We will go over the requirements for fixed-wing receivers and which is the best FrSky receiver for fixed wing along with its feature list, signal outputs and why you should choose the following receiver for your fixed wing build and fly with confidence. 

What are fixed wings

Fixed wings are planes which generate lift for flight by pushing air over an aerofoil by using thrusters to have forward airspeed. The moving air over the aerofoil (a particularly shaped wing which creates a velocity difference in air moving over and under it) will create an upward force on the wings itself, which will create lift to elevate the aircraft. This is different from rotary-wing aircraft where a rotating wing is used to create lift.

RC fixed-wings are similar, in fact almost exactly the same but instead of using an engine to create forward thrust, we use BLDC motors commonly along with Lithium batteries for power and servos to control the control flaps such as elevator, yaw, aileron etc.

 

What type of receivers are best for fixed-wings

Fixed-wings are usually controlled completely manually without any stabilization because pilots prefer to have complete control over their crafts. Unlike quadcopters or other variants, fixed-wings do not require any sort of flight controllers to keep it stable. The natural aerodynamics of a fixed-wing is enough to keep it stable in the air.

Since RC pilots prefer to control their fixed-wings completely manual and because all the electronics in the plane uses PWM signals mostly, the aptest receiver for the job would be one with a lot of PWM outputs.

 

FrSky X8R Pro PWM Receiver

The X8R family of receivers would undoubtedly be the most widely used PWM receiver in the market. The X8R series of receivers have 8PWM outputs available for use which is usually more than enough for a standard fixed-wing and also has S.BUS in for redundancy when you would like to add a redundant receiver for extra precaution.

The build-in Smart Port connector is useful to connect a plethora of sensors and outputs such as GPS sensor, alti sensors etc. This can be used to give you accurate sensor data of your craft on your Taranis radios via LUA scripts.

The X8R family of receivers are also a full-range capable receiver, meaning that you can take advantage of the full range of the FrSky radio which can go upwards of 1.5KM or even more depending on the environmental conditions.

Even though most pilots prefer manual control, some long-range pilots would like RTH (return-to-home) function on their crafts or some may prefer auto-level. For these functions a Flight Controller is crucial but in case they only prefer to have auto-level (auto stabilization), FrSky has come up with a receiver that will allow pilots to use auto-level on their crafts.

 

FrSky S8R PWM Receiver with Stabilization

The most perfect FrSky receiver for fixed wing, in my opinion, would be the FrSky S8R receiver.

This receiver is basically exactly the same as the X8R series of receivers in terms of form factors and pinouts and PWM outputs (8CH) but as an added advantage, it comes with an integrated 3-axis stabilization! (technically it is 6-axis because it has a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyro)

For our standard fixed wings and gliders, this receiver will support stabilization, auto-level, hovering and knife-edge modes while for delta wings or flying wings & v-tail models, it will support stabilization and automatic level flight modes. The type of model and its features can easily be configured via the S8R.Config or S8R.lua on your Taranis radio, which makes it easy while on the field since you do not need to carry a laptop with you :). Other than these features, the S8R can obviously be used as a standard 8CH X-Series receiver if ever required.

It is recommended by FrSky to use this receiver as slave receiver in tandem with a master receiver for RC link for extra safety.

Unlike the X8R receivers, the S8R has a normal antenna rather than a PCB antenna enclosed in plastic. Channels 1 through 6 should be used for your aileron, elevator, throttle, rudder, aileron 2 and elevator 2 respectively since that is what the internal MCU uses to control the control surfaces.

 

We have seen the two best FrSky Receiver for Fixed Wing - the FrSky X8R Pro and the FrSky S8R. The former can be used as a standard PWM receiver for full manual control while the latter can be used as an on-board stabilizer without the need for a flight controller. The receiver you choose will depend on the type of flying you prefer.