DIY experts,

I have a specific application. I need a high endurance disposable platform to make measurements in clouds and storms. Recovery is not important. The UAV would be equipped to transfer data to ground control station in near real time. Once data is obtained, recovery will be attempted. If recovery is not possible due to storm conditions, the UAV will be abondoned. Subsequent mission would be conducted with an identically equipped UAV.

Important requirements:
1. Cruise speed ~ minimum 50 knots
2. Flight time (endurance) at cruise speed ~ 20 hours
3. Payload (with full fuel onboard) ~ 3 kg
4. Cost ~ less than $5,000 for airframe

I know requirements are challenging but each will have to be specified for this project. Thank you all for your feedback!

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With the endurance target, you are probably SOL.That said, some hybrid of Skywalker or Penguin with very efficient Solar cells may get you closer, assuming you can get some sun light! Peeps are ecstatic to get one hour flight time on a FPV plane.

Hi Anthony,

I am Fabian from Peru, I am working in big project about Mugin UAV for long range, I also use RDF 900 for telemetry but i don,t have directional tracking antenna system, please could you tell me how can arrive to have 100 km of communication range?.....What kind of autotracking used?.....thank you for yiur time.


Anthony Verloop said:

I would suggest the same. We actually are flying this platform with a 10 liter fuel tank (we made it bigger) and a 50 CC DLE twin cylinder engine, fuel consumption at 100 KM/Hr only 0.5 liter per hour !!! That was with perfect conditions, flying a straight line up and down.

We flew a mapping mission, lots of turns, a bit windy and the consumption went up to a liter per hour. But still quite efficient.

The mugin is cheap, available at Your problem will be to keep the total weight below the maximum take off weight. To stay up 20 hours, you need at least 15 liter (about 14Kg) of fuel.

We have been able to keep data transmission with the RFD900 up to 100 Km, using an antenna tracker and directional Yagi antenna's. If you need more range, that will be a challenge to.

If you want more info, you can PM me.

Hi Fabian,

I'm using this antenna tracker:

Depending on your electronics package, I think it's perfectly feasible to get several planes out of that budget.  Remember, a 60 year old designed 'Ugly Stick' crossed the atlantic (Canada to Ireland if I remember right) not to long ago, using old school Cox & fuel, GPS & google earth.....  There are many different ways to power a system. Everyone's become so use to battery power & short flight times, sometimes it's hard to see other options.

  Thin flexible solar sheets have come way down in price. Internal compustion doesn't have to mean a 50cc turbo prop. It can also mean a bank of alcohol fueled stirling generators kicking in when ever the solar dips to low.

  Using a water tight polypropylene tube to contain all your electronics as the planes core with a solar powered GPS pinger, would make your system recoverable, from anywhere. imprint your email on the side with a reward offer & postage paid to just ship the tube back.

Anyways, just a few ideas.... Got more of my own I'll be posting later.... :)


our UAV motors can be suitable for you to build this platform, we can discuss more about your application, please contact with me;

our model 5008 will be suitable for you.

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