Long Endurance

I want to build a fixed wing drone with the longest possible endurance possible. I'm thinking electric pusher(for aerial video) with solar panels and alternator(s) to charge the batteries. I have very little experience in building fixed wings but have extensive experience with multi and single rotors. And also with aerial video/photography. It can be over 55lbs, since im willing to get FAA experimental licencing for it. Im also planing on using an airport hangar so it should be large enough to be seen by small aircraft such as cessnas. The wingspan should also be around 30-40ft. And if we have to go to a gas motor, it would have to be an aviation motor being able to use AA or Jet-A fuel.

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Replies

    • well said

  • Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?

    "...I'm thinking electric pusher(for aerial video) with solar panels and alternator(s) to charge the batteries..."

    If you have alternators, you need something to power them and you seem to imply you will be carrying internal combustion engines (quite a few of them). If you do, why bother with the alternators, electric motor and solar panels at all? All they will do is add a truckload of weight, cost and complexity.

    • First, you don't need a combustion engine to use alternators. And because the original concept was going to use an electric motor, alternators, batteries, and solar panels to fly.

      • He's going to use the solar panels to power the electric motors so he can drive the alternator to charge the batteries silly!

  • Matt

    I just sent you a friend request so I could send you a pm. I have a composite airframe with a 14ft wingspan using a military surplus drone engine.

    I have a couple motors and im finishing up my molds for the fuse now. I have foam cut wings with integrated fuel cells that should give me 10 to 12 hours worth of loiter time.

    Maybe we could pool our resources on the electronics if I lay up another frame.....

    Its taken me a couple years to get this far but with my cnc hot wire, router and mill, and the molds nearly done, I don't see why I couldn't knock out a couple extra pieces of everything. Had planned to make spares of everything anyway.

    Im sure ill hit the 55lbs mark and I believe I have figured out how to meet most if not all of the FAA requirements.

    I had originally planned on using two motors with this airframe but after researching the specs on my motors and finding 9out they will easily swing a 3 foot prop..... I think one will meet my requirements. But there is room for another on the airframe and I could spare two of them if it turns out to be underpowered for you application.

    Get in touch if your interested.

    Chris

  • Moderator
    If you were to get an expert builder of which there are many on DIYD, some real craftsmen to build it. The cost in hours alone will exceed $5000.

    You say you have flown multirotors so you must have a handle on costs.
  • You realize that people spend that much money on highly advanced 5lb toy drones, right?  Your $5,000 might get you through the design phase.  Forget actual materials and construction.  This project has some serious disconnects with reality!

    Fuel weighs something.  You're talking about carrying probably 60 or more pounds of payload, JUST IN FUEL.  And that will require fuel tanks, big ones.  So now you're also looking at a liquid payload that is big enough to slosh around, altering flight dynamics.  A 1090ES ADS-B transponder alone is another 7lbs and $5,000-$6,000 with a WAAS GPS source.

    • I understand, but im still hoping to get the AIRFRAME done for $5k, then we can spend much more on everything else that goes inside(Transponder, fuel tanks, electronics, autopilot, fuel,ect.)

      • I'd expect to see a $5k cheque to just design said airframe concept, let alone have a prototype built.  I think you need to add at least a zero to your expectations for your first airframe at least and probably apply another factor greater than one also.

        • Alright, you guys have convinced me. Lets move the limit for the airframe $10,000

           

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