I don't know how I missed the Forums right beside Blog, but anyway, this is a re-post in the propper place, almost.
This question more or less belongs in every category in the book, but I guess I will present it here. I wan't to build my dad an autonomous plane which features high quality video (none of the shaky ugly stuff you see on youtube because this isn't for fun, this is serious use. It is going to be a large gas plane with a fairly large engine. It may use an engine to run a generator which then power an electric motor, but probably not. It will need to be able to fly to a location (field) then it will just circle over it while my dad uses either a joystick and a TV or the head tracking goggles to look around the field and find what he needs. The camera needs to have pretty good zoom so he can pretty much fill the whole screen with one cow, and it needs to be good quality optical zoom, and it needs to zoom out too. The plane will also need to be able to move to a new circling location with a simple click on a map, or entering of coordinates. It would also be wonderful if it could land itself either using recorded data of a manual landing, or using complex software and stuff. It would also be good if it could calculate distance to home and then using the amount of fuel left decide the point of no return and make it unreachable.
Recap: I need high quality, long zoom, live video, fuel monitoring, autopilot, antennas, amplifiers, and other stuff I don't know about.
A list of specific parts with links would be awesome guys, thanks in advance.
Any ideas for the most stable, easy to control, easy to land, and smoothest plane shape. It would also be good if it had a large payload area for equipment and fuel. It also needs to be able to handle 10-20 mph sudden gusts.