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Member postings for scott cuppello

Here is a list of all the postings scott cuppello has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: New Cyclops 3 metre UAV/FPV Camera Platform
11/02/2014 09:23:21

So far, the pod halves are not glue'd together, this is one of the nice things about how the Cyclops goes together, you can check everything in terms of power train and equipment in terms of weight distribution before you are committed. You will see the one mod I have made to the pod so far and that is the addition of an exhaust vent, there is a cooling lnlet hole in the nose just under the dome, the exhaust is supposed to be the CF boom, however, the hole at the other end of the boom (which is for the elevator/rudder leads) is just too small in my opinion, I suspect there won't be much need for cooling given how low the cruising amps will be, however, in the climb we could be pulling enough amps to at least get the ESC warm and the other really important consideration is the inevitable result of allowing positive pressure to build in the pod.......loosing the canopy.

So, it's on with the wings, the factory has decided that the overlap of the CF main spars is not sufficient and has beefed it up on their current stock, they have also modded the central ply former so that the main spar passes through it at 2 points, both valid mods for those carrying bundles of FPV gear and big batteries for those not-legal-in-the-UK out of sight FPV flights......but I am doing none of those, really, I'm I decided the wing spar is good enough for me.

What I did mod was the 2 smaller spars by "filling" them with CF rod and as you can see, I have also used a mixture of CF rod and CF strip to add rigidity to the wing and control surfaces, I have tested enough EPO models for factory's with high-aspect ratio wings to know just how un-predictable they can be and as much as I am trying to keep things stock, this is not worth doing at this stage as far as I am concerned, other guys are not adding anything to their wings, so it will be interesting to compare.


photo 3.jpg

photo 1.jpg

Edited By scott cuppello on 11/02/2014 09:23:41

Thread: Positive press news for quads/drones
08/02/2014 19:58:23

Multi-Rotors are being used by the media all the time now but just one thing chaps......on behalf of just about everybody in the industry......can you please stop using the term "drone"?

UAV = unmanned aerial vehicle (UAS = the system, in other words aircraft + ground station)........RPAV/RPAS are also becoming more widely used, anything but NOT drone!!! The term Drone dates back the the 1930's and was affiliated with a target drone called th Queen Bee......needless to say that technology has moved on a tad since then.

The facts are that UAV's are piloted or under pilot control, even when flying Waypoint Missions......which I hasten to add is no different than an aircraft flying on autopilot in reality.......Terminator and Skynet are fantasy, it was a movie but we are having problems getting this accross to the media, who are to blame for the widespread use of the term "drone" ironic given my first paragraph?

Thread: New Cyclops 3 metre UAV/FPV Camera Platform
05/02/2014 14:16:17

photo 2(1).jpgI thought some of you guys may be interested in this very latest UAV/FPV airframe from Asia-Tech, who are based in the US but ship the aircraft directly from China where they are manufactured. John sent me one over as I was really interested and impressed with the concept, it's early days and as yet no instructions are written so this is a bit of a beta test, so please bear with me!

UAV and FPV airframes are often a compromise in terms of efficiency/payload and practicality, it's an exciting time as airframes play catch up with the ever increasing technical capability and complexity of the various autopilot and camera systems. One of the latest designs is the Cyclops, there are two versions, the EPO and the more serious end composite versions, both are an impressive 3 metre span and it's the EPO version that I will be building. The concept of both of these aircraft is to offer a combination of efficient high aspect ratio wings with flaps and an aerodynamically clean profile for long flight times......with decent payload capability, hence clear front camera dome and clear "shoot down" window built into the fuselage and finally practicality, so EPO construction with extensive CF & ply reinforcing, easy access hatch, quick removable plug in wings, and finally capability to land on either tarmac or grass courtesy of skids and a front landing wheel.

The thing that struck me as soon as I started to dry fit everything was just how well thought out the Cyclops is, there is plenty of scope for modding (for payload) if need be but in standard trim, it would be fair to say that it has been designed around standard FPV equipment and the inevitable Go-pro camera's, it can accept a wide range of power trains and batteries ranging from 4s to 6s! The 6s choice is interesting as it uses essentially a multi-rotor 40mm motor and a 12" prop, this means ultra low amp draw at cruising speed offering in excess of 1 hour flight times from a single 5000mAh 6s pack which fit's the pod no problem at all. Now, having said all that, I will be using 4s as I have plenty of 5000mAh packs for other airframes. The initial and most complex part of the build is to build the centre pod and central wing section, for strength, this becomes a single piece once completed, so this is the time to mod if you intend to use something other than a Go-pro, OSD Camera and/or the common Canon Point and shoot camera's. As you can see from these photo's of the early stages of assembly, there will be more to come shortly as I decide exactly what the Cyclops will be carrying and how it will be configured.

Cyclops-E (EPO Foam) Specifications and Performance

Cruise Speed ~ 30 knots
Max speed ~ 68 knots
Stall speed @4.8 lbs ~ 14 knots
Climb Rate > 2000 ft/min
Wingspan ~ 101.5 in
Wing area ~ 602 sq in
Fuselage Length ~ 48 in
Configuration options included in kit: T Tail & V Tail, Belly Wheel
Materials: EPO Foam - Wings, Fuselage and Tail; Carbon Fiber - Tail boom, Wing spars and Tail support components; Plywood - Internal structure & support; Wood, Plastic – Misc. parts.

photo 3(1).jpgphoto 1(1).jpg

Thread: Octocopter/ Drone crash in the media
21/01/2014 18:14:56

Nobody likes the term Drone, military or civilian.....apart from the media that is......the term dates back to Target Drones from the 20th Century and bears no relation to 21st Century UAV's or their capability's.

The simple fact of the matter is that a pilot is in control or is able to take control of the flight/mission at all times.....those are the rules......Skynet it isn't.

Thread: ARTF factory video
18/01/2014 16:32:47
Posted by John Privett on 18/01/2014 13:02:39:
Posted by scott cuppello on 15/01/2014 09:14:26:

.....these workers are very skilled but very difficult to hang on to in China (after the coming Chinese New Year some of the factories will loose up to a 1/3rd of their skilled workforce).

What's happening after the New Year, Scott?

I'm sure my immediate thought, that they were over-indulging in the New Year celbrations and never returning to work afterwards, is wrong! smile

Most of these workers are from rural area's and will move to a city, often living in factory dorms or cheap digs, only for as long as it takes for them to have saved enough to return home and stay there with their family for however long suits them.......and who can blame them, factory work is hard and living away from your family even harder....this is why Chinese factory's rarely run at 100% staff levels (model factories I know struggle to get any more than 2/3 staffed at any given time).....and why "cheap" Chinese goods will not last forever.

15/01/2014 09:14:26

Phoenix are in Vietnam (where a lot of the better kit's are made)......these workers are very skilled but very difficult to hang on to in China (after the coming Chinese New Year some of the factories will loose up to a 1/3rd of their skilled workforce).

Thread: Why do I support my LMS
07/01/2014 14:08:03

You least you lot have choice, there isn't a model shop within an hours drive of where I live!

Thread: New Zeta X-79 Buffalo 2 metre PNF wing for FPV/UAV
30/12/2013 16:48:53

Well had a succesfull day yesterday with the FX-79 which as you can see is now also fitted with FPV equipment (there is also a camera mounted on the under-side which you can not see) despite suffering one or two minor fail-safe issues with the APM 2.6 (now sorted out).

You may notice the prop has been changed once again, this is a 12x6 fitted to the standard motor and if you remember I am running 4s. With a 5000mAh 4s pack, the airframe now comes in at an impressive 2.5kg with all equipment fitted and including a seperate 3s Lipoly for the powering the TX & Camera's. At 2.5kg/5lbs, there was no way 3s (300w) was going to cut it and particularly with the current prop, I am really pleased with the performance......I basically don't use full throttle! I launch at maybe just over half and cruise at around 1/4 to 1/2 depending on wind conditions (it's also worth mentioning just how good this plane is off-power......I reckon in stabilized mode on a good day, an hour or so flight time should be easily achieved from the 5000mAh pack, even sticking to the UK legal 400ft Max Alt)

Once again, I must mention the in-board control surfaces, I am really pleased with the extra dimension they offer, they offer an additional failsafe control (mine are not controlled via the APM, just via the TX), are really handy for offering additional bank/aileron control when needed (high winds) and offer fast and responsive pitch trimming for all speeds/conditions.

Last thing I feel I must mention is just how good this plane is in the wind, I was flying in probably 10-12mph constant with perhaps up to 18mph gusts and even in manual mode, the X-79 was hardly phased, once in stabilized mode, it was genuinely like flying on a flat calm day, totally locked in and I never detected the slightest wing rock......I am really pleased with it, there is loads of potential in terms of configurations, especially when you bear in mind that 10,000 mAh (2 x 5000 packs) would only take this airframe to around 6lbs (just under 3kg).....impressive for what is a big and very tough airframe!

As I mentioned at the beginning, these guys are looking for a UK and/or European distributor, go to for trade & retail enquiries but I would ask traders have the courtesy to mention this review please!


Edited By scott cuppello on 30/12/2013 16:49:59

Edited By scott cuppello on 30/12/2013 16:51:15

Thread: Plans for DIY Quads?
29/12/2013 11:09:33

I have seen a guy I know build a frame in a matter of days out of chopsticks! I would just have a crack at it, stick to a basic X-configuration and try to keep it light and simple........there are so many off-the-shelf spare parts available now for quads (everything from CF booms to threaded posts of various lengths) that making a decent quality quad is not as difficult as maybe you think.......the basic frame is not the complicated part.

Edited By scott cuppello on 29/12/2013 11:10:09

Thread: HK FW190(1200mm)
18/12/2013 10:40:13

I did a lot of the test flying on this one, it flies well. Ok, it does have a tendency to nose over on long grass, not much of an issue really except potentially the prop which, like the very tough, I never broke one when testing, despite plenty of belly landings.....but then it's warmer there than here! In other words......grab a spare prop! If HK don't have them, RC-Castle or PW-RC almost certainly will (under Top RC Model FW 190).

Thread: Hobbyking UK & brandings
18/12/2013 10:06:33
Posted by Erfolg on 17/12/2013 15:49:49:

I think this has a tenuous link to the question asked, in a broad sense. It is a question that is essentially directed towards Scott.

I have an impression that the Chinese manufacturers are not at present orientated to selling under their own brand names, is this true?

I also get the impression that many identical models are sold under a variety of brand names, dependant on the market distributor. But all originating from the same factories in the Far East.

Finally I have been told that many so called bespoke models to a single distributor, are actually designed, developed and made by a Chinese manufacturer. The role of the distributor being one of a product specifier and guaranteeing that they will take a minimum number of units in a period.

So I am asking what is true and not true or maybe half true.

Edited By Erfolg on 17/12/2013 15:50:53

Edited By Erfolg on 17/12/2013 15:52:41


You are finding that the Chinese (the smarter ones) are beginning to wake up to branding, FMS for instance have set up off-shoot brands (eg: ROC) because they simply can not shift enough units via re-brands like Durafly.......what was happening a couple of years ago was that the Chinese were coming up with a concept themselves, designing it and then would in effect, offer it OEM to various retailers like Hobbyking, minimum number of unit's being the name of the game, that retailer then in effect "owns" the mold.

Problem with that (being China) is that less scrupulous manufacturers then usually offer the same design, just smaller or larger to a rival! Another problem was (and to a certain extent still is) that some of these factories don't have test pilots!!!

The work we did in Hong Kong was a bit of a game changer, when I first got there the prototype failure/rejection rate was as high as 80%, Western test pilots suddenly being on the scene resulted eventually in much closer co-operation between retailer and factory.

You often see Western retailers these days claim they have been there every step of the way with regard new foam models.......tbh I reject this as very unlikely, not impossible but not likely, testing is initially done using a hand-made "CNC" (model hand carved from EPS from design drawings to test the airframe) ......they are quite fragile but easy to mod (which is the idea), there is a certain amount of skill and experience required when testing them as, for instance,  you must take into account the change in weight distribution once the model is molded in EPO......I struggle to see how some retailers/distributors can justify sending a pilot to China to test at this the point is that HK have something of an advantage right now.......once the model is molded and you have not tested it, you are stuck with it, very risky!

We progressed to helping factories with design and we started to come up with the concepts (I was responsible for models like the Durafly Zephyr, Mk 24 Spitfire, Vampire, Sea Vixen, Retro Junior, etc)........Westerners read the market so much better, RC is still a very new market in's easy to forget it's worth a company like HK employing somebody like me if their concepts sell thousands of model aeroplanes......which they there we go, it's constantly changing and maybe you can see why models have really come on in the last 2-3 years.

The industry is struggling right now, the smaller, less scrupulous factories (some of whom just clone new designs.....hence so many versions of the same model appearing to answer that question) are starting to disappear but even now, if you left Chinese factories to their own devices, they would carry on releasing P-51's and J-3's every week......the ones that will survive are the ones who can either read the market themselves or are co-operating with Western designers and Product Specialists to produce original, good quality concepts that are not too quirky......not as easy as you think.......once you are committed to a design and have made the are stuck with it, you can throw away as much as $35,000 if you get it wrong (that figure is potentially just molds!!) you can see why factories are keen to off-load a design onto a retailer, but then their branding suffers......I think that explains the situation in a nutshell.

Edited By scott cuppello on 18/12/2013 10:14:58

17/12/2013 13:57:00

Sweet......nice job.

17/12/2013 09:16:56

Enjoying the irony of being the HK detractor here and everybody else being the times have changed!

Well, speaking of my recent experiences as a customer, I have had a bad run recently of warranty issues with HK products which have been handled very badly by CS (nightmare would be more accurate) one order I recieved recently had a 30% failure rate..........sorry but things are going downhill as far as I can tell and it is because of a distinct lack of QC, my old department has become slack.

Back to the subject in hand, don't be tempted to go for a larger lipo than reccomended in the Stinger, there is little room and it will ruin the flight characteristics........bad internet reviews on a product that is generally rated as good usually means that the product may have some QC issues (as opposed to it being a bad product) but it also usually means it has found it's way into the hands of some individuals who don't know what they are doing, the Stinger is a prime example..........a nose heavy EDF doesn't want to hand-launch, lands fast, is usually slow and can often be snappy and ironically, larger batteries don't usually extend flight times for the afformentioned reasons!......other than that, I don't know of any real faults with it.....hope it goes well for you.

Edited By scott cuppello on 17/12/2013 09:22:42

Edited By scott cuppello on 17/12/2013 09:23:49

Thread: New FPV rules effective March 2014
17/12/2013 09:10:12 this a wind up? How did a little common sense turn into another pointless internet argument? The MAIN role of an observer is collision avoidance......who therefore OBVIOUSLY needs to keep an eye on the model in order to be effective in that role!!!!........come on guys, it's not that hard!

Thread: Hobbyking UK & brandings
16/12/2013 14:02:28

The Stinger 64 mk2 (the one with the appalling 1980's pink sheme) is still made by Freewing, you don't see it elsewhere because the model is distributed globally by only around 3-4 suppliers.

The Mk 2 was instigated by me while I was at HK (but not that tacky, bad taste colour scheme) as an answer to the US distributor who upgraded the Mk1 by adding MG servo's, hence I went one stage further and went 4s and MG servo''s a great model, no doubt........but if you have a warranty issue, you have HK's notoriously poor CS to deal with.

I have to say that there are very few EDF's in the 64mm class I would reccomend and there is little to choose between any of the Chinese manufacturers, aside from checking that the model is of an EPO construction, I would read internet reviews......VERY carefully before choosing.....better still, same applies but go 70mm class......better still, as already mentioned, go Tomahawk, Wemo Midi Fan/HET 2W-20 if you want genuine performance and quality.


Edited By scott cuppello on 16/12/2013 14:04:26

Edited By scott cuppello on 16/12/2013 14:04:56

Edited By scott cuppello on 16/12/2013 14:05:45

Thread: New FPV rules effective March 2014
16/12/2013 13:30:23

The role of the observer is collision avoidance......I wouldn't want them to be concentrating on what I am doing!

Thread: BMW 5 series -v- Merc E Class?
10/12/2013 10:40:00

Oh that's easy.........a Jaguar XJ!!

Thread: Reaching into those plane eating trees
07/12/2013 18:32:44

Plumb lines work well a lot of the time, easy to get an accurate throw onto a branch to either pull it down if it's close enough or just to waggle the offending branch.

Thread: New Zeta X-79 Buffalo 2 metre PNF wing for FPV/UAV
07/12/2013 16:50:55

Next stage after testing has been the installation of the APM 2.6 is setting up, this is a new airframe so we are starting from scratch with regard roll and pitch tuning as no other data is available as yet. FPV equipment is also pretty well installed, airframe weight without a flight battery but all other hardware, camera's (1 x downward facing camera, 1 x OSD camera & 1 x Go Pro Black 3 in shock case), OSD, secondary RX, Data Transmitter for the APM 2.6 and 3s FPV battery installed is coming out at a very respectable 2kg or just over 4lbs!

Like just about everybody, weather is slowing everything down with high winds & rain being the order of the day, hopefully I will have some useful data soon!


07/12/2013 11:24:11

That is Kirbride in Cumbria!

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