Hi the idea here is to come up with a new UAV specific airframe design for the DIY community. Seeing that the AP's are rapidly improving and are cost effective for DIY we have no Airframe to match. We need something with Ailerons to start with, its the only way to fly properly and prevent nasties. A Pod design may be the most flexible as they can be interchanged, also if positioned at the CG it will help to keep the airframe light and reduce CG problems with differing Pods/Payloads.

We need some new standards for form factor for the AP and Payload to ease the pain of design and prevent the issues with adapting other designs. To start the ball rolling a few ideas below:

UAV specific design, long term platform
Cost effective, not cheap
Airframe with Rx, AP, Batt
Pod for payload/AP (Interchangeable for different missions/payloads) with own power
Pod design to form factor & Volume (maybe different Pod designs for same Airframe)
New AP form factor (standardization) for mounting and space utilization

Max Payload
Max weight to conform to legislation, also max speed
Duration, batt size & motor
Airframe weight (lower means more payload)
Pod vibration isolation
Sensor vibration isolation
Sensor mounting points on airframe with wire pathways to ease installation & attachment
Pod electrical connector or means to electrically connect to Airframe
Pitot tube and/or AoA sensor build in, baro sensor position
Wheeled or not
Land and stall speed
Gimball for camera and other sensors


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Hi Brian

Over at the OpenRelief project we have been considering the issue of powerplant as well, and have come to the conclusion that gas engines probably work best for all-weather endurance. Our current airframe (http://openrelief.org/pipermail/developer_openrelief.org/2012-July/...) is being tested on electric, but we will be moving to a 50cc engine as a build option shortly.


Hi Rob

Over at the OpenRelief project we have been considering this, and gas engines probably will work best in wet weather. Regarding the airframe, material like foam and balsa might have some problems in wetness and wind, so we are currently prototyping using plastic, aluminium and a small amount of wood.


Bear in mind that the GNU GPL was written for software. It is probably best to use a license designed for the specific purpose in mind. If you want to license documentation, then things like CC-By-Sa make sense, though when it comes to Open Hardware as a field we do have options like TAPR or the SolderPad license.


Well I wish you all the best with that project but that list of figures looks a tad optimistic.

Hi Leo

Delighted to get help with sanity testing and refinements, and also to learn more about your airframe. We are edging closer to flight tests with the new tail assembly in the UK. Just out of curiosity, where are you based?


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