First I must thank Jeffrey Johnson who posted a set of images of the Cularis he is building for photo mapping. He has made a really neat modification by moving the rudder and elevator servos from the stock position in the cockpit, to tail mounting in the fuselage. Not only does this free up space in the cockpit area, which will make it easier to enlarge to take the camera, but it also moves some 35gm of weight to the rear. This should greatly help in balancing the plane without adding too much lead.
I have also now read some 670 posts in the Cularis building thread on the rcgroups forum. There is a wealth of good stuff there, including a number of modifications to the stock kit to improve performance and ease of use. Specifically, I now plan to do the following.
There is one other modification that I am in two minds about and that is a secondary means of fixing the wings. In the stock kit, the wings are held in place with plastic catches. These are design to open in the event of a heavy landing so that the wings break away. If would seem, however, that some have opened in flight leading to spectacular crashes. Jeffrey has a a similar modification to several shown in the thread that involve using a secondary pin through the wing root. While this will certainly keep the wings solidly in place, I am not sure if it is better or worse in the case of a bad landing.
Building a UAV for phot mapping - Previous Posts