After flying the Morningstar prototypes for the best part of a year, I came to love how they handle - they just feel really well balanced, clean and crisp on every axis even with stock PIDs. With the weather turning poor I decided to design one last frame before letting the CNC hibernate for the winter, and eventually decided to follow the Morningstar template, albeit with a more freestyle focus. This was the result - the Polaris 5.5.
I started out with the Morningstar baseplate layout, then stretched it slightly in each direction to allow for bigger props, and a larger pod to give more room for electronics. The baseplate is a little beefier all round and has extra bracing to deal with freestyle abuse.
The pod has a fixed mount for a full size FPV cam with "GoPro style" 2.5mm lens. I thought I'd left loads of room for the stack, but in a genius move I'd checked clearance at the back but not the sides - the tapered sides of the pod look lovely but also leave very little clearance at the back corners with full size boards! The pod also incorporates a mount a GoPro Session, which attaches with a velcro strap (the holes for the strap are actually offset to force the mount tight to the pod to eliminate induced vibration.)
Most of the components are personal favourites - Omnibus F4 V5, Racerstar REV35A 4-in-1 ESC, and AMAXinno motors. Did up from 2305s to 2307s for this build though, with the extra weight and bigger props I figured the extra grunt wouldn't come in wrong. Whilst I was at it I decided to make the build long range ready, so it got an R9 Slim+ and I decided to cram in a HGLRC M8N GPS I had lying around from another project. Surprisingly it wasn't too bad a build once I got the ESC board low enough, even had room for soft mounts for the Omnibus. I did end up making a little G10 plate to hold the M8N and R9 in the stack and make it a bit neater.
Unfortunately for this particular design, everything came a little unstuck once I got to the flying field. I built 2 prototypes, and both had obvious vibration issues which were impossible to solve. I concluded that they pod was responsible - the tightness at the back meant the FC was effectively hard mounted as it hit the pod, and made it fly poorly. Further testing revealed more issues - the lack of any cooling caused the FC to overheat in only a couple of minutes.
Whilst a failure in itself, lessons learned from the Polaris led to improvements in the Morningstar and later the idea for the SKEW_R-H.