Big Edit (June 18 2017): BIG NEWS coming this fall. Stay tuned!
Just a quick announcement:
I have stopped posting on umFlight for now as I am doing some new projects for now and I don’t have any post ideas. If/when I restart umFlight, I will update this post. Also, when my new project goes live, I will probably update this post.
Edit (October 18th): I have recently noticed that all of my links are broken, so I have finally fixed that. However, the workaround has broken all links in the header and links from other sites.
Edit (oct 20): A random thought: if I do restart umFlight, it will feature ALL UM aircraft.
Edit (nov. 28): I still exist! All links have been fixed in the header, but links from some of my posts to other posts and posts from other sites (including links in my Twitter feed) are still broken, and there isn’t a way of fixing that.
Edit (March 7 2016): I’m almost ready to either relaunch umFlight or officially launch my new project.
The posting problems have been fixed, so here is last Sunday’s post:
Say hello to the first successful plane I’ve built.
I don’t have much to say today, but two more planes will come in in a few days, so stay tuned for reviews of those. I was also given a DX7 about three weeks ago, which I happily replaced my DX6 with. The DX6 will be a perfect tx to keep as a back up and maybe as a travel tx.
Also, I’ve made my first successful RC plane. It’s funny that it’s successful; all of my other attempts were very carefully drawn and measured. For this one, I just cut it to a size that looked nice. I’ll spend some more time fine-tuning it, measure it, make a final model, and then I’ll post the build guide and maybe a review of it.
In other news, I have given up on the quad copter build because the flight times were just too short. The forum isn’t launching yet as I haven’t gotten anyone for the launch yet.
Thanks for reading today’s post. New post next Sunday!
Here’s how it will work: The second Sunday of every month, I will post a question. Then readers can write their opinion in the comments.
Today’s Reader’s Opinion:
Where do you usually fly your RC aircraft?
I usually fly my planes in front of my house since there is an empty lot I can fly over across the street, and I fly my micro quads and Night Vapor inside. Sometimes I go up to the neighborhood park.
Thanks for reading! Where do you usually fly your RC aircraft? Leave a comment below.
Blade’s Nano QX 3D, a version of the Nano QX that has larger 7mm motors and the ability to fly upside down, was released in January. I had my doubts about whether the flight times would be long enough. If the motors would die every few flights. But I still bought it…
Note: Because this is a quadcopter review, I can’t review takeoffs and landings. Basically, a quadcopter goes up. And comes back down. I will review how it felt on the first takeoff instead.
There really isn’t one… I just saw the NQX 3D and it looked like it would be a quadcopter that preformed well, but with significant battery life and motor life problems.
When I opened the, as always from Horizon Hobby, nicely designed box and packaging, I didn’t really know if it came out of the box right side up or upside down… The NQX 3D was packaged in nice, clear plastic with a 250 mAH 1S LiPo and USB charger.
Assembly/First Flight Preparation:
Before doing anything, I looked at the manual to see which side was the top. (Hint: the props face down). I then charged the battery. This took about 20 minutes.
Tip: Get the Celectra charger that came with the original mCPX helicopter. This just plugs into a normal outlet and you get a second charger for your second battery (definitely get a second battery).
I then bound it to my wonderful Spektrum DX6 and got ready to fly…
As I lifted off, I heard power. Lots of it. And it sounded smooth. Kind of like one of those speedboats when they are going really slowly. I knew, at this point, that this was going to be one of my favorite aircraft.
In beginner mode, this quadcopter was like a Nano QX in Stability mode. Intermediate mode was like beginner mode, but it’s a lot faster. And, finally, advanced mode is like a regular RC helicopter, with the motor direction changing on either side of 50% throttle.
Recommended timer settings if using a Spektrum computerized transmitter:
Who’s getting the UMX FPV Radian coming out in mid June?
Me? I’m definitely getting it! I will be able to do everything I did with the regular UMX Radain and still get probably 5-8 minute flight times (I get ten minutes on the regular one). And yes, look for a review on it here on umFlight towards the end of June or early July assuming that it is released in time and I buy it before it gets sold out.
Thanks for reading and voting in the poll/commenting, and look for a new post this Sunday! (Note: I didn’t post yesterday because of Saturday’s post and this post)
The votes are in! I am currently setting up a forum, and I need a couple members before launching. If you are interested in getting prelaunch assess to the forum so you can check it out, put your email and desired username in the form below. I will make you an account as soon as possible. When it is ready, I will email instructions to you on how to access the account.
Thanks for reading, and look for a new post this Sunday!
One of the most useful parts of an RC plane is, actually, the battery. Without it, a plane cannot be controlled. Today, I’ll share some of my favorite batteries.
Firstly, I do not like E-FLite 1S batteries. Sure, they work great for a little while, but then everything declines. Because of this, I eventually started getting Thunder Power 1S batteries. These actually work great, and they don’t deteriorate quickly. The 160 mAH 25C batteries seem to have more power than E-Flite 150 mAH 25C batteries, too. However, a few of my TP 160 mAH batteries puffed… Also, they are even more expensive than E-Flite batteries! I decided to then try a 4 pack of Lectron Pro 180 mAH 45C batteries, and WOW! These last a good 1-5 (depending on if it is in a plane or quadcopter) minutes extra flight time with a lot more power. They also provide much more power than stock E-Flite ones because they are 45C, but E-Flite now has 45C 150 mAH batteries, too. Not one of them has puffed, and they have only deteriorated when I put them into the battery-eating Nano QX FPV (side note: because it eats batteries, I haven’t gotten a new one. I DID get a new FPV camera, but I am moving it between different planes currently). Lectron pros are now my go to battery.
Do you have a favorite brand of batteries? Leave a comment! Thanks for reading, and there is a Reader’s Opinion next Sunday. The Sunday after that will be a review or maybe even a build…
Quadcopter trainer controls are slightly different than planes.
Yep. This is the same picture from my fourth post on umFlight, and the controls of a quadcopter are the same as the controls of RC planes. Push the elevator forward, and the quadcopter goes forward. Back and it goes back. Moving the aileron left or right moves the quadcopter left or right, and the rudder pivots it.
Selecting your First Quadcopter:
It’s hard to select a first quadcopter when they are considered a third major type of RC aircraft (along with helis and planes) and a stepping stone between beginner and advanced helicopters. So I will show two possible paths depending on how fast you learn.
The first path is to buy a beginner helicopter like the Blade MCX2 and then buy a quadcopter. This is ideal is you are a slower learner.
The second is to go straight to a beginner quadcopter if you can learn a little faster. Many people actually recommend to go strait to the quadcopter, but I displayed the first option just in case.
Now, let’s assume that, if you decided to get an MCX2 or similar, that you finished learning with it. It is time to select your first quadcopter! I’m going to help you select a first micro quadcopter. Micros, other than being what I blog about, are much cheaper than larger quadcopters, and are VERY durable. However, larger quadcopters are durable, too, but the micros… wow!
So, my recommendation is a Blade Nano QX. If you have/are going to get a computerized radio (this must be DSM2/X to work with the NQX!), then get the BNF version for $60. If you don’t have the right radio, then get the $89 RTF version.
All quadcopters are very durable compared to RC helicopters or planes. The Nano QX even has blade guards, which guard the only thing that usually breaks- the rotors!
Slowly bring the throttle up a bit, and then move it up to about half throttle quickly to get it away from the floor or table. If the quadcopter is too close to a table or the floor, it can become less stable, so newbies need to avoid that.
Once you are a few feet in the air, just let it hover. Make slight corrections by moving the controls to keep it in the same general area. After a minute or two (even a whole battery or two), start making slight movements to make it move around. Note: if you are using the Agility mode (that’s what it is called on the NQX at least), then the quadcopter will NOT stop moving when you return the stick to center. You must apply a little pressure in the opposite direction it is going. If in Stability mode, it will stop when you neutralize the controls.
Move your quadcopter over a good landing area and gently move the throttle down.
I hope that this helped you get started with RC quadcopter. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments.
I’m thinking about adding a forum to umFlight, so I just want to see how many of you are interested in one being added. I don’t want to launch a forum only to find that there is no interest! If I make a forum, I will probably let you vote for a month-ish, plus a month to get the forum setup, so the forum would be added in June or even mid-late May.
Also, I’m thinking of launching a store on umFlight. The timeframe, if I decide to add one would be, maybe, June-August. Maybe even later into fall/winter 2015. Obviously, store planning (I’m wondering if I’ve even reached the planning stage yet) is in very early stages. If you would be interested in there being a forum on umFlight in the future, leave a comment below this post.
Thank you for voting and commenting. Look for a new post next Sunday. Or sooner… And yes, the Nano QX 3D review is coming. Eventually.