researching video transmitters, cloverleaf antennas, and FPV goggles.
After you get to this stage, it is too
late! Get out your wallet, lay it on
your desk, and prepare for a full-on
cannonball into this new segment of
the hobby. You won’t be surfacing
One thing I enjoy about a small- to
midsize quad is that I can fly it in the
backyard. At 5 p.m., weather willing,
I can throw the Phantom into the air
and sit on my picnic bench. I also have
LEDs on it, so I can fly it at night to
the delight of the neighborhood kids.
When I thought of FPV, I always
associated it with quadcopters, but
just 10 feet to my left is a pretty slick
1/10-scale RC truck that is in stage two
of its FPV adventure. I took a perfectly
good Axial Wraith, and piece by piece,
I have turned it into my FPV ground
If you have never seen the
perspective of driving a 1/10-scale RC
truck from the driver’s seat, go find a
video now. It is double cool.
Above: This DJI Phantom,
provided by DroneFly, has
a gimbal and GoPro for
capturing video from the air.
The Phantom is fun to fly and
is a great starter platform for
Left: This 550 carbon-fiber Bumblebee, built
for capturing video, was
purchased during the writing
of this column. The small one
is an Armattan Carbon Fiber
258. It is one of the fastest
quads made in this size.
I have traveled vast distances from
the driver’s seat of this off-road rig.
Somewhere in a rumbling UPS truck is
my pan-and-tilt camera that allows me
to look left/right/up/down while driving
the truck, for an even more immersive
experience while wearing my Skyzone
goggles with built-in head tracking.
I don’t have a problem. I can stop at
any time. Right Did I mention that I
only got into this at the end of summer
To create the perfect trifecta of FPV
perfection, I have also ordered an FPV
EPP airplane. Why stop at quads and
trucks? The HobbyKing FPV aircraft
has a 70-inch wingspan. I am already
planning my modifications and I’m
excited to start stuffing my on-screen
display and other FPV equipment
into this aircraft. It’s going to be a fun
To conclude, FPV is addictive and
can be used in all genres of the hobby.
Quads are relaxing and can be flown
safely nearly anywhere.
To illustrate how addictive all of this
is, I purchased a Bumblebee quad while
I was writing this column. Don’t say I
didn’t warn you!
84 Model Aviation MARCH 2014
BORN TO FLY