Hello all, im a newbie looking to get into the drone business of mapping and surveying. I have a few quad copters that can take care of small jobs and stills but Im now looking to increase my reach by having a fix wing drone in my arsenal. The cost of the fix wing drones for sale intended for mapping are pretty pricey. 

I was on youtube and stumbled upon a Skywalker Black X8 . Is there a possible way i could use an airframe like this or any other that you may suggest and make a mapping drone?

Im a novice but very tech savvy and can catch on quickly, what are all the components/parts I would need to make an autonomous fixed wing that takes stills, works with an autopilot and all of that jazz. Is this even possible for me to do?

Thank you for all of your help!!!

I'll probably use Pix4d for my rendering/stitching 

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • No problem :). Will try to help you as far as i can. There are also lots of members here who are willing to help.

    Samson said:

    Congrats on your new fixed wing, it looks great! I just sent you a friend request. I'd like to inbox your if you don't mind me picking your brain a little. Thanks ScratchNodado

  • Congrats on your new fixed wing, it looks great! I just sent you a friend request. I'd like to inbox your if you don't mind me picking your brain a little. Thanks ScratchNodado

  • Hi,

    I also do aerial mapping using diy fixed wing. Just finished my current aerial mapping platform using...

    Skywalker eve2000
    Pixhawk 2.1
    Sony A6000




  • Hello,

    I was just talking to a guy in Radio Shack who had come in for a part, and he told me that if he had to buy a new drone, he would go for the 3DR Solo.  I looked it up, and you can get it from Amazon or Best Buy for under $300 (I was just looking for the Skywalker X8 on Amazon and it's sold out). 

    I also just funded a Kickstarter project - the Jevois Smart Camera, and you can get a plug and play kit for just over $50.  I should be getting mine this month, and they are starting another batch next month.

    The Jevois Smart Camera can do OpenCV on board.  As far as the overall pipeline, you mentioned using Pix4d to do stitching - I'm not familiar with that yet.  Not sure if there's a way to transfer the video cheaply in realtime from the drone (I'm interested in learning more here), but if you could, then you could probably do the image stitching from your car with a laptop.

  • Might I interest you in one of my earliest builds?

    (See attached photo)

    I kid.....mostly.  Looks like Marc and Darrel got you covered!

    Broke Quad Pilot Final.jpg

  • Samson,

    I started building fixed-wing drones for AP a couple of years back. The building is an easy process (you will get really good at this as crashing is part of the learning process).  If you have never flown an RC plane however I would not start with the X8. I learned to fly with a local RC model club - you will need to fly in manual from time to time and this experience will save you a lot of heartache - it is very different to flying multirotors (but much more fun!),

    You can buy the Skywalker 1900 that the event drones are based on - they are great and we have used them successfully for longer flights (up to 50 minutes with an 8000mAh battery). They are really easy to fly but difficult to get hold of now.  We have just taken delivery of a Skywalker EVE-2000 - this looks like a fantastic AP platform.  We tried several flying wings but they are a pain to fly in manual by comparison. If you want to go that route then an X5 might be better to learn on, the X8 is difficult to get in the air!

    There are lots of other things to consider with fixed wings, not least the landing area required. Getting them to slow down as they land can lead to some challenges :)  But there are always parachute options - it depends on where you want to fly.

    Good luck


  • Sure you can. And you can buy them from here: https://event38.com/fixed-wing/e384-mapping-drone/   (among other places),

    You could buy all the same components and make this yourself -- but you really need to have done some flying first.

    The E384 Mapping Drone
This reply was deleted.


Shivchand Jaysaval liked Shivchand Jaysaval's profile
Aug 25