the FAA.  My proposal is to consider use of a spotter working with the FPV pilot to see and avoid other aircraft, in conjunction with flying in unpopulated areas and under a specified altitude.


Please try to provide positive solutions in your comment(s) rather than simply pointing out the problems with the ruling.

You can comment here:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0396

 

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Questions & Answers

Do you sell quads ready to fly? Can I purchase everything from you directly?

Since we are primarily a frame manufacturer we do not offer ready to fly quads.  For complete ready to fly quads using our frames, or motors, escs, etc, you shuld check some of our dealers on the "Ready to Fly Quads" page, or the in rotating banner at the top of the page.

What type of flight times should I expect from a 450 sized quad?

6-10 minutes on a 2200mah 3s lipo
13-18 minutes on a 5000mah 3s lipo

Where are you located?

We are in St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Which motors do I need?

The motors you will want to find for this frame are 28mm outside diameter outrunners, between 900Kv and 1200Kv with a mounting hole spacing of 16mm - 29mm.  They will need to be mounted from the bottom, so that the prop attaches to the outer bell (the part that spins), usually with a prop adapter.  Some outrunners have a shaft and a collet to mount the prop to the collet.  These will work too be we always prefer the prop adapters which screw down to the outrunner bell itself.  They are more reliable and can not slip off like the clamp down collet adapters can.

Our frames allow up to 38mm motors to be installed.  In some cases you may need to mount them with only two screws depending on hole spacing. This is fine.

What gauge wire do you recommend for the battery lead? I'll be using anywhere between a 3S 2200 mah and 3S 3800 mah.

14-18 AWG should be fine.  12AWG can be very difficult to solder without a high wattage iron.  You can use two irons in a pinch for some extra heat :)

What do I need to build my own Quad using your kit?

1 Frame kit

4 motors with 5mm prop adapters

4 speed controllers (18A - 30A)

4 8x4.5 or 9x4.5 slow fly props (2 normal and 2 reverse)

1 Flight controller

5 Male to Male servo extensions approximately 6" in length (receiver to flight controller)

4 Male to Female servo extensions approximately 6" in length (flight controller to ESC)

1 receiver (6 to 8 channel recommended)

1 Battery connector to match opposite connector on lipo battery

1 Power distribution board or wiring harness (I prefer a wiring harness)

   Soldering skills and 18AWG stranded wire

1 3S 2200mAh LIPO battery

1 transmitter (6 to 8 channel recommended)

One thing that is fun is adding colored light strips to the arms for flyingh at night.  Turnigy LED strips are our favorite for this, and they can be run directly from the power distribution board.  You will also need a lip battery charger if you do not already have one.

I have never flown a helicopter or plane, but I have experience with cars, etc.  Will it be hard to fly?

Yes, it will be very hard to fly.  Of all the R/C toys, helicopters will full cyclic and rudder are the hardest to fly.  It can seem almost impossible at first as it is very easy to become disoriented as the helicopter rotates in the sky.  Combine this with something which looks the same on all sides and the results can be upsetting.  We recommend that you first learn to fly a helicopter on a simulator before flying any r/c helicopter.  Now having said that, quad copters are also one of the easiest types of full cyclic helicopters to fly since they are computer stabilized.  But this is not a substitute for flying skills, you will still need to control the helicopter.

I have flown collective pitch helicopters, how do these compare?

They are much easier to fly than CP helicopters, and can lift much more weight.  They fly very smooth, have less rotor energy, and to a helicopter pilot can be very fun and low stress.  A quad copter has an incredible amount of power.  The smaller blades are also very much safer than a standard helicopter but do not underestimate the damage that can be cause by these small blades.  They are razor sharp so use the same precautions that you would use with a standard helicopter.   Avoid people always.  There are 3 motor motors and ESC's which can fail over a standard helicopter, and any one of them can bring it down in an instant.

Would this be a good gift for my child of age X?

We recommend that only those 18 and older use this product. If you do not have helicopter flying experience then you should fly under supervision of an EXPERIENCED helicopter pilot in a place determined safe for R/C flying.  While these may look like toys, they are not toys, and can cause serious damage or injuries if flown carelessly.  You accept all risk when using this product.  Please be safe.  

Should I use 8"m 9" or 10" props?

We recommend 9" props for most flying with motors around 1000Kv.  With the 8" props you will easily be able to lift a gopro or other small camera.  10" props can be used if the 8" props do not provide enough lift for your application.  You will notice more vibration with the 10" props due to blade flex.  We have found that 9x4.7 are the best size prop for a 450 sized frame with motors in the 1000Kv range.

Which gains should I run with the Naza, and will <name brand> speed controllers work with it?

There is a spreadsheet being maintained by Naza owners to report working speed controllers and gain settings. You should always remove the red wire on the servo lead the Naza for non-DJI esc's.  See it here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Au16aK6Q-0p0dENkdXVGVHJLRm5fRTFQdjBZbUhxZ3c&pli=1#gid=0

Which transmitter do you recommend?

Any 6 - 9 channel radio will work fine.  We like Futaba or Spektrum, but there are other radios which will work well also.  It does not need to be a helicopter radio since nearly all quads fly in airplane mode.  We recommend 2.4ghz for its failsafe options.

How can I mount a GoPro camera to my VC-450?

See youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6SuOXUFwbg&feature=related

How do I configure the Naza flight controller?

You will need the drivers: http://www.dji-innovations.com/files/naza/NAZA_USB_Driver.zip

And the Naza Assistant: http://www.dji-innovations.com/files/naza/NAZA_Assistant.zip 

The Manual is here: http://www.dji-innovations.com/files/naza/NAZA_User_Manual_en.pdf

See my youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEueAlT88ZA

Why does the throttle seem slugish in autolevel mode, or why does the quad climb quickly when switced into stunt mode?

When flying to autopilot mode you do not have direct control of the throttle. You command the Naza to climb, descend, or hold altitude.  Because hold altitude is always mid stick, take off will always be above half throttle.  When switching back to stunt mode from a hover, the quad will climb because you are switching from alitude hold to direct control of the throttle.

Help, my Naza will not connect to my computer and there is no visible red light INSIDE the Naza, but the led module flashes green then yellow.

1) Make sure you have installed the USB driver.

2) Make sure you have the LED module plugged into the LED port, not the EXP port.

3) If you are not using DJI speed controllers, be sure to remove the red wire from the ESC connectors where they enter the Naza.  We had two units this week returned as faulty, but disconnecting the red wires from the Turnigy ESCs fixed the problem.  Appears to be a ground loop or BEC issue between the ESCs and the Naza. Naza gets power from the LED module, so the BEC is not needed.

How do I use the Naza with a Mac?

Thank you for using a mac :) We are huge UNIX fans, and OSX is a fancy desktop on Free BSD UNIX.   Ok, there is an OSX version of the Naza Assistant in development, but it has not been released yet. Unfortunately, it is still a windows world (but that is quickly changing).  The easiest solution is to install the free version of Oracle Virtual Box, and then install windows. This will allow you to run Microsoft Windows "in a window" on your mac.  

I've heard there are "yaw issues" with the rectangular layout of the HT-FPV and FLIP FPV, is this true?

No. After much testing we have very good reasons for making the HT-FPV and FLIP FPV rectangular. The HT-FPV is desgned to have a fairly relaxed yaw for smooth video, but it can can have a bit of a "tail wag" at high speed due to the drag on the front arms if you do not have the yaw gains high enough. If they are too high, you will get a wobble on yaw.   There is a sweet spot.  

The FLIP FPV does not have the tail wag characteristic because the arms have thinner profile.  It has a higher yaw rate because it is physically smaller than the HT-FPV.

Is the FLIP FPV unbreakable?

No, nothing is unbreakable.  If you drop it from 100 feet onto concrete we are pretty sure something will break.  It's incrediby strong though, probably stronger than any other frame on the market right now.  Unlike most companies which design a product just market it, we design our frames to fly them.  If WE like them, THEN we will add them to the inventory so others can enjoy them too. We don't just design something that looks good, we build and fly many prototypes until we design something WE want to fly. And we don't just copy what everyone else is doing, we like to try new things and find out for ourselves what works and what doesn't.