As I begin my first UAV build, I thought I would document it both to help folks in the future and to get any advice or recommendations for my build. I really wanted to build a Bixler, but the SKU I wanted was perpetually out-of-stock at HobbyKing so I went with the Sky Surfer v3 ARF from Banana Hobby.
My build will support APM 1.4 and GoPro HDH2. Eventually I may add telemetry and FPV, but I might just wait for my next project, which I hope is an X8 flying wing build. The biggest issue with the Sky Surfer v3 is the elevator and rudder servos were moved into the fuselage (see attached photo). Here is a list of my proposed modifications:
After I get it flying, I would like to start looking at maximizing endurance, so any suggestions on motor/battery combinations would be great. I'll continue to post as I build over the next few weeks.
I have a SkySurfer v2 (I think) running the stock brushless motor and a 6x4 APC-E prop on a 2200mAh battery and I get 20 minutes of flight time. This is with APM 1.4 and XBee telemetry plus a keychain camera on the nose. I usually have the plane fly a mission, do some guided mode stuff, then circle for a while overhead. The telemetry system is a lot of fun and opens much more capability, you might want to add it sooner rather than later.