I decided to use the Parkzone T-28 as the initial plane for my APM. I picked it beacause it is a straight forward 4 channel foam plane that fits in my trunk assembled and it has a huge removable canopy. I am going to move the tail servos to the fuselage just ahead of the tail, install a seperate nose wheel steering servo under the nose, and move the battery forward. This will completely empty out the large area under the canopy for the electronics. I also cut the bottom of the canopy flush to increase the space.
The pictures are of a quick mock up to check the center of gravity before I do anything permanant. It looks like it is in the ballpark.
Another good feature is that somewhere I saw a replacement canopy with a camera on it, it looks like it would be easy to make also.
I like flying this plane and learned a lot while flying it. I am building a completely new plane for the APM, the old one has been through a lot! I am wondering if anybody else is using this or similar planes?
I have the same aircraft, but in origin configuration. What engine do you use ? With what battery ?
Yea, I've replaced both the fuse and wing as well after hard landings. Well okay, one was an out and out crash due to pushing the stick the wrong way while flying inverted and messing around trying to trim it inverted.
I'm flying stock engine and ESC. I just haven't gotten around to trying different motors. Most of my flight time has been slope soaring for more years than I care to admit.
I've heard the stock motor isn't super efficient - maybe I'll look into an upgrade. I usually for 13 minutes and my batteries fill upwith about 1350 mAh and am usually not super aggressive flying.
I run 2100 mAh batteries. I'm not really noticing the APM and 3D Radio and GPS taking any significant power away from my flight time.
I love landing in stabilize mode and RTL is amazing, and Auto is still a bit scary for me but I'm getting better and more trusting with each flight. I can only run four modes since I'm on a DX6i. Still looking at options for that.
Planning on adding FPV next although I seem to be backwards as everyone seems to think you should be good with FPV before doing autopilot. But then I've alway gone against the grain a bit I suppose.
I've been using a T-28 troughout the last year getting my first experience with Ardupilot. The T-28 is a great plane, stable and forgiving just what one needs to get into this. before I had the Ardupliot I was doing an FPV flight when I lost orientation an flew out of range. Driving around with my son wearing the gogles and using a directional antenna we found it 5km downwind sitting in a field fully unharmed. Since then I changed to the Multiplex Mentor bas i needed more space to combine Ardupilot and FPV.
Amazing story. The mentor looks like a decent platform and I like the wingspan and the price. I'm not sure yet what my next platform will be - something bigger for sure but I like quite smooth performance I get from the T28. So many choices...
I can just tell you the Mentor is almost as stable as the T-28 but carries a lot more payload.
Mine is flying with 4S 5000mAh and a duration long ennough to get bored. I just land to prevent myself getting so bored i start doing stupid stuff. (My T-28 was terminated because of a negative groundclearance issue whilst flying inverted at full speed :-)
The Mentor seens to be ok with the weight of the bigg battery, fpv and ardupilot. Sure you notice the weight but it behaves quite acceptable. I'm still changing the tuning of the APM as I haven't adchieved the rock steady flights of the T-28 with it yet.
And I've still got to test the floats with the Mentor, looks like fun is around the corner whilst anchoring with my boat on a sunny afthernoon.