I mentioned this on every project but being the wrap up for the year I would like to thank my sponsors www.FrSky-RC.com and www.myflydream.com who without many of these projects would not be possible.
It's been a very busy year for FaTedev with 2 major site design changes, 28 new projects added to the site, standardised project formats so each new project you read becomes clearer where to find what and so much more.
I've decided to list my 5 favourite projects from this year below, I choose these projects either because of the build complexity or because of the end result. First though check out our 2012 compilation video with a range of models shown from over the year.
In descending order my top 5 favourite projects:
#5 - Xtra 300 brushless conversation with sub nano FPV just 5.8 grams total
My Nine Eagles Xtra 300 comes in at number 5 because it's only got a 50CM wingspan but I abused it lots and it took every bit of it. First I attached a custom 11g camera I made up and it flew fine, so I pushed the boat out and also put an altimeter just in front of the camera so now it was carrying an extra 22 grams. Around the same time the motor began to die so I decided to convert it to a brushless Turnigy set-up and things got so much better.
I went on to fit NANO FPV with the entire kit for the FPV system including lipo was just 5.8 grams. Now I could fly live from my Fatshark goggles. It deserves it's number 5 rating with it extreme versatility!
#4 - HPI Mini Recon, ESC, LED mod and pin spike tyres with video
This 1/18th scale HPI Mini Recon was a risk buy, I knew it was a good brand being HPI but 1/18th scale off-road truck? So I bought it and was surprised! It was pretty fast out of the box and came with everything needed to go drive, however it wasn't long before I fitted it with a pan/tilt FPV system to drive by video lol. Unfortunately not long after it began raining hard and the speed controller died.
In beginning December I bought a Carson 20T speed controller, a very good brand I was hoping was a little performance increase. At the same time I got GenAce 2S 1800mAh lipo packs and fitted the shell out with HobbyKing LEDs with white head lights, red tail lights and blue lighting the inside shell up. This little monster and I do mean little, is now a rocket on wheels! It really does fly around now and doesn't mind hills, jumps and rest of normal off-road driving.
It still has some draw backs with the turn buckles not being adjustable (got them on the way now) and also finding shells in 1/18th scale for these is next to impossible but I have one on order to try out.
#3 - NincoAir red wing free flight RC conversation with Pitcherons and Rudder for slope soaring
The NincoAir Red/Black wing starts life as a free flight throw model, however when I seen it for 10 Euro and got it out of the box in the shop I knew there and then I wanted it. This is an EPO foam model which is extremely durable material, so converting this to RC as a glider for the price was amazingly worth it.
Of course I wanted something different so I fitted the model with Pitherons (wingerons) where the entire wings move providing elevator and aileron control, I also fitted a rudder. This tiny model in high winds (and I do mean HIGH - BFT 7++!) is excellent fun, it has a roll rate unlike anything I've ever flown. If it wasn't for the fact it drops too much altitude due to the whole wing moving it would be excellent in lower winds also I would imagine.
In more recent projects I converted a 2nd Redwing to regular ailerons to have some fixed wing to provide consistent lift but still half the wing cord is aileron! So the roll rates are still very nice.
#2 - My 2nd ParkMaster 3D - what to fix as you build and a custom paint job
In at number 2 is my Multiplex ParkMaster 3D where I took all I learnt from my 1st ParkMaster where it broke, weak and could be improved then applied it as I built the actual 2nd model. Being able to add in extra carbon fibre is much easier as your building and not having to modify a pre-built model.
I also took the time to give the model a custom spray job with a nice blue / silver offset and mix in parts. As the plane flies in the sun and does rolling loops etc it reflects the sun making it really stand out (but not in a "oh no I'm blind for a second" kind of way!). I've done much more with model with a better Hacker motor providing so much more thrust I can really dart around or prop hang at just 25% throttle!
#1 - Depron Delta (DD) v5 final build. Faster, sleeker and night lights
The prodigy project of the year by far. The first version of the DD was an idea I had late one night and decided to challenge myself to build a delta model from scratch to flyable in one hour. I recorded the whole thing and put it on the project page, the model flew and was lots of fun. Not long after that I began to think of improvements starting with a rudder being added to later increasing the span and motor power.
By version 4 I was trying a 30CM micro Delta design which did fly as you can see on the project page but really was hard to launch and get going. So I decided to do one more version with in-line servos on all controls for no control lines and 0 torque loss + maximum throw possible from the servo. I also added an array of LED lights for night flying and give it a beasty motor on a 3S 1000mAh lipo (on a 50CM span Delta!). DD version 5 still is the best delta design I've created to date, it's roll rate rivals the RedWing model, it's speed is super fun and having night lights to fly so bright they light the ground up makes this by far the number one project of the year.
I've built the DD version 5 for other pilots who also added night lights and seeing them fly together at night is just crazy fun with the speeds they get.