I’ve been working on the Spirit 100 glider to convert it to an FPV platform for the last couple of weeks.  Today I finally was able to get the plane up with the First Person View gear and the results were awesome.

Having so much wing area is a huge bonus when flying FPV because it really slows things down and when you are just gliding your video is so smooth.  With the addition of some moderate piloting skills you can get some awesome results and a ton of enjoyment.

The first video I have to show you today is the test video. I always fly a plane in ‘normal’ line-of-sight mode with all of the FPV gear, receiver, video recorded and goggles running but I let a friend wear the goggles while I fly the plane.  If there are any interference issues they can tell me if there is a problem and I can go back and review the video later to see what is going on. Bryn wore the goggles for the first flight, I don’t think he’s worn them before and he really enjoyed the view as I flew around. I think it’s a view that everyone into R/C should get to experience.

Here’s a hard link to the video on YouTube (where you can vote and comment 😉 ): Spirit 100 Glider FPV-First Person View Setup Test Flight or you can watch it with the embedded player.

Once the test flight had been performed and I received good reports from my goggled co-pilot, Bryn, I proceeded to get some batteries charged up for the next flight, which was to be a true FPV flight.   My buddy Ollie spent some time flying his discus glider while my batteries charged up.  He built this thing from scratch and it flies great.  It is amazing to watch him spin around and throw this thing a hundred feet in the air. Check out the gallery then scroll down for more FPV testing!

I hope you had fun checking out those photos. After quite a few launches, flights and catches of OT’s DLG (Discus Launch Glider) my batteries were finally charged and I was ready to do my first real FPV flight on the SPirit 100 (2.6 meter) powered glider.  The first launch from FPV ever was pretty rough, I did not power on the motor soon enough and/or did not pull back and time and the glider left a nifty divot in the field.  After checking things over and the glider (seemingly) looking okay Ollie threw it up again and this time it took.

Now, I had reset the camera to default settings because I wanted to go through it and demo all of it’s options, a project I still need to get to, but having forgot this, the camera was doing very poorly with the low level of lighting.  Everytime I lifted the center of the camera to the horizon, it blacked out the video, and when I pointed it down everything lit back up.  This was very difficult to fly with as I kept getting ‘blacked out’ and I finally decided to land it.  I did get a good 2 and 1/2 minutes of flight time, and that 2.5 minutes was great. I really look forward to getting some full flights in!

Here’s the second video, again here is the hard link in case you want to comment and vote: First FPV Flight on Spirit 100 Glider or you can watch the embedded version below.

After the flight I found out that the root of one of the wing sections had been broken at the rear mounting point. I think the sudden deceleration caused the wingtips to move forward under inertia and the rear mounting points to pull forward and shear out of the wing-bolt block. the 1/4-20 screws seemed no more worse for that wear though.  I’m going to strip the covering from this part of the wing and fiberglass it, at the suggestion of Ollie, and it should be all good to go again.

Also another problem discovered is that the motor I used for the power-pod on the Spirit 100 has a bent shaft which is causing excessive vibration when I power up the motor. If you watch the videos you can see the video ‘wiggling’ occasionally, this is the cause.   I’m ordering a new shaft and bearings for this motor this week (probably Boca Bearing ceramics) since I also need to order a new shaft, bearing and prop-adapter set for my Twist 60’s Power 90 motor.  I’ll try to get some shots of those two motor repairs in case anyone is interested in ‘how to replace bearings and motor shafts’ 🙂

Thanks for watching!

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