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FPV trainer ideas?


Junior Member
I'm hunting for the following:

Electric fixed wing trainer
Can work in a flight area as small as about 100ft x 100ft (i.e. slow and smallish)
FPV (Mobius and TX, or preferably Mobius, board camera, and TX)
DIY/scratch built - I'd rather build the airframe so I can crash it all day everyday and not have to order stuff
VERY damage resistant
Works with a DX6 or similar TX (i.e. not a proprietary transmitter)

Basically, I'm looking for something like a blunt versa-wing, but slower and smaller. I've considered trying to make a half sized bi--plane versa-wing, but I'd rather go with an established design than build somthing that probably wouldn't fly as well. I'm looking to zip around the trees in FPV at something like 10-15mph, then work my way up to more difficult stuff. I've flown Airhog foam differential thrust planes around, but I'd like something with more conventional full range controls and FPV. So, bigger payload, essentially.

Funbat and FT flyer look good except they are too fast when fast, and flying FPV with high angle of attack wouldn't work.

I'm an engineer and private pilot (full scale), and fly a 3DR Y6 for work, but only really conservatively, slowly, and often autonomously. I'd like something I can build fixed wing and FPV skills with. Bonus if I can fly for half an hour at a stretch and in the dead of night! (I might as well add lunar landings to the wishlist, too, right?)

Thanks for your suggestions!
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You're probably not going to get all those things for under $100, if you wanted a good trainer that parts were very cheap for, I would recommend a Bixler 2, but you want something small, and your problem is that almost nothing will carry normal FPV gear that is that small. You're gonna have to go more expensive than that, and widen your flight area, unless you want to completely build your own design.


Hostage Taker of Quads
Yeah, the mobius alone is most of your budget.

If you're willing to go up to $200, you can get a Hubsan X4D -- a narrow FOV FPV microquad with the screen built into the transmitter. small, light and fairly stable, and due to it's size it's fairly durable and parts are cheap -- buy spare props. Only flies in a self level mode, but can be really fast and nimble on high rates. Should get around 5 min flight time.


Junior Member
I've got the Mobius, so that isn't intended to be within the budget. I've seen the Hubsan. It is pretty neat, but an investment in that isn't scalable at all, I don't think. I was figuring $75 to cover motor, electronics, and such, since I'd build the airframe out of foam core board, or similar. I'm just not seeing a design that is slow enough with this big a load while still being small. It could easily be a bi-plane sort of thing I'm looking for.


Master Tinkerer
Has anyone done FPV with a #11 808?

I would use a ft flyer for FPV, but I don't know how the extra equipment would weigh it down.


Just dog tired
Have you considered scratch building a plane from foamboard? I think that Flitetest has at least one scratch build plane that would fit your requirements, and I know that the EA Axon would work within your cost requirements.

I think your biggest issue is the "flying space" and speed requirements. Unless you are intending to do some Micro-FPV on something like a smoke or ember slowflyer (which would NOT carry your mobius) you are looking at needing more space and the ability to go faster. Simply put, your cargo payload requirement necessitates a plane large enough that it would violate your flying space requirement and have to go faster than your speed requirement.

So you have to decide: Do you want to carry the Mobius and other gear, or do you just want to do micro-fpv with a pinhole camera?
I might be way off base here, but What about a GWS Slow Stick?

Almost non existent wing loading, flies ultra slow and stable. IN addition there are a lot of aftermarket options for camera/fpv mounting and it has a heck of a payload capacity, even more if you reinforce the wings.

As far as resilience, I've crashed mine a hundred times, and a little packing tape usually gets her back in the air immediately. Might be a little tight in a 100x100 space, but I've flown mine on a footbal field with relative ease.

Kits are less than $30 for the airframe.

ETA link. http://www.headsuphobby.com/GWS-SLOW-STICK-RED-GWS103.htm
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creator of virtual planes
My Noob Tube with an undercambered wing can fly real slow and handle a lot of weight. But I don't know if it was the wind or the plane, but I broke a wing, fixed it, then broke the other. But a decent spar would fix that. My Noob Tube was going to be a twin engine, but I had issues with the power system and just made it a standard noob tube. http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?8257-Simple-Twin-Trainer

I was able to keep my plane close and in a small area, but that took a lot of practice to get to that flying level. But a small noob tube with an undercambered wing might be perfect for you. Especially if you made it a twin engine. But I recommend using Elmer's or Flip Side foam board, not Dollar Tree. You won't need a wing spar if you keep the wingspan 30" or less.