Autopilot Success - I Am Stoked :)


OK, to explain, i finally got the autopilot sorted and installed in a test plane and all went according to plan, until the wing support failed on my manual flying back to land. what takes away the pain is that it wasn't in my full size plane, that I maidened last weekend successfully with 2 x 8 minute flights.

This was my first successful attempt at getting the APM to first stabilize and then circle RTL, it was on the 4th and now final flight that we were trying to fly to some way-points that I caused the plane to crash. lucky though the plane came down in the carpark (between the bmw and landcruiser) and the APM module seems to be intact, so bining a $60 plane was worth it.

Next stage is to get the next test plane happening before transferring to "richies UAV" ( i might have to give it a model name- maybe MARK I).


"Richies UAV" - Mark 1 in test flight mode. OK the cardboard on top looks rough, but it flew, next step is to make some covers and mount a camera.


Flight Control Box, FITPC2 - 12 Volt micro computer - running Win7Pro, with Samsung 19inch (model S19A450BW) runing on 12 Volt Dc 24AH Gel Cell, the computer uses 9 watts and the monitor about 19 Watts and is quite clear in daylight, and was the hardest thing to find that didn't use alot of power, I also looked at some 12inch screens from China but they did not have the screen definition to use as a computer monitor.



E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Gday!,

    Great to hear you got the APM going :) - pity about the cessna's wings giving way. :(

    Looking forward to seeing Richies UAV and Flightbox going soon!..


  • Thank you, Richie.  I will crosss my fingers during my maiden flight...

  • Tom, the cessna did not come with a spare, my first one did and the wing was alot stronger ( I had a midair with a light pole with it and the wing only dented), this last one had no wing spare and looking back i should have added one and not relied on the wing supports to provide strength, as it happened where the wing attached to the support pulled out of the wing and looking at the remains there was only one spot that was glued, more glue may have saved the plane.


  • Richie,

    Sorry, but was asking about the Cessna, that's what I also have. Mine has a fiberglass rod in the wing and wonder if it still would end up broke such as yours in the picture.  Thank you.



  • Tom, i take it you are asking about the intact uav and not the cessna, there are two fibre glass wind rods that run through brss tubes in the fuse and in the wings with the rods supported by plywood end plates and braces setinto the foam wings, the rods go about 1/3 of the way into the wings. While the fibreglass is heavier it was alot cheaper than carbon and is a perfect sliding fit into the brass rods.
  • Simon s, the cessna is a skyartec form hobbyking ( and is my 2nd one ) they are a great plane once setup right, although this last one HK decided to go cheap and leave out the wing spar and rely on the wing struts to hold the wing together. And of course this is what failed on sunday when i pulled out of a rather steep dive the wings just folded in half, and the show was ON:)
  • @ Richard:   just curious...did you have a fiberglass cross-strengthening rod inside the main wing? 

  • @ Simon: I do not have the experience yet of crashing one, but if you do a thorough check of all parameters and readings per the setup guide, I do not see why not it wouldn't work as a new one.  After all it's all a bunch of 101010100.  

  • Hey, you have a great setup there!

    I have a bad crash myself some time ago. The impact speed was 140 km/h and the battery hit the APM. Although APM still works (after bending the pins back where they belong) I am a bit scared that it might got damaged.

    Would you guys use an APM after a hard crash again?



  • IF that's the same foam Cessna I had (marketed in the UK by Century) it was a *pig* to fly. I'm impressed any Autopilot could keep it in the air, I certainly struggled!

This reply was deleted.