Autonomous RMRC Mako Flying Wing Project

Hi All,

Recently a DIY Drones member, Raph, posted a blog documenting the building and flying of his Mako Flying Wing.

It just so happened that I was building the same RMRC flying wing and had planned to use a spare APM2.6 and a bunch of spare components that I had lying around from my EZ* builds.

My RMRC Flying Wing uses an APM2.6, 3DR Power Module, 3DR Neo 7 GPS/Compass Module, 3DR Analog Airspeed Sensor, 3DR 915 MHz v1 telemetry radio, Spektrum AR6210 receiver, 3DR PPM encoder, Castle Creations Thunderbird 36 amp ESC, and a Cheetah 2217-6 2200kv brushless motor sporting an APC 6X4 electric tractor propeller. I am presently using a 3S 3000mahr LiPo to maiden the Mako.

To conserve on space in the fuse, I mounted the Spektrum AR6210 receiver and remote in the top of the fuse cover along with the 3DR PPM encoder. This way I only have a three wire cable coming from the PPM encoder to the APM input channel one. I mounted the remote receiver at right angles to the AR6210 receiver to improve radio reception.

The APM2.6 is mounted at the motor end of the plywood plate that runs almost the length of the fuse. Ahead of the APM I mounted the 3DR Power Module across the plywood strip and held it down with a medium size tie wrap.

The GPS/Compass Module is mounted in the small indentation on the forward right side of the fuse while the telemetry radio is mounted in the small indentation on the forward left side of the fuse.

I made a holder for the airspeed Pitot tube and mounted the Analog Airspeed Sensor in the bottom of the left wing right where the wing joins the fuse wing mount shoulder. I twisted the three wire cable going from the Analog Sensor to the A0 connector on the APM to avoid picking up RF radiation from the telemetry radio that is mounted in the wing right above the sensor cable fuse penetration point.

The CC Thunderbird ESC is mounted aft of the APM on the right side of the fuse interior.

I am using ArduPlane v3.3.0 and have programmed the APM for elevon operation using the ELEVO_OUTPUT and RC_1 and RC_2 parameters adjusted per the ArduPlane Wiki instructions.

So it looks like I am just about ready to maiden the Mako at my local AMA flying field here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Pictures of the aircraft and flight controller below:


3691223496?profile=originalThe GPS/Compass Module and Telemetry Radio respectively can be seen on each side of the fuse

3691223507?profile=originalView of the Cheetah 2217-6 Brushless Motor and Hitec Aileron Servos

3691223568?profile=originalView of the APM2.6 in the Fuse Body and the Spektrum AR6210 Receiver and PPM Encoder in the Fuse Cover

3691223389?profile=originalPitot Tube/Mount and Airspeed Analog Sensor

3691223582?profile=originalTop View of the Airspeed Sensor Pitot Tube and Mount

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  • Developer

    Looking very nice Tom.  A very clean build as always with your vehicles.

    Thanks, Grant.

    • Admin

      Hi Grant,

      Thanks for the kudos, much appreciated.

      I always try to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) my projects as much as possible:-)


      Tom C AVD

  • 100KM

    Very nice build! What about picking up dirt in the tube on landing?

    • Admin

      Hi Hein,

      Thanks for the kudos, much appreciated. The purpose of the project is to encourage other members to try a flying wing by providing a detailed example of the build.

      Since I fly in a grass covered area, I do not think that dirt incursion will be much of an issue. The fuse is a tail sitter so the Pitot tube is angled upwards when it is on the ground unless I make a nose down landing:-).

      The Mako threads on RC Groups all have the Pitot tube protruding from the leading edge of the wing either near the wing/fuse shoulder or farther out on the wing. I chose a location that is in between those two points. Also I can blow the Pitot tube out if necessary to clear it.


      Tom C AVD

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