We were impressed by the quality of the kit from the minute we opened the box. For example the wing halves were well protected in bubble wrap; the kit included balsa elevens instead of the usual foam ones (balsa is stronger and much preferred on high speed planes) and they included ball linkages instead of the standard linkages. The small pack of Haribos was a nice touch as well. In the box was everything you need to build the kit excluding servos, an ESC, a motor and FPV gear. The two tools you will need is Scotch tape, the 3M brand worked very well for us, and a hobby knife. Everything else like linkages and control horns are included.
What differentiates the wing from every single other one we have seen on the market is that it builds like a mini quad. This is obvious from glancing at it and seeing the central carbon fibre section. This has a number of disadvantages over having one continuous wing section. Firstly it makes it almost indestructible. As almost all your electronics are housed in this central section it provides ample protection. It also means the wing halves can simple detach in a hard landing . There have been a few in the community who have been concerned with the danger of having a 100mph carbon fibre javelin hit you. At Drone Insider we are not too concerned about this; after all it is now commonplace for people to fly quads at 100mph and the weight of a quad and a wing are roughly the same, so we see it as no more dangerous as a quad. The wings themselves attach to the central body using a very clever system that “half” clamps them in place, this leaves the wings sturdy enough for flight, but loose enough to break free in a crash.
We decided to use what we had on hand for our build:
Emax RS2306 2450kV
-Check the FlyBot website for a very useful guide on the recommended setups.
No name 30A ESC
– Use a ESC with at least a 2A BEC if not more
Emax ES08MAII 12g Servos
– We would recommend using metal geared digital servos if you plan on going above 100mph.
– Perfect for a wing and you probably have a few lying around.
– Eagle 2 probably a better choice as it can display battery voltage
– Anything will work, although higher gain is probably preferable.
600mW 5.8GHz VTx
– High power for those longer range missions.
Before the Mini RaceWing arrived we were toying with the idea of using iNav. However one we received the wing we were put off the idea for 2 main reasons. The first point was that this is a racewing, as the name suggests. Therefore it felt pointless to kit it up with RTH and auto level etc, this wing is designed to be raced and any excess weigh would be detrimental to the performance. In addition, there isn’t enough space to build using flight controller unless you are a disciplined builder. The height from the top plate to the bottom plate is 20mm, therefore using servo connectors was out of the question. It would certainly be possible to fit a 30.5×30.5 FC in there and run iNav, but we figured it’s not worth the hassle.
The manual provided is excellent and far exceeds any manual we have received in the past. Instead of the dodgy Chinglish and incorrect C.G. (yes, we have really seen that). The manual is no nonsense and provides all the information necessary from start to trimming out the build. There are a few 3d printed parts released by FlyBot for the RaceWing. We tried the landing skid and it worked as intended.
We started the build but gluing the extruded carbon rods in place and hinging the balsa elevons. As mentioned earlier this really is a kit; you are expected to cut holes in the elevons for control horns and hinge the elevons. This could potentially seem challenging for someone’s first wing build, but the manual is very thorough and as long as you follow it exactly, there is little room to go wrong.
The next step was to setup the servos and linkages. Make sure to centre the servos before you glue them into the wing. The provided ball linkages were excellent and there was zero slop in the control surfaces. The linkages, fins and servos are all located on the top of the wing, this means there is 0 chance they will be damaged in impact unless you happen to crash inverted.
Perhaps the hardest part of the build was assembling all the electronics in the central pod section. Like when building a quad, laying each part out and seeing what fits where goes a long way. We started by mounting the receiver first, then the ESC, then the FPV equipment. It’s worth noting we decided to keep all the electronics off the bottom plate, as it would interfere with the adjustable wing mounting system.
Read part 2 of our review here