Established in Mount Gravatt on the Southside of Brisbane, ImpulseRC is a new venture for a company that the manager, Sean Blakemore, had already been running for five years after moving to Australia. The company acquired Warpquad in early 2015, which was a local line of sight frame design business, and although there was no name chosen at that point, Sean reckons that “it’s fair to say that was the start of what was to become ImpulseRC.”
The first product they sold under the trading name of ImpulseRC was the Alien frame. Released in August of 2015 after 4 months of development and testing, it quickly became one of the most famous quadcopter frames on the FPV market. The first step, according to Sean, “was to design and release an FPV miniquad frame to get some cashflow for the business, as it was the fastest growing area of the hobby at the time. The Alien went on to do so well that we never really got past step one of the plan!”
According to Sean, the success of the Alien comes from the fact that, at the time, it was a huge step forward compared to existing designs : “None of them were very rigid or durable, there was a huge amount of flex in the main fuselage and crashes regularly resulted in stripped screws and broken plates. I think the Alien raised the bar and set a new standard.”
The first famous pilot to fly the Alien was the Australian pilot Chad Nowak, who then took an unreleased prototype to the very first National Drone Racing competing in Sacramento, California in 2015. He went on to take first place in every single event using the Alien and shortly after that, another prominent FPV Pilot from the U.S., Mr. Steele, started flying Aliens as well. This was enough to give this frame the reputation it has nowadays and sell many thousands of copies.
But the Alien is not the only successful product released by ImpulseRC. The Mr. Steele PDB (Power Distribution Board) is the result of a collaboration between the company and the American pilot Mr. Steele. It was set out to try to make it as easy as possible for people to recreate the formula Steele developed for a stable and reliable build. According to Sean “it ended up being a very successful project.”
The most recent product released by ImpulseRC is the Reverb frame, which was released in December 2017 and designed by the company in direct collaboration with Chad Nowak.
Sean explains that the company was able “to take Chad’s feedback and ideas from years of experience flying Aliens at the top level all around the world and combine it with everything the company has learned about carbon fibre and frame design since the launch of the Alien.”
It was created to make a frame that really suits Chad Nowad and what he wanted for his miniquad. Sean clarifies : “Some of our main goals were to make something that was lighter, cheaper, stiffer and more aggressively styled than other competing products and I feel like we hit all of those points really well.”
ImpulseRC is very active in the FPV scene in general. They were a major sponsor of the first Australian Drone Nationals in 2016 and they keep offering sponsorship, support and prizes to local flying clubs and races organizers around the country. They are also sponsors of the Australia Army drone racing team as well as biggest names in FPV freestyle and racing such as the Australian pilots Chad Nowak and Thomas Bitmatta and the American pilot Steele Davis.
Finally, when I ask Sean about the company’s projects for 2018, he answers : “One thing we are never lacking is for new ideas, the problem we have is the time and resources to make them all a reality. We have about six different projects in various stages right now from concept to almost complete. We will have to see what manages to make it to release in 2018!”
I would like to thank Sean Blakemore for his time and his detailed answers to my questions that helped me write this article. Wishing the best to ImpulseRC for 2018, I also advise the readers to visit their website for some news and more information about the company.