Today I flew my Cyclops EPO for an incredible 7 hours and 8 minutes, covering 301 km (301 km !!!) in one flight.

After flying my Maja for 126km I decided 200km would be my next challenge. I got the Cyclops with that in mind, it was very very efficient straight out of the box and after my first flight test I realised it was capable of much more.

I did 5 flight testing sessions where I tested different speeds, C of G positions and propellers. The data from my last two sessions suggested 300km was possible with good conditions so that became my goal.

I planned my mission with a couple of waypoint path options that I could switch between using do_jump. After a hand launch I switched to auto for a very gentle climb reaching 50m of altitude over about 2km. I flew a few laps of a 2.5km lap, before switching to a 3km lap and then a 3.5km one which used a do_jump command to fly continuous laps at 60m altitude.

To monitor my progress I’d made battery consumption schedules for 250, 280 and 300 km. My calculations said that I would need to run my batteries down to 10% remaining to reach 300 km. The first half of the flight was very calm and I was ahead of schedule. But the wind picked up in the afternoon and it became apparent that I might finish with less than 10%. I tried to help the situation in the last hour by varying my speed around the lap. I flew at 14 m/s for the head and cross wind sections, and dropped to 13 m/s when I had a tail wind. I hadn't done any calculations to support that, it just seemed that I could make the most of the tailwind section by dropping my power there a little.

I’d decided in advance to end the flight when the battery dropped to 12 V (3.0 V per cell) and I could see as I passed the 280 km and 290 km milestones that it really was going to be tight. The voltage was hovering either side of 12 V as I approached the 300 km mark so I knew it was time to bring it in, but I also knew that Mission Planner can underestimate the distance compared to the GPS log. I decided to fly to 303 km to be safe. The way the laps worked out it was 305 km when I hit the ground, and just as well because the GPS log came up as 301 km. If I’d come in when Mission Planner told me 303 I would have been member of the 299 club.

The telemetry log file is 47 MB (linked below) and Mission Planner crashed when I tried to create the KML file (I tried on three different machines). It did manage the GPX file thankfully.
Key specs:

  • Cyclops E with V-tail
  • APM 2.5
  • Panasonic 18650B Li Ion batteries. 4S7P, 23,800 mAh
  • Aeronaut 11x9 prop
  • Hobbyking telemetry
  • Distance covered: 301km (according to GPS log file, 305 km according to Mission Planner)
  • Flight duration: 7 hr 8 min 10 sec
  • Average groundspeed 41.7 km/hr

Log File (47MB)

Views: 21135

Comment by u4eake on May 1, 2014 at 7:26am


Outstanding!  This really deserves a 300km badge!

Comment by Mustafa TULU on May 1, 2014 at 7:29am

Impressive, can you give us a little bit more about battery you used? Is it custom, what is the weight? What is the over all weight? 

Comment by UAS_Pilot on May 1, 2014 at 7:32am

Congratulations, Great achievement on electric and 800mah.

Comment by jlcortex on May 1, 2014 at 7:52am words!

Comment by vova reznik on May 1, 2014 at 8:27am

Motor used?

Comment by crystal garris on May 1, 2014 at 8:28am

wow who ever designed that must be very good at aircraft design.

Comment by Ted Van Slyck on May 1, 2014 at 8:36am
What did you do for 7 hours? My record is an hour and 17 min and I was bored out of my skull, lol! Congrats, quite the feat.
Comment by Gary McCray on May 1, 2014 at 9:05am

Absolutely great job Moglos, fantastic accomplishment.

Does anybody know what the record (previous record maybe) for straight electric battery powered flight is.

I know there is a UAV that uses thin film PV cells to extend its flying time by 60% I wonder if you could get even further with those, of course you'd probably have to start flying at midnight.

In any case, great job,


Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 1, 2014 at 10:32am

This is a great achievement and moglos shall have his badge. I will not let this thread deteriorate any further.

We have received a DMCA notice at DIY Drones that requires us not to show any Cyclops images and as such I am now removing any I find. This task has been carried out before but I notice a few have popped back in.


Comment by BacklashRC on May 1, 2014 at 10:38am

I also own a Techpod. I was an original Kickstarter supporter and love the concept of a super efficient, task oriented airframe.  My techpod sits in an unopened box due to the structural integrity issues.

With that said, I have grown extremely weary of seeing the issue of ownership rehashed everytime someone makes a post associated with the Techpod/Cyclops in anyway.

My advise, not that I was asked, would be to find a resolution in arbitration which is binding and inexpensive compared to an actual lawsuit.

Constant public complaints are not professional and drive away potential customers.  I can empathize with the desire to rectify a wrong, but I think that it has come to the point where the bickering is creating more destruction to the future integrity of the Hobby UAV name than any loss resulting from the theft of an airframe design.


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