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Thread: X-UAV Clouds 1880mm FPV plane - full review / build log / mods

  1. #11
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    Here is the second day of flying the Clouds! I wanted to test the L9R's and VTX03's range as well as do some cloud chasing! Luckily for me I found some clouds 10kms away... so I was able to see what these modules were capable of! Next time I will push it even further!



  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmerly View Post
    Awesome write up. This is a really nice plane. Here's what I did with the little nose piece that comes out. You can fit a GWS 360 degree servo inside. I had 3d printed this really nice pan/tilt and it worked out fantastic.

    Great paintjob! What site did you purchase this from in the states?

  3. #13
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    Hey guys, a quick update to let you know of a small issue I ran into with the Clouds!


    This morning I was preparing the plane for the weekend flights, and while I was doing all the testing everything worked perfectly... but then I connected the wings... and the servos no longer worked! It took me a while to figure out what had happened! Thankfully the UBEC I am using has short circuit protection and was cutting power off so the servos survived!


    Basically while assemblying the wings, it is entirely possible to push the bolt that holds the wings together through the servo cable, if it just so happens to be over the hole... which is what happened to me! You can see in the photos below the damaged cable... so be careful when assembling the wings! May have to think about pringing some sort connector holder... as on the EVE-2000 wings, but for the servo connector only!

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  4. #14
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    Hello guys,

    has anyone yet managed to find a setup that is reasonably efficient while cruising but can also go fast (max 140kph / 85mph) for short times?

    cheers
    bubuu

  5. #15
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubuu View Post
    Hello guys,

    has anyone yet managed to find a setup that is reasonably efficient while cruising but can also go fast (max 140kph / 85mph) for short times?

    cheers
    bubuu
    I have been able to get to 140km/h with the 3508 580Kv motors I am using at 90% throttle, but I did have around 20km/h tail wind. The motors I have on my EVE-2000 are 3508 640Kv... so they may give you a bit more speed. Both run on 6S with a 10x7E prop.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arxangel View Post
    Here is the second day of flying the Clouds! I wanted to test the L9R's and VTX03's range as well as do some cloud chasing! Luckily for me I found some clouds 10kms away... so I was able to see what these modules were capable of! Next time I will push it even further!


    Arxangel, this is a wonderful building review and an amazing video.

    I have been watching your videos for the Ranger on and off for a long time, to see you build this plane is quite a treat.

    If you ever have the time, and I do not want to impose considering you have shared a lot of time already ... I am wondering about how this plane behaves ....

    Could I ask you share some detailed commentary on the handling characteristics of this plane? It is so new that nobody seems to know how it handles in the air, duration, gliding performance, landings etc....

  7. #17
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strudel View Post
    Arxangel, this is a wonderful building review and an amazing video.

    I have been watching your videos for the Ranger on and off for a long time, to see you build this plane is quite a treat.

    If you ever have the time, and I do not want to impose considering you have shared a lot of time already ... I am wondering about how this plane behaves ....

    Could I ask you share some detailed commentary on the handling characteristics of this plane? It is so new that nobody seems to know how it handles in the air, duration, gliding performance, landings etc....
    Hehe, thank you!

    Funny thing... your questions come precicely at the right moment! Refer to next post and the video at the end!

  8. #18
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    UPDATE 1

    First off a little warning about putting together the wings. A few weeks back I was preparing the plane for the weekend flights, and while I was doing all the testing everything worked perfectly... but then I connected the wings... and the servos no longer worked! It took me a while to figure out what had happened! Thankfully the UBEC I am using has short circuit protection and was cutting power off so the servos survived! Basically while assemblying the wings, it is entirely possible to push the bolt that holds the wings together through the servo cable, if it just so happens to be over the hole... which is what happened to me! You can see in the photos below the damaged cable... so be careful when assembling the wings! May have to think about pringing some sort connector holder... as on the EVE-2000's wings, but for the servo connector only!











    Alright, on with the goos stuff now! Recently I was contacted by a company called AKK Technology. They make some analogue video stuff - Vtxs, Rxs, cameras, etc., and they asked me if I can review some of their stuff and include them in some of my reviews. It just so happened that in that moment I was in need of a 600mW Vtx, and they had one with switchable output power, and with a soldered extension cable with a 90 degree angle SMA connector, which was perfect for what I needed it for and how I had to mount it! So... the stuff they have looked nicely made and I though I'd give them a shot!





    The Vtx is programmable just like most current units on the market - you hold the buttom for various times in order to get to the various settings, and then change those with short presses! Options for power output include - disabled output, 25mW, 200mW, and 600mW. Since I needed this for some serious range, I set it to 600mW. It has 40 channels, so more than enough to suit most people, and the 90 degree angled SMA makes it suitable for different applications, and particularly suited to mine, although there are other variations of the units to suit any job and mounting situation!





    So the idea here was to move the Vtx in the middle of the plane, where the L9R receiver was, and to move the receiver to the back of the plane, where the Vtx was. The goal was to put the Vtx antenna where it will be clearly visible from the ground no matter which way the plane was turned. So I printed a new... stand for the Vtx, and the right angle at the end of the cable allow for an easier and more sturdy print. Besides... the antenna I wanted to use had a 90 degree connector on it... so this turned out perfect!





    I did measure the temps it reached at 600mW, and at an ambient of around 24-25 degrees it topped at around 80-81 degrees, which is actually lower than what the Eachine VTX03 was reaching at 200mW output! It took about 3 mins to reach that temperature, and since these units are mainly designed to go on racing drones, you rarely wait that long before powering it and flying... so once in the air it will cool down nicely.





    But since I will be mounting this on a plane with an autopilot, and there is some wait time prior to flight... and I doubt I will be in the mood to switch output power off every time, I decided to add an aluminum heatsink just to be safe in the coming summer days! Thermal paste is a must in such situations.








    Next I glued the stand on the hatch where the L9R receiver was mounted before, and once the glue dried I removed the connectors from the Vtx's wires so I can push then through the small hole left for the wiring.








    So finally, the stand turned out ot be a tad taller than I had anticipated... but... the further from the fusealge the better!








    Following that, I printed out a new stand for the receiver, and glued that in on the tail. I also put a tail fin strenghtening rod between the tail fins... just in case! The fins themselves had no spars in them, so basically the only thing holding them to the frame was the little plastic piece glued to them... and that was only mounted with one bolt... so I though this would be a good idea, and also it was recommended to me by a fellow Clouds owner on YouTube, since he had a camera facing back and noticed the fins were twisting around a bit too much.





    Since this rod was going to be mounted so close to the Rx antennas, I didn't want to put a carbon one in there, because it is conductive and will absolutely affect the performance of those antennas, so I went out and bought a plastic half circle rod for the job! It turned out perfect, and best thing is... it doesn't affect the antennas at all!





    Actually the rod and the antenna stand turned out so close together by pure chance, but I took advantage of that and added a small piece of Bison reinforced double-sided tape between the two pieces just for added strength and security!





    And now that the mods were complete, it was time to go out and field test this beast. After I reached the max distance I let the Clouds glide on the way back... and it performed marvellously! I was very pleasantly surprised, and it was a perfect glide back to the ground with almost no input from me!



  9. #19
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    UPDATE 2

    Alright, a quick update. After the Skywalker EVE-2000 aileron fiasco I printed out more servo cases and installed them on all servos on the Clouds. This really improved my confidence in the plane!





    I also got a new 6S 6600mAh battery, which is the same as the old one, just without the damaged cells, so I should be able to make full use of the battery's capacity! While the new battery cycling on the charger to be broken in, I installed a FeiYu Tech Mini3D gimbal on the plane, and since the gimbal allows for upside-down installation, it worked perfectly for the Clouds. I paired it with my FireFly 6S camera for some nice 4k aerial video.





    Since I already have prior experience flying my Raptor V2 through a gimballed camera, I know this is not a very pleasant experience on a plane, so I installed a RunCam PZ0420M pilot camera, as well as a video switch, so I can see the feed from both cameras.





    While I was tinkering with the plane, I noticed the plastic canopy bolts have started to really squish the foam beds and it would not have been long before something gave way... in flight! So I took some measurements, and printed out plastic rests for the bolts, which I glued in the canopies after some cutting! Now they feel solid and those canopies are not going anywhere!





    And finally I managed to confirm my CG... after a few interesting flights with the plane a bit tail heavy, so my stable CG is at 28cm from the plane's nose, but will have to do some more tests with the User Manual CG of 29cm. The dash in the photo below is the 28cm I am at now.





    And finally, here is the video showing the near disaster that could have destroyed the plane just because I got the CG slightly wrong... or... not so slightly! Too bad my brand new battery and 3-axis gimbal had to go through this!



  10. #20
    Navigator Arxangel's Avatar
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    Hey guys, here is one more video with the Clouds of... cloud chasing! Hope you enjoy!


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