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Larger Easy Star...?

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This keeps bugging me and now I have to ask. Since FPV is finally being recognized and considered for insurance coverage, why hasn't a manufacture developed a purpose built platform(s) for FPV?

I have an Easy Star like most of you and it's loaded with a lot of fun and cool stuff that it wasn't designed to carry. The airframe IS carrying it without failure but the performance(speed, flight time,etc) is reduced. When was the last time anyone flew an Easystar stock? They are pretty sweet airframes and there are reasons that it's the most popular for FPV. IMO, here's a few in no certain order...

- Awesome Multiplex foam that's more durable than other manufactures choices

- precision and quality of the molded parts

- Overall layout of the Easy Star...high wing, motor/prop up high and rear facing, etc.

- easy and stable to fly

- cockpit setup that we all love, just enough nose in the video without blocking that precious view...and sense of being in it

- and it's just a nice looking airframe, almost sexy.....(did I type that :huh:)

I'm sure you guys can list a few more, especially VRFlyer.

Point is, Multiplex has the market already and as a huge FPV fan of the Easy Star, I want a bigger version that won't suffer that extra pound or so of gadgets that we carry. NOT a built up version either, the point is to stay with foam that's durable and can handle a bad landing but still be easy to repair. Keep it mostly the same with construction and design layout, only with a few changes that'll allow for placement of OSD's, cam TX's, bigger batteries, better motors, cockpit designed for a cam, and my favorite...landing gear! Nothing beats throwing on the goggles and taxing out for takeoff and better yet, taxing back in under the goggles after the flight :D .

To tell the truth, I'd be happy if they just expanded the molds say 20% and called it done. Come on Multiplex, we are your customers. Grab this market and enjoy a little bigger cash cow will 'ya!? Don't make us solicit elsewhere for a purpose built FPV platform.

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I'd be happy if they just expanded the molds say 20% and called it done.

I agree. I have a two year old EZ that is still in the box because it is too small for my tastes. I keep hanging on for a slightly bigger Elapor foamie-ARF pusher with ailerons and roomy interior to be produced. It's only a matter of time. Too bad the cheap EZ clone at HobbyCity is smaller, rather than larger.

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Too bad the cheap EZ clone at HobbyCity is smaller, rather than larger.

I'm about to order one of those, but intending to keep it as simple as possible. Small cam on pan/tilt, end of. Nothing more needed, really ;)

Edited by Kilrah

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I believe the servo trays are inside the fuse, therefore it has taken up more fpv gear real estate compared to the Multiplex EZ*. Their EZ Glider ripp off looks very interesting though!

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I believe the servo trays are inside the fuse, therefore it has taken up more fpv gear real estate compared to the Multiplex EZ*. Their EZ Glider ripp off looks very interesting though!

I'm also going to get one of these.

Should be easy enough to relocate the servos aft; this will also help with keeping the CG where it belongs.

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There may be something going on at Multiplex that hasn't been made public. It is taking forever for them to supply new designs and spare parts for the latest release which was the Mentor. Tower Hobby has had that kit in stock for months but replacement parts are still shown as on order. A lot more people are going to buy planes for which parts are available so there is reason for them not to be taking so long.

Other brands have recently been released using what appears to be the same Elapor molded foam with very simular designs. I wonder if they have expanded their business to include supplying parts for other manufactures hence the long leadtimes.

Other manufactures do this type of thing if it will improve their bottom line.

Edited by Gary Evans

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Hopefully someone will come thru as my Easy Star is haulin' a bit of weight due to the ........heck, here's a couple pics.

EasyStarFull.jpg

EasyStarTight.jpg

EasyStarLDG.jpg

IMG_1301.jpg

I love the gear for ROG and our field has tall grass sometimes. I get 10 minutes without good throttle management on a 2500 3S. I also love this for night flying.

Off topic, but how can I get VHS video onto the computer for posting videos? A digital cam is OTW but this is what I'm working with for now. Thanks for any info.

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A bigger EZ has been on my wish list for many years.

I put a 350 W outrunner on my plane, but the plane is still limited without ailerons (poor flight time, hard to control in heavy wind, too much wing load).

Therefore I decided to do something about it myself.

I’m building my own fuselage twice as big as original, and have ordered wings and tailplane from the Cularis.

This will give me a Big EZ with three times the capacity of the original with ailerons, flaps and plenty of lift.

A 1300 W Plettenberg running on 6 x 5000 mAh LiPo will provide power.

Hopefully this creation will fly in late January (I have to wait for the endless arctic night to end – the sun will be back first week of January).

Who knows.. a construction blog might appear on a forum on your computer… :D

Marry Christmas everyone!

Edited by cfe7

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It's a problem, isn't it; as 'planes get bigger, so their performance changes - most notably, at around 1.5m span they are nippy, maneouverable, and bounce-proof, yet somewhere around 1.7-1.8m they change into things you really, really want to land properly!

Aerial Platform, just a thought, but my experience suggests that it is that there is a lot to be said for streamlining - there is an awful lot of spaghetti sticking out of the side of your EZ! This is undoubtedly slowing it up and messing up duration & performance.

What about letting your power leads & ESC into some slots in the side of the fuz, ditto the cabling to + the video Tx, and a cover (a sheet of plastic?) for your OSD? Airflow over smooth surfaces is much easier than airflow over all those complex shapes. And you've done all the working out where they have to be for balance purposes!

Yes, I know a cam on a 2-axis mount is draggy... I'm waiting for someone to have a great idea about a teardrop housing...

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Hey Doofer, this was thrown together. I plan on building another EZStar. This time I'll modd the airframe before I glue the halves together. Also, I'm considering adding a cargo pod like the one Cessna uses for the Caravan. That'll give easier access and controlled cooling.

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Hi guys,

How about a small (not yet formed) manufacturer building an FPV platform? I've posted this up on the new BFPVMFA website also.

Here is the score, firstly hello Simon and Doofer, see I feel at home already because I've talked to these guys on the BFPVMFA website

As it happens I'm in the process of setting up a small company for producing RC foam builders kits. I've got my main project over on RC Groups which is a 66" span scale Blohm & Voss BV 138. That might even suit FPV I know a larger version has been flown FPV.

I think I'm up to the design task though of providing a simple starter FPV platform (I did a degree in aero design/aerodynamics) and I've read up on all the model aerodynamics books and have the usual resources such as CAD etc so I'm ready to go with some designs.

As I need to learn FPV and the BV 138 is too big, too complex and potentially too expensive for the task, last night I came up with project FUAV, and I thought I would show it to you guys, and find out what you think. I'm pretty thick skinned so if you think 'no that won't ever work' just say so I won't get upset (well at least I will try not to show it).

Here is the posts I made over on BFPVMFA:

My design criteria are (not necessarily in order of importance):

Simple

Relatively inexpensive

Stable

Good slow flight

Short take-off and landing

Good load carrying ability without loss of performance (for batteries etc)

Easy to control (no nasty flight characteristics and easy to trim hands-off)

Plenty of scope for camera mounting and room for equipment

Robust/Easy to repair

Easy to transport

Looks like a UAV

My non-design list (i.e. what I'm not concerned about including)

Speed

Advanced aerobatics

So some questions, would you buy a foam kit FPV platform?

Is there anything else you would want to see?

What is the ideal size of model for your FPV flying?

How much room do you want for FPV hardware?

How much do you want to pay for the kit?

What are the major limitations of the fixed wing models you currently use?

Generally with foam kits my idea it to produce only the parts one can't buy from a LMS, I supply foam and any vac forms required, you supply ply and balsa wood (required for wing seat, spar etc) and all the hardware such as hinges, control rods and horns, servos, motors etc.

Here's a quick view of my basic idea, I'm considering moving the wing up and increasing the depth of the fuselage to get a more central thrust line and larger payload bay under the wing.

Motor is tail mounted to keep it out of the way but has plenty of ground clearance, central pylon above wing is for camera mount, though I'm hearing some like a cockpit view.

I know parts have the aerodynamics of the side of house, this is only a conceptual drawing, the big block under horizontal stab just came about because the fins were vulnerable to a tail strike on landing where they started off, it can be faired in later.

post-5668-125296618614_thumb.jpg

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I'd love to see something bigger than a EZ*, yet small enough to lug in the family car.

You are going to get a lot of different opinions -- here are mine:

1. I'm not a big fan of the tail mounted motor due to the long high current wires (more chance of EMI/RFI problems). IMHO a pusher pylon mount is a nice compromise. Since a lot of FPV'ers want to see the nose of the model, I'd recommend putting the camera in the traditional cockpit location rather up on the pylon. So that frees up the area for a pylon motor.

2. The size should be about 20% larger than a EZ* (~6' wingspan). Any bigger and it gets difficult to fit a single piece wing in a average size sedan.

3. A big boxy fuselage would be great since we have a lot of stuff to install. Perhaps boxy only up front; use a twin boom to the tail for that "UAV look."

4. It needs to be able to handle 10-15 mph wind without becoming a hapless rag doll in the air. I recommend ailerons and limiting the dihedral.

5. As for cost, well a nice 6' ARF Electric Telemaster (ETM) can be bought from Hobby Lobby for about $150 and is often on sale for much less. Honestly, the ETM would be perfect if it was offered it as a foamy pusher configuration and was under $100. :) Actually, it is a great model as-is, but I think that most folks want something made of foam so that they can quickly repair it. I guess I am saying that it would be best if the kit + all the required construction parts can be bought for under $100. One day construction time would be great too.

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That's a great help. I wasn't sure about the tail mounted motor though many UAVs have mid mount with the booms going out to the tail either side of the prop, that might be a cool configuration to try as it would also keep the wires short, though I wouldn't want to try a hand launch!

I'm thinking of a very simple fuselage construction, foam middle block with a large cut-out, then flanked by two side pieces of foam to make a shoe box. That should give plenty of room for equipment. I think then we can get a nice open cockpit area to take the camera mount but a functional looking bird which doesn't look like the average RC trainer, it needs to say in my mind, 'this model was designed for FPV'

I think I could get away with dropping any physical dihedral and add say 3% aerodynamic dihedral as a starting point with ailerons.

I'm guessing the Telemaster would be around 16oz per square foot wing loading and the Easy Star I looked up and is quoted as around 11oz, as these seem to be ideal models for FPV that gives me a nice target for the wing wing loading of FUAV.

I can consider smaller or larger model sizes if the prototype testing gives good results, but it would be good to build the prototype at a 'popular' span and then work up or down if required. I'll get busy in CAD tomorrow and see what FUAV starts to look like with the changes :)

Another thing I've considered, all servos for the tail surfaces get mounted at the back out of the way, could that cause any problems I've not foreseen? I'm thinking we want the fuselage clear of servo mounts and control rods?

Can I also just confirm, the problem with the Easy Star's size isn't due to the way it handles in the air even loaded down with extra equipment, more the fact it is difficult to get all the FPV equipment to fit? i.e. it would be OK with the same wing area if the fuz were bigger? Or not?

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Regarding mounting the tail servos at the tail, that is ideal if you ask me. It frees up the fuselage for more FPV junk. Even with the massive room inside the Electro Telemaster, I put my tail servos at the very back. No regrets at all.

The "problems" with the Stock EZ* depend on who you talk to. But the most common comments are (in no particular order):

Needs more interior room.

Access to some things is difficult after it is built.

No wheels, so ROGs are not possible.

Rudder area too small.

No ailerons (or curved wingtips makes ailerons ineffective).

But I think that most will say that most of these things can be solved with simple mods. But solving the interior room issue is a tough one unless you have magic powers.

The things that make the EZ* a winner:

Stable, flies itself.

Low cost.

Very short build time.

Easy to fix if it is planted in the ground.

Available everywhere.

Small enough for schoolyards and parks.

Looks safe and innocent (toy-ish). Doesn't freak out the common folks.

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If someone is in a position to manufacture, how about just making a replacement wing for the EasyStar?

If it was:

- a drop-in replacement that fitted snuggly

- ailerons... perhaps an option for flaps to ease those landings

- 2-2.2m

- less of the curved tips

... I'd certainly try one :D

(Adding a fin to the rudder to increase authority isn't that hard - could be included in the kit. Okay, space is an issue, unless you carve out the 'cockpit'. A motor pod that allowed bigger props would also be nice, but I find that rotational moment from the high thrust line enough of a hassle on take-off as it is...)

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Im not sure why the EasyStar is so popular, I have had one and I guess it is a very simple plane to use but I find the TwinStar much better. I would go for a TwinStar over a big EasyStar any day. Mine has a pair of super cheap 2822 motors and lifts a Canon G9 no problem.

its not put off by high wind

it has ailerons

it has a clear view forward

it has a good thrust line so take off under full power is easy

you can fit very big motors and up to 12" props so even vertical take off is possable

it has plenty of room when carved out

Terry

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Thanks guys that is some great feedback.

I've been running through in my mind the concepts involved here before I start drawing out the FUAV again.

Lets run this past you, I could be right or wrong but I'm just thinking the whole thing out.

As it is, we have no big manufacturer producing a perfect FPV ready model, though we have a few that almost or with the Twin Star do meet the criteria with mods.

I can't see that changing for a while. I see a big manufacturer doing market research and tooling up for a run of 100,000 units. With the current technology FPV is not off the shelf. So I don't see a big manufacturer producing a specific model to take equipment which they can't brand and package for the model, we are perhaps a decade away from that, though maybe it will happen next year! Of course next year we could see a change in the technology and an off the shelf unit that is so small there is no need for a specific model, that is a risk I have to take.

Foam builders kits, here is the rub, I'm only going to manufacturing using CNC hot wire cuts. No tooling up for moulds, a big manufacturer isn't going to do that, neither am I. However it gives me an edge, I can do a run of 30 models and still be covering my costs. The only issue is it takes a little more to finish the model such as some sanding down and perhaps but not necessarily adding a covering. I simply can't produce that as I'm not based in China and don't have people who will work for 50 cents a day to do such work. However, the finishing isn't really a great deal more than doing a lot of mods to an existing model, I know this because I progressed from modifying foam models to take ailerons etc to foam builders kits. We should get a product that could be built in aa couple of hours or a month if one wanted to sand the whole thing down, spackle and go the whole extra mile with the covering. But, if looks are not that important all it would require is glue and minor sanding to complete the model and away it goes down the park.

I would also be able to do a custom size if required, someone wants one a little larger or a little smaller that could be produced with a small cost implication and the details of the custom model kept for supplying spare parts.

How does that seem? I know we all get use to RTF and ARFT but I see this as a model with a specific aim for a relatively small and specific market.

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Personally I'm very happy with the HC easystar clone, pretty much the perfect all around FPV plane.

http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=8359&Product_Name=AXN_Floater-Jet__/_Ready_To_Fly_EPO

It keeps all the advantages of the EZ*:

- Rear prop

- Clear forward view or decent looking cockpit view depending on camera position

- Camera on pan-tilt is very easy to install

- Perfect size to carry around

- Stable

- Strong and easy to repair (mine has already taken quite some beating...)

While correcting most of the disavantages:

- Has ailerons

- Rudder is more than efficient enough (reduce throw by 60% or it instantly throws you in a spin at low speeds!)

- Has curved wingtips but can nevertheless hold its attitude / bank angle perfectly well (I particularly noticed that 2 days ago when I put it straight, then set like 5° of bank, released ailerons, saw it maintain it, then more to 10°, and so on, it holds its angle perfectly until 30° or so when you of course have to start trimming elevator seriously)

- Requires minor mod (remove servos and fit them in the tail, takes 30mins) to gain access to a huge volume for the equipment, all the space under the wing is empty, that's about 55x35x150mm, plus the canopy and the nose.

- Removeable wings

- Perfect access to all components

...and it sells for $60 (!) with everything, the supplied equipment is good (seems durable, and lifts 150gr of gear and a 3s/2200mAh pack with no problem, 4.5A draw in level flight at 35km/h airspeed with that load, full throttle draws 15A for 90km/h airspeed).

It's quite tail heavy in stock configuration - which means that once the FPV gear is added, the balance is spot on :)

HD cam in the nose gives perfect results. I've already done work for customers with it...

The only gripe I have is the lack of landing gear...

I really recommend it, especially instead of the easystar... and making something significantly better without losing on other aspects would be a very hard task. Would someone be kind enough to make a landing gear addon for it instead of designing a new plane? :)

Edited by Kilrah

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Personally I'm very happy with the HC easystar clone, pretty much the perfect all around FPV plane.

http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=8359&Product_Name=AXN_Floater-Jet__/_Ready_To_Fly_EPO

It keeps all the advantages of the EZ*:

- Rear prop

- Clear forward view or decent looking cockpit view depending on camera position

- Camera on pan-tilt is very easy to install

- Perfect size to carry around

- Stable

- Strong and easy to repair (mine has already taken quite some beating...)

While correcting most of the disavantages:

- Has ailerons

- Rudder is more than efficient enough (reduce throw by 60% or it instantly throws you in a spin at low speeds!)

- Has curved wingtips but can nevertheless hold its attitude / bank angle perfectly well (I particularly noticed that 2 days ago when I put it straight, then set like 5° of bank, released ailerons, saw it maintain it, then more to 10°, and so on, it holds its angle perfectly until 30° or so when you of course have to start trimming elevator seriously)

- Requires minor mod (remove servos and fit them in the tail, takes 30mins) to gain access to a huge volume for the equipment, all the space under the wing is empty, that's about 55x35x150mm, plus the canopy and the nose.

- Removeable wings

- Perfect access to all components

...and it sells for $60 (!) with everything, the supplied equipment is good (seems durable, and lifts 150gr of gear and a 3s/2200mAh pack with no problem, 4.5A draw in level flight at 35km/h airspeed with that load, full throttle draws 15A for 90km/h airspeed).

It's quite tail heavy in stock configuration - which means that once the FPV gear is added, the balance is spot on :)

HD cam in the nose gives perfect results. I've already done work for customers with it...

The only gripe I have is the lack of landing gear...

I really recommend it, especially instead of the easystar... and making something significantly better without losing on other aspects would be a very hard task. Would someone be kind enough to make a landing gear addon for it instead of designing a new plane? :)

The trouble with designing add on parts for existing planes, is how long will the stocks last? The big manufactures tool up, produce the models then finish and pack them. That is it, their market research tells them 'make xxx units'. I have no idea how long this model will be avialable, less than two years I would guess. That is why I wouldn't make parts for other companies products, I have no idea of their stock levels. I can certainly incorporate your numbers into my design and give similar performance. Primarily I'm designing for my own FPV model, I have the option though to produce small numbers as a product if there is a demand. Certainly at $60 though I would give one of these a go for FPV myself.

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The HC clone sounds like something I should try. They are out of stock and the shipping charge is as much as the model itself. Other than that, it looks promising.

Does anyone need a new/unused ready-to-fly EZ*, complete with R/C system? It's still in it's pretty box. :)

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Hi guys,

Took in what has been said, this is what I have come up with, would love more feedback on the design. I'm a bit concerned about the high thrust line, tomorrow I will draw out a version with a mid mounted motor.

The second picture allows a view into a large compartment under the wing I've provided for all the video gear.

post-5668-125306489892_thumb.jpg

post-5668-125306491112_thumb.jpg

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Took in what has been said, this is what I have come up with, would love more feedback on the design.

There's an obvious problem - your camera's hanging in the air :)

Add a little flat and sturdy surface in front of the wing (about 5cm long?) to have something to actually put it on!

The added front length will be welcome for balancing purposes too as it seems there's quite some mass in the tail.

As we're into details, a 10cm distance between camera lens and cockpit panel would be nice to put an LCD on the panel and have it correctly readable.

Other than that I like, especially in red ;)

There's that thrust line question, of course... Maybe lower the tail a bit, and equally lower the motor? Trying to keep the tail out of the propwash like on your drawing is a good idea to reduce little vibrations. Twin boom conventional tail would lose that, which is probably why it's in ^ shape on the Shadow.

Edited by Kilrah

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There's an obvious problem - your camera's hanging in the air :)

Add a little flat and sturdy surface in front of the wing (about 5cm long?) to have something to actually put it on!

The added front length will be welcome for balancing purposes too as it seems there's quite some mass in the tail.

As we're into details, a 10cm distance between camera lens and cockpit panel would be nice to put an LCD on the panel and have it correctly readable.

Other than that I like, especially in red ;)

There's that thrust line question, of course... Maybe lower the tail a bit, and equally lower the motor? Trying to keep the tail out of the propwash like on your drawing is a good idea to reduce little vibrations. Twin boom conventional tail would lose that, which is probably why it's in ^ shape on the Shadow.

I'm guessing the main thing is to have enough space for people to put in different camera mounts. My first idea is to have a base for the mount integral with the wing but also forming a hatch cover and the base of a shallow cockpit, then the wing hinges where the TE meets the fuz. To get at all the electronics, camera base (cockpit floor) and wing all rotate up and backwards. Not sure how that will work out with the wiring from the camera though (is it OK to extend this?) but yep as you said a sturdy surface ahead of the wing for the camera mount. I'll draw that out next, it's easier to see it in pictures I think than for me to try to explain it.

Thanks for that dimension from camera to cockpit panel, that is just the sort of stuff I do not know, so a great help. Currently the drawing is 'concept' I've not calculated things like wing loading so the wing area is just representative but any useful numbers such as that camera to panel dimension that I incorporate into the design later on will smooth the way.

Next configuration is mid mount motor with twin booms. I'll draw it out so the twin booms can also go with the pylon version ;)

Edited by Gemma_Jane

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