- Have you ever wished you had an extra sidekick quad to help you recover your main machine from a tree?
- Or perhaps one you could deploy from the comfort of your car to recon a new spot without the hassle of going out and walking there?
- Or maybe just an ultra-compact video rig to give your loved one an excuse to rip a few packs under the pretense of documenting your vacation?
Well, the Wingman is all of that, and much more!
The idea for this frame stemmed from Dave C’s nano long-range, concept -obviously!-
I was immediately hooked on the idea of being able to pop a single, general-purpose 18650 li-ion cell on a quad and cruise around longer than with any of my freestyle rigs
Back then the only frame option was the original 3D printed one
I knew I could greatly improve upon the concept by utilizing carbon fiber, but I also knew that by the time I would be ready to release, I wouldn’t be the only one with a CF arms nano LR
So I decided to up it a notch; I’ve had this idea of folding arms in my head for a while, and the lightweight, low load use case of that format would be the best proving ground for it
Over a year in the making, after many iterations and countless hours of testing and tuning later what is the result?
The first-ever foldable and soft mounted arms in FPV
The major unique feature of this frame kit is obviously the folding arms
And the way it manages to achieve this feature in such an integrated manner is where the whole secret sauce resides
This 3″ 1S format offers the possibility to push incredibly intricate ideas down to an incredibly simple execution thanks to the low prop load
In this case, I’ve chosen to make the top and bottom plates clamped to the standoffs,
While using the same standoffs as pivots for the arms, themselves sandwiched between 2 TPU shims and a nylon spacer to press them down in position
Those TPU shims also serve 2 purposes at the same time; they primarily provide friction for the quick deployment of the arms, while also dampening the junctions
This helps reduce the number of vibrations transmitted to the FPV and HD camera (more on that in a bit) and the FC gyro, enabling smooth footage and easy tuning
Ultra-lightweight, durable and compact design
The spaceframe carbon fiber body was meticulously designed to only keep material where absolutely necessary
This includes protecting all the electronics and maintaining a rigid platform,
While pocketing everything else for lightweight and airflow
Making it only 24g frame only, or 60g ready to fly excl. battery
Quick-release arm mechanism
For being designed around ease of use and quick deployment, I went for a friction fit with a light detent to hold the arms open
Just simply pull the arms out until the detent clicks, and push them back in when you’re done
That means no manual latch, no thumbscrew, no positive lock
This also means that in the event of a crash the arms might fold and you would need to go get it…
…But you’re also more likely to be able to take off again without any damage, as I’ve found during testing that the folding appears to absorb a lot of energy that might have snapped something otherwise
In any event, let that be clear that this remains a stable and soft cruiser above all; you won’t have much fun going bando bashing with it I can almost guarantee it 😄
Extremely efficient and long flight time – Over 20mins
The DVR to the right speaks for itself;
I was able to get over 20mins of decent acro flight time on a poorly tuned build with a mere VTC5A 2600mAh cell
I reckon this is not even near what this platform can achieve with a 3000mAh VTC6 and proper tune
How long can you fly?
HD Cam capable
The camera mount that comes with each kit isn’t just for shows, it can definitely carry it 😄
Well maybe not your full-size gopro, but if you have a caddx peanut, insta360 go, or a thumb you’ll get a lot of fun from it
I bring mine on short trips, takes no space in the bag, is quickly deployed, just a great little compact video rig
To sum it up, just a great tool to always have with you, just so many uses for it
- Toss it in your bag when you’re going on vacation for drone videos (also a great excuse for your wife to bring a quad)
- Use it to recon new spots to rip without going out of the car (walking? like with your legs?)
- Search and rescue! Take advantage of the long flight time to look for a lost quad (I hope you find it brother/sister)
- Attach a string to the back, fly around that branch you got your main quad stuck on, bring it back and give it a good tug (watch your head)
- Or even get that whoop you got stuck on that roof (I know you could just climb up the gutter but come on it’s 2022)
- Guerilla dive! pull it out of pocket, deploy it in a second, rip that huge building tower (you know which one), fold it back in your pocket and bail
- Or simply just cruise around for a relaxing chill flight, perhaps to wind down after a hard charger sesh (if you got the patience for it)
- … or whatever else you want it to be!
I’ve built this frame not to be an alarmingly fast zippy freestyle rocket, or a purpose-built cinema rig to carry your gopro
I’ve built it to be always there when all your other quads are down,
Always there to have your back when you need it
Hence why I’ve named it so.
I’ve built it to be your Wingman.
I hope I got you as excited as I am about this new creation and I hope you get all the fun and use from it as I’ve been having!
Get yours today, tell me about it!
- 1 x Top plate
- 1x Bottom plate
- 2x Front plates
- 4x Arms
- 1x 18650 Tray
- 4x M2 x 10mm alu standoffs
- 4x M4 x 6mm nylon spacer
- 8x M2 x 8mm steel screw
- 4x M1.7 x 5mm steel plastic screw
- 1x TPU cam holder
- 2x TPU shim set
- 4x M2 x 10mm steel screw
- 8x M2 nylon nuts
Motors: 1202.5 11500kv or equivalent, 80mm long wires. See the special happymodel ones I’m carrying
Props: 3018 biblades or equivalent. See the Gemfans I’m carrying
AIO: Any 5A 1S will do, I’ve had great luck with Happymodel ELRS F4
Camera: Any 14mm micro cam. See the special Caddx Ant I’m carrying with extra long wires
VTX: I like them built-in the AIO, but if you prefer it discrete I recommend powering it through a voltage booster circuit
- 2022-04-25: Release
- 2022-06-09: Add 4x M2x10mm screws and 8x M2 Nylon nuts for stack (Serial #24 and onwards)
Steve (verified owner) –
Once you have it in your hands you can tell how much thought, time, effort and love has gone into this design. Every aspect is well thought out both aesthetically and mechanically. The way the arms lock into place, the shape of the arms when folded in, carbon just where it’s needed and the unique look of the finished build, all contribute to a well done product.
Congratulations Mr Fractal, it’s brilliant!
Aaron (verified owner) –
Ordered this kit but only ordered one motor. before it shipped Yves thankfully reached out and double checked to see if that was right. A quick correction and everything was on its way. Took 2 weeks to arrive in Canada, not bad.
When it got here I followed the we code on it to build it. This lead to a exploded diagram of how to assemble the body. This didn’t include any of the electronics though. I needed to modify the frame and do some guessing work to get it together but after a few hours it was all assembled and looking great.
The tune provided in the download links turned out to be quicksilver. This is a really nice tune but I had to do a fair amount of work to get the motor directions right. Largest issue was the tune had the motors out of order and because the usb plug is under the battery it took a janky setup to get power to the board and still being plugged into usb. After getting everything setup correctly and the directions corrected the drone flys great. Using vt6 3000mah batteries I get around 16min of aggressive flying.
Note, the kit doesn’t have the correct bolts for the props. They have been fine just friction fit but I will be putting in 2 bolts asap just incase.
Clay C (verified owner) –
an awesome frame, build wasn’t too hard. did have some trouble with the 18650 battery tray but besides that it’s not terribly difficult. flies okay enough, does feel like its sliding on ice with how heavy it is and with the bi-blade props. might try some tri blade 2.5″ and see how it turns out. 5 stars, great frame. only 1 gram heavier than the Rekon 3/nanolongrange frame.
Michael (verified owner) –
Looking forward to this build. Still debating on what FC I want to go with.