From my experience, I would recommend a carbon/Kevlar fiber blend. Kevlar is not stiff, but will bend and provide excellent impact strength (this is why bullet-proof vests are made from Kevlar), while carbon is very stiff and works well for adding rigidity to the structure. Ideally a monocoque structure is how a fuselage and wing should be built, but a foam core wing will suffice.
I have built my RQ-11 replica from these materials and as I have mentioned in previous posts, the material is the driving cost factor. It (carbon/kevlar) is the best thing for the application, but there needs to be a willingness to pay for something better than balsa and film.
I have already completed the analysis, testing, and manufacturing of my replica, but I would be willing to re-tool the fuselage to meet the needs of you, and others, based on your inputs and requirements for the APM.
Thanks for the reply. I will post some pics at the end of the weekend, after the holiday. I would love to sell several of these and make them as cheap as possible, so needless to say I am interested in your ideas. More later...
Thank you, I appreciate your response. I will take a look at it tonight.
I just reviewed your site and I am very interested. Have you considered using FeiyuTech's FY21AP or FY3ZT autopilot? I was considering ordering the system this week for a current FPV/UAV I'm building. I haven't had enough time to research it to reach a comfort level with it yet.
Regarding your unit, when do you expect to be able to deliver orders?
Thank you for the link, I unfortunely do not share the same view point as mark and from what I can tell from the pic on the website the only difference I can see is the T tail wich has been desided against by most for RC purposes. Secondly where is the Camera dome for still photography and FPV ? Can we see some pics of the inside in the near future because that was also a big concern for most...
Please understand paul from a manufacturer to manufacturer Im asking the questions that you will be asked when siad that the community ideas where incopurated in the design .
I am glad to see that it is taking shape however and if the price is right they will sell ...
Re: the T-tail, I'm not sure what you mean by "decided against by most for RC purposes".
Certainly for an airframe that may be subjected to rough-field landings, the T-tail provides a degree of protection to the horizontal stab and elevator servo compared with a regular X tail.
For most of us, airframes are an expendable component. A good design needs to be robust in transportation and handling, it should obviously fly well, and it should crash well, with a particular emphasis on sacrificing the airframe to protect the components.
Given how well the sub-$100 airframes perform, to justify a $500 airframe it would need to offer some combination of exceptional performance, greater build convenience and far greater survivability. That's a fairly tall order.
Apologies as I might be way out here but has anyone thought of reinforcing "prone" areas of the airframe with 3M fibreglass-weave "bullet" tape...? It's perfect for protecting foam such as wingtips etc, cheap to buy and easy to apply. I have used this stuff successfully on all sorts of models and it applies a lot of protection and a certain element of rigidity for little gain in weight.