Let’s start at the very beginning.
This frame was developed in conjunction with team pilots Devon Barnett (aka. HolyHavok) and Jonatan Sanchez Echevarria (aka. Jonylito FPV).
Jony and Dev, approached me with only one requirement for their frame, they wanted to go fast, really, really fast!
After much discussion, the design brief was simple, well to them, they wanted the electronics to be held in place with no frame at all basically, but the frame must also protect their entire electronics stack and camera in a bad crash.
So, with Dev and Jony both really happy with the design brief they had given me, I sat back scratching my head for some time, not entirely sure where to start. Never one to back down from a challenge, I set off with pen and sketch pad in hand to try and track down the illusive unicorn these two crazy pilots had just given me!
Enter Lycan, this tiny little frame was developed over about 8 months, with countless failed ideas and prototypes under its belt.
Before we even set out on this path, I had a couple of questions Dev and Jony needed to answer. Namely, this frame is purpose built for racing, does True-X, Stretched-X or Compressed-X make a difference and if so, how much? Secondly, a pure race specific designed frame, how much should it weight? As little as possible or is there a good middle ground we are shooting for?
Jony was more concerned about weight, Dev wanted something super light but wasn't entirely sure about the whole true, stretched and compressed frame planform that the FPV community so fiercely debated.
Jony got a super skinny, super light frame to test, Dev got a geometry adjustable frame based on Apex to test. After about a month of testing, going backwards and forwards between frames, weights and planforms, I got the answers I needed.
Although the shape-shifting frame Dev was testing was pretty heavy you could change its geometry really quickly and without affecting anything else of the frame. At full stretch the frame was ridiculously long and narrow and visa versa for the compressed-X, this ridiculously exaggerated geometry would definitely give us answers to this debate.
Dev could definitely pick out the differing geometries of the frame, even on a blind test where he was given his own frame without knowing the configuration, he could still notice the difference, so this wasn't just in his head. The problem was, Dev would get used to how the frame flew in any configuration within the first 30 seconds of the first pack. He wasn't convinced the physically geometry had such a big influence over flight handling that flight control settings couldn't replicate with no additional weight added to the frame due to the extra long arms.
Dev wanted to go light, at all costs!
Jony had been racing his Taboo airframe for some time now and had just recently gone over to Apex, he loved this drop in weight and liked the further drop in weight to the skinny ultra-light prototype he had just started flying. Jony's decision was simple, he loved the light weight airframe over anything else he had flown.
So with the first phase to testing completed, both Jony and Dev had confirmed that a lower weight frame was more important to them over any other single defining aspect to the frame.
So, weight would be the number one goal, with frame geometry being whatever it ended up being, to get the lightest frame configuration possible.
What I wanted to add to this frame would be as much equipment protection as possible, without sacrificing this unicorn type blistering performance both Jony and Dev were craving.
Lastly, from past experience we have come to understand the importance of race frame simplicity. This was the main focus and goal, on-par with low weight, when we designed Apex, and this has proven itself over and over again.
So with all that said, I listed what would be most important for us to achieve, listed most to least important below.
Capturing the unicorn
1. Light weight and aggressive performance
2. Equipment protection
Skipping forward about 6 months and about 5 iterations of prototypes we finally found a recipe which ticks all the boxes we were looking for.
Hope you enjoy!
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If you have any questions or comments, or you would like to get more details and info about Lycan or anything else we do, please get hold of us, else email us at email@example.com
We do understand that nothing in this life is perfect, but we do constantly try to improve, refine and better what we have done previously. We would love to hear your experience, both good and bad.