If you wish to use the FPV system, you will need a set of
Fat Shark or similar FPV goggles—and to do it legally, a
tech-class FCC amateur (HAM) radio license. It’s a pretty easy test, which has long since
done away with the Morse code requirement. I highly recommend flying several flights
line-of-sight until you are used to the speed and maneuverability of the Manta before
flying it FPV. I also launched and landed the Manta visually.
The Manta proved to be a perfect first FPV platform for me to get comfortable flying
with goggles. After a few flights to get used to the Manta, I had someone spot for me
while I went “under the hood.” With all of the flying-wing functions handled in the AS3X
receiver, programming was a snap. Now that I’m used to it, I have a burning desire to try
molded-in finger wells on the bottom and giving
the Manta a gentle level toss. To avoid cuts
from the rear-mounted prop, only advance the
throttle when the Manta is clear of your hand.
A plastic skid on the rear keeps the motor
THE ABILITY TO FLIP A SWITCH INTO LAUNCH
safe, but if you land on a paved surface, you
won’t be doing the foam on the bottom any
favors. ;e Manta is easily landed by pointing it
into the wind and approaching with just a little
bit of throttle; at two feet, cut the power and
add a touch of up-elevator and it should stall
flat into the grass.
MODE, WHICH ACTS AS A RECOVERY MODE,
INSPIRES CONFIDENCE TO TRY YOUR HAND AT
FPV FLYING WITH LITTLE RISK TO THE MODEL.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: ;e AS3X equipped Manta is
remarkably stable. ;e ability to flip a switch
into Launch mode, which acts as a Recovery
mode, inspires confidence to try your hand at
FPV flying with little risk to the model.
Tracking: Tracking is excellent: ;e Manta goes
where you point it and maintains good tracking
at high speeds.
Aerobatics: While aerobatics aren’t its primary
job, the Manta is quite fun to fly. In Expert mode
and full throttle, the Manta rolls like a drill bit and
does very tight loops without falling out. ;e
lack of a rudder limits what aerobatics it can
perform, but it sure is spirited.
Glide and stall performance: ;e Manta has a
surprisingly wide speed range and glides quite
well at low or even no throttle. Stalls merely
cause it to fall nose forward and then it resumes
flying. Forcing a stall during the landing flare drops
the Manta flat into the grass, nice and gently.
;e SAFE-equipped receiver has three flight
modes: Launch mode is self-leveling and pitch
and roll limiting; Intermediate mode does away
with self-leveling, though control is still somewhat
limited; and Expert mode is for doing aerobatics.
;e FPV Manta is a very quick and easy build.
;e hardest part is picking out what decals
you want to use out of the several sheets of
markings provided. Assembly took me less
than two hours, and that included pausing
to do the build photographs. ;e manual is
well written, detailed, and easy to follow, and
it includes a programming matrix for most
Spektrum transmitters. ;