Mr Scott recently brought my attention to an excellent hobbyking deal of the Catalina at £50 it was a bit of a bargain for a PNF. When it arrived it was made of polystyrene which is not the best, I did replace a couple of servos, they seemed a bit iffy, and changed the props since the ones that came with the model wouldn’t sit correctly on the motors and vibrated. But the main reason for purchasing was because it had such a huge capacity inside, a low wing loading so it should be able to lift a moderate weight and twin engines ment that an FPV camera would have a nice clear view. I also came across a new piece of software for the mini-OSD that I bought, uOSD. Now that I had bought a USBasp connector and soldered the connectors onto my mini-OSD as per the instructions here: http://arxangelrc.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/g-osd-excellence-osd-re-flashing-and-programming.html the uOSD software was super easy to customise what was on the screen and where it was and it looked pretty good too.

So on Sunday I loaded it all up and although I thought I would make a couple of test flight not via FPV since the equipment was loaded I recorded the flights anyway. On the screen you will see in the top left the powered up time and the RSSI signal strenght, top middle the total distance travelled in feet, home set and direction icons and maximum distance from home in feet. On the left is the speed (mph) with the maximum speed above it, in the middle is a direction to home indicator, on the right the altitude in feet with the max above it. At the bottom of the screen aside from the GPS coordinates there is the current battery voltage on the left (with an optional second battery voltage currently not connected), in the middle bearing to home, and distance to home in feet on the right is the number of GPS satellites currently in use.

Its quite a nice easy plane to fly, very light wing loading means it floats around in the wind a bit making landing with even a bit of cross wind a bit of a challenge. The transmitter aerial also could do with a bit more thought, at the moment it is sticking out on the left of the plane, so when the left side is closest to the field (home arrow points left) the picture is ok, pointing the opposite way the picture tends to break up. Nothing that can’t be fixed.

Hopefully next week we can give it a proper FPV test fly.

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