I've been working with arduplane/copter for a few months now, and my interest has earned me a project at the college I'm in. Currently, we have a AXN Floater, which is essentially just an easystar with slightly less than one foot taken off the wingspan, and have gotten it to fly almost perfectly. This summer, I will be moving the ardupilot board to a Senior Telemaster as part of assisting a highschool in a UAV competition. First off, does anyone have any advice for setup, moving from the small floater to the telemaster? Anything I should make sure to keep in mind of during the moveover?
Meanwhile, my partner in this project will begin developing a Paparazzi system on the Floater, and the Telemaster belongs to the highschoolers, so when the competition is over, I will be looking for a new plane for the ardupilot. I was thinking either a boom and pod high-efficiency plane with plenty of space for a full FPV system, RC system, and the ardupilot, or a blended body/flying wing high-efficiency plane. I'm looking for a long endurance plane with over 30 minutes of flight time being preferable, at the lowest price possible. Size wise, anything from 5 feet to 8 feet is a possibility, as there are a few flying fields within a few miles of here. I would prefer to have landing gear, because I have missed that quite a bit with the floater, and would like to do autonomous takeoffs.
Here's my big limiting factor: Budget. I'm open to anything that will support that much equipment with a good endurance, at the cheapest price possible. I have a spektrum system, I will soon have a really lightweight FPV system, and an APM 2.5+ board with a 3DR radio system. The cheaper I can get the airframe at, the better. Thank you very much for your help, I hope to hear back soon!