I have decided it's time to move up to a large UAV airframe.

I still have the giant payload master in the build, but it is taking forever as if i'm not working offshore, i'm busy test flying ardu-equipped foamies.

I'm going to keep flying the small stuff for now as they are great for ironing out bugs... but they simply can't carry the telemetry gear and cameras that I want to test.

Anyway....I have now purchased a Mugin airframe from FPVflying and it is due here shortly.

Just wondering if there is anyone on here who has one one of these?

I'm looking for information regarding any structural deficiencies and anything else i might need to watch out for.

I'm confident in my ability to assess it's "airworthiness" but obviously it's good to hear from people who've had prior experience with a particular airframe.. eg. areas prone to cracking and parts that wear out quicker than expected.




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Hi John,

I'm very interested too. I want exactly airframe, but without engine or electronic.

Thanks for sharing your experiences...

Good luck!

I also plan to purchase the Mugin. But I need to know more of the engine. A single engine failure would mean disaster. Thus a 3W engine or with similar reliability is important.


I think a twin opposed engine is too heavy.


I plan to use the APM2.5 for this one.

john, did the mugin ever fly? i am still very interested to hear of your experiences with it





Hi Paulino; my team has recently acquired a Mugin v3; the engine included is the GF55ii twin-cylinder.

We have not yet installed the engine or tested it, but you can see reviews of the engine online. This page has a fair bit of discussion on it.

Hi John, what sort of 3G telemetry system is that? Regards, Soren

This is the latest version. It has had the landing gear for the nose reinforced and the elevator has been split to use two servos and not one. There has been some discussion on what motor is the best. Many people seem to prefer DLE-60 engine.

Hi John,

This is a great UAV platform. I am using this here in Nigeria. We have about 5 kits and have over 5000 hours day and night flying. We are using these as our RC UAV trainers. I am planning to install one of the Mugin with the Ardupilot. I don't know how it will suit it. Do you have any suggestions to this. Have you already installed one? 

Hi Waqas,

Obviously I'm not John, but my team has been utilising the Mugin 3m v3 with the APM 2.6.

To mount the APM we created an avionics board (made of balsa wood and depron foam) that sits inside the fuselage and is mounted on top of stratocell foam blocks about 40x60x40mm (W,L,H) (that foam was selected simply because we had some available and it be believed it would approximately the right level of rigidity / flexibility).

That combination works quite well and we have very little vibration, which the APM is easily able to cancel out using software. Andrew Tridgell has stated as well that there's a good chance you could mount the APM (or better yet, Pixhawk) to the fuselage (and the software's artificial dampening would suffice), but I wouldn't recommend it, as at the very least, it creates the risk of having your APM / Pixhawk coming mechanically loose.

On our airframe we've had a pretty good experience (in the past, users of previous versions of the Mugin like Canberra UAV have lost a landing gear wheel, etc), but even still, we have actually managed to have plywood layers vibrate apart; that has only happened on the small piece that wasn't glued particularly well (and it didn't have much surface area to attach to), but it is still something we will be keeping an eye on as we continue operations.

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for the reply and information. It looks pretty interesting. I am planning for a pixhawk in the system. Do you have a configuration file for the APM. I really would like to know the autopilot tuning PID's which is the most tricky part of tuning.  can you help me with some pictures that could help me design the autopilot mounting. Thanks


Unfortunately I don't have the configuration file available to me for the next few days (Easter long weekend), but afterwards I should be able to retrieve it.

As for the internal mounting, here are some (sorry for the poor angles though) that are somewhat recent.

Note that even the last one (the most recent) is old; we since added a post that raised the 2.4GHz RC satellite receiver above our ballast (which is a ~1.5kg bag of lead shot; that's another thing - the Mugin is notably tail heavy) and also mounted our RC receiver onto the side of the fuselage to provide some polarity diversity. We didn't have too much trouble with the receivers either side of the battery box, but during one flight, we had a bad landing (broke the nose gear and damaged the fuselage - see the recommendations of the Canberra UAV team regarding landing gear) that was mainly caused by the manual RC link dropping out momentarily on approach.

That large block behind the nose gear mount is a housing for 4x  5000mAh 3S LiPo batteries.

In the coming weeks / months we intend to completely overhaul the avionics board.

For one thing, we intend to make it a 3D printed design (made of ABS) that will roughly resemble the existing design, but exploiting the strength of ABS to create something that will provide plenty of airflow, integrated cable management as well as more secure mounting points for electronics.

For dampening we will probably continue to use stratocell foam or something similar, but at the moment those blocks are glued to the fuselage and the avionics board velcros onto the blocks; we don't need to, but we would like a method that is easier than velcro, which has sometimes proven stronger than the glue between the foam and fuselage.

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for the information. I am starting up a new system for the mugin V3. With the pixhawk. And a portable GCS with tracking. I hope you can help me on the PID for the Tunning. Please can you get me the config File for your PID for the mugin. Also can I have your contact number. I would like to talk to you directly too. Sometimes it is faster. Thanks


Could someone help me estimate what the longest endurance could be with this Mugin? It lists about 3h on 6L. It can certainly carry the weight of more tanks, but I'm not sure how it would handle the CG shift with burn off. Is there room for more fuel near the CG?

What is a good cruise speed range for this bird?

Are there any other airframes I should consider that can carry a full sized SLR for 4+ hours?

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