UAV Design


I have a totally noob questoin so please go easy on me :-) I made this plane in 3D and just theoretically, what if I actually wanted to build this thing? I know nothing about aerodynamics or what it takes to design a machine thats actually supposed to fly. Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated...



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    I am new on this site and also working on a new airframe. I have been using google scetch as my a CAD program. I was wondering what did you use because the quality of your image blows mine out of the water. I would appreciate any advice you may have.

  • Dit you see the Durafly Zephyr V-70 from Hobbyking ? I wonder where they did get there inspiration.


  • The body and frame design is about done. I've added the integrated tilt camera and dome to the body, payload space to the rear without compromising design by faking a "tail" and updated the arm design.
    This is clearly an industrial purpose platform. The concept is to keep everything as integrated and protected from the elements as possible. There is lots of space in the side cavities for specialized electronics which allows for the design of special purpose builds. The bottom cover shell also comes in different sizes in order to keep any added electronics (extra batteries for example) covered that may extend out of the bottom of the 



  • The fixed-wing is a very swoopy design, and I like it just for style and aesthetics alone.  I'll add my voice to the chorus that the nostrils for your ducted fans might need to be larger (I won't bore the audience by preaching yet again about disk loading).

    Your quad is just as stylish, although I am interested in what data you collect on endurance with and without the protector rings (properly adjusting for weight, of course).

  • damn inefficient it looks good you work that out later, good luck on whatever way you decide hope you post more pic

  • that my friend really looks nice

  • Of course what akimarain and Luke say is true, but it's also true that you can make inneficient things fly well enough to have fun using basic heuristics and experimentation, without computatuional fluid dynamic simulations or anything like that. If you think you would enjoy experments that don't always work then just go for it.

    Here's one approach:

    First, figure on a construction method that's quick, convenient and repeatable. There are many sucessfull flat-plate designs using depron (or "fan fold foam", abbreviated to FFF), hot glue and maybe a CF rod or arrow shaft. Hot-wire cut medium density polystyrene (e.g. the blue insulation foam) might work for you.

    Next; build-fly-crash some proven designs. Repeat until you are good at it, which may take a while.

    Then; familiarise yourself with some basic rules of thumb (what's a sensible wing loading for a given sized plane? what thrust to weight ratios are sensible for that type of flying?) and learn the basics of aerodynamic stability. Use this to design a crude approximation of your dream machine. Build/fly/crash/improve until you find a version that flys well.

    Finally, start improving the qualities like efficiency (with CFD analysis) and gradually step up to more sophistocated construction techniques. Of course, by this stage your ideas will have changed a lot.

    I think your pictures looks cool, flying vaccum cleaners can be good (when you want a fast plane and don't require much endurance or the ability to climb at a steep angle). Maybe a working version of your design would be fun to fly it in ridge lift, basically like a glider but using the fans to boost the speed. It looks crunchy and expensive though.

  • I agree with Akimarain, but if you still want to see how well it may or may not work, then try and import the airframe model into X-Plane to gauge how well it is going to work in a fairly accurate simulation as the software uses laminar flow to model the aerodynamics

  • my $0.02,  The ducting looks good in 3d but in inefficient (assuming its for ducted fans).  if you really wante to build  a plane that flies well from scratch, its time for some serious reserch,  and always start with the payload, estimated weight and parts (servos etc) to get a general idea of what the total payload is going to be.  To build the plane you should look at the hundreds of model build videos online, and google is your friend,  you can use it, it wont bite (i promise).  

    boils down to research reaserch research

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