flightclub proton

FlightClub Proton | Ultimate Race Frame

In Build, News by Mike Tseng31 Comments

FlightClub Proton | Ultimate Race Frame
flightclub protonWhen I designed Tokio it was never suppose to be a race frame.  Tokio was a frame with lots of protection so it can maximize your flight time.  The mantra was protection, protection, protection.  It is a fun frame that also flew great so people used them to race.

PROton

Enter the FlightClub Proton.  The mantra for Proton would be win, win, win.

The Proton was designed from the ground up to be a race frame.  From the easy to swap arms to minimal Z axis profile, everything was designed to help you get on that podium.

flightclub protonGoals for the Proton
  • Has canopy or skeleton mode
  • Lightweight – currently 78g canopy, 72g for skeleton mode
  • Easy to replace arms (no nuts needed)
  • Easy to work on
  • Still offers protection
  • Minimal drag
  • Different arms for different purposes
  • 212mm slight stretch X
Parts Used in this Build
Weight

In designing the Proton I didn’t want to play the “ultralight” frame game.  The goal is to design a frame that is lightweight but also durable.  I’m currently on prototype V3.  V1 was light but the arms were too fragile.  V2 was super strong but a tad heavy at 90g.  V3 is a good blend of both, lightweight buy yet still strong.

flightclub proton
The Proton uses a CNC’d aluminum alloy plate that serves multiple purposes.  The CNC plate is threaded so that the screws for the arms do not need any locknuts or press nuts.  Just simply two screws into the CNC plate to hold the arms.  No need to use pliers to hold nuts to remove an arm.

flightclub proton

flightclub proton

flightclub proton

The CNC plate is CNC’d out of a 7075 aluminum alloy plate.  7075 is currently the strongest aluminum alloy available.  It’s the best alloy for this purpose because it’s super strong, fairly light and not very malleable (bendable).  6061 aluminum is probably the alloy what most people think of when they think aluminum parts.  It’s the most commonly used because it’s the cheapest.  6061 is not good for a quad because the parts bend easily.  7075 is what’s used to build NASA spacecrafts.  If it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for FlightClub!

flightclub protonflightclub proton

The CNC plate also has a cutout under the fc stack.  This stack has about 6mm of space so you can mount your rx under the stack.  This reduces the overall height of the stack to lower the center of gravity.

Arm Options

flightclub protonI don’t believe there is one frame that can do it all.  That’s why the Proton will have 4 different arms.  You can adapt the Proton for whatever situation you are flying.

  • 5″ Practice Arms – beefier arms that can take a beating
  • 5″ Race Arms – Skinnier lightweight arms when every gram counts
  • 5.5″ Arms – for the new 5.5″ props coming out soon
  • 4″ Arms – for a small nimble frame
Canopy or Skeleton Mode

Another unique feature of the Proton is that it can wear a canopy or go what I call skeleton (standoff) mode.  Personally I love canopies because they offer so much protection.  But some people don’t like them cause it can be somewhat restrictive on the build.  The the CNC plate has mount holes for a canopy or standoffs.  The configuration below in skeleton mode with 5″ race arms is 72g.

flightclub protonflightclub protonWhat do you think?

Currently we are testing prototype v3.  I’m still tweaking concepts to perfect them but nothing is set in stone yet.  Tell me what you think about this frame?  What do you like and don’t like?  Are there any other features you’d like to see in this frame?

 

Comments

  1. Mike – another awesome design. Cant wait to get my hands on this frame! What a great complement to the Tokio and Phukets..!

     
    1. Author

      thanks todd, I just sent out for prototype v4. it will have butter mount and can accommodate 20x20mm stacks!

       
  2. Mike, you’ve done it again. Both look incredible, I like the drop mount for three reasons, lower cg, extra space, and a dedicated place for the strap. When the strap sits right next to your 4in1 ESC I feel like there’s a chance that a hard crash can cause the strap to grind/potentially break off components.

    I think 3D printing the top skeleton place is truly innovative and makes sense, plus you can print any color you want. It will be able to absorb impact much better. Different arms are a good idea and a future-proof approach.

    The CNC plate is another great idea, that looks like it will add superior strength without compromising weight or thickness.

     
  3. Very cool. I so very new to fpv but not R/C i been a sponsored nitro buggy guy for years but this fpv is totaly new and almost nothing translates over. With that said i am all in …and love your tokio sx it happen to be my first quad. I think id like to keep flying your frames. And if you need a new guys honest opinon not a “pick i only like this because” but honest new guy this flys better than. Id love to reveiw some for the NOOBS

     
    1. Author

      thanks wesley! I think a lot of us older guys came from rc cars 🙂

       
  4. I like the ideas you have put into this. I would like to see frames start to mount the stack on a removable plate to make building/maintaining easier. All in all, I like it.

     
  5. Awesome frame. Only nit-pick is the big “cutout” on the ends of the arms between the motor bolt holes (the ones pointing forward and backwards). That allows a bunch of muck, dirt, mud up into the bottom of the motor and only saves a fraction of a gram.

    The arm ends on the Tokio don’t have that, and do a much better job of protecting the motor and keeping crap out.

     
    1. Author

      that’s true huh? I will play with it and see if I can cover some of it up. thanks!

       
  6. frame looks good, maybe reverse the rear arm so that the CF nub that protects the motor is facing forward or maybe rotate the CF nob 45 degrees?

     
    1. Author

      yes sir! prototype v4 will have it and most likely the final version

       
  7. I love those Spedix ESCs… metal over the mosfets and cheap. Plus 32khz ain’t bad 🙂

     
  8. I love the frame , will the skeleton have a designated place to mount your vtx antanna . Maybe tpu mount . Idk. Capapy is a sweet looking ship… Turn and burn. Great work will definitely sell out fast. You got my vote.

     
    1. Author

      yes, it will have a tpu mount on the back for the fpv antenna and rx antennas

       
  9. Can you make the proton to accommodate for a Runcam split. And also the option to buy Titanium accessories.

     
  10. Mike, the PROton looks pretty cool. Your frames are truly innovative and not just copying and modifying other frames in the market. Keep up the good work!
    Are you planning on having butter mounts on the CNC plate? Are these 3mm thick arms? Will you be offering 4mm and 5mm thick arms?

     
    1. Author

      thanks! yes in prototype v4 it will have butter mounts. these arms are 4mm and we have yet to break a race arm in v3.

       
  11. When do you think they will be available? I just ordered a new set of f60 motors and I was thinking of building a Tokio but I really like the look of this new frame. Love your shop man! I bought my first 210 from you years back and now I’m building quad number 7. You’ve been a big help and inspiration!

     
    1. Author

      thanks Jayson, glad i’ve been able to help! I just sent out for prototype v4. if all is good then it will be available for pre-orders around end of this month!

       
  12. Hello Mike, my name ist Joe I am from Germany, i fly FPV races since one year. My favorite frame at the moment is the Lumenier QAV-X with canopy. I like quads with canopy very much. Your Proton ist very well thought out. I like it! The idea with the aluminium plate ist really good. It makes it so much easier to change the arms for your claims. The little details like countersunk screws, the tunnel for the lipo strap, the shape of the arms at the end to give some motorprotection, or the camera adjustment are really fine. The only thing is the 3D printed conopy, how strong is this? I know a little bit about 3D printing and the most materials PLA, ABS, Nylon or Flex are not stable enough. That’s what I think. For example the Kraken canopy made of polycarbonate seems to be more stable. At the moment the only thing I would change is the material of the canopy. I hope i can get your frame in germany to test it. Many greetings from Joe and the FPV Team HedgeHopper Hildesheim Germany

     
    1. Author

      hi Joe, the canopies are made of TPU. Polycarb is actually not a good material for quads. Polycarb is not flexible so it offers little protection and it can crack. I’ve seen it. TPU is flexible and is ultra durable. Out of hundreds of crashes on the TPU canopies, including on the Tokio, the TPU has been extremely durable.

       
  13. Hey, love the look of this new frame. Can’t wait to get my hands on one eventually. I would like to know if you’ll be selling any canopies with adjustable camera angles or a canopy with a 45-50deg angle. Also build question: With separate esc’s on each arm, using a pdb with built in vtx and a regular old fc, i should be able to fit everything right? Also, is there any suggested motor weight like would a 34g motor be too heavy? thanks

     
    1. Author

      hi, i’ve updated the canopy to accommodate camera angles from about 30-70 degrees

      yes, if your stack is under 25mm you should have no issues fitting it all in.

      Ivan uses Tmotor F80 which are 42g motors and hasn’t had any issues. He raced this setup at MDX.

       
  14. Mike, everything looks great, but I’m concerned w the slight x design, I said after flying stretch I’d never look back…honestly man, I’d sooner buy another Tokio sx… That’s my honest opinion, your designs ARE incredible, I don’t want true x anymore though man. Your crafty engineering and the stretch combination is keeps me buying your stretch Tokios…which are the best frames ever! Even the phuket! Love that Lil guy

     
    1. Author

      Kevin, soon after I release the PROton I will work on SX arms 🙂

      There’s just too much going on here right now.

       
      1. The Stretch X arms will fit the release version of the PROton, right? I’m going to be pre-ordering right when it becomes available, but it’d suck if the S-X arms required a different Nucleus plate and bottom plate. Please please please tell me that the S-X arms will fit the release version of the frame!

         
        1. Author

          this is FlightClub man, of course the SX arms will fit the final release version of the PROton. No need to buy new plates. all the arms will fit the Nucleus plate 🙂

           
          1. Thanks for the quick reply. Awesome News! You definitely got yourself another pre-order. (Although I’m sure this frame is going to sell just fine without my help.) Keep up the good work

             
  15. And yes, I realize this as a slight stretch design, before all the haters jump in…. I’m not crazy about that, that’s all I’m saying…. Think about it.

     

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