I see a lot of discussions about flight times and how to extend times.  As nice as electric power is, fuel is still king.  The Drones that the military fly, run on fuel and have long flight times.

Has anyone tried building an ArduPlane drone that runs on Nitro Fuel?  If so, what sort of flight times did you receive?  What model plane?  Engine?  I may try this over the summer...


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vibration is still the primary issue with fuel engines. its possible but you need a lot of vibration isolation to decouple the engine from the airframe and the AP from the airframe.

Being new to this, I had not considered vibration as an issue.  However, I can't imagine that dealing with engine vibration is an insurmountable problem.  

Has anyone tried it?  

I don't know that you can say "fuel is king" anymore.

The effective output/weight gap between fuel and etech has narrowed considerably given the amazing innovations in brushless motors and the lipo/lipoly generation of batteries (both of which profitted from the laptop miniturization push)

If you want to mention long endurance even in the full sized world, that record is held by elfite technology no fuel!


You cannot say that military uses only fuel engines. I work in the industry and I know of many UAS that have electric propulsion sys.. An hav 2-3 hr flight times.

Joseph, that's great to have some industry experience.  How does the military achieve those flight times?  Also, my original question assumed the military was achiveing north of 10 hours of flight time. 

It is best to use a weedwaker motor converted and lightened with electronic cdi. Costs are minimal ($20) and you can run cheap gasoline. You can convert these to run nitro with a glow plug adapter, but nitro is expensive. Power outputs are 3hp with a modded 28cc motor.These motors can fly a siseable aircraft and mission time can be really long if optomised. Converted weight is very low compared to power output.This what most "pro" UAV systems use.

They are still using Standard LiPo packs. They are much larger in size. One of the sUAS that Aeronautics Defense Systems uses is a 28 vdc @ 9amp. This powers a flying wing aircraft for aprox. 2 hrs.  

5hp, gasoline engine, big plane...almost 10 ft w/s. but expensive ($2000).  Has 3 hours flight time off 1 gal 93 octane/ 2cycle oil.  Army gets flight time out of wet wings (tanks in wings) w/more powerful egines...34+ hp.

fpvhobby.com  please leave some available for me...lol

I am selling my nitro planes because of the hassle...cost...

kyosho calmato and p-51 for sale

I think there was some skepticism about this in the past. http://diydrones.com/forum/topics/new-39m-composite-uav-airplane   I will check it out and post on how my order goes   

and their filthy too mine would be coated in slime after every run and the vibes would make your fingers numb if you held it long enough , but man i loved the smell of nitro in the mourning { :P)

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