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Old Sep 18, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Take offs and landings should go either autonomously or via FPV cam.
At least for the autonomous T/O and landing, I'd need wheels and I was under the impression that a fixed gear produces substantial drag which would kinda counteract my priority of long endurance.
This is just my opinion, but I think the X8 is a poor choice for autonomous takeoffs and landings.
I think it's a poor choice for landing gear, period. People have been dreaming about,
talking about, and even posting build pics and build vids for retracts and fixed gear
since day one, and yet in the 8 months the X8's been available and flying, I've seen only
*one* vid of an X8 taking off and landing on a set of fixed gear. Dunno what
happened to all the other people, but it means you're not going to get a lot of practical
advice about proven gear configurations, because as far as I can tell there's no proof
that it does work.

ian
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 06:05 PM
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Does anyone know where I can buy a X8 in North America?
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 06:17 PM
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Originally Posted by frviana View Post
Does anyone know where I can buy a X8 in North America?
Nowhere.

ian
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 06:23 PM
Keep calm and carry on.
Oso M's Avatar
United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Stefan

I love the ambition.

If you are going for pure autonomous flight you should really consider a traditional airframe (fixed wing, ailerons, elevator, and rudder). Not that a wing isn't great for autonomous, I just think you're going to be swimming in details without experience. Like trying trig without geometry. You could probably figure it out but will be slow and frustrating.

Great autonomous flight requires a good deal of tuning. All those PIDs are already challenging enough but without RC experience its going to be even more difficult. You might have read that a lot of people have difficulty tuning flying wings. There is just a lot of complexity in elevon mixing.

Unless you want to build a slingshot launcher you'll obviously need wheels for auto take off. You can however do auto landing without wheels. But again the tuning without a rudder might be tough.

Here's another topic people might debate me on. Endurance, I think a lot of people say that tractor props are more efficient in the long run. I don't know the aerodynamics involved to back that up though.

I hate to say this is as much as you won't want to hear it... But I would start with a smaller more simple airframe and get the basics of rc flight and all the moving parts first. Then move your gear into the X8 or something else.

Just some thoughts.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Finland, Pirkanmaa, Valkeakoski
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Oso,

With the X8, I have the luck that there is an active user group at DIY Drones and e.g. PIDs are already available there. I have been very much thinking of e.g. starting with the HK Global Hawk PNF kit or the HK Reaper, but the X8 does have many advantages, such as lots of space and high payload capability which for me would translate to lots of batts, which would mean lots of airtime. It also gives me reserves to later e.g. put a thermal imager and/or a gimball in.
If it's totally unmanageable, I could drop the full auto T/O and landing or find another solution than the landing gear (e.g. catapult/net). But besides from that, I believe that the X8 is the most economical solution for me, timewise, as well as moneywise.
The thing is that I don't want to start R/C planes (or model planes in general) as a hobby. For me, the autonomy-part is the interesting part and the "model-plane"-part more or less "have to deal with to make the stuff work", if you get what I'm trying to say . I understand that most users here are experienced R/C hobbyists of which some came through autopilots to the AUAV-topic but their main interest is still the plane/flying-part. I respect that but that is not true for me .
I have 2 main targets: 75% get into the (first) A-part of AUAVs - (bigger) part as a hobby, (smaller) part out of professional interest and 25% explore, how small (A)UAVs could be helpful/useable in inland water rescue, which I volunteer in.

About slow and frustrating... I am a quick study and I am able to learn from other people's experiences. You might get an idea of my "learning style" if you recall that I spent the better part of the last 3 days reading each and every post in this thread. Now I have tons of info in my head but I'm still a bit missing the glue to put it together. But that will come.
REALLY slow and frustrating (besides from expensive) for me would be to start with R/C basics and go through different airframes/setups of different levels and sizes to gain experience. When I've learned everything I'd need that way, the X8 would probably be out of production...
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:18 PM
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United States, GA, Atlanta
Joined Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Stefan_Go View Post
Oso,

With the X8, I have the luck that there is an active user group at DIY Drones and e.g. PIDs are already available there. I have been very much thinking of e.g. starting with the HK Global Hawk PNF kit or the HK Reaper, but the X8 does have many advantages, such as lots of space and high payload capability which for me would translate to lots of batts, which would mean lots of airtime. It also gives me reserves to later e.g. put a thermal imager and/or a gimball in.
If it's totally unmanageable, I could drop the full auto T/O and landing or find another solution than the landing gear (e.g. catapult/net). But besides from that, I believe that the X8 is the most economical solution for me, timewise, as well as moneywise.
The thing is that I don't want to start R/C planes (or model planes in general) as a hobby. For me, the autonomy-part is the interesting part and the "model-plane"-part more or less "have to deal with to make the stuff work", if you get what I'm trying to say . I understand that most users here are experienced R/C hobbyists of which some came through autopilots to the AUAV-topic but their main interest is still the plane/flying-part. I respect that but that is not true for me .
I have 2 main targets: 75% get into the (first) A-part of AUAVs - (bigger) part as a hobby, (smaller) part out of professional interest and 25% explore, how small (A)UAVs could be helpful/useable in inland water rescue, which I volunteer in.

About slow and frustrating... I am a quick study and I am able to learn from other people's experiences. You might get an idea of my "learning style" if you recall that I spent the better part of the last 3 days reading each and every post in this thread. Now I have tons of info in my head but I'm still a bit missing the glue to put it together. But that will come.
REALLY slow and frustrating (besides from expensive) for me would be to start with R/C basics and go through different airframes/setups of different levels and sizes to gain experience. When I've learned everything I'd need that way, the X8 would probably be out of production...
If you found a set of PIDs for the X8 from a reliable source that would be something worth sharing here in this forum.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:19 PM
Keep calm and carry on.
Oso M's Avatar
United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
1,357 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan_Go View Post
Oso,

With the X8, I have the luck that there is an active user group at DIY Drones and e.g. PIDs are already available there. I have been very much thinking of e.g. starting with the HK Global Hawk PNF kit or the HK Reaper, but the X8 does have many advantages, such as lots of space and high payload capability which for me would translate to lots of batts, which would mean lots of airtime. It also gives me reserves to later e.g. put a thermal imager and/or a gimball in.
If it's totally unmanageable, I could drop the full auto T/O and landing or find another solution than the landing gear (e.g. catapult/net). But besides from that, I believe that the X8 is the most economical solution for me, timewise, as well as moneywise.
The thing is that I don't want to start R/C planes (or model planes in general) as a hobby. For me, the autonomy-part is the interesting part and the "model-plane"-part more or less "have to deal with to make the stuff work", if you get what I'm trying to say . I understand that most users here are experienced R/C hobbyists of which some came through autopilots to the AUAV-topic but their main interest is still the plane/flying-part. I respect that but that is not true for me .
I have 2 main targets: 75% get into the (first) A-part of AUAVs - (bigger) part as a hobby, (smaller) part out of professional interest and 25% explore, how small (A)UAVs could be helpful/useable in inland water rescue, which I volunteer in.

About slow and frustrating... I am a quick study and I am able to learn from other people's experiences. You might get an idea of my "learning style" if you recall that I spent the better part of the last 3 days reading each and every post in this thread. Now I have tons of info in my head but I'm still a bit missing the glue to put it together. But that will come.
REALLY slow and frustrating (besides from expensive) for me would be to start with R/C basics and go through different airframes/setups of different levels and sizes to gain experience. When I've learned everything I'd need that way, the X8 would probably be out of production...
Well have it, it'll be a fun adventure!

Just know that every plane is a bit different. Some guys have offered PIDs that work, yes, albeit none of them are perfect. If youve found some, will you PM them to me? Again, you're plane will be different.

Also know this. You need to know how to fly a plane RC before you can get your own auto-pilot working right. If you haven't flown RC before, ever, the X8 is going to be challenging.

Nothing is impossible, so best of luck! Keep us posted.

If there is a guy on this forum or DIY who has built a kit, with an autopilot and gotten it to fly without having to control it manually I would really, really, really like to meet him.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:30 PM
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I can't fathom starting with the X8. Be sure to take a Hefty bag to the field with you.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:38 PM
...just an earth bound misfit
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Always take a garbage bag to the field. The day you don't is the day you'll need it.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:44 PM
Keep calm and carry on.
Oso M's Avatar
United States, VA, Falls Church
Joined Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by seojeff View Post
I can't fathom starting with the X8. Be sure to take a Hefty bag to the field with you.
Yeah, I kind of feel bad. But some of us have to make the mistakes ourselves to know, I did. Its not all about IQ.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
Never fly an A model anything!
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Understanding Rc is n essential part of FPV and AUAVs. It is impossible to know how to tune a model for safe flight, setting the auto pilot limits and Gyro rates and flight envelope without having a good grounding in flight.

Quite frankly, I would be frightened to be anywhere near where a large heavy model was being launched by an inexperiened operator. That is just the sort of thing that will get us all outlawed.

I am no angel, but I am not intellectually arrogant enough to not realise when I am being reckless at someone elses expense.

Sorry for my rant but I hope you reconsider skipping the RC part.

Regards J
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
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I don't have the link handy right now. Read too much across the net in the last days.
But at diydrones.com exists an X8 usergroup and I am reasonably sure that I came across PIDs for ArduPilot / ArduPlane somewhere in their forums (I'm sure because I didn't know what PIDs are and researched it). There are a number of X8 users which do autonomous flying with the X8.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jayb1rdz View Post
Understanding Rc is n essential part of FPV and AUAVs. It is impossible to know how to tune a model for safe flight, setting the auto pilot limits and Gyro rates and flight envelope without having a good grounding in flight.

Quite frankly, I would be frightened to be anywhere near where a large heavy model was being launched by an inexperiened operator. That is just the sort of thing that will get us all outlawed.

I am no angel, but I am not intellectually arrogant enough to not realise when I am being reckless at someone elses expense.

Sorry for my rant but I hope you reconsider skipping the RC part.

Regards J
I agree and I disagree. Understanding flight-dynamics basics, yes. But not understanding model-building (which my questions were circling around). There is a difference between only acquiring the knowledge necessary for effective (and safe) operations and learning tons of stuff that I'll never need and I'm not interested in.
As an example, to get a driving license for a car, I need to be able to safely operate it and I need to know the applicable legislation but I do NOT need to know how an engine works, let alone how to build one from scratch. There are many people who do because they are interested in that but not knowing the underlying technical details does not make me an unsafe driver.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 08:13 PM
Religion= suffering/wars
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Joined Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by Imagecatcher View Post
Regarding friction, I have used two linear bearings (CNC table bearings) so it slides quite well. The friction is mainly from the black polyeth block that acts as an anti roll guide. The bearings are mounted in a plastic race so that may wear too. My objective was to be light and avoid two runs of Ali But it may prove false economy.
Do you have adjustment in your bearings t clamp onto the rail as it wears?
looking forward to seeing your maiden TO
Troy
No bearing adjustment though I can skim the plastic spacer if necessary, I'm not expecting wear to be an issue after anodizing.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Oso M View Post
If there is a guy on this forum or DIY who has built a kit, with an autopilot and gotten it to fly without having to control it manually I would really, really, really like to meet him.
Skywalker X8 + APM2 (10 min 41 sec)


Skywalker X8 + APM2 tested in all weather conditions (15 min 28 sec)


X8 6 km Auto-Takeoff & Auto-Land (9 min 6 sec)
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