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 Wendi,

I have to disagree with your statement about being unable to stick anything to EPP, (PolyProp). Plain old CA is best, use some accelerator, hot glue is great but I haven't tried it myself. Sticky tapes don't seem to work unless you first spray with 3M contact adhesive. EPP Is really a good choice for planes, quick to assemble and really tough, we have a source of 20g/l stuff that is very tough and not 'powdery' like some.

Hi Wendi
I do not know where you got your facts from but you are wrong!

Poly-vinyl-acetate and polyethelene can't be cut with a hot wire, they need to be cut using an abrasive wire.

EPP(polypropolene) can most certainly be cut using a hot wire, most foam glues can also glue the epp. I do however like using epoxy for all types of foam. The only difference between the manufacturing of EPP vs EPS/XPS is that EPP almost always comes as pre-expanded beads(which need to be heated and pressurised before they are again molded or melted to be extruded) where as EPS are small glas like beads of polystyrene which is only expanded in the mould ect. There is of course a difference in molecular level (C3H6)x for pp (C8H8)n for PS.

All of the gasses from cutting both styrene or propolene are hazardous! BE CAREFULL

For the rest, this was my rant. State the truth.

All the info from studying and extensive visits to a foam factory, most probably one of the biggest in SA.
hi all,

i would like to have these as airframe ;)
could ArduPilot handle that?

Hi Belli Button -(that's a nice name too :-))

indeed, I saw your website and was surprised that you had wire temperature figures for cutting EPP. When I started with all this foam construction business we were advised by Hoechst to not use the EPP foam - but what did they know then?
I also have been told by the manufacturer - well, one of the guys in the lab - never to use the accelerator for CA, because it's a poisonous substance and can cause heart problems.
So that may explain why I don't like EPP to work with. It could well be that the materials have been improved quite a bit over the last 15 years (hehehe) - specially Epoxy resins and hardeners; but I'm now stuck with the stuff I know best as you will see from my blog to come.

all the best

Hi Cronselaar

I usually try to be truthful.
See above.

to carry heavy loads. no, it's just a joke ;)

we would buy a few of these!
These do fly quite well as small toy...
Yes, it does fly so well....imagine like a 70 inch wingspan version with some ailerons and elevator....wow. It was just so stable even as small as it was. I used to put a dime (us coin) on the front with a piece of velcro and it could easily handle 10 mph winds. When I get skilled enough to build my own airframes I am going to be remembering this design!
Hello again

Exams are almost done... Calculus tomorrow and electronics next friday!

I would just like a recomendation on the motor side of things. Need to get a plane flying after the exams...

Plane AUW1.7- 2.3kg. Would the 3015-07 tower pro motor have enough power? it is rated at 470W and 1000kv, will be using a 3s 2500mah or 3700mah batt... And any estimates on the flight times?


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