Please pass on your thoughts, ideas, feedback or experience on my plans.

I live out in the hinterland of New Zealand and hence there are not many people around to bounce ideas off. I confess to being less interested in the electronic / auto pilot side than the airframe, air photo, sensor side of things.

I'm building a senior telemaster (spectrum radio) with the following modifications:

* Added more complex and effective flaps to improve STOL perfomance
* powered by a converted 31cc weed eater engine (ryobie) for GOBs of power)
* Exrtended range tanks in wing and in pods.
* cub style sprung gear for better ground handling.
* moving location of radio gear, servos and battaried to make as much "cargo space" as possible at the C of G.
* designing in the ability to add additional wing span if required.
* Build the GPS based auto pilot for short duration stabilisation and precison overflight and long range autonimous capacity.

The idea is to use a known airframe, compensate for drag and weight with heaps of power, be able to fly off grass or uinmproved strips, and use easy to source materials.

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You may find some ideas in my SIG Kadet Senior BIY taildragger posts here. In my opinion, you made a very good choice for the airframe. Those "old school" trainer are easy floaters, much forgiving, stable, etc. It's for some reasons that they are still around after many decades! As you may see, I chose an electric conversion for my trainer, and after maiden, I wouldn't go back to nitro! With 40 minutes capacity and a lot of spare power, little noise, I feel it fits the bill perfectly. Taking off in 5 meter is possible, though landing lane needs to be much longer without flaps (I'll use ailerons as flaps). Good luck with your airframe.
Wheels are a drag
Any other suggestions?
Nasa engineers used this airframe for testing para-gliders for shuttle emergency return to earth vehicle. Hauling up the test vehicle and release at 400' worked great, they would make 4 drops before refueling.
They were using a OS-75 glow engine. Yours could lift a cat or small dog, did you convert the Ryobie yourself ?
You could add a brushless motor with ac/dc converter (alternator) to generate DC power and use smaller system battery, less weight more power !!! How long do you think it will fly on full tanks??
I did convert it the ryobie myself using an engine mount and muffler purchased from I think it was j-tech?? Swings a 18 insh three bladed prop with authority.

The alternator is a very good good idea. I was thinking of lipos with a distribution board.

My guess is about 90 - 120 minutes flying time depending on weight. I've not got it into the air to test the actual vs throetical fuel burn. Lets just say with petrol you get a good long flight at a low cost. Mehtol based fuel is bloody expensive down here.
Would you please post some pictures of your aircraft and show the motor and mount??
I'll take some snaps this weekend.
Horses for courses Scott
and you have got a fantastic horse! I would be keen to follow up more with you. The flaps sound like a good move, have you looked at extendable slats as well for more short field work.
I'm interested in all sorts of enhancements but cannot think how to make extendable slat work on a model. Have you got a suggestion or plans. I mean they would be ideal ....
Just found this link and this other link on RCgroup. Check it out. A cut through a mechanism is to be seen in the first link:

The second link has nice pics too, but it's large scale RC:
Okay very interesting I shall have to see if my building skills are up to it.

My only worry is it seem complex. The more there is to go wrong the more that WILL go wrong.

I wonder how much performance it would add. I have a couple of books at home on model aerodynamics that might answer this .
I like to build, but I am unsure if that is worth an investment in a "simple" high wing "UAV trainer". Those guy with the DC-3 probably goes for scale competition. There are hundreds of hours in that work and a much simpler BIY kit already takes tens and tens...
I think the Telemaster will fly slow if built light enough. Maybe with some additional wing span, the little effective slat effect would be reached much more easily.

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