Overview of the FIMI Manta VTOL Drone
FIMI, a sub-brand of Xiaomi, has just released an innovative new drone called the Manta. This fixed-wing VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) drone offers the advantages of both multirotor and fixed-wing aircraft in one affordable package. At just 999 CNY ($140) (will likely be more when you factor in shipping and import taxes), the Manta delivers professional aerial capabilities like 60-85 minutes of flight time, 45km/h top speeds, and versatile vertical takeoff and landing. Its streamlined flying wing design provides efficiency in flight while still allowing for stable hovering and smooth footage. For aerial photographers and videographers looking to upgrade their drone without breaking the bank, the Manta hits a sweet spot of value and performance.
Design of the Manta VTOL Drone
Sporting a unique flying wing layout free of a tail, the Manta measures 700mm across with a body length of 445mm. It tips the scales at 500g takeoff weight. The choice of a tailless flying wing body optimizes the fuselage volume for maximum efficiency and flight duration.
The Manta utilizes a Y3 configuration with tilting rotors for its vertical lift and landing. Tilting four-bar linkages with metal gear servos provide durability for the transition between vertical and horizontal flight modes.
An extra-large battery compartment allows flexible battery choices, from 18650 packs to 21700 cells. The modular equipment bay enables install of HD FPV, analog transmission, and other accessories.
Features and Capabilities
Advanced Flight Time
With a 3000mAh battery, the Manta can fly for 60 minutes. Step up to a 5000mAh battery and extend flights up to 85 minutes. These long flight durations open up more opportunities for filming and exploration.
ArduPilot Open-Source Firmware
The Manta runs the open-source ArduPilot firmware, giving full control for advanced users to customize flight characteristics, autonomous missions, and more. The active development community ensures continuous improvements.
The Manta runs open-source ArduPilot firmware on tried-and-true hardware. 20A 3-in-1 ESCs provide ample power to each of the 3 motors. It includes built-in GPS capability for position hold and return-to-home.
Its open design allows hobbyists to customize the drone's capabilities. Users can install their choice of HD digital video transmission like DJI FPV or Walksnail systems. The flexible equipment bays also support analog FPV gear. The drone supports waypoint flying and autonomous missions with ArduPilot. It is also compatible with adding the FIMI G21 Pro 3-axis gimbal camera.
- Length:445mm Takeoff Weight: 500g
- Endurance:60min(3s 1p 18650 3000mah) Cruising Speed: 12m/s
- Stall Speed: 8m/s Wing Area: 11.8dm²
- Motor: 2004 2700kv ESC:20A three-in-one ESC
- Propeller: 6026 two-blade propeller Battery: Recommended 3S 1P 18650 or 3S 1P 21700 5000mAh (maximum endurance of 85 minutes)
- Battery Model: 3S1p 21700
- Capacity: 5000mAh
- Takeoff Weight: 550g
- Maximum Flight Time: 85 minutes
- Cruising Speed: 12m/s (without video transmission installed)
- Battery Model: 3S1p 18650
- Capacity: 3000mAh
- Takeoff Weight: 550g
- Maximum Flight Time: 60 minute
- Cruising Speed: 12m/s (with Caddx Vista Air Unit video transmission installed)
Stable Flying Platform
With its excellent efficiency in forward flight as well as stable hovering ability, the Manta serves as an ideal aerial photography drone. Its 45km/h top speed also enables dynamic filming. Weighing just 500g, it avoids many regulations applied to heavier drones.
The Manta's combination of user-friendly flight, long endurance, and modular options make this an exciting new fixed-wing drone accessible to RC enthusiasts. Starting at just $140, it's an affordable way to take your aerial filming and photography adventures to new heights. However, the price in reality will be more based on shipping and import fees, but despite this its still a very affordable option.