I agree. Simple is better. I don't even bother with tilt and pan mounts or anything complex. The way I fly, it wouldn't last long anyway.
I like the idea of quick and easy build....and cheap. I really like your plane and the others that are similar in design. I built my wing and tail from the specs on Buzzmans pdf plans. That way if I don't like the way mine turns out, I can just build the fuse, according to the plans and have a tractor. In fact, I may eventually end up with one anyway. I've seen most of the videos of the different variations of your plane, and I love the way it flies.
You got it! The skid is great to hand launch with and land on. The idea of having break away foam in front of the expensive stuff adds protection for sure. I've already tested that feature.
On the underpowered test flight, I could never gain much altitude. I just flew a few lazy circles within a very tight area among the trees about 10 ft off the deck. During the last circle it lost a little altitude before the next turn and I over estimated how much power I could pull out off the sp400 and caught the wing in the grass before I could pull up. It pulled the nose in and snapped it right off!
NO problem to glue back. I prefer that to happen instead of the shock being absorbed by the rest of the cargo and plane. Then, on top of that, I'm hoping the water noodle will soften any blows even more.
It is somewhat strange looking, huh?
The camera canister is just a foam water noodle with thin ply circles glued on the ends. I have nylon bolts running through the ply that attach to ply braces on the fuse. The noodle is cut in half and held together with two large rubber bands.