Micro Air Vehicle Project - Page 2 - RC Groups
View Poll Results: Is a 15cm (6") aircraft with a 10g payload possible
yes 43 93.48%
no 3 6.52%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools
Nov 05, 2003, 12:58 PM
Registered User
All I was saying is that the 6" threshold can be had with "cheap" off the shelf items. We did it all the time the above components also went into a 5.5" plane that flew very well.

Other than the camera/transmitter system our total plane cost was not much more than 150$ that included very expensive (comparatively) drive motors at about 30-50 a pop
Toss in a nice highfreq speed control a gws receiver and somewhat lightened hs50’s and you have a 6” mav. But there are far lighter servos, receivers and speed controllers out there now than what we used/had access to 2 years ago
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Nov 05, 2003, 01:00 PM
Registered User
Sorry it seems someone forgot to log out of their rczone account at work. The above post is mine.

also since MAV is a new buzzword it's use is stretched and pulled but generally speaking you can say any plane smaller or approaching 6" is max dimension. A 12" plane is not a MAV
Last edited by Kallikrates; Nov 05, 2003 at 01:10 PM.
Nov 05, 2003, 01:26 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Be careful about the Smart Tools (Park Flight) calculator. It has a cell to input the coeficient of lift, yet that value is not used in the computations. This means it assumes you have a coefficient of lift of 1.0, which you almost certainly do not. This error has been brought to the attention of Larry Park months ago and it remains unfixed.

You can go right to the source and read the article "Building for Indoors" by Jef Raskin in the free December issue of RC Microflight which has the formulas and they can easily be put into a spreadsheet.

Last edited by Gordon Johnson; Nov 05, 2003 at 01:28 PM.
Nov 05, 2003, 01:26 PM
Team 30 Micro EDF
Mike Taylor's Avatar

Gear is going through a real revolution right now. You can do things now you couldn't do at all two years ago.

I have a 3 channel, 2 servo (not actuator) radio system with built in motor control that weighs 5.4 grams (with wiring, plugs, antenna); two years ago, each servo was heavier than that. It only weighs 11.4 grams including a 2-cell battery pack.

A four channel system with 3 servos and ESC comes in at ~8 grams.

I could even shave more weight off these by hard-wiring all the parts and eliminating connectors, shortening wires, using smaller LiPolys, etc., but the the gear is still in stock condition.

Smaller radios and ESCs are coming, the tiniest servos can still be shrunk some. I really think you can do some real magic with off-the-shelf items. Go for it.
Nov 05, 2003, 01:36 PM
Registered User
Pook's Avatar
Kallikrates... What motors did you use ?

Nov 05, 2003, 03:03 PM
Registered User
2 years ago I think it was dc5 2.4's(as seen still in some Korean designs)
then we moved to maxon re10's (think firefly in a less common winding minus the gearbox)

as we get smaller we are experimenting with new smaller motors. And slow getting prop development going.
since right now the motor is the heaviest individual component in the planes.

As a result of new lighter components our older 6" designs are very easy to fly (even mild aerobatics) as long as you have a fast eye for them, or if onboard video is fed through our visual guidance system any layman who's never flown an rc plane can fly them
Nov 05, 2003, 03:58 PM
Registered User
sub 5" eh? That's impressive. My intention is to shoot for 1hour endurance, so I guess I'll be playing it right to the limit... Anyway I'm after weight, wing area, cruise speed, endurance, and any other data like that you can give me for this data base. Then I can actually get to the hardware stage, and hopefully have a new toy to play with!


PS - I wanna put a video camera in it too, so if you've got any data on small video cameras for this sort of thing, that would also be appreciated. Not to mention some costing data. Yeah I know, this is a very long "PS"...

PPS ( ) thanks guys!
Nov 05, 2003, 05:32 PM
Registered User
Pook's Avatar
Errm this is kind of a random list of MAV related stuff ive asmbled over the last couple of months & a list of a few UK shops.


Micro Air Vehicles - Toward a New Dimension in Flight

DAPRA - Paper MAV - some info on wiehgt of parts on Black Widow


Jason's Research

The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

MAV Multidisciplinary Optimization Report

DAPRA - Paper - Power options

APRA - Paper - MAV


Towards Autonomous Flight for Micro Air Vehicles

University of Notre Dame Mav competition Site

Lehigh University Micro Aerial Vehicle

The Arizona State University Micro Aerial Vehicle 2000 Competition



Personal Website - home made MAv's

Florida Uni Sci Papers - Some relate to MAV






UK Shops

Nov 05, 2003, 08:05 PM
Registered User
Here is one of last years endurance mav designs (no payload) unfortunately it didn't handle the wind well (it was really bad and to launch into the wind meant throwing it at the video stations and crowd) on competition day. The ruler lies a little because the max dimension from the tip of the prop to the lowest vertical surface was about 4.5" We've taken a new approach to this years design but I can¡'t and won't post images of it here because the competition also reads this site just wait a few months

Since most of theinformation is public here are images from this past competition in april
The germanteam impressed me with their great inflight stablization hardware and ability to overcome switching frequencies during the night (they flew european)
Lehigh did great despite no rcpilots on the team their only experience was flight sims and MAVs
the koreans had the best design out there and would have won endurance were it not for a tiny pilot error
calpoly came really close to the target but couldn't get it in their sights.
endurance scores were time/maxdim^3 the image target was 500m away downhill.
Last edited by Kallikrates; Nov 05, 2003 at 08:08 PM.
Nov 05, 2003, 08:55 PM
Registered User
Pook's Avatar
Kallikrates, is it the University of Florida's team you part of ?

Although the plane you show above has a vertical fin above and below the wing. Most of the designs seem to have them below the wing and I've not been able to come up with a reason for this that sits well with me, I was thinking posibly some sort of pendulum effect or is it just with a sort of fusalage under the wing already if the fin was on top it would increase the max dimention..

Nov 05, 2003, 10:51 PM
Registered User
The fin was added to counter act the tourqe rolling effect caused by the overly large power system needed to get to flying speed, and the lack of available under the wing area available with that fuse design, the top one has no controll surface.

As for max dimension It's better to think of it as the diameter of the smallest sphere the whole plane would fit in notice the curved trailing edge. It's skewed a little because of the angle of the photograph
Nov 06, 2003, 02:54 PM
Registered User
jberg's Avatar

the included picture shows the one of my models which comes closest to these 6" of wingspan. It actually has 8" of span, weighs 26g and is a very simple construction. Basically it is an 1/3 scale Drenalyn. Maybe it is an idea for a simple start. That's a D cell for comparison.

Regards, Jochen
Nov 06, 2003, 02:59 PM
Registered User
Keennon's Avatar
Jochen- looks good. I might be a handful to fly with the large control surfaces, but will be aerobatic in roll axis. You might find it has a natural rolling oscillation which is usual for very low aspect ratio wings. You might experiment with different size vertical fins, and maybe on the bottom instead.
Good luck.
-Matt Keennon
Nov 06, 2003, 03:49 PM
Registered User
jberg's Avatar
Actually it is a quite stable flier, though quite responsive around the roll axis indeed. See a short video here:


Right-click, choose "Save as ...", then use mediaplayer. The video has no sound. BTW, both planes are IR controlled, the other one is my "Phoenix Mite".

The original Drenalyn plan is here:

Regards, Jochen
Last edited by jberg; Nov 06, 2003 at 03:55 PM.
Nov 06, 2003, 04:03 PM
in persuit of low wing loading
Gordon Johnson's Avatar
Slightly off topic, but there is another area of development that is not MAV. Instead the emphasis is on very slow flying automous flying vehicles. The planes tend to be larger, and much lighter than the MAV's which are oriented towards flying outdoors. These indoor planes are intended for places like train stations, sports domes, etc. Here is a site for a doctoral student at Drexel University in Philadelphia who is doing his dissertation on this.


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Micro Air Vehicle Science Project KatanaGuy Scratchbuilt Indoor and Micro Models 11 Sep 07, 2003 09:31 PM