Using ardupilot in a real airplane?

Since this is not really a drone related question I couldn't find a forum that it would fit into so I'm sticking this in misc - if there's a better place feel free to move it.

 

My question is could an ardupilot + a laptop or tablet be used as the avionics/autopilot of a real airplane? For like a kit plane or something small that doesn't necessarilly come with its own avionics?

 

Or - are there better choices already available out there that are just as affordable?

 

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  • If your "real airplane" is compliant with FAR Part 103 (an ultralight), you can pretty much do what you want in Class G airspace.  However, don't try to fly it remotely, as the FAA will take a very dim view of a 400+ pound UAV (Part 103 specifies manned operation).

    http://www.ultralighthomepage.com/FAR.part103.html

    FAR Part 103
  • I have no idea if that would be allowable, but here's an example of an autopilot system for manned aircraft: http://www.dynonavionics.com/docs/Autopilot_intro.html

    Driving the control surfaces at least would require some great not-nearly-bargain-basement hardware, like the servos shown there.

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