How to build your own drone, and other resources from Hexinair – Interview with Zoe Katherine

Zoe Katherine, the force behind Hexinair, is a master pilot and FPV racer. Hexinair provides great resources for anyone into FPV, whether it’s places to fly, tips on building, or just a community to get plugged in to. Zoe shares with Droneblog about how her love of drones changed everything.


Tell us about yourself and your background. How did you get started in the drone industry, and how long have you been flying? What do you love the most about drones?

Have been flying daily for the better part of a year. While stuck in bed recovering from a string of surgeries, unable to ride my motorcycle, or do much of anything, I found a Proto-X at the local hobby shop- I was instantly addicted. For a few months I flew line of sight before building my first spider hex for FPV.  Being free from my body while flying FPV was a transcendent experience-  hard to imagine life without it now.

I understand you build all your own stuff. How did you learn how to do that? Why do you build rather than buy ready to fly?

When I bought a NanoQX and realized how simple it was, I set out to build my own. It ended up being cheaper and better than what I could buy. Plus in most realms of racing the best Pilots/Riders have an intimate working knowledge of their machine, tuning them to their needs- FPV Racing should be no different.


Up Close Workshop


Tell us about Hexinair. Who is it for, and how did it get started?

Hexinair was started from a whirlwind of questions asked by interested locals. Thought it’d be better to hand them a card with a website that has it all instead of answering a ton of questions they’d forget about later.  Hexinair has become a growing resource that I hope will help others get into the hobby.


What resources do you offer?

Information for people to get started in a no fuss, no frills format. With a singular FAQ page to cover everything from starting small to FPV, gear needed, video tutorials. I’ve also cataloged 20 of the best places to fly at in Santa Cruz, CA- with more being found and added all the time.


What advice do you have for someone who wants to get started flying and/or building their own drones?

When you run into a problem it’s likely someone has had the same issue and has posted a fix for it. Get familiar with using google searches to find information nestled away in obscure forums. Also just remember- start small and have fun! Building a full blown first person view rig with GPS and a long range system probably isn’t the best first project…


What advances in drone technology or the drone industry are you excited about?

Sense & Avoid Technology along with a UAS integration into national airspace. Once matured we will have another transportation revolution.  It’ll  probably put me out of a job in the future haha!


Are there any upcoming developments at Hexinair (products, services, projects, etc.) that you want to share about?

I’ll be one of the six flying in the Freestyle competition at the US Drone Nationals- competing against some of the best pilots in the world 😀 Have heard Ummagawd & FinalGlideAUS will both be there, it’s gonna be awesome! Along with Freestyle I’ll also be racing along with 200 pilots  for the grand prize!

Have been collbarating with on their Barracuda STEM racer. It’ll be sold as a kit to schools and small groups to help get kids prepared for the future of aviation. Looking to get it into the hands of a local girl scout troop in the near future 😀

On my bench is my prototype 360mm hexacopter pushing 6in props carrying a ultra-lightweight gimbal & GoPro. With the speed and agility of a racing machine, lighter than most 4k cameras – ships at around 600 grams with gimbal and GoPro, capable of carrying anything from a 3s 2200 to a 4s 5000mah battery for extended flight times. It’s something I’m excited to fly and get tuned out for later this summer.


AMA Race Winning Gear


Thank you so much for your insights. Is there anything else that we haven’t touched on that you would like to share?

It’s my belief that drones will be a technological catalyst that’ll propel society into the future, and I’m excited to be a part of it!


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Elizabeth Ciobanu

I cover breaking news in the drone industry, interview experts in the field to learn from them for myself, and to help spread the love of drones.

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