I would like to have a plane that allows me to do mapping. I am looking for a model that can carry a payload of about 2kg I already have the pixhawks with the downlink, Futaba radio 14sg, sony nex-7 with 16mm pancake lens. 3S, 4S and 6S 5000mah battery. I would like to fly around 40 minutes. I want it to be disassembled and easily transported in a car.

I looked at some models like Penguin and X6 Skywalker FPV wing but the payload is to low,

For now, the 2014 model skywalker 1800mm and Latest Version Black skywalker X8 Flying Wing seems  a good choice.

What are your suggestions and advice about models for mapping?

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Hello Serge.

My sugestion is the E384LR UAV, is a really great UAV plataform, with best possibilities for autonomous flights, mapping etc.

The airframe was based in Skywalker 1900mm airplane, an old friend of MILIONS FPV PILOTS around the world.
Jeff Taylor, the Event38 founder, was part of staff of 3DRobotics, he is a lot experiented.

Just take a look: www.event38.com

Good luck!

The E384 model seems to be a very good choice too.

Which model do you use on your videos?

Thanks for your advice

We are partner of Event38 here, in Brazil

So, operating and have flown a lot since first model release, the E382.
Our few videos at YT, almost, are with E382, actually.

But E384 has improved internal space, more capacity to carrying different payloads a few more stable flights in windy days etc.

Thanks and good luck.

Check out the 3DR Aero. Other than that, you'll either drop $10k+ or build your own (which is what I'm doing, since I already had a bunch of miscellaneous parts). I'm building out a Skywalker 1900 carbon tail with EzUHF and Pixhawk.

Honestly, putting a NEX 7 in a $150 foam plane scares the sh*t out of me, I only have a NEX 5 and it'll be a while before that goes in. You may want to look at a long flight time octo or a really robust plane frame. I saw a v-tail I was interested in, also the 12' telemaster looked interesting, along with the Bormatec MAJA.

Hello Serge,

I assume you want to build it yourself as you already have some important parts. I recently built 2014 model skywalker, X8 flying wing, and Talon X-UAV with extension wing for mapping application too.  I will not recommend 2014 model of skywalker, X8 and Talon have better flight stability which is important to get good aerial photos for mapping. It depends on your building and flying skill.  Building and launching X8 is challenging while Talon is much easier. You will need to reinforce X8 wings and make your own bay to lay your stuffs into its fuse. You have to pay more attention on wing connecting parts as it also weak area of X8. Both are easily dissembled. V-tail section of Talon is permanent, but you will be able to put it into your truck easily. 

Good luck!

what makes the quality of a camera from another. I found this canon cam lightness 231g 16mpx PowerShot ELPH 340 HS Low price 170$cdn.

What do you think?

My advice would be to start with a lighter camera and get some experience. An electric model that can carry 2kg for 40 mins is possible, but is right on the edge of what can be achieved with hobby level parts. Fly some lighter gear and gain experience first, then if you really do need those specs look at something like this:


Alternatively, fly a petrol plane. I fly large (14kg) petrol planes, and they can carry large payloads for long distances. You do need some significant modelling experience though.

Cheers, Tridge

Sensor size is important. It doesn't matter how many MP you can take if you have a small sensor. Powershots have a fairly small sensor, then you have larger sensors in cameras like Lumix GH4 and NEX 5, then you have full frame sensors like the Canon 5D Mark III. Larger sensors can take in more data and cover a wider area, so fewer pictures are needed, and the quality of each picture is typically better.

Yip, I would agree 100% with Tridge.

I think there are many of us on the same mission here and some have arrived at workable solutions. Some of the conclusions and opinions I have collected from reliable/active users, and please keep in mind, I filtered these and deducted my own opinions - The X8 is a good platform but not as efficient as other available options. The Skywalker family 1800+ wingspan are good options. The SkyHunter twin boom is a good option although I've seen some complaints about endurance and wingspan being a little short - generous fuse space. And the last option within my budget range that I considered is the XUAV Talon. I cut my teeth on the AP using a Bixler and little Canon 2300A with the Canon hack - you will have issues, but that's part of the learning. Then I started buying the models mentioned above. I liked the Talon so much that I pulled a mould of the fuse (Inside and out) and is busy putting together a CNC wing cutter to cut the wing cores for a composite Talon - as many as I like:)))

This process aside - by just taking the out of the box Talon, the airframe can be ruggedized and re-enforced to a fairly high standard without adding a lot of weight. The interior space is very generous. If you can not fit your kit in there with padding, something is wrong. Even enough space for a gimbal. The APM setup files are available. I have not packed more than 8000mah, but some guys pack 20000mah in her and still hand-launch it.

Again, my opinion.

Good luck and enjoy.

interesting opinions and experiences. does anyone has a word for the penguin as well.

Hello Wahano, 

Your reply is great. 

I want to ask you as you have tried both, the X8 and the Talon (+extension wing). We are looking to have a flight duration of over 100 minutes with a payload of 2.2KG with 2 batteries 3S 9000 mah and all accessories and cameras. Which one will be able to do it?

And which one is more stable for live video? 

Also, which one can fly in strong wind of over 50km/h, I heard tha Talon will be able to do it, is it correct? 


You can see a review on Finwing penguin

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