UAV Plane - Volantex Ranger EX


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OK, here goes. On top of the various multi-rotor copters I already have, I am looking at adding a FPV Plane to my hanger.

The specs so far is i have purchased the Volantex Ranger EX FPV plane.  It has a 78" wingspan and lots of internal room.

What I have read so far it is a decent and stable work horse that has plenty of space inside for batteries, equipment, and can have a camera on multiple locations on the plane.

Also with multiple batteries in parallel can have an extended flight time. Some forums I  read it can hold over 8 lbs of package and fly in the hours range vice minutes.

We will see.

Any words or suggestions would be great.

With taking the ground school course and studying for the part 107, I hope I have time to start putting it together.

I will start posting as soon as I can. I should receive it by Aug 22nd.

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I will be installing a flight controller. All the whistles and bells.

3DR Pixhawk running PX4 Pro, GOPRO with 2D Gimbal, 2 PPV Cameras, 3-way video switch, PX4 Speed sensor, 

parallel battery pack. This is to start.

Some of the reading I noticed that PX4 PRO also works with the  Firefly Y6. I did look at the specs on the Firefly and with payload flight time is around 40 minutes. I know the plus it can hover like a copter but the flight times are shorter.

The Ranger EX does need a take off distance however payload and flight times is what I am looking for.

Already prepping the mods I have to do prior to build. Building internal brackets, mounts, and motor spacer with my 3D printer. Bought larger wheels for field take offs and landings.

 

 

 

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Both but mostly for commercial. Since I live in Illinois lots and lots of farmland  agriculture  use would be more likely.

My power pack is 2x 6200mAh 14.8V 4S.

Also been reading a lot of backup/failover power sources. The power pack is only for motor/control electronics. For video/electronics will have its own power source.

Waiting on one of prints "under wing compartment electronics shelf - 83.15mmx155.40mmx56mm ". Will hold pixhawk, gps, and other components.  It has 4 hours left from an 8 hour print.

 

Screen Shot 08-21-16 at 06.46 PM.PNG

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I was coming along with my printing of parts. Since the lading gear wheels was larger than the original I needed to print larger wall mounts for storing big bird. However my 3D printer did a nose dive so I had to switch gears. Made new wall mounts another way. Will be starting the build and picture taking tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

This is a copy of what I am starting with picture of just the plane.

Wingspan: 1980mm (77.9 in)
Overall Length: 1170mm (46 in)
Flying Weight(without battery): 1500g
Prop Size: 1060 Propeller
Motor Size: 3715 powerful outrunner brushless motor
Speed Control : 40A Switch-mode BEC brushless ESC
Servo 9-gram Servo * 6pcs
Battery: 2 x 14.8V 6200mAh LiPo
Other Electronics: GoPro with 2D gimbal, two FPV Cams, 3DR Pixhawk, 3DR airspeed sensor, 3-way Vid switch, Walkera Devo 10 tx/rx and few other extras.
Flaps: Yes

RangerEX-parts.PNG

Edited by olesailor
updated values
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I have started construction.

1. Connected landing gear and modified the wheels to be larger. The wheels that came with it would be good for a paved runway but not really for fields.

2.Connected the Rudder/Elevator and the servos.

3.Connected the Main Wing with ailerons/flaps and the servos.

I found that my workshop slatwall needs more modifications for it all to fit. More work for later.

I have taken pictures to give an idea how big it is. The slatwall I have it on is 8ftx8ft. With it hanging on the wall I placed the transmitter and 12" ruler next to it. From the rest of pictures you can see how big the compartment is for storing a lot of batteries, electronics, and other accessories. I have also taken a picture of the what the landing gear wheel was next to the modification.

Next steps lamination of the wings, airlerons, flaps, rudder, and elevator with 1.7 mil laminate film.

One note from forums since on the plane is mostly EPO the hinges are also. Some cut and installed plastic hinges, or another way is to use lamination.

After this installing and connecting all of the electronic packages.

More steps and pics to come.

 Note have some issues with other pics.

Full-Size.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

I completed with the physical tuning. Connected all the servos to the Devo 10 RX. Then performed linkage, and transmitter adjustments. Next steps laminate the main wing, rudder,  and elevator with the 1.7mm laminate film. Retest movement of flaps, ailerons, rudder, and elevator.

 

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I found one example for laminating EPO.

 

 

However reading other comments on the forum noting it was really to high of temperature. As a precaution I have some foam laying around I can practice on first, test my temperature and technique.

RC, and UAVs always something new to learn. Jack of all trades. 

Another note this is the first I have gone down the road of RC Planes. I have a practice plane to fiddle with "picture of it next to Big Bird. I have also been practicing with RealFlight Simulator.  

My main concern is all the adjustments to RC transmitter, and Pixhawk.  One knowledge bit was since Big Bird is a pusher and a tail dagger it has its own issues to adjust for. 

Next chapter to cover.

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Well my practice with spare foam worked pretty well. Mostly learned the technique of heating around curves and making sure there are no bubbles.

I completed doing the complete rudder and the foam hinge looks more solid now. The video really helped.

The new heating iron I am using is the Hanger 9 Heat Sealing Iron HAN101. The max temp is 450 degrees. The dial is labeled 1-5 and the setting I used is was 3 "270 degrees ".  The film was sticking onto the foam very well and didn't burn or cause any issues.  It did take over an hour to do the rudder. I think that was due to my first time I ever laminated and making sure everything was lined up. Letting it stay over night to verify how it sets.

Another step I found on the forum was on the main wings is to glue the two halfs together with EPO tack and seal the edge with tacking tape. Tommorow completing the elevator and main wing.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

For a step back before I bring Big Bird in the air. I bought what I call Baby Bird. It is a Volantex Ranger which only a 54" wing span. Smaller, cheaper, and good test plane which I found out the hard way. It has all the flight characteristics of the Ranger Ex. I dumped it a few times and now I am running repairs. However it was without the pixhawk but straight control with a transmitter it came with.  So with no automated stabilization it was rough. So now it gives me a big reason to place my electronics "pixhawk" in and give that a test. This will help me prep Big Bird.

From the picture it looks almost identical.

ranger.jpg

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