Above: Flying FPV
can sometimes be
startling, as Bryce
Custer (who taught the
author how to fly RC)
found out. Left: With
FPV, everyone can go
along for the ride.
Families and non-RC pilots rode in the author’s
FPV airplane all weekend. No RC knowledge
A fun way
to share the
If you read my column, you know I have a widespread interest in most aspects of the hobby. A few years
ago, I received my first quadcopter.
That immediately led to my desire to
shoot video from the air and that led to
FPV, which required a whole new set
of skills. I’m pretty sure this is the part
I liked the best.
After being in the hobby for a certain
amount of time, you know the basics:
setting up a transmitter, building,
servos, repair, what to do when CA
glue gets in your eye, and much more.
FPV: Old Dogs Learn New Tricks
FPV demands that you learn new
things. These tend to be important
because your FPV setup is what
connects you with your aircraft. I have
“smoked” a few video cameras in my
I started on RC rock crawlers
because I knew if I got in trouble, I
I started out in the 450- to 550-
size range, but I began going smaller.
This allowed me to fly 10 feet off the
ground in my backyard. Don’t get
concerned—I’m talking about quads
the size of your hand and made of
plastic. I can tell you, flying something
like that will give you just as much
adrenaline as a big quadcopter.
My FPV adventures then turned
to winged aircraft. My initial thought
was that it would be hard to fly an
airplane. You can stop a quad, and turn
and figure out where you are. With a
winged aircraft, if you slow down too
much you will meet terra firma! I’m
happy to say I was wrong!
Have you ever flown a flight
simulator from the cockpit? It’s much
easier than flying from the ground.
That is exactly what winged FPV is
like. It’s similar to flying a full-scale
My first attempts were with large
RC airplanes—60-inch wingspans
or more—that would take off from
a runway. I then started looking into
lighter equipment so I could fly FPV
with the smaller foam airplanes that I
What I really wanted was an
uncomplicated foam airplane that I
could fly. I jumped on the Ready Made
RC website and found an airplane
87 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com
BORN TO FLY