LE PIGEON MEETS THE VULTURE
See the ROTORBUILDS PAGE for build guide, components, and PID tuning notes.
The Flying Squirrel marks the next generation of naked BMPCC4K FPV drones, a culmination of all the design innovations from successful frames like Le Pigeon, Vulture, and La Mamba. We are another step closer to achieving flight performance similar to FPV simulators in a drone suitable for high-end commercial and film productions.
The initial design inspiration for this drone was to make the naked Blackmagic FPV experience less annoying, lighter weight, and to implement newer features from previous frame designs. After 13 design revisions and building 7 prototypes, the Flying Squirrel achieves the pinnacle of optimized flight performance at this time.
The biggest difference between the Flying Squirrel and Le Pigeon and other naked BMPCC FPV rigs out there is that the camera motherboard is now fully integrated into the structure of the frame. This trick reduces the frame weight by a whopping 200g! The Flying Squirrel is about 150g lighter than Le Pigeon though because extra beefing up of the carbon was necessary for compatibility with 8 inch props and 8S power.
The most noticeable design feature that is unique about the Flying Squirrel are the vertical truss arms which were a convenient solution for mounting the arms directly to the top and bottom cages. Both the arms and cage carbon fiber is 3.0mm thick and provides enhanced protection of the camera motherboard over the modular box style cage designs.
A huge improvement over the previous generation setup is the new V2 LCD extension system and fully carbon fiber monitor case. The ruggedized screen and jumper cable are much easier to stow away and work with on set in time-critical scenarios.
Another innovation to improve workflow is an ultra simple and lightweight battery quick release system that was inspired by the gold mount mechanism used for camera batteries that you may have seen on productions. The kit also comes with a carbon fiber battery strap adapter if one prefers not to utilize the quick release system.
Another feature that simplifies things and reduces weight is the 3D printed "compliant mechanism" tactile button panel for recording and ON/OFF. This part even comes with a 3D printed light pipe that channels the red record indicator LED so it is visible on the brightest of days.
The small details like the hard mounted XT60 plug and connector panel seem like minor touches, but make a difference when using this camera-drone out in the field. The less fiddling around, the better.
The Flying Squirrel is the first drone in the Straw Hat Aerial product lineup that comes with a cooling fan specifically for the FPV video transmitter. New VTx products like the DJI O3 air unit provide incredible image quality and range, but heat dissipation is a growing concern that must be addressed. The included 2010 size 12V fan helps cool down your VTx to prevent video glitches during waiting and take off. There is also a 2507 size 12V cooling fan for the camera PCB to prevent overheating while stationary.
The Vulture inspired the component layout for this frame, but is further improved with the addition of 1.0mm thick carbon fiber trays placed in strategic positions to mount your regulator, receiver, cooling fan, and XT60-M without having to worry about getting everything to fit properly.
Small improvements in the design of parts such as the card retention door provide significant improvements in manufacturing efficiency. Instead of having the door be fully 3D printed, the main door is carbon fiber which is easily machined with the rest of the frame, and the PETG hinge and latch portions are small parts that take much less time and effort to print, reducing the bottleneck for production. Also, it looks way cooler!
Summary of Features
- V2 LCD PCB Extension System
- 8S 8inch power train compatible
- Battery quick swap system
- Low noise/vibration optimized
- Vertical A-frame truss arms
- Compliant mechanism 3D printed tactile switches
- Durable LCD jumper cable
- Cooling fans for BMPCC4K motherboard and VTx
- Convenient component mounting locations
- Hard mounted XT60 connector
- Tool-less lens angle adjustment with angle indications
- Flexible Vtx antenna mounting options
- Fits BMPCC4K camera only
- 6-8inch propeller compatible
- 2806.5 - 2812/3110 motor compatible
- 8S power capable
- 330mm diagonal motor-motor distance
- True-X arm layout
- 1400-1600g AUW depending on 6inch - 8inch setup
- 4-6 minutes freestyle flying (2200mah 6S - 3300mah 8S)
- 6-8 minutes cruising (2200mah 6S - 3300mah 8S)
- 13 minutes cruising with 5200mah Li-ion and 8in props
- Flying Squirrel carbon fiber (including a VTX stack mount adapter for DJI O3)
- 3X quick release battery plates
- 1X battery strap adapter
- 1X spare set of arms
- 2X spare T-brackets
- 2X spare motor mounts
- LCD monitor carbon fiber plates
- V2 LCD extension system
- 3D prints (including tactile buttons)
- PicoEZ-mate camera power plug
- 2010 12V fan
- 2507 12V fan
- 12V 3.5A regulator
- 100uF 50V capacitor
- XT60-M (panel mount)
- Silicone tubing for PCB mounting
- 0.5mm rubber battery pads
- Stainless steel screws and CNC'd aluminum hardware