Can ArduPilot Prolong Flight Duration?

Dear All,

 

I've been gathering several information for my project. One of them is that a flight of a RC Plane or Copter can only last for approximately 10 minutes or even lower.

 

I have this theory: That relatively short duration of flight is caused by RC communication.

 

If that theory is right, I'm thinking maybe there's a way to overcome it: ArduPilot Mega.

 

If an ArduPilot can take a task to get to some coordinates (way-points) & altitudes, and then get an input from a GPS about realtime coordinate & altitude of the plane, then it simply can give instructions to all the controls (ESC, throttle, rudder, etc.) to make sure that the plane sticks or gets back to its given path. This all will be done via cables because the ArduPilot itself is on-board the plane. This way, supposedly, the battery will no longer be used for RC comm.

 

The questions are:

1. Is my theory, someway somehow, true?

2. If it is. Theoretically, how long can the flight duration can be extended with that theory?

 

Maybe this time, I'll get a reply. Hopefully =)

 

Many thanks.

Jeffry.

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Replies

  • Wow, you guys are really open my perspectives. Thanks everyone.. =)

     

    @Fabien Bruning, where can I get that 4400 mAh you're talking about?

     

    @jasonshort, if I use two of 2100 mAh batteries, will it theoretically take me fly for an hour?

  • Developer
    APM will more aggressively work the servos compared to a human pilot. That's a lot of extra drain right there. But it pales in comparison to the main motor. I can fly my stock easystar for 30 min with a newish 2100MaH battery. With all the AP stuff, about 25-26 minutes. If I fly on a slope, I can fly indefinitely.
  • Propulsion as already mentioned is the life sucker. Planes last longer than quads and copters because they have less motors (usually).
  • Easiest way to extend flight duration is to enlarge your wings and buy a bigger battery. Using an Easystar with Easyglider wings and a 4400 mah battery gives flight times over half an hour, and I suspect a lot longer if you make careful use of the wind.

     

    Theoretically you could stay up indefinately on thermals!

  • Developer
    Your theory is almost certainly false. APM will use more power than an RC receiver. There is no magic to having APM control servos and a speed controller. The servos and speed controller will use the same amount of power if receiving control signals from APM or a RC receiver. And, as already mentioned, the propulsion system uses 90+% of the power anyway.
  • Moderator
    The electric motors use most of the battery
This reply was deleted.

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