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2015/08/13 My First X-UAV Talon, and its demise
π 2015-08-13 00:00 in Rc
After having had a Talon sitting my garage for almost a year, I finally got around to building it. The instructions were poor, but the build was easy, so it didn't matter:

turns out I wouldn't be using the dome, like most people
turns out I wouldn't be using the dome, like most people

my wing extension kit came with this seemingly useless replacement gear that weighed way too much
my wing extension kit came with this seemingly useless replacement gear that weighed way too much

sadly, the wood support didn't have any underneath plate to put the autopilot on
sadly, the wood support didn't have any underneath plate to put the autopilot on

so I had to make my own plate to attach to the supports
so I had to make my own plate to attach to the supports


The kit came with 2 kinds of servo horns. I ended up using the bigger ones, and made holes to use the backing plates with screws:



I got the wing extensions right away:


I got to fit my pitot tube between the main wing and the extension
I got to fit my pitot tube between the main wing and the extension

The motor and ESC aren't super easy to access once everything has been glued:


Given how big the inside of the plane, is, I figured the bluebeam 1.3Ghz antenna might fit inside, but not quite, bummer:



almost fits...
almost fits...

I however had plenty of room to put a 360 degree servo attached to a mobius mount:



The wheel didn't turn freely, I had to cut out some extra foam to help it:


I then went for my first flight, I had to put 10,000mAh of batteries in the very front of the plane just to balance out the CG :)


didn't bother putting the dome
didn't bother putting the dome

The first flight was "interesting" as in I didn't have flaperons working yet, landings were at pretty high speed. The other issue was that my elevator was way too sensitive and I had a hard time adjusting the pitch for landing, causing me to come for many landing approaches before I nailed one:

After a trip, I spent some time to put my FPV gear in because I wanted my next videos to have telemetry showing airspeed and other options on the video so that I could review it more easily and check minimal speed with and without flaps, and see how things go before stalls
I figured I'd cram the $500 gopro inside the CXN mount so that it would be less exposed in case of a crash, and the FPV camera goes on top:



I added some wood so that it would hit first instead of the cameras :)
I added some wood so that it would hit first instead of the cameras :)

The batteries can now be in a more central position without breaking CG:



I then went for the new maiden flight. Takeoff was a bit dicy since my Talon now weighed 4kg with all the gear, but things were ok. It flew pretty fast though and I wanted to see how much I could slow it down with flaps. Unfortunately, after trying full flaps, things looked ok for one second or two, so I got my hand off the flaps slider and that's exactly when the plane pitched straight down.
I only had enough time to pull on the elevator but not enough to retract the flaps. Replaying the video shows (with only a few pixels) that one of my ruddervator surfaces got unglued due to the G and weight stress, causing a full loss of control and full speed crash into the ground :(

The impact was severe enough pretty much everything was broken, including both microsd cards that were in the cameras:


first card has an internal short and won't work and 2nd card was sliced by the shock :(
first card has an internal short and won't work and 2nd card was sliced by the shock :(

the lipos also didn't like the Gs, but thankfully did not burst into flames
the lipos also didn't like the Gs, but thankfully did not burst into flames

The mobius did survive the crash (the lipo inside got compressed and the lens cable unhooked, but it's working again). The gopro unfortunately had its LCD damaged, so it can still record but won't display what it's doing anymore :(
Obviously, this was very disappointing, although I leanred a few things:

  • flaperons on the X-UAV Talon are very dicy because they almost work as reverse elevator :(
  • you need to very heavily glue the ruddervator surfaces, and I failed to do that. Expensive lesson...

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