Previously I took a look at the Wing Wing Z84, the FX-79 and FX-61’s smaller sibling and also selected the various components required to get her in the air.
With all of my parts selected and (eventually) delivered it was time to assemble. First step RTFM..
The manual left a lot to be desired – something you often find with these types of products. A full page or warnings and notices but nothing quite so useful as a recommendation on the type of glue to use.
Putting the airframe together was pretty trivial so I won’t go in to too much detail here. Simply glue the carbon spar into the wings – passing through the fuselage. Glue the vertical fins, motor mount and motor mount top cover in place. Finally glue in the servos, servo horns and canopy/hatch retaining clip.
That’s the airframe assembled. Simple right?
In terms of glue choice I opted to use a mixture of 30-minute epoxy and microballons. Hot glue would probably do just as good of a job but I prefer epoxy for anything that requires strength. To make the servos a little easier to replace I wrapped them in some tape before fixing in place. I find cheap servos tend to last forever or burn out relatively quickly – it’s a lottery.
With assembly of the airframe completed I started to thing about component placement. After many failed attempts to cram everything inside the main bay I eventually settled on the layout shown below. This meant cutting out recesses on either side of the main bay to house the VTX and RX. The camera was easy to place – with a small amount of foam extracted to make way for the lens it sat perfectly on the little shelf that the canopy/hatch usually rests on.
There weren’t many options for the flight controller placement. The only place it could realistically go was to the rear of the spar. If it were placed in front then the battery would have little room to be moved around in order to manipulate the CG.
After cutting out the recesses for both VTX and RX – I secured them in place with a dab of hot glue. I kept a small piece of foam from the RX recess and used that along with some reinforced packing tape to cover it back over (bind the RX to your TX first). The VTX recess was simply covered with some clear tape so that I could still see the LED channel number display.
At this point I soldered an XT60 battery lead to the flight controller as well as a buzzer and 4x servo lead sockets for SBUS, ESC and left/right elevons.
Below is a closeup of my flight controller completely connected up. You’ll notice I have the arrow which should be pointed forwards actually pointing to the port wing – this was necessary so that the USB port would be accessible. The board orientation can be corrected in the INAV configuration later. It’s also possible to just make out the ESC at the top of the picture, which I have managed to cram inside the motor mount tunnel.
Connections starting from the bottom right hand side of the photo:
- GPS on UART2 with magnetometer on I2C
- PWM channels for 2x elevon servos and ESC (wires on underside)
- SBUS input on UART3 (wire on underside)
- Video in/out for OSD
- Filtered VTX/camera power supply
- Main battery power input (-VE wire on underside)
- ESC +VE connection (-VE connected with BATT -VE on underside)
- FRSKY S.PORT telemetry on UART1
That was pretty much all of the physical assembly done. All that remained was to fit the motor, add some velcro in the battery bay and finally apply a few stickers. Here’s a photo of what it looks like once complete,
That’s all for now. In my next blog I’ll run over configuring INAV and my first flights!
This blog isn’t intended as a complete step-by-step build guide but more of an account of my experiences. With that in mind it does assume the reader has some previous experience in building RC models and/or tinkering with electronics. That said if you are a beginner and have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out.