I'm pretty new to DIY Drones but not to the topic itself, although I don't have any practical R/C hobby experience. I also now kinda "defected" from the multi-rotor world to here . Why?
Well, that's what I wrote to my personal blog about it:
Of course, I am talking about the Skywalker X8, a flying wing with incredible 2,12m wingspan and 1-2kg payload (depending on motor and stuff). From what I have read in the forums so far, this monster is not only very stable and reasonably easy to fly. It even has it's own usergroup at DIY Drones - which I immediately joined, of course.
Yes, it's true, I am a helo person, but that doesn't mean that I can't fly fixed-wings . And with a multi-rotor being obviously painstakingly complicated (and expensive!) in construction, a fixed-wing might just be a nice alternative for the beginning. Especially, a fixed-wing like this!
Now, what's the next step...? The next step is to find a dealer somewhere in Europe, figure out, how much the monster costs and do some project- and budget-planning.
So, I guess, I'll hang out here a bit longer :).
Welcome, I suggest for a start have a look at this site. There are currently 366 pages so start about half way. You will learn a lot about the fantastic X8.
I don't know any dealers who stock it in Europe but if you order it from www.bevrc.com and make your order upto $200 by adding something for $1 you do or at least did get free shipping. Any questions just ask.
Also I am looking to connect a 3G dongle to a Raspberry Pi but unfortunately due to back orders it only arrived 2 days ago and from next week I am away for 2 weeks so not much progress yet.
Initial question: I have read here in the forums somewhere that the black EPO is not as durable as the white EPO. Is there anything supporting this claim is is this just hear-say?
I'd go for the black one because it's better visible on daytimes (contrast) and it looks meaner :).
Can't really answer that as I have a white one, but one or two people did mention this but it dosn't seem to be a big issue.
Btw: Just checked BEVRC without actual ordering. The options say "Free shipping if package < 3kg" but it's around 4kg with the X8... :(
Looks like they have changed it since I ordered mine.
You can also get it from http://www.fpvflying.com/ about $47 shipping
This forum link is worth gold! I just did a quick clickthrough and already found so many ideas.
Retractable gear definitely goes to the list.
I'll also put a reasonably strong (for effect, not for beauty) LED NAVL/ACL system in. In summer we don't have real nights and our area (I live close to the Finnish lake area) is buzzing with LSAs and they fly like... well... let's say "unconventionally"... . I don't want an LSA to run over my UAV, in twilight...
For beauty and winter night flights, I am planning for "formation lights" made from EL wire - presuming that the inverter(s) don't produce RFI that would crash the APM or make the radios dirty
Besides, for something around 1500€ + VAT, you get an uncooled thermal imager from FLIR which is intended for automotive use. That COULD make a very nice night time FPV system...
More reading to do... :).
currently, retractable gears remained an idea though some managed to do it, some adjustments need to be done. However, a lot of people managed to create parachute release for landing. Going over the forum and reading all the conversation is really informative.
may I ask around what area in Finland you're located? Myself I'm flying fixed wing with APM1 in the metropolitan area (Vantaa that is) and it would be great to see an X8 in real life after watching lots of youtube videos. But I see that you're still in the process of getting one. I currently don't have so much time for the hobby so I don't dare to order :-) But hopefully I gonna get my Multiplex Funcub soon up again.
I'm in Valkeakoski, about 30km south of Tampere. And yeah, I'm still in the process of getting one - or shall I say, in the process of deciding to get one. I'm still very much torn between a multi-rotor and an X8. But the X8 seems to offer the better value for (my rather restricted) money, so it's probably gonna be her for the first steps. Depending on the situation, I'm gonna order the airframe still in September or then in October. Time is an issue for me too at the moment, but winter is coming and you probably know that as a single, you need a good project for the Finnish winter or you start becoming very strange :D.
I actually already was wondering, how (if?) UAV flying works down there in metro-alue, with 2 bigger (Vantaa & Malmi) and a number of smaller airfields around plus the embassy area and all the spread diplomatic housings around the suburbs. Can you do ANY kind of autonomous flying without Finavia / Trafi / SuPo breathing down your neck? I mean anything besides flying waypoint squares above your R/C club's field or so?
Sorry for the late reply. Actually I was in Tampere a few weeks ago but now back in the capital.
I guess everyone's taste is different. I am a plane person (if you want to call it like that :) and not really into anything that has a rotor. As you say, it doesn't make it easier to find a place to fly. So far I haven't ventured out more than (as you say) flying waypoints over the RC field and a bit of FPV over the forest next to it (ended in a 12m tree since I got lost over the forest with no OSD and the battery was empty so RTL didn't help).
In any case, legally you are bound to LOS which somehow limits your options. Actually Lapland could be a nice option for being more adventurous but there you have the harsh climate also :-) Also, I guess in order to get a stable system setup (plane, autopilot, telemetry, video) that works reliably and you can setup in a reasonable amount of time, you'll need lots of practice, that's what I have learned the hard way :-)
Just remembered: over at RC groups there is a Finnish lady flying her X8 somewhere in Espoo I believe. Maybe you wanna get in touch with her if you end up having supply problems.
Cheers, good luck, Andre
Hi, yeah I have read her posts in rcgroups... But still, metro area is a bit too far away from me...
Interesting about the LOS-thing... I have made a formal inquiry to the district police administration in Tampere and they called me back and said that there is no legislation whatsoever governing the operation of R/C aircraft. I especially inquired about LOS/nLOS and autonomous operations. They said, unless I move into controlled airspace, there are no rules but "use common sense and don't do damage". And the controlled-airspace-thing is the same for R/C aircraft, kites, weather balloons - just everything that flies. Theoretically, even a faulkner can get a ticket if his falcon flies into controlled airspace. But that's nothing R/C or UAV-specific.
Besides, I preliminary decided to buy the PNF Global Hawk, which is $99 PNF as opposed to $200 X8 + $70 shipping + $120 motor, prop, servos, etc.. for the X8. I think, for a beginner plane, the RQ-4 just makes the cheaper crash if things go wrong :). When I feel comfortable with the RQ-4, it moves to a steel wire under the living room ceiling and the X8 comes then :).