Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ritewing Zephyr II Build - Part 5 - Nearly there!

Well a combination of crappy weather in the UK over the last couple of weeks coupled with my wife being away on a weekend training course has its advantages when trying to complete a Ritewing Zephyr II build! I'm happy to report that she's about done bar a few final touches.
All the gear has now been installed and the only thing left to complete is a couple of latches need adding to the hinged battery lids and the two centre hatches just need securing with a couple of screws. The only final touch then, is just to add a bit of decoration in the form of some ZII sticker logos. 

 The FPV camera was secured in place in its' enclosure. I drilled a small hole through into the front most bay to route the cable from the camera onto the Hornet OSD unit.
On the GoPro camera, I'm using the layer lens kit from fpvmanuals which protects the whole front of the GoPro camera. You just need to purchase the separate GoPro lens replacement kit with this. These can be purchased from Amazon.
The winglets were secured with some hot glue. Before I glued in place however, I just sunk two bits of 4mm carbon rod of about 15mm in length into the wing which would then help align onto two small holes in the winglet. This took the guesswork out of trying to line the winglet up so that there was equal amounts above and below the wing.
The Hacker motor and speed controller combination are all wired up and I just have to complete a power test now to check I'm not pulling too many amps with the 9*6 APC-e prop I've initially chosen. I may try a folding prop too although I'll need to buy one of these. 

Hmmmmm pretty well ready to maiden then!  Watch this space ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ritewing Zephyr II Build - Part 4 - Nose job and more!

As can be seen from the following pictures, further progress has been made with the camera box now installed, battery bay re-enforced, the installation of some of the equipment and working elevons.

I pondered long and hard whether to go with the Team Black Sheep TBS camera box, but in the end plumbed for a stronger design which my friend Steve came up with and used on his ZII. Essentially it’s been built out of stronger ply and has compartments for both the GoPro and FPV camera. The GoPro is secured by a velcro  strap which comes up through a hole in the floor of the mount. I will however be using the GoPro layer lens from FPVmanuals to protect the GoPro. The FPV camera has a smaller compartment and is protected by a shaped piece of plastic. As shown in a later picture, the camera box has then been covered using the same carbon vinyl.  The two skids either side of the camera box will not be positioned and glued in place.

As can be seen from the following pictures, the equipment has been separated into three bays with the speed controller ESC being left external right at the back. Moving from back to front, the first bay houses the current sensor, BEC and although not shown, the FPV video transmitter.  The centre bay holds the receiver, separate 850 3S battery for the 12v video gear and battery deans connectors. Finally in the front, we have the FY31AP gear (GPS unit, Stabilisation Unit and Hornet OSD).

The Elevons have been sited and are now operational.  I used 3mm carbon rods with some M3 metal clevis. I just need to cover and position the servo covers now.

The GoPro camera sited in the camera box. As can be seen the camera box has been covered in the same carbon vinyl as used on the wings to finish it off nicely. The skids will now be sited either side and glued in place.

Oh and finally, here is a flight video of my friends ZII on it's second outing. His has the FY31AP installed, but it hasn't been setup on the following video.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ritewing Zephyr II Build - Part 3 - Covering

This must be a record, two posts in as many days! I have the bug now and I'm eager to get this bird in the air. The poor weather in the UK is helping too with most of April and early May proving to be a wash out.

Anyway, as explained yesterday, as opposed to laminating the ZII, I've taken the decision to cover it in a Carbon effect vinyl for the top side and red vinyl for the underside. With the red elevons it really sets it off and gives a striking contrast.

It helps if you have two people to cover (thanks Steve) and the tip is to try and take your time and not rush it. A hot covering iron helps just stick those tricky bits down too.

The underside covered in red. The only slight downside is that you can see my receiver ariel underneath, but this should be obscured slightly when I add a few carbon line strips to help with LOS orientation.

The battery sitting nice and snug in one of the two bays with the cable routed into the main bay.

To finish off and hide these once installed, I've made some ply patches which I will cover in the same carbon vinyl and just hinge down.

Next steps, install the electronic gear and TBS GoPro mount in the nose.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ritewing Zephyr II Build - Part 2

 A bit more progress has been made on the ZII build. The two 4S battery bays have been cut out using a hot soldering iron shaped to the correct width and depth. Two small channels have been cut out to route the lipo battery wires into the main hatch. These have been strengthened with two small U shape bits of plastic which have been heated to get the correct shape.

As can be seen if you enlarge the pictures, I've also cut out a small recess all the way around the batteries such that I can then cover these in flight with two bits of thin ply wood. These will be hinged with the carbon vinyl covering material to tidy the whole thing up at the end.

You will also notice, I've added a servo cover just to house the servos off. These will be covered too and just finish the thing off.

The following pictures shows the flying wing taking shape now and getting ready to be covered. The speed controller is going to be mounted on a black perspex sheet cut to the correct size directly above the motor mount. I've opted for the Team Black Sheep TBS GoPro mount and will fit this into nose of the wing. See the following link for a video put together by DesireRC of how this goes together. The reason I opted for the TBS mount was to protect my GoPro lens in the event of an accident! The TBS comes with a perspex layered lens which should do the trick!

Here is a picture of the hatch which has been covered in chrome vinyl, I've added a plastic spoon for an air scoop intake and added a bit of gauze to allow the air to get out. I may look to do the same for the front hatch too to help cool the OSD and other electrical equipment.

Finally, this is the covering below which I've opted for. It's a carbon effect vinyl covering and can be obtained from The top side of the wing is going to be covered in this material with a red vinyl underside. The ailerons will also be covered in red too which should give a very striking contrast coupled with the chrome effect hatch doors. I've opted not to use the Lamination film.