Building a small UAV from foam and fiberglass the cheap way

A little drawing of how it will look:

Now some building photos:

How to get the pictures smaller?

Views: 3974

Comment by Robert Krogh (hooks) on October 22, 2009 at 10:11am
Would it be possible to get fingers in your full scale drawings. It's a very great design you made there. I would be able to make 3D model in Inventor.
Comment by Angus Peart on October 22, 2009 at 10:47am
Looks like an EDF setup? If so, your only going to get a few minutes flight time (<10mins), not very useful for a UAV.
Comment by isobot on October 22, 2009 at 11:14am
I like the large photos! great detail.
Looks like you are on your way to having a new airframe. Could you list the materials used, like type of glue, etc...
Comment by Mike on October 22, 2009 at 11:45am
" How to get the pictures smaller? "

Open the picutres in Windows Paint, the click on 'Image', 'Resize/Skew' and try 25% in the appropriate boxes and you should be somewhere near reasonable sizes.
Comment by Pekka Ahola on October 22, 2009 at 12:32pm
I like,

This seems like a good way to create your own airframe and make it accommodate all the stuff we want to get airborne. Must get some foam on my next trip to the hardware store.

What software have you used in designing the plane? And to everyone out there: What is the best free/open source CAD/modelling software to get started with?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on October 22, 2009 at 1:19pm
When you add pictures there a little more dialog click that and then scale them.

Great start looking forward to this coming together, very neat work!
Comment by Bryan Cuervo on October 22, 2009 at 3:22pm
What I do to reduce the picture size is open my picture in "Paint" and open the drop down menu under Image. Click on Attributes, choose Pixels for units and look at the width and height. Then, back under Image, click on Resize and enter the % reduction in horizontal and vertical. I like to post pictures around 500x500 pixels.
I'm sure there is a faster way to do this but I know this works.
By the way, your new UAV design looks really nice. What wing loading are you shooting for?

Comment by Robert Krogh (hooks) on October 23, 2009 at 2:30am
The easy way to resize pics:
Use FastStone Capture 6.5, Great free userfriendly software.
I use it all the time.
Comment by Wendi Smol on October 23, 2009 at 11:21am
Thank you all.

I can reduce the pictures further in ACDSee but then the quality suffers. I thought that there might be some special function here in the DIY Drone forum to reduce attachments for the sake of a better over-view, and the viewer could look at them full size when she/he so wishes (like in RCG).
Anyway I will try to answer the questions and then continue with my build blog.

Hooks, I would like to take you up on that offer. Problem is that I do my "drawings" in Corel, which is a nice vector program, but I don't know whether you can import that format. I can transport Corel files into dxf format, which may help.
I’m using Corel for many years now, before proper CAD drawing programs became common goods and affordable. It’s very useful and I know my way around it. Somehow I missed the train to 3D and I’m not trying to run after it now.

For the doubters of EDFs I can only say that I do EDFs since about 12 years and ICDFs for even longer. I do know there limitations quite well. But a prop also has it’s drawbacks. Principally one can get better efficiencies with larger air mass and smaller delta v, which means larger diameter of prop or fan, but one also has to take into account that we are really dealing here with relative small power quantities and there the advantages of the larger air mass becomes less important. Total efficiencies are only in the 40-50% region anyway. But I will show you that even a small plane like my Tern can stay aloft for about 30 to 40 minutes on EDF power without conversion into a battery carrier.
The materials and tools I use are easy to get practically anywhere, as long as one does not insist on a particular brand. I use mainly polystyrene foam, but I will also consider the use of balsa as an equivalent substitute. You will find all this info in the blog posts to follow.

All the best (wishes)

Comment by isobot on October 23, 2009 at 11:46am
your layouts are excellent, I like it when you are asked what program (3d) you used : )
I was lucky enough to learn how to Loft in school, and that has allowed me to use any drawing tool, digital or "analog" to create plans and renderings. My current favorite is sketchbook pro, which is basically a digital sketchpad you sketch lines into, very few guides or tools. Hard to do draftings but love to ideate with it.

Your craftsmanship looks great from here.
Looking forward to more info on your design as the build progresses.


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