Zoe’s FPV Rat, part 2

Zoe Stumbaugh flying a heavily modified version of the 290mm Blackout Spider Hexacopter design that she named “Rat” won the 1st AMA-sanctioned First-Person-View (FPV) race in May 2015.  Multiple viewpoints of the race are available – here’s a few:

A group of people pose holding radio control equipment and multirotors in front of race course flags.
Participants in the 2015 Drones Data X Conference Race. Photograph Courtesy of Zoe Stumbaugh.

“The three complete a lap. But Steven dips too low. The ground snatches his drone and the craft cartwheels to a stop, pieces flying into the air. He pulls off his goggles and looks around with a sheepish smile. He’s out.

Now we’re down to Zoe and Rotor Guru.

This would be playing out like the plot of a cheesy sports movie except that Rotor Guru is a nice guy. But clearly the sidelines don’t expect him to lose to Zoe.

“Rotor Guru has to be a quarter prop down,” says someone.

No matter how he tries, he can’t catch her. Both of them sit statue still on the sideline, their thumbs working furiously. At one turn Rotor Guru cuts down the angle and closes on Zoe but her hexacopter is still too fast. On the final straightaway she blasts the engines, leaving him in the dust, and punches through the finish line.”

A young woman, with FPV goggles around her neck, poses with her multirotor.
Zoe poses with her hexacopter “Rat” at the 2015 Drones Data X Conference in May 2015. National Model Aviation Museum Permanent Collection, donated by Zoe Stumbaugh, 2015.31.01. Photo provided by the donor.
  • Video from Zoe’s multirotor during the race can be watched here!
  • Zoe, writing in an email to museum director Michael Smith later in May 2015 shared her viewpoint of the win:

“The final race was nerve wracking. I was just happy to place in the race at this point. It was my first time racing Rotor Guru, who’s an extremely seasoned pilot. It was him and I for 2-3 laps before the announcer called for the final stretch. Rotor Guru was close on my tail, I had let up a little to play it safe… but after the announcer said he was gaining I threw it into high gear to maintain my lead across the finish-line.  The crowd was roaring, people were cheering, and it was amazing. I did a victory lap and landed, took a bow, and grabbed my rig from the field.”

The hexacopter "Rat" has six motors and props, as well as 2 cameras.
Zoe Sumbaugh’s 290mm Blackout Spider Hexacopter “Rat”. National Model Aviation Museum Permanent Collection, donated by Zoe Stumbaugh, 2015.31.01.

Shortly after the race Zoe donated the Rat, her Turnigy 9xRPro transmitter and Boscam FPV goggles to the museum with the added comment of “keep flying!”

Read more at part 1!

For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum

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