Support

Manuals

Congratulations on receiving your Rocrow! I'm sure you'll want to be up and flying as soon as possible. Before you start, be sure to read the instructions inside the box. Don't pretend to read them and then fly into a tree, we'll know..

The Roprey User Guide inside the box will talk you through charging the batteries, assembling the model, how to use the stabiliser and GPS system and it even has a list of top tips from seasoned Rocrow pros.

With a complete set, the transmitter in the box will always be bound to the model. However, if you change the receiver, or use a new transmitter, they will need to be bound together. This only takes a moment. First make sure the batteries in the transmitter have plenty of life in them. The LED on the transmitter should be solid red, not blinking. A blinking led means that the batteries (8 x AA) are empty and should be changed before the next flight.

Power up your Rocrow and transmitter, take your transmitter 1 meter away from the model. Now press the little black button at the back of the receiver for 3 seconds. It’s hard to see, but it’s there! You can find it under the spot where the aerial comes out. Your receiver is the thin green rectangular unit. Now wait for the green LED to blink a few times. Your model is now bound to your transmitter.

  1. Connect the black plug to the mains and the other end of the lead to the back of the charger
  2. Connect the short black and red leads to the white body of the charger, matching the colours
  3. Connect the battery to the charger using both the yellow connectors and the small white lead
  4. Turn the charger on at the wall then hold the small red button until you hear a single beep
  5. Once fully charged, both lights will be green and the charger will beep

Never leave a charging battery unattended. Wait until the battery is cool before recharging. If the leads are connected incorrectly, the battery will not charge and the charger will warn you by beeping.

An unbalanced fan sounds terrible and yet many modellers don’t realise just how easy it is to get a fan to sound like a turbine. Most model aviation clubs are close to residential dwellings and so noise must be reduced. Many clubs have adopted strict noise policies in order to keep the surrounding neighbourhood happy. The reason we balance an EDF is similar to the reason we balancing a propeller or a car wheel. it reduces sound, increases efficiency and minimises the wear and tear on the sensitive components in your model aircraft.

There are many ways to balance an EDF fan and in this article, we’ll cover two reasonably easy, yet effective methods.

Safety First

EDFs spin at a very high RPM and can cause serious damage to persons or property if the fan blades were to come away. If we take appropriate safety steps our chances of injury are almost nonexistent.

  • Always use a test stand for fuselage
  • Always use safety glasses
  • Never hold a spinning EDF for any reason
  • Never stand behind or in front of an EDF
  • Always ensure that the area is free of free clutter and loose items. Paper can easily be drawn into an EDF with devastating results.
  • Never attempt to repair an EDF fan whilst still connected to power
  • Never use a chipped or cracked fan
  • Never remove structural material from a fans blades

Basic Balancing

You need the following bits and pieces to complete the task.

  • Complete EDF unit with motor
  • EDF test cradle or plane fuselage
  • Spare collets
  • Good quality ESC
  • Screw drivers
  • Sharp Hobby Knife
  • 400 Grit Sandpaper
  • Fiberglass reinforced tape
  • Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol)

Below are the steps you must follow, in order to get a basic balance.

  1. Start by disassembling the fan and collet assembly from the motor shaft. Place those parts to one side and grab a small square of sandpaper.
  2. Hold the motor and shroud so that the motor is at the top and is in an upwards position. This ensures that grit will not fall into the motor and damage the bearings.
  3. Start by rubbing the motor shaft in all directions so that the smooth surface is gone and you can clearly see the abrasive marks. This will provide a better grip for the collet at a later stage. You may spool the motor up with the sandpaper to make the scoring process faster.
  4. Next we check that the motor shaft is running true. Using the ESC, rotate the motor slowly and check the shaft is running true before proceeding. You are just going to sight the shaft. You might be surprised at just how good you’re eyes are at detecting the eccentricity
  5. It is impossible to balance your fan unless the motor shaft is running true. Place the collet back onto the motor and rotate the motor slowly again checking for imbalance. You don’t require any special tools, just your eyes, as you’ll be able to see if its running true without any eccentricity (orbit). If you detect an orbit, rotate the collet 15deg and try again until you find a sweet spot where there is no orbit. Change the collet if required and repeat.
  6. Place the fan on the collet and tighten the nut to bring the assembly back together again. Install the EDF into your fuselage or test platform and ensure that everything is ready for testing.
  7. Mark the collet and fan so that you know the starting point as this will make your testing so much easier. Spooling up the fan and listen to the sound produced. Loosen the nut and move the fan 15deg and repeat. You are looking for the best sound with the least vibration.
  8. Once you’ve found the spot with the least vibration add the nose cone, mark with a white marker or sharpie and begin moving in 15 deg steps. You will eventually find the spot with the least vibration.

Below you can find a video on how to replace the fan blade on your roprey models:

Model Components

The wing is made of moulded EPP with an inner wing dihedral to provide some stability, but a level outer wing to allow manoeuvrability. The upper surface is free of all obstructions that could injure a falcon and has a smooth surface that will allow stickers to be put on. A feather pattern is moulded into the EPP for unpainted models.

The elevons (flaps on the wings) have simple moulded pinch hinges that are very safe for the falcons, cheap to make and easily repaired. They have performed very well in trials. The elevons are controlled by servos embedded in the underside of the wing and covered with removable safety fairings. The servos are high grade units with polymer gears to withstand impacts, but at the same time are easily replaceable. The elevon horns are light but strong carbon fibre set into a groove in the wing, and the push rods are strong, and short for positive responses, with no breakable adjustment linkages and no exposed spikes.

The wing itself is a single moulded piece with a fully embedded W-shaped carbon spar that is hollow circular in section to withstand impacts from all directions. It spans the wing totally from tip to tip at the leading edge to protect the wingtips and is very seldom broken. When an unpainted white wing is held against the sun, the carbon spar can be seen.

The primaries are emarginated with tough outer edges to survive impact. The wing profile has some back sweep for manoeuvrability and stability. The centre section of the wing is fully protected fore and aft with lightweight plastic guards where the rubber bands sit.

The Rocrow is propelled by an electric ducted fan. This modern alternative to an external propeller keeps the dangerous parts out of the falcons reach. The fan is secured within the Rocrow fuselage, drawing air in the front, and ejecting it through the back.

Each motor is balanced in the factory when it is made. This ensures peak performance with minimal noise. The fan blades are plastic, reinforced with a carbon fiber core. We are looking for maximum durability in the blades, however, in the case of obstruction they must break before the motor itself becomes damaged.

If fan blades become damaged, they can be replaced. However, it’s important to understand that an engine with a replacement fan will not perform as well as the original. Replacing the fan rather than the engine as a whole can be a quick way to get up in the air, but performance and noise will be sacrificed. For this reason, if beginners damage their fan, we recommend fitting a new motor to the Rocrow, and changing the fan on the damaged motor which can then be kept as a spare for future use.

To find out how to replace the fan blade or how to install a new engine; press one of the buttons below.

Replacing the Fan Blade

An unbalanced fan sounds terrible and yet many modellers don’t realise just how easy it is to get a fan to sound like a turbine. Most model aviation clubs are close to residential dwellings and so noise must be reduced. Many clubs have adopted strict noise policies in order to keep the surrounding neighbourhood happy. The reason we balance an EDF is similar to the reason we balancing a propeller or a car wheel. it reduces sound, increases efficiency and minimises the wear and tear on the sensitive components in your model aircraft.

There are many ways to balance an EDF fan and in this article, we’ll cover two reasonably easy, yet effective methods.

Safety First

EDFs spin at a very high RPM and can cause serious damage to persons or property if the fan blades were to come away. If we take appropriate safety steps our chances of injury are almost nonexistent.

  • Always use a test stand for fuselage
  • Always use safety glasses
  • Never hold a spinning EDF for any reason
  • Never stand behind or in front of an EDF
  • Always ensure that the area is free of free clutter and loose items. Paper can easily be drawn into an EDF with devastating results.
  • Never attempt to repair an EDF fan whilst still connected to power
  • Never use a chipped or cracked fan
  • Never remove structural material from a fans blades

Basic Balancing

You need the following bits and pieces to complete the task.

  • Complete EDF unit with motor
  • EDF test cradle or plane fuselage
  • Spare collets
  • Good quality ESC
  • Screw drivers
  • Sharp Hobby Knife
  • 400 Grit Sandpaper
  • Fiberglass reinforced tape
  • Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol)

Below are the steps you must follow, in order to get a basic balance.

  1. Start by disassembling the fan and collet assembly from the motor shaft. Place those parts to one side and grab a small square of sandpaper.
  2. Hold the motor and shroud so that the motor is at the top and is in an upwards position. This ensures that grit will not fall into the motor and damage the bearings.
  3. Start by rubbing the motor shaft in all directions so that the smooth surface is gone and you can clearly see the abrasive marks. This will provide a better grip for the collet at a later stage. You may spool the motor up with the sandpaper to make the scoring process faster.
  4. Next we check that the motor shaft is running true. Using the ESC, rotate the motor slowly and check the shaft is running true before proceeding. You are just going to sight the shaft. You might be surprised at just how good you’re eyes are at detecting the eccentricity
  5. It is impossible to balance your fan unless the motor shaft is running true. Place the collet back onto the motor and rotate the motor slowly again checking for imbalance. You don’t require any special tools, just your eyes, as you’ll be able to see if its running true without any eccentricity (orbit). If you detect an orbit, rotate the collet 15deg and try again until you find a sweet spot where there is no orbit. Change the collet if required and repeat.
  6. Place the fan on the collet and tighten the nut to bring the assembly back together again. Install the EDF into your fuselage or test platform and ensure that everything is ready for testing.
  7. Mark the collet and fan so that you know the starting point as this will make your testing so much easier. Spooling up the fan and listen to the sound produced. Loosen the nut and move the fan 15deg and repeat. You are looking for the best sound with the least vibration.
  8. Once you’ve found the spot with the least vibration add the nose cone, mark with a white marker or sharpie and begin moving in 15 deg steps. You will eventually find the spot with the least vibration.

Below you can find a video on how to replace the fan blade on your roprey models:

Installing a New Engine

Each Wingbeat model is fitted with a stabiliser. The job of the stabiliser is to make flying Roprey easier for beginners, and can also make low and slow flying easier. It works by limiting the angle the model can turn to prevent rolling and also by reacting to and correcting small movements, such as those caused by the wind.

The stabilizer also “numbs” the controls. Beginning pilots often over correct when steering. For example, the model starts to go left slightly, and the pilot pushes the steering all the way to the right. By numbing the steering, the flight is easier and more smooth.

For the stabilizer to work correctly, it’s vital that when the battery is connected, the Roprey is kept still, flat and level for 5 seconds before moving it. This allows the stabilizer to decide which way is up.

Once 5 seconds has gone, turn the stabilizer off using the switch on the transmitter. Now trim the flaps on the wings using the sliding white controls on the transmitter. Both flaps should be level, and a few millimeters up from the surface of the wing.

Now turn the stabilizer to full. When the model is held flat, the flaps will not stay level. It will look as if the model will surely crash if launched this way, but this is not a fault.

Wires disconnected? See image below!

The foam head allows the falcon to grip the Rocrow with her talons, and gives her something to bite at once she has grounded her quarry. The head is easily replaced once worn out. When the Rocrow is assembled, the head foam is directly moulded to the collar, and is very secure with only a friction fit. Once the head is worn out, a new one is best fitted with the use of contact adhesive – we recommend Evo-Stik.

The Rocrow uses a single elastic band to hold the wings to the body. This is very secure, but also allows a degree of movement between the fuselage and the wing which diffuses impact. In a big crash we want the band to break instead of the model!

We initially used black bands but found the dark pigment made them perish quickly. We now use brown natural coloured bands with great results. You can use any elastic bands, just make sure they are not too loose or else your wings will pull away from the body slightly in flight. Other then that it’s all up to you!

Put the band over the tail, fit the wing, and then pull the band over the top of the wing and over the nose. Make sure the band runs over the carbon ring in the tail, it’s there to stop the foam from being crushed.

  1. Connect the black plug to the mains and the other end of the lead to the back of the charger
  2. Connect the short black and red leads to the white body of the charger, matching the colours
  3. Connect the battery to the charger using both the yellow connectors and the small white lead
  4. Turn the charger on at the wall then hold the small red button until you hear a single beep
  5. Once fully charged, both lights will be green and the charger will beep

Never leave a charging battery unattended. Wait until the battery is cool before recharging. If the leads are connected incorrectly, the battery will not charge and the charger will warn you by beeping.

This sturdy box foam is specifically designed to carry your model and all its components. You will find slots to store batteries, bands, glue & accelerator, your remote control, and any other bits and pieces you would need in the field. It also acts as a service station, securely holding the model whilst you connect the battery or carry out any repairs.

Features of the Small Model

The Rocrow is designed to be a multipurpose flying machine that can be adapted in various ways to look like other species, or to be used for a variety of purposes. It is produced in black or white EPP foam. The Rocrow model is black EPP throughout. This means that if there are any claw marks, the exposed internal foam is still black and it still looks great. The white model can be painted to look like another species. For example we have a Ropheasant (Phasianus colchicus), a Rokarrowan or Stone Curlew (Burrhinus oedicnemus), a Roperegrine (Falco peregrinus), a Rogoshawk (Accipiter gentilis), a Ro-Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and even a Ro-Australasian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen). The Ropheasant and Rokarrowan have complex feather patterns on their upper surfaces and these are replicated by photographically true to life stickers. The curved surfaces and all other species are hand painted either in our factory or you can take pride in painting your own.

The wing is made of moulded EPP with an inner wing dihedral to provide some stability, but a level outer wing to allow manoeuvrability.

The upper surface is free of all obstructions that could injure a falcon and has a smooth surface that will allow stickers to be put on. A feather pattern is moulded into the EPP for unpainted models.

The elevons (flaps on the wings) have simple moulded pinch hinges that are very safe for the falcons, cheap to make and easily repaired. They have performed very well in trials. The elevons are controlled by servos embedded in the underside of the wing and covered with removable safety fairings. The servos are high grade units with polymer gears to withstand impacts, but at the same time are easily replaceable. The elevon horns are light but strong carbon fibre set into a groove in the wing, and the push rods are strong, and short for positive responses, with no breakable adjustment linkages and no exposed spikes.

The primaries are emarginated with tough outer edges to survive impact. The wing profile has some back sweep for manoeuvrability and stability. The centre section of the wing is fully protected fore and aft with lightweight plastic guards where the rubber bands sit.

The fuselage is made of moulded EPP with a double shell around the tube containing the EDF (Electric Ducted Fan).

The fan is deeply recessed to eliminate all chances of a blade contacting a falcon’s foot. We have seen horrendous injuries with quadcopters and propeller planes in the Middle East. The fan blades do sometimes get broken in a smash-crash and can be replaced. These are balanced fans so the replacement blades can be noisier, but they are just as powerful. Alternatively the whole motor is designed for easy removal and replacement.

The fan is covered with a removable lightweight mesh which prevents trailing jesses touching the fan blades.

The electronics are mounted internally and very rarely fail. The electronic speed controller is air cooled. It also carries a transmitter mount and we recommend that you put a radio tag inside your model in case you lose it in a standing crop or woodland. A stabiliser is fitted as standard. This can be tricky to set up so watch our video manual carefully here. Once it is working it allows you to do a hands free launch or use an automatic launcher. It is useful to use the stabiliser just to get up into the air, then switch to semi-stabilised mode for general fun flying. When you have sufficient piloting skills, and there is a falcon out there trying to ‘kill’ you, switch the stabiliser off to give yourself the full range of flight performance.

The balanced 4-cell LiPo battery is fully protected inside the neck of the model and is quickly changed by sliding it in and out. It is locked in place once the wings are on. It allows you to fly for up to five minutes on full power. In practice you do not fly full power all the time, so you can usually fly for ten minutes, which is more than enough. There are battery pockets in the flight box. It is best to use several batteries and after use put each one in upside down in the pockets so that you do not get confused which are charged and which are flat.

The balanced 4-cell LiPo battery is fully protected inside the neck of the model and is quickly changed by sliding it in and out. It is locked in place once the wings are on. It allows you to fly for up to five minutes on full power. In practice you do not fly full power all the time, so you can usually fly for ten minutes, which is more than enough. There are battery pockets in the flight box. It is best to use several batteries and after use put each one in upside down in the pockets so that you do not get confused which are charged and which are flat.

This changes the angle of attack of the wing, kills the lift and drives the model and falcon down to the ground. If the falcon has it by the head it should come down smoothly in a steep glide. The arm of the airbrake servo at the base of the tail is a weak link that should break in a smash and release the wing. It is easily replaced with one screw. We want the arm to break first, rather than strain the gears in the servo. The airbrake is useful when flying in confined spaces or with big powerful falcons that can easily carry.

The wings are held on with rubber bands so that when the model hits the ground, if a wing tip hits first, the rubber band provides some ‘give’ rather than transmitting the shock into the airframe and risking damage. Some falcons can cut the band in a stoop, in which case fit 2 bands. The wing can be detached easily from the airbrake cup by sliding the bands off the two ends of the steel pin. The bands can be run parallel to the body or crossing over the body, or even two smaller bands joined together to form a figure eight. They should be tight enough to prevent wing flutter in a stoop.

Some falcons are very hard stoopers and there is a real risk of injury when they strike the model. Although the model is only 650 g, the impact can be tremendous and risky for the falcon. For these falcons we strongly recommend always using the stoop pad. This covers the strike area on the head and shoulders of the model. In extreme cases, also cut off the plastic rim of the airbrake or wing guard in the strike area with a Dremel. The pad is held in place at the front with the red neck band, and at the sides by crossing the rubber bands. There is a light carbon tube in the tail area to protect against the pressure of the rubber bands.

The tail is narrow and tough to resist damage, especially from young raptors who tend to grab by the tail until they get more experience. There are no control surfaces on it to worry about. This means that extra things can be stuck on the tail: shredded bin liner plastic to create attractive fluttering, or even a full length cock pheasant tail that goshawks find irresistible. The vertical fin is designed to promote manoeuvrability and flight performance in the stall. If after a lot of adventures, your tail is chewed up beyond repair and is more glue than foam, it can be cut clean off. There is a faint guideline for this moulded around the fuselage. It is important that the new tail is glued on straight or it will fly like a boomerang.

Thus all your parts are modular and replaceable. Most repairs and replacements can be done yourself often in the field. The flight box is designed to hold all your bits and pieces, batteries, glue, accelerator, spare bands and any other items. Keep them all together in the box. Don’t go all the way to your flying field and then discover you have left your batteries at home on charge (yes, we admit it!).

All the Wingbeat models, big or small are equipped with the same electronic speed controller, although they do have different connectors. The ESC has 2 functions. 1 of the functions is controlling the RPM of the engine, the other function is to take care of powering the electronics inside the model like the servos, receiver and the stabiliser. Our speed controllers can handle currents up to 40 Amps for the engine, and 3 Amps for the electronics inside. Changing your engine to a bigger one is possible but at your own risk! It’s always better to use a overrated speed controller by at least 25% to avoid getting overloaded.

All our speedcontrollers in the small models are equipped with a little transmitter clip. We advise you to attach a small falconry transmitter so that you can recover the model if the falcon carries to cover or you land in vegetation.

The fuselage is made of moulded EPP with a double shell around the tube containing the EDF (Electric Ducted Fan). The fan is deeply recessed to eliminate all chances of a blade contacting a falcon’s foot. We have seen horrendous injuries with quadcopters and propeller planes in the Middle East. The fan blades do sometimes get broken in a smash-crash and can be replaced. These are balanced fans so the replacement blades can be noisier, but they are just as powerful. Alternatively the whole motor is designed for easy removal and replacement. The fan is covered with a removable lightweight mesh which prevents trailing jesses touching the fan blades.

The electronics are mounted internally and very rarely fail. The electronic speed controller is air cooled. It also carries a transmitter mount and we recommend that you put a radio tag inside your model in case you lose it in a standing crop or woodland.

The receiver is a small unit that communicates with the hand-held transmitter. It sends information to the wing servos and to the speed controller. The receiver is compatible only with the Wingbeat transmitter. If another transmitter is to be used, an appropriate receiver must be fitted.

If for some reason the transmitter and receiver are not connected to each other (so you cannot apply throttle) then you can try to rebind the receiver and transmitter.

Switch on your transmitter, then your model. Then press and hold the little black button at the back of the receiver for 4 seconds. The green LED (look carefully, it’s not obvious) will blink a few times and become solid again.

Now re-connect your model and off you go!

Binding to the Transmitter

With a complete set, the transmitter in the box will always be bound to the model. However, if you change the module, or use a new transmitter, they will need to be bound together. This only takes a moment. First make sure the batteries in the transmitter have plenty of life in them. The LED on the transmitter should be solid red, not blinking. A blinking led means that the batteries are empty and should be changed before the next flight.

Power up your model and transmitter, take your transmitter 1 meter away from the model. Now press the little black button at the back of the receiver for 3 second. It’s hard to see, but it’s there! You can find it under the spot where the aerial comes out. Your receiver is the transparent heat shrunk unit. Now wait for the green LED to blink a few times. Your model is now bound to your transmitter.

The plastic collar is moulded to fit perfectly onto the fuselage. It strengthens the front of the aircraft, secures the motor & battery and allows the head foam to be mounted. At the base of the neck, the collar features a fine plastic tube laying horizontally. This is designed to accept a thin metal rod – part of the airbrake upgrade.

These red bands secure the meat reward to the top of the Rocrow’s head. Place the band over the head, securing it on the chest hook. When doing a ground introduction with falcons, a sizeable reward can be secured to the head. Once the falcon is flying the Rocrow well, something small such as a chick leg is ample, tucked under the meat band.

Make sure the knot is on top so that the raptor will pull the knot instead of tearing up the foam.

The balanced 4-cell 1600mah LiPo battery is fully protected inside the neck of the model and is quickly changed by sliding it in and out. It is locked in place once the wings are on. It allows you to fly for up to five minutes on full power. In practice you do not fly full power all the time, so you can usually fly for ten minutes, which is more than enough. There are battery storage pockets in the flight box. It is best to use several batteries and after use put each one in upside down in the pockets so that you do not get confused which are charged and which are flat.

Once a flight has finished, batteries should be left to cool for a short while before recharging them. They should be charged before a flight, and discharged to a “storage voltage” of around 15.5V every few months when not in regular use. The easiest way to do this is to plug them into your Roprey and leave the throttle on between ¼ and ½ and using a voltage meter to monitor the voltage.

Or use a computer charger. These chargers do have automatic menus for all kinds of batteries, and also includes storage voltage features. Send us an email if you want to find out more about it.

Although LiPo batteries are considered quite safe, mishaps can happen. If the battery shows any sign of damage, or you notice any swelling of the battery, stop using it and dispose of the battery appropriately. They must not be thrown away with household rubbish. LiPo bags are affordable fire-proof bags that can be used to store batteries when not in use, and even when charging. In the very unlikely event of a fire, they can seriously reduce the damaged caused.

Be careful when plugging and unplugging the battery into the charger. Using unnecessary force can break the ends of the leads.

The Batteries we Use:

For our standard model we use two different types:

This is the Turnigy nano-tech 4s 1600mAh. The Rocrow built around this particular lipo battery. It’s a light and relatively small battery and can handle the current reasonably well in normal temperatures. However we do notice that the battery can get very hot in the UAE or a hot summer, in which case we use this battery:

This is the Zippy compact lipo. The battery is a bit heavier and bigger then the first battery, but it still fits perfectly in the body of the Rocrow. The Zippy Compact battery can withstand higher currents then the nano-tech, even though the label suggests otherwise.

Both batteries are available at www.hobbyking.com

You can use your own battery but be aware that a stronger battery means more weight, and often a weaker flight performance. Adding extra weight to the front of the model will lead to balance issues due to an incorrect centre of gravity.

The transmitter is used by the pilot to control the aircraft. It sends the control information from the pilot to the receiver inside the model. The Wingbeat transmitter features 2 sticks that control steering and power, as well as 2 switches. One controls the airbrake (an optional extra) and another the stabiliser. The transmitter is tested up to a range of 1.4Km, and as such we never experience loss of signal.

Experienced pilots may wish to use their own transmitter, as well as fitting extras such as a variometer which can be used to accurately measure height. In such instance the pilot will need to fit their own receiver to the Rocrow to ensure compatibility. Using a programmable transmitter allows for the use of dual rates and exponential, which can enhance the pilots experience of the model.

Included with each model is a tube of super glue and a spray can of accelerator. This glue is fantastic for repairs in the field. The bond is very quick and durable. This glue works best on foam when repairing breaks in the wings and the tail.

The Wingbeat glue allows you to make repairs to the model in the field, allowing you to fly the next falcon without delay. The glue is for use on broken foam parts, and sticks to the raw exposed surface. The glue does not stick to the shiny outer surface, meaning it can be flaked off once dry keeping the model looking good.

To fix a repair using the super glue, first apply a small amount of glue to the two pieces to be bonded. Press them together and wipe away any excess. It’s best to use latex gloves for this if you can. Take the two pieces apart and spray the accelerator directly onto the glue. You now have around 10 seconds before the glue is completely dried, so put the pieces back together straight away! The glue can get hot once activated, so avoid touching it wherever possible. If you find you’ve used too much glue and it’s escaped the crack and dried on the outside, use some rough sandpaper to smooth it over.

For some repairs, hot glue from a glue gun is the most suitable option. Hot glue provides a more flexible join and is best used for securing the electrical components, such as servos and EDFs, in place.

The moving parts on your Roprey are controlled by servos. These a small boxes with tiny cogs and gears inside that translate a digital signal into motion. The servos are small, light weight and very robust. If you do break a servo the video below will show you how to go about replacing it.

The fan is covered with a removable lightweight mesh which prevents trailing jesses touching the fan blades.

The mesh is made out of Nylon and is flexible yet durable. You don’t need this mesh if you don’t fly with jesses but it can always come in handy when landing on those places with loose debris on the ground.

Options

What is it for?

The airbrake is designed to reduce the ability for falcons to carry the Roprey. It is especially useful when you are doing high flights or flying in enclosed areas where you need to land the falcon-Rocrow combo nearby.

Once the falcon has caught the prey by the head, flick the switch on the top left side of the transmitter. This releases the wing which will lift from the body at a steep angle hinging upwards about 50o. This destroys the lift over the aerofoil and pushes the model downwards in a descent as steep as 45o. The faster the falcon tries to fly, the more it is forced downwards.

If the falcon has caught the prey by the tail or wing, you do not need to activate the airbrake. She cannot fly forwards with the prey dangling. Do not deploy the airbrake when the falcon is not holding the Roprey – you will have a spectacular crash!

When using the airbrake with hard hitting falcons we recommend the use of a stoop pad (more info coming soon) to cushion the impact.

How Does it Work?

The Airbrake Kit consists of a hinged cup, spring, steel pin, airbrake servo, spare servo arms and some elastic bands. The kit is easily fitted to the standard Rocrow in a few minutes. The cup is attached to the base of the Rocrows neck held by a steel pin. The wing, secured with the elastic bands, slots into this cup which is spring loaded. At the base of the tail a servo is fitted with a small arm that holds the back edge of the wing down. This servo is controlled with a switch already fitted to your transmitter (remote control).

When this switch is pressed, the servo arm moves to the side and the wing is free to pop up under the pressure of the spring. This stops the wing producing any lift and greatly reduces the falcon’s ability to carry the Rocrow.

When the airbrake is fitted, the rubber bands are used in a different way than without. Instead of holding the wing to the whole body, the bands only hold the wing to the hinged cup. This allows for a quick release of the wing using the airbrake switch and makes changing the battery even quicker.

We supply some spare servo arms with each airbrake kit. This small plastic arm is designed to break in an impact so that no strain is put on the gears inside the servo. The arm is easily swapped with one small screw.

Weight

As with all flying things, weight is a big factor. The airbrake weighs 35g which is added to the total flying weight of your Roprey though the model is more than powerful enough to carry it. However, the heavier the model is, the more you lose the ability to fly slowly. What that essentially means is that for fast flying raptors, like falcons, the airbrake is perfect, but for raptors such as Harris Hawks where the aim is to fly as slowly as possible, the extra weight of the airbrake can make it tricky.

For hard hitting falcons, we recommend the use of a stoop pad on the Rocrow. The pad is made of foam and covers the main impact area at the base of the head and extends slightly in each direction. In order to minimise the effect on flight performance, the pad should be as light weight and streamlined as possible. We aim for a weight of 10 grams.

Here you will find a template for the stoop pad. This template can be printed, cut out and drawn around on your foam to ensure a good fit. Bevel the edges with a sharp knife, and then use sand paper to taper the edges to nothing to ensure good aerodynamics.

The stoop pad is best secured by crossing over two rubber bands that secure the wing and slipping the pad underneath them. The end of the pad nearest the head should be tucked underneath the red meat band.

We don’t have a dedicated video for the Stoop pad yet, but in the video below you can clearly see what it looks like!

Non-Standard Options

Models fitted with autopilots utilise GPS technology to gather information about their location. As these models know where they are, they can be programmed to remain in a certain airspace or avoid it altogether. In falconry, this allows the falconer to launch the model and request that it circle overhead, giving him/her time to pick up the falcon and slip it. Once the flight begins, the falconer can take over the controls and pilot the model. This makes Rofalconry easily accessible to those without a second pair of hands available to help.

Autopilots also have a large application in bird deterrence. Roprey imitating falcons, hawks and eagles can be flown remotely and autonomously for maximum results. These models can be programmed to fly above and below preset altitudes. They can also be programmed to avoid sensitive areas such as runways or other hazards. Preset routes can be created using a laptop or phone, and then transferred to the Roprey, sometimes via wireless signal. These routes can be developed so that they intersect with the most relevant areas of the site being worked on. To avoid habituation, many different routes can be created and then flown at random.

As well as normal filming, cameras can be fitted to Roprey that send a live video feed to the pilot on the ground, displayed either on a screen or a pair of video goggles. This First Person View technology is mostly applied in bird deterrence and RC hobby flying. It is generally not suitable for falconry flights where the pilot needs a wide field of view.

FPV flying allows the pilot to control the model at increased distances. It takes a little getting used to, but the results are excellent. It’s always a good idea to have a spotter present when flying, and especially so when flying FPV. This second pair of eyes can check for obstacles and other airspace users, and can also take control of the model if the pilot gets disorientated.

The larger the model, the more extra weight it can carry on board. The Roeagle, our largest model, can carry fully HD cameras, whilst both streaming the footage to the pilot and recording it. Such a large model is an effective tool for deterring larger pest birds such as geese.

Attaching cameras to Roprey allows you to see the flight up close from the perspective of the quarry. A backward facing camera shows what it feels like to be the hunted, pursued by a predator in the air. Modern cameras are becoming lightweight, and more versatile. HD footage can be recorded with cameras weighing less than 30g, and even these small cameras can film for 30 minutes – plenty of time for a handful of flights.

We recommend the Mobius Mini, a camera we have used both in Europe and the Middle East with good results.

Available here

At 27g, it’s very light weight. If you need to shed more weight, the outer case can be removed and replaced with heat shrink wrap, giving you a final weight of only 18g! This camera works best on a bright day, due to its small lens.

In conditions of poor light, or where weight isn’t such an issue, the larger version can perform better. Available at places like Banggood.com or Gearbest.com.

GoPro cameras are very popular and can produce excellent footage also, but are too large and heavy for this application.

How to Mount a Camera

When mounting the camera to the Roprey, it’s important to consider the flight performance of the model. Attaching a camera away from the center of gravity – too close to the head or tail – will result in a poor flight performance. Keep any weight added to the model on the center of gravity. Learn how to find the center of gravity here.

Hot glue from a glue gun is a great method for attaching cameras. Also consider using Velcro, or tape. Where possible, tie a small length of fine cord to the camera and the model, just in case the first bond fails. Be sure to do this in such a way that there is no chance of harm to the falcon.