I was reminded by the Pict'Earth guys last weekend that one of the best all-purpose planes for carrying cameras, GPS recorders and any other sort of equipment you want to test is the Multiplex EasyStar, a virtually unbreakable powered glider. Because it's made of elastopore foam you can carve out the equipment compartment to carry pretty much anything you want, and the same foam protects everything in case of a "hard landing".

EasyStars are available for $54 without the radio equipment. This post is just a quickie to show you what else you'll need top make them good UAV platforms.

Although the kit comes with a brushed motor, I suggest you upgrade to a brushless so you can carry heavier loads with ease. This motor is a perfect fit and has power to spare. I matched it with this ESC. As always, you'll want Li-Ion batteries if you can afford them. An 11.1v, 2200 mAh pack will allow you to fly for more than half an hour under power. A 6x4 prop fits perfectly

For a radio, almost anything with six channels or more will do. The EasyStar has compartments pre-cut for servos; the HITec HS81s fit them best.

Finally, here's an important point. With the more powerful brushless motor, you'll find that rudder is really too small to be effective. You need to make it bigger to increase its "authority", which both helps in more extreme moves and at slow speed. The easiest way is to glue or double-sided-tape two business cards to the rudder. Here's a picture of one such mod (I didn't bother to trim mine as neatly as this guy did):

Once you've done all that you can shove all manners of cameras and such in the equipment area. If you don't want to carve holes in the bottom, you can always just bolt a camera to a bit of wood and strap it to the top, like this.

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Comment by tycinis on September 28, 2009 at 4:00pm
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=9318

Great batteries it run 30 min in my Ez , if you run your setup @ 7.4v , you can afford a 3000mha pack for the same weight.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 28, 2009 at 7:47pm
I've updated this post with links to better, cheaper equipment options.
Comment by XV on November 9, 2009 at 12:37pm
can you recommend any other brushless motors? that one is out of stock and I am not sure how to pick them.
Comment by will on April 14, 2010 at 9:51am
How do u attach the motors to the ESC
Comment by AVS on April 27, 2010 at 5:27am
Would it be possible to find another alternative to the recommended easy star plane?

It is very difficult to find supply of these planes + you have to buy the plane with a brushed motor and then swap it out for a brushless.

I know the ArduPilot can be adpated to any plane however for newbies this just isn't a reality

All in all, the plane is the link that breaks a great ArduPliot system

Admin
Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on April 27, 2010 at 6:07am
TimL,

I have built the EZ* out of piece parts bought from websites like BP Hobbies.

Regards,
TCIII

Admin
Comment by Morli on April 27, 2010 at 6:37am
Timl
sky walker might be good alternative. Chris will review it soon.
Comment by AVS on April 27, 2010 at 7:03am
Thanks for the replies.

It will be nice for newbies to not have to bother with bits

Delivery costs to the UK don't help either, it is a shame delivery isn't via a drone (unless you count the UPS driver)
Comment by Allan on May 11, 2010 at 1:21am
TimL Wrote: Would it be possible to find another alternative to the recommended easy star plane?
>> I notice so many Chinese Copies of the easystar that comes with brushless for US$60.00 in
Asia. Hopefully they have reached europe by now..
Comment by tshado on May 11, 2010 at 2:14am
Hi Allan,
Can you please provide the Url links of these Copies of the EasyStar ?
Thanks,
Jean-Claude

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