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Old Jun 07, 2015, 12:19 AM
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Looking for parts for first plane

So this summer I'm doing my senior project which is a plane that can fly around autonomously and carry cameras on board. However I know little about RC planes and need help finding parts that are good. So far all I've decided on is using a Air Hogs Titan as a body as this will give it the ability of glide and thus increase the range of the plane. I've also found a receiver/transmitter that seems to be decent. Here. The last thing I know is Im going to be using a ardupilot for autonomous flight with a GPS, gyroscope and altimeter. Don't think I need anything else for but I would appreciate suggestions. My price range is 200-300 dollars.
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Old Jun 07, 2015, 02:55 AM
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Titan is a free flight glider and it flies quite good per se, If you put propulsion and battery + all those things on it it will be too heavy to be a glider and not suitable for beginner at all.
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Old Jun 07, 2015, 07:45 AM
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You're setting yourself up for heartbreak by pursuing this project when you know nothing about rc planes.

If that goes in one ear and out the other, I will say I would go for a plane with much more wing area than even the titan glider.
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Old Jun 07, 2015, 11:22 AM
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Have a look in this forum --

UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

I doubt very much you can do it within your budget. I would make that your first question in the above forum.
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Old Jun 07, 2015, 12:21 PM
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Icoman: From the conversions I've seen of that Titan they all said it would make a excellent trainer. What would make it fly badly?
Failboat: could you be more specific please? Is there any reason that I would be setting up for failure? All the things I've seen so far show that it's not super hard but they all had experience so they might he became biased. And why do you think the Titan has too little wing area? I understand if I would have to get rid of the gliding part but otherwise it seems alright.
Eflightray: thanks for pointing mouth that forum to me it's probably gonna be helpful.
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Old Jun 07, 2015, 12:30 PM
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The Titan conversion for power and RC does work, but it's a major effort to keep the weight down, (low wing loading). Heavy models do not fly well.

A bigger model will have a greater wing area, so anything you add, such as a camera, ardupilot, any other electronics and maybe additional battery, will only add a small overall percentage to the wing loading.

These UAV/FPV model at Hobby King should give you some idea of what some people use --

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...?strSearch=UAV
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Old Jun 08, 2015, 09:24 PM
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1. An acceptable understanding of flight physics and navigation and the lack thereof is much like the difference between the RC sims that properly model those physics and those that just make the plane move in the direction commanded (provided there is enough airspeed).... as an example, you would have to read a LONG time about rc flight to know it would be a good idea to use some rudder to get out of a condition where one wing drops due to insufficient airspeed instead of the ailerons..... that's just one of many considerations.

2. Carrying a payload (the entire guidance system) is another area of some "expertise" on top of that.... CG, weight, recovery from power sag (brownout reset), mounting and airframe reinforcement, aerodynamic effects, etc.

3. Aircraft design is more involved than you realize.... wing cube loading, power system selection and performance, etc.

4. The titan glides ok as is, but doesn't have that much wing area for it's surprisingly high airframe weight (7oz as is).... add probably that much for a power system and being considerate say the guidance system weighs 5oz, and suddenly a bigger trainer type plane with a lot more wing area looks much better.
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Old Jun 09, 2015, 04:55 AM
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@ my lies ... have you checked how much ardupilot cost? ... and you would install such expensive piece of electronics in 15€ chuck glider that can barely fly?
This smells like provocation more and more.
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Old Jun 09, 2015, 12:51 PM
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You might look at something like the Durafly Sky Mule or some of the bigger kits from crashtesthobbies. You need something big and powerful to carry all that gear, and it's enough of a challenge to get the autopilot stuff dialed in on a known airframe without trying to start out with something self built. At the very least you will want a few dozen hours of stick time manually flying whatever plane you end up with before you load it up with expensive electronics and try to get it to fly itself.
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Old Jun 09, 2015, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icoman View Post
@ my lies ... have you checked how much ardupilot cost? ... and you would install such expensive piece of electronics in 15 chuck glider that can barely fly?
This smells like provocation more and more.
He is now in the UAV forum.
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Old Jun 09, 2015, 09:05 PM
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Thank you all for the responses and I am taking it all in mind as I look around. I now know that the Titan was not going to work for as a UAV and that I would need something better. And I assure you that I am not being provocative, I just new and know little.
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Old Jun 15, 2015, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by failboat View Post
You're setting yourself up for heartbreak by pursuing this project when you know nothing about rc planes.

If that goes in one ear and out the other, I will say I would go for a plane with much more wing area than even the titan glider.
I knew nothing about RC planes 6 months ago, and I'm just finishing my 3rd UAV (2nd that I built).
That being said, I spent many hours a day reading about autopilot software and parameters. I think that I read the entire Arduplane parameter list, start to finish, 4 times before I ordered anything.
I took about 3 days to build the Finwing Penguin and almost a week of testing on the ground with the autopilot before I put it in the air.

If you are meticulous in nature, patient, and humble enough to heed the advice of people you're asking for help, you can definitely do it with no experience.

I don't have a lot of confidence that you can do it for $300, though. I think my first penguin ended up being around $800, including a NIR camera.

$250 RMRC Finwing Penguin (shipped)
~$230 HKPilot32 (pixhawk clone) and GPS + Telemetry modules
$120 DX5e & Satellite Receiver (should have gone for the Taranis, apparently)
$150 NIR camera
$40 in 3s batteries

I can tell you with 100% certainty that I would have lost that plane a handful of times if I didn't read everything I could on a few different forums, as well as the APM wiki. Many of the people on these forums have been flying models longer than I have been alive (just turned 30). You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone here that knows less than you (or I) and/or wants to see you fail, so trust the advice.

If you want to keep it cheap and have less of a risk of losing your money, ditch the waypoints idea for now. You can still make a cool senior project. Just my $0.02.
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Old Jun 18, 2015, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
I took about 3 days to build the Finwing Penguin and almost a week of testing on the ground with the autopilot before I put it in the air.
Three days to assemble a foam ARF?

OP wants to convert a Walmart foam glider to work as an autonomous UAV. I don't know if you've tried that or not, but I can assure you it's not quite the same thing.
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Old Jun 18, 2015, 10:33 PM
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3 days to build a foam ARF that had a lot of extra electronics, as well as a custom camera mount, all with zero experience. I'm not sure what is so shocking about that? Adding a canon camera, autopilot, gps, telemetry and trying to leave access to install a vtx and and a large enough battery in a place that won't affect cog is not exactly a common sense process for someone that has never seen the inside of a model airplane.

My point is that 10 years ago, I would have hot glued everything together in 45 minutes and crashed it into my neighbors treehouse.

Edit: and I just tried to convert a Wal-Mart glider into a pusher about a month ago. Gave up after 2 days and made a flying wing out of foam board instead, which I promptly crashed into a tree. I'll hold off on scratch builds for awhile.
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Old Jun 20, 2015, 01:09 AM
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Last time I was at the field a new person showed up who brought a plane that they had built. It looked like an F14, pusher prop, with fully functional swept wings! Cool.

He had never flown a plane before... Sure sounded like a recipe for disaster. However, he did not maiden it. The most experienced/skilled person at the field did that.

If flew great; he took it around a few times and at altitude tested the wing action, it all worked.

So: There's quite a few things that seem difficult or impossible, but aren't. In particular if one takes some steps to improving the possibility of success.
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