The Armattan Rooster is Armattan’s follow up to the very well received and much favorite Armattan Chameleon. If you want to know how good the Chameleon was, check out Joshua Bardwell’s and UAVFutures‘ raving reviews of it.
The Rooster and Chameleon are really unique designs that make it really ideal for freestyling. They’re relatively lightweight, solid, built like a tank, and have a very small profile, even for a frame that supports 5 inch propellers.
Let’s get clucking!
Normally I don’t write much about packaging in a review, but I’m going to make an exception in this case. Armattan’s packaging is simple but really cool. Each carbon fiber part is individually packed in plastic, and each type of hardware also has it’s own plastic packaging.
Along with that you get an assembly instructions sheet.
The best thing is that the package is put in an unsuspecting brown envelope!
The Armattan Rooster is a compressed-X frame, which means it’s kind of like halfway between a pure X and a pure H frame. It was designed with freestyle in mind.
The most striking feature, of course, is the titanium FPV camera cage in the front. The Chameleon used aluminum, and the Rooster sees a giant upgrade with titanium instead. The titanium cage is stronger and the weight is almost the same as aluminum. Titanium is more expensive than aluminum, so it seems the guys at Armattan are eating the cost of the material since the frame costs the same as the Chameleon.
The titanium cage fits an HS1177/Runcam Swift/Foxeer Monster style camera very comfortably, and there are two slots on the sides parallel to where the camera sits: one for bolting the camera into the assembly, and another to fix the camera angle.
The top of the cage houses a small carbon fiber plate which is covered with some foam. This is to hold your HD camera. It is designed with a GoPro Session in mind, but if you’re using a longer camera like a Xiaomi Yi or Eken H9, you can run fit it just as easily, too, by running the strap in the same direction as the frame instead of perpendicular.
There are just 9 pieces of carbon fiber that come together to form the entire build, and putting the frame together took me less than half an hour. The front and rear arms are identical, so you only need to ask for one kind of replacement should you break anything.
The tolerances are top notch, and everything fits together very easily and snugly.
The arms have a standard 16 x 19 mounting pattern so they’re compatible with pretty much all motors.
The main body plate is 4 mm thick, and the arms are also 4 mm thick, which means there is a very solid body on the whole. The point where the arms sit on the body is a total of 8 mm thick, along with a small plate on top, supported by a steel bolt in the center.
As you can imagine, that’s going to make for an incredibly strong joint.
For the front arms, one bolt goes into carbon, and the other bolt goes through carbon and into the titanium cage in the front. The cage fits very snugly onto the assembly, and becomes flush with the carbon parts.
The carbon fiber that Armattan uses in the Rooster is a new type which is meant to be significantly stronger. According to their website, the Rooster is the first frame to use this carbon, but eventually all frames will have it.
The back plate is also very well designed. It’s a small piece of carbon fiber which fits an SMA or RP-SMA male plug perfectly, and has two little holes on the side so you can bolt on a TBS Unify Pro style pigtail. Once the bolts are in, the pigtail is solid and won’t move. There’s also some space on the bottom below the VTx plate where you can run out battery wires or RX antennae.
You get some foam dog-bone shaped landing pads to stick under the arms, which is a nice touch, so you won’t scratch up the carbon. Though in my experience, a nasty crash can strip away the foam very easily and you’ll be left with just three landing pads!
I also really appreciate Armattan’s decision to do away with standoffs. The top plate fixes on with just four bolts – two into the rear assembly and two into the titanium cage. If you need to remove the plate for repairs, just undo four bolts(as you would in small racing frames) and get to work!
Ease of build
I’ll admin, at first, the build seemed daunting, what with carbon fiber and titanium parts.
However, it was really easy to put together.
The two small plates that hold the arms use sunk nuts, which you’ll need to put into the plates. There are a few ways of putting sunk nuts in, such as using a hammer, but I prefer using a a bolt and washer to thread the sunk nut in. I wrote about this technique in my review of the ImpulseRC Reverb, too.
Fitting the components in was a bit of a challenge, though. There are a few considerations that you must keep in mind before you build:
- The Rooster is best suited to using a FC/PDB combo like Armattan’s own CLRacing F4S(that’s the one I’ve used on this build). There is not much room, and while you could use a separate PDB, it’ll make the stack a little tight and too close to the top plate.
- There is very little room in the back to mount a VTx, and as such you’re best to use a VTx with a pigtail like the TBS Unify Pro or AKK X2P. Even then, it has to be a tiny VTx because there is very little room behind the FC stack and the Unify fits very snugly, too. There would be a lot of stress on the pigtail were it not for the fact the pigtail is bolted onto the back plate.
- As you build, it’s best to mount the VTx pigtail and FPV camera in advance before you start adding other components:
On the whole, this was a really fun build. You’ll have to mount the ESCs on the arms(since a 4-in-1 ESC will be too tight again).
The dry weight of the assembled build(no props, battery, or HD camera) was 358 grams. This is awesome considering the amount of hardware and carbon fiber there is.
My Reverb came it at around 340 grams.
There is no specific place to mount the RX antennae, but you can route them out of the back or along the arms on a ziptie.
Value for money
Dollar for dollar, I feel the Rooster is superb value for what you’re getting. At $100, it’s certainly not a cheap frame, but the warranty itself makes it more than worth it.
Look at it this way:
Any decent frame clone or otherwise will cost at least $40-50. With the Rooster, you’re getting a lifetime warranty, so you can break the frame any number of times and you’d get a replacement for free. That’s the value right there. I can’t tell you how many cheap frames I have bought and destroyed.
That’s just the dollar side of it.
Now let’s look at the design side. I noticed this in the Reverb, too.
On these high quality, brand name frames, the tolerances are SUPERB. In cheaper frames, I’ve had to bend and put the carbon fiber under stress just to mount the FPV camera or to align the top plate with the bolt holes.
With the Rooster, the camera effortlessly slid in between the TITANIUM cage(where there would have been no possibility whatsoever of flexing and coaxing it in), and the bolts slid in on all of the parts like butter.
The meticulousness and attention to detail you see in Armattan’s frames is just a level above everyone else.
The Rooster is compact, tough, and a ton of fun to fly, and in my opinion, completely worth it. In fact, you may just want to build yourself a fleet of Roosters!