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Old Sep 13, 2014, 03:40 PM
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Long Range Drone... Need help finding solutions

Hey RC Groups,

Say my company is in need of a flying 'drone' of sorts for photographing large areas of land. I need help finding a cheap alternative to a commercial drone, and I think I've found one in rc planes.

Long Range Transmitter
First off, I found this long range transmitter. It should be able to go 30 km without disturbance. I think this should be able to the trick. Would this work well, plus would it work with all the below addons?

Autopilot/Flight Director
I need a way for the drone/plane to be able to fly straight and flat for a long period of time while footage is analyzed and recorded. Would this work out well? How does it function?

The Plane Itself
Would this UAV drone work well with the above two addons? I chose this plane because it needs to be large and powerful enough to hold a camera for recording, plus a camera for transmitting back to the 'cockpit.'

Remaining Questions...
How would I be able to increase the range on this plane? I need it to be able to fly for about an hour or two. Would anyone recommend any other planes? What other addons do you suggest?


tl;dr
I need a plane that can fly far and for a long time, can support a transmitting and recording camera, and has autopilot.

Thanks for reading and helping out everyone!

UPDATE:
I've found this: http://www.skydrone.aero/index.php,
now what do you all suggest? I need the plane this attaches to to be able to stay in the air for a long period of time. How?
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 04:53 PM
Stuart
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Originally Posted by Ladinn View Post
Hey RC Groups,

Say my company is in need of a flying 'drone' of sorts for surveying large areas of land. I need help finding a cheap alternative to a commercial drone, and I think I've found one in rc planes.
So its a commercial venture.

How much are you offering to pay for the advice you want\need ?
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 04:57 PM
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So its a commercial venture.

How much are you offering to pay for the advice you want\need ?
I was hoping that advice was given for free, this didn't seem like that kind of community. We're a non-profit
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 05:06 PM
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For clarity... Please link us to your non-profit company website.
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 05:47 PM
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For clarity... Please link us to your non-profit company website.
This is a new company that my friends and I are offering to the community for free. I should not have said non-profit, it's more of just a not-making-profit company.

The area we reside is heavy into sailing/boating and during the summer people travel from around the world for our beautiful (and windy!) weather. We've seen that scores of people are paying extreme amounts of money for aerial photography using manned helicopters. This is a very large and unnecessary expense to the already expensive boating experience.

We're offering free aerial photography using our new drones which, with RC Groups help, should be able to fly over large expanse of a bay for hours on end.

I've seen many abilities for UAV copters, however I feel that a plane would be more successful in matching the speed of the marine craft.

I hope that helps in showing what we really need from you all.
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 05:59 PM
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speed of marine craft? Boats are slow. Typical sailing yacht goes maybe 8 knots, a power yacht 22 knots. Multicopters can easily match most boats under way, and also go much faster than all but a offshore racing powerboat. Just might be a matter of how far from launch to where the boat is that makes a fixed wing plane a better choice (more endurance). BUt new generation of multicopters also have good endurance.

however most fixed wing planes need a minimum fwd speed to avoid stalling or near-stall wallowing. Some of my planes need at least 40kph to keep level, not unusual stall speed. But a multicopter can go any speed right down to zero and stay steady.
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:09 PM
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Best you go off and join a local rc flying club, get insured, learn the rules and lean to fly model planes for 12 say months like we all did, then come back and try to start your profitable non-profit business... by then you may have more of an idea and start your venture with a more realistic approach
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
speed of marine craft? Boats are slow. Typical sailing yacht goes maybe 8 knots, a power yacht 22 knots. Multicopters can easily match most boats under way, and also go much faster than all but a offshore racing powerboat. Juts might be a matter of how far from launch to where the boat is that makes a fixed wing plane a better choice (more endurance). BUt new generation of multicopters also have good endurance.

however most fixed wing planes need a minimum fwd speed to avoid stalling or near-stall wallowing. Some of my planes need at least 40kph to keep level, not unusual stall speed. But a multicopter can go any speed right down to zero and stay steady.
Ok, I wasn't aware that multicopters could do that. Our launch site would be about 2 miles from the destination, and I would want the UAV to get there quickly. What would the max speed be for the multicopters? Also, we were hoping to also photograph power boats. Max speed would be around 30-40 mph. If that speed is impossible/expensive to reach, then a stationary multicopter would be fine as long as the camera could follow the boat. (Controlled from ground station)
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Best you go off, join a club, get insured and lean to fly model planes for 12 say months like we all did, then come back and try to start your profitable non-profit business... by then you may have more of an idea and start your venture with a more realistic approach
As I said, we're not a profitable company. Plus, we're not even a company, just some friends that want to save people money I was just hoping I could get some help from this forum. I do appreciate the advice!
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:18 PM
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Is that all you want to do? Fly Only 2 miles out and then hover there filming for an hour or so and fly itself back home?... that will be easy as.

You just need one of these.
http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-2-vision-plus
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:25 PM
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Is that all you want to do? Fly Only 2 miles out and then hover there filming for an hour or so and fly itself back home?... that will be easy as.

You just need one of these.
http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-2-vision-plus
That thing looks really great, and I might even use that for something else more personal, however its range is very limited and battery life is 25 minutes...
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ladinn View Post
Ok, I wasn't aware that multicopters could do that. Our launch site would be about 2 miles from the destination, and I would want the UAV to get there quickly. What would the max speed be for the multicopters? Also, we were hoping to also photograph power boats. Max speed would be around 30-40 mph. If that speed is impossible/expensive to reach, then a stationary multicopter would be fine as long as the camera could follow the boat. (Controlled from ground station)
OK good to know the specs here. Yeah many multi will go 60 kph

How about launching the multicopter from a chase boat or the boat being filmed?

The 2 mile transit flight out and back could be a real complication, and yeah planes are better for such transiting
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:39 PM
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If the that doesn't suit then looks like you are going to have to start learning to fly and learning how all the video gear etc works like the rest of us.

If you start right now you "May" be able to achieve what you want in 6-12mths assuming you have $3-$5K to blow.
And if you fly over water you will expect loose them occasionally, matter of when not if.
A rig worthy of your photographic needs will set you back $5-10K.
So you still plan on doing this for free?

We are here to help fellow hobbyists, We are not here to give up our free time to hand it all to you on a silver plate, this usually only results in you adding to the problems we currently face with people doing the wrong thing and ending up on the news.

Looks like Salty is willing to take you under his wing and give you all the help you need.
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
OK good to know the specs here. Yeah many multi will go 60 kph

How about launching the multicopter from a chase boat or the boat being filmed?

The 2 mile transit flight out and back could be a real complication, and yeah planes are better for such transiting
That would make it difficult, but it could be done. However, I'd still like to be able to use something that could stay in the air for a very long time, plus, have a long range. So even if it was launched from a chase boat, I would much rather not have to stay near the boat being photographed.

What I had in mind was a 10 mile range, 2 hour battery life. Is that out of the question?
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Old Sep 13, 2014, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by NutBag View Post
If the that doesn't suit then looks like you are going to have to start learning to fly and learning how all the video gear etc works like the rest of us.

If you start right now you "May" be able to achieve what you want in 6-12mths assuming you have $3-$5K to blow.
And if you fly over water you will expect loose them occasionally, matter of when not if.
A rig worthy of your photographic needs will set you back $5-10K.
So you still plan on doing this for free?

We are here to help fellow hobbyists, We are not here to give up our free time to hand it all to you on a silver plate, this usually only results in you adding to the problems we currently face with people doing the wrong thing and ending up on the news.

Looks like Salty is willing to take you under his wing and give you all the help you need.
Alright, hopefully others can find another solution. Otherwise I'll have to settle for the DJI copter. Thanks for your help, I didn't mean to offend you by posting.
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