FIMI Manta VTOL Long Range Aircraft – Quick Build and Maiden Flight
I recently got my hands on the FIMI Manta VTOL Fixed-Wing RC Airplane, and I can’t wait to share my experience with you. For those familiar with the RC hobby, you probably already know that a VTOL aircraft offers the best of both worlds: the hover capabilities of a drone and the speed and efficiency of fixed-wing airplane. In this review, we’ll delve into the aircraft’s assembly and setup process, its initial flight performance, and whether this aircraft is for you.
What is VTOL?
VTOL stands for “Vertical Take-Off and Landing,” which refers to aircraft that have the unique ability to take off and land vertically, similar to a multirotor, while also having the capability to fly horizontally like a plane.
The FIMI Manta VTOL is equipped with three motors. During takeoff and landing, it operates much like a tricopter, leveraging all three motors. Once it’s airborne and you’re ready to switch to horizontal forward flight, the two front motors tilt forward while the tail motor stops spinning. This transition allows the aircraft to cruise like a twin-motor fixed-wing plane.
The beauty of a VTOL aircraft lies in its versatility. It can take off and land in tight spaces without requiring a runway or manual launch/catch. Moreover, its ability to transition to fixed-wing flight makes it more energy-efficient and better suited for long-range missions than traditional multirotor drones.
Where to Buy?
If you’re in the market for an affordable VTOL, the Manta is the least expensive option available, making it a cost-effective alternative to theHeewing Ranger T1with VTOL conversion.
You have two options: PNP and PNP+FC. I opted for the PNP+FC version for a smoother build and setup process, as it comes pre-configured on the software side. This feature is particularly beneficial if, like me, you’re new to VTOLs.
The PNP version includes three motors, four servos, and three propellers. The PNP+FC version steps it up by adding an ArduPilot-based flight controller, a 3-in-1 ESC, and a GPS module. Keep in mind that with the PNP+FC version, you’ll still need to supply your own radio receiver, FPV setup, and battery to complete the build.
For ease and convenience, I’d recommend going for the PNP+FC version.