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Let's Fly! - Blunt Nose Versa

#24
Here are a couple of pictures of my FPV Blunt Nose Versa. I am running a 3s 3300mah for a flight pack plus a 3s 1000mah video pack with a turnigy2826/6 2200kv motor on a 7x5 APC prop and a hobby wing 60amp esc. I have it loaded with an Eagle Tree OSD and 1.2 700 mw Vtx. to get the CG right I added a Mobious cam to the front. I have a sony super HAD II mounted on a servo to pan. I used packing tape to strengthen the wing and then Supra colored packing tape for more strength and color.

All up weight is 1180 grams. Cruising speed is about 35 mph at 8-9 amps with a flight time averaging 20 minutes. More if I am flying for distance less if I am park bashing.

I have built and flown quite a few planes but this was my first wing

The wing flys really well. It is pretty fast (mine has seen 60 mph and would do much more), stable yet maneuverable and glides and floats very well.

I love the size, small enough to fit in the car and big enough to carry FPV gear and glide.

I was surprised at how much weight I needed in the front to balance it out even with sliding the motor mount a few inches forward.

If I were to build another:
*I would cut some of the "blunt" off the back to move the motor more forward.
*Pre-wire my VTX. RCRX and GPS before completion to avoid holes in the wing and trying to snake wires.
*Use minwax or even paint it with Plastic Magic to give the foam strength.

My only complaint is that it is not made of stronger material ( I know it is a foam board kit) but after about 20 flights it is beginning to get soft in areas.

This is a great wing and fun to fly, now I need to move my EZUHF RX from my bixler on to this and fly long distance. :cool:


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makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#26
Ok, I've had a couple of flights with my newly completed FT Blunt Nose Versa Wing, and I just wanted to log my experiences:

This plane likes to glide. It gets me in trouble, because I'm used to the glide slope of the older Versa Wing, and wasn't expecting this much glide. Because it's heavier, I thought it would drop more when I cut power. I built mine out of a combination of DTFoamboard for the wings and spars, and Elmers Foamboard for the center blunt section and wing tip plates. Covered the entire bottom of it with packing tape (three different colors) for a distinctive high visibility effect (alternating double strips of yellow, orange and black).

AUW is about 860g with the Lazertoyz "beef" package and a 2600mAh 3S slim battery. No FPV gear mounted yet, so I have almost 200g of additional nose weight (included in my AUW figure). My previous Versa was about 650g with a 2200mAh battery and all DTFB.

I used to fly the original Versa with the ESC configured with no engine braking. I changed that configuration to include engine braking thinking I want to extend the glide for FPV so I can maximize flight time, and to reduce the risk of prop damage on a belly landing.

Three observations:

1) On my 3rd day of flying this (yesterday, 21 Apr 2014), I broke a prop on a very soft landing. I may have flared too much, exposing the prop to the ground first... I haven't worked up the courage to perform a hand catch landing, so I may have to install some folding props if I break my replacement prop.

2) With motor braking enabled in the ESC, the prop still spins, but I do believe that my glide is more than double that of my previous Versa. I started a landing approach from 100yds away at tree top level, and cut the motor. With minimal down elevator, it just glided until it was upon me and the chainlink fence behind me. I had to add throttle and go around, this time landing with much more down elevator until I was nearly in a dive, then pull up at the last minute. This resulted in a fairly hot landing, even with the motor off.

3) The wind seems to toss the bigger wing around a bit more, especially with the motor off while gliding. I really had trouble with adverse yaw in gusting wind and had to fly with 100% or 70% rates (and 30% expo).

Otherwise, I'm loving the new wing, and think that it'll be a great platform for my first FPV experience.
 
#27
Just wanted to pop in to show off my blunt nose,this is my 3rd versa so I wanted to try something a little different. First thing youll notice is the sparkly covering I found and probly that I dont have the winglets or control rods installed yet.
half wing.jpg 113_1150.JPG
Instead of the typical cut/crease to get the airfoil what I did was to peel the paper all the way off the under side of the top half of the wing giving me a nice smooth airfoil,even though it is a bit squishy.
halffoil1.jpg halffoil2.jpg
Lastly I think I overdone it on the power, Im using a GFORCE E-400 motor (2830-2200kv) with a 6x4 prop and a little downthrust. I'm having a little trouble getting the CG, I have 2 2200 mah batteries in the nose and its still slightly tail heavy. Still have my camera to mount though so it should be all good.
halfpower.jpg
Ill try to get some flight video but its scary fast and still needs "tuned in".
THANK YOU FLITETEST !!!
 
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makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#29
After chatting with a friend (the one who sparked my interest in RC flight) about the suitability of flying the Versa wing in a small backyard environment -- where I suggested it was too fast and required too much space for easy landings, he asked if anyone had created a Versa with split-elevons.

I found this post by mygeekshow in the FT Articles section: http://www.flitetest.com/articles/split-elevon-air-brake-testing-on-flying-wing

The other option is getting an integrated flight controller/autopilot to do all the complex mixing, ala: https://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/Dspoiler

I'm now thinking of modifying my Blunt Nosed Versa build in a similar manner, but mostly so I can get some yaw control for better cross-wind landing control. It'll be nice to also have the spoiler/airbrake option to drop speed off on those long landing approach glides. The challenge seems like it will be with dialing in the trim.

It may be a while before I get to this project, but thought I'd post and see if anyone has already done so with the Versa. Anyone?

Cheers,
Dave
 
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Willyspu

Junior Member
#30
Well, after my first flight post (#25) I just lost my Blunt Nose Versa while flying FPV over a logging site in Oregon. I was about a mile away and at 1,200' altitude when my Turnigy 2820/6 2200kv let go. It may have over heated as I was running a 7x5 apc prop but I never had a problem over the last 20 flights or so. I plan to go look for it as I have the GPS coordinates but have to wait until the loggers are not working. After a year of FPV flights (well over 100) this is my first "lost plane".

Here is the video:
 

Andre

Fly yes... land no.
Admin
#31
Ahh nuts.

Please do let us know if you recover the plane.

I've yet to push my range flying FPV but at least you have the downlink recorded.

Good luck.
 
#32
I printed off the blunt nose plans at 187%, ready for my Kraken kit. The spar section looked huuuuge! (insert David's voice there...)

I think I'll wait until I have the actual kit to lay out an adaptation of the blunt nose plans. I also think a nice mod will be to use the same wing split method in the middle as was used on the 200% Cruiser. I laid out something similar for a 72" wing I built a couple years ago but I got impatient in the build and just made it one piece in the end. :rolleyes:
 

Willyspu

Junior Member
#33
Good news, I found my Blunt Nose Versa Wing at the logging site. In the video below you can hear the motor failure and watch the crash in true HD quality :) The second half of the video is the down link from my FPV camera and then a still shot of where I found the plane.

The most worrying part about this is that my Eagle Tree GPS position shows the wing about 1/4 away from where I found it.

When I power it up now the three servos (elevons and FPV cam servo) don't work and obviously the batterys and motor are shot. I will have to test to see if the ESC is ok. Otherwise, the wing takes a beating keeps on going. :black_eyed:

 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#34
Glad to hear you got it back! I've been building a blunt nose the past few days to cheer myself up over my ultra budget quad flying away Saturday :(

Thankfully my FPV gear wasn't on it when it decided to run away with the new motors I had just upgraded it with. And I still had a bunch of things from building it that weren't currently in use. So I've decided to put them into my BN.

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So far it's all looking good. That's an Arduino pro mini with the original sensors from a Wii WMP and Nunchuck I had used in my quad before upgrading to an MPU6050 gyro/accel. In pass-through mode it acts like a delta mixer, but I can also enable horizon or angle modes for flight stabilization. Plus it hooks to my minimOSD to give me artificial horizon (I may add a GPS baro and mag later for full OSD.)

Just need to finish deciding where to mount everything and seal it up. Oh, and the mix on my TX needs a bit of tweaking, my 3 position switch is showing up on the wrong channel and causing some issues...

But - just got a call that someone found my quad so with that back I'll have a harder time staying focused on finishing this BN. Thankfully it takes up enough space I don't think I can forget about it :D

Oh - and someone finding my quad is a great reminder that it's a good idea to put your name and contact info on your airframes!
 

Willyspu

Junior Member
#35
Just need to finish deciding where to mount everything and seal it up. Oh, and the mix on my TX needs a bit of tweaking, my 3 position switch is showing up on the wrong channel and causing some issues...
Thanks, a couple of suggestions about the build:

I ran a 3300 3s + 1000 3s (video) in the front of the BNV and it was still a little tail heavy. Do what ever you can to move the motor forward, even remove some of foam.

Think about gluing a carbon spar of some sort across the wing before you close it up.

Remove paper where things are glued on like servos, the paper comes off way to easily and it is a pain too open it to repair.

Wings love up-elevator on take off, make sure you add in about 10 degrees up on take off. I set a take off switch with plenty of up elevator and it works great.

Have fun with build and and flying! And congratulations on getting the quad back! Yes, names/numbers on all of my flying models.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#36
Flew my FT Blunt Nose Versa with Mobius and FPV board camera today. Elmers foamboard for the center/blunt section and wingtip plates, regular DTFB for the wings and spars. Flight electronics were the LazerToyz "beef" kit. I used a slim 2200mAh battery and flew for about 7 minutes, but that left 3.9V per cell so I had much more flight time to spare.

I spent the morning this past Sunday at a friends where I helped him build his own Blunt Nosed Versa using some extra pieces I had already cut out as spares. He flew it for the first time yesterday at lunch, and loved it. He was similarly amazed that he only used about 450mAh of battery in heavy wind with a 10 minute flight. We both love this airframe!

A little windy, so it wasn't smooth, but just had to post this picture of the City of Boston skyline from Franklin Park.
ftbnv_boston_sm.png
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#37
Thanks, a couple of suggestions about the build:
I ran a 3300 3s + 1000 3s (video) in the front of the BNV and it was still a little tail heavy. Do what ever you can to move the motor forward, even remove some of foam.

Think about gluing a carbon spar of some sort across the wing before you close it up.

Remove paper where things are glued on like servos, the paper comes off way to easily and it is a pain too open it to repair.

Wings love up-elevator on take off, make sure you add in about 10 degrees up on take off. I set a take off switch with plenty of up elevator and it works great.

Have fun with build and and flying! And congratulations on getting the quad back! Yes, names/numbers on all of my flying models.
Thanks, this is my 3rd Versa (1st blunt nose) so I'm already planning on most of that. I just run a 2200 as far forward as I can along with a beat up old "disposable" video camera I hacked to no longer be disposable. It's a heavy beast so it takes care of the balance issues fairly well. This is my first time putting FPV gear on a Versa though and I'm just debating whether to go through the hassle of lengthening things to push my VTX and my RX further apart. They're already further apart than they are on my quad and I've done almost 1k with no video issues on there...but that was with my openLRS and I'm just going to be using a LemonRX 2.4g on this build for now. (though now that my openLRS RX is back I'm thinking I may run it after all.)

I already remove the paper on glue joints - learned that on my first foam plane (an EA Axon - which is where the motor I'm running on this came from.) The motor I'm using is a 2200kv with a 6" prop - it's a little high strung for this but it's what I have on hand and it did fine on my last two versas. (1st one folded in half, 2nd one is still flyable but I stole the motor from it to build this blunt nose.) The motor mount I remove the paper, then gorilla glue an expired credit card/hotel room key/used gift card down - then I use 3M outdoor double sided tape to attach my motor mount (which is just a $0.90 angle brace). It's based off the EA design - supposedly the tape is supposed to release in a crash...but the first time I used this setup it tore off in the first hard landing because of the paper. So I switched to removing the paper but still just hot glued the card in place...except that glue joint would fail in crashes/hard landings. So I switched to the gorilla glue and haven't had any issues since. Still haven't had the tape let loose in a crash like it's supposed to though...think I run too long of a piece of tape because I'm paranoid about the motor coming loose in flight.

I'm definitely thinking about adding some kind of spar reinforcement after my first Versa folded in the center. Don't think it will be carbon though - don't have any and don't have the budget to buy any. But I may go with a paint stirrer or a fiberglass tent pole since I have them on hand.

Got tied up dealing with issues with my home network last night and wasn't able to make any progress on the blunt or on repairing the quad :( Oh well, still a few days before I'll have a chance to fly so I've got time ;)
 
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makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#38
Phew... I finally flew FPV successfully this morning, despite the damp conditions. I had taped the entire bottom of the wings with colored packing tape, so it help up well. My first FPV flight of the blunt nose versa earlier in the week didn't go well when I kept getting brownouts/noise with the DevationTX installed Devo8S TX that was working well in the past. After rebinding with a DX6i, my range test confirmed I had better range and it was the TX that was giving me problems. My BNVersa has a LemonRX DSM2 with Satellite RX installed.

This video shows two different days of flying. The first day, with no success, and the much better second day where I flew two battery packs: a 3600mAh and a 2200mAh with about 15 minutes of flight time on each, leaving me with ~3.9V per cell in both which probably means I can get a good 30 minutes flight before 3V. This is with FPV gear and flight electronics all powered by one battery.

 
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#39
I built the blunt nosed versa wing over the last couple days. It is a fine wing design and the plans are excellent. But after 5 other FT planes, I don't see why it is often recommended to beginners? It is a real handful to launch, and to keep it in the air if you are a beginner. Especially with any wind. I wound up with expo and DR set to 75/50 on elevator and 50/50 on ail before I felt it was managable. Due to it's configuration and being a wing, settings don't lend well to the swappable niche either. If you build it swappable, it's a real pain to "swap" it to another plane. In my mind, flying the Spitfire is much easier for a beginner than the Versa. (And my hat goes off to David for the Spitfire design. That is one fantastic DTFB plane!) I guess the one plus is if you build it in the pusher configuration, it is more forgiving if you lawn dart it.

Bottom line, I don't mean to sound like I'm knocking the Versa Wing. It is a fantastic plane. I just don't agree with it being good for a beginner. Hope that makes sense. :)

It is great for night flying! I lit it up just as described in the FT "Airframe Lighting Tips". Same $12 LED controller and light strip. It lights up wonderfully!

sconner
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#40
I see a lot of beginners jumping on the Versa...but don't really remember FT ever promoting it as a beginner plane, so I'm not sure where the impression that it's a beginner plane came from. Maybe because it "looks simple" people are jumping to conclusions?

It's a good beginner wing - but that's a far cry from a beginner plane.