I'm after peoples opinions on whether or not a larger model is better to run ArduPilot on. My opinion is that a larger heavier aircraft would yeild better results with this system due to its much higher level of stablibility, hence less eratic ocillations. There do not seem to be many people testing on larger platform, I'm guessing this is to save costs and complexity?


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I totally agree with you, and I'm sorry that I can't answer your question. I've got the same one! I'm looking at larger aircraft because I want to not use the TX RX system. Would anyone know of a trust worthy crash-able large scale plane? (To many adjectives, I know)
Sam R.
Depends on what you mean by 'larger'. With a huge plane (say >6ft wingspan) it's difficult to move around on the ground (driving in a truck), you'll need a runway instead of a good ol' fashioned hand launch and even the slightest crash will total your plane (greater forces and leverage, but the same integrity as with a smaller one). And if you manage to hit a roof, then you'll be trying to get the roof off the plane and not the other way around (i.e. more dangerous).

It'll be more expensive, both in terms of construction/repairs and in terms of operation (more gas/lipos). Shouldn't be more complex though, as it probably wouldn't have any delicate microscopic parts like small planes, just big, beefy ones.
Ok, but are there any planes in-between. I've been looking at this one (with the electric conversion) because the plane must fly itself without any external computers. It also must carry either a 8mp camera, or any .5lb sensory equipment. My dad is yelling at me that this plane is to complex/if I crash it I'm dead (even though I'm paying for it). I've tried to find a plane in the middle but haven't been able to find any. The easy star is to small, and I'm starting to think that this one might be to big.
Sam R.
That's just 50" larger than the EasyStar. Not what I'd consider a big plane, not at all :) it should be easy to fly.

Larger planes are more stable and (usually) more reliable, as they have stronger components.

Try this list if you'd rather pick another one.
By the way, what do you mean by "I want to not use the TX RX system"? You are legally required to have uninterrupted control over the aircraft, even when it's flying autonomously.
I know, but I don't want to have to have the airplane wirelessly connected to a computer or micro-controller. I need to have the "brains" on the plane. I will still have a RC system attached with a kill switch so that I can take control. How could I have not found that page with the list of planes?! Thanks so much!!!
Thank you,
Sam R.
Actually it took me almost 30 minutes to find that page, even when I knew what to look for :)) it was buried pretty darn good.

Okay, I get it now. Ardupilot also has all the brains on board, the groundstation is just for telemetry readout.
Yah, but I'm building my own board so I need all the space that I can get. I'm also using many extra sensor inputs. And as I said I also need room for a big camera.
Sam R.
I'm kinda thinking about a 2M sailplane, a Hobby-Lobby Telemaster or a paraglider from www.uflyrc.com
Anyone have thoughts on these?

TNX, Damon
I think you should better describe your needs.
This is what I understood , but I may be completely wrong:
You need a frame that can

- fly by itself --> autopilot although you must be able to take over control anytime in case of emergency or disfunction of the autopilot.

- take some payload (sensors)

- take a camera (check your needs, today's small electronic cameras outperform many heavier cams that only add weight) In particular check cameras that can be triggered electronically without needing a servo --> weight is a discriminating factor

- take a datalogger --> check the autopilot of your choice or any board that you want to use for your sensors: a USB memory stick is probably your best choice....

Depending on the weight of your sensors and the controller board for these, a single wing or an upgraded easy-star may be a good starting point.
I think that the frames that were used for the different contests here are sufficient proof that a lot can be done with those basic frames, even flight time is a secondary question as soon as it exceeds 10 minutes of powered flight. If you need more power, then you should apply for a commercial UAV because you will no longer fit into amateur specs.

Hope this helps
If you're not on a budget, take a closer look at a Senior Telemaster, the SIG Kadet Senior, or at the large SIG Rascal. I built a Kadet Senior kit (E-conversion) and it is a great flyer. But I would say with payload it's nothing for a first try at RC flying. Some experience must be in the check list.
Ok, but if you are on a budget, and need payload?
Sam R.

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