This is my endurance record at the time, but I think I can do better.
The test was performed on a day with strong winds, shall be equal and over to the navigation speed (11 m/s), it's indeed very curious to see how it behaves my "Mini Talon," sometimes flies backward (at 14.00% in the log), with the groundspeed around "0 m/s".
In a previous flight I did over 114 km, but flying "only" 02:52:00.
The battery pack is Li-Ion 4S3P 10.500 mAh "Sanyo 18650GA", with max of 30A discharge.
Unfortunately the "3DR Power Modules" current sensor is very inaccurate, so the trend of current in the log is not reliable, but the voltage is quite true.

This image shows the flight data after the land, "tempo di volo" in italian is the "flight time":

And here the residue of the battery pack, this shows that I was thoroughly conservative:

In a previous flight i reached 114 Km, but flying "only" 2 hours ad 52 mins.

X-UAV MiniTalon
ParkZone 15-Size Brushless Motor (720 Kv)
Aeronaut folding propeller 10x6
E-Flite Pro  30A ESC
Pixhawk with "APM:Plane" V3.6.0
Analog Airspeed Sensor
Home made Li-Ion battery pack 4S3P 10.500 mAh "Sanyo 18650GA"
1619gr AUW

Flight data:
Total travel: 93,4 Km
Total flight time: 3hours 11mins
Battery used: 8300 mAh (residual: over 20%)
Flight alt: 100mt
Max wind speed: 13 m/s (average: 8 m/s)
Battery failsafe voltage: 12.8V

Here the telemetry log about this endurance test:

Thanks to all the "ArduPilot Dev Team"!


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  • 100KM

    Nice job Marco.  My first endurance test a few years back was in windy conditions like that.  For much of the flight, it resembled a kite.  What made you choose 11 m/s?  Is that the min power V for the miniTalon at that weight?

  • Hi Marco

    Awesome stuff.

    Makes me feel confident we picked the right airframe for the OBC Challenge this year to mod into a quadplane! ;-)

    Originally we were looking at using the Pano 18650, but we found that the 2C rating was to close to use in hover and that in fact the Multistar 10C packs weren't actually that heavy in comparison (Wh/g) and would suffice to run some 60-70km in forward flight which we needed. The trick with the quadplane config is to use small and lightweight quad setup, just enough to VTOL, ours only weighs some 200g, which in turn doesn't much affect the forward speed/range.

    One side benefit of running it as a quadplane was that we could increase the amount of batteries we could carry because we no longer have to be careful with the stall speed for takeoff or landing, as the quad components effectively gave us "unlimited" runway. We've flown with over 1.2kg batteries (so about double your batteries in weight) without any issue in the mini talon, although you're better off cruising a bit faster than usual due to the increased wing loading! We're aiming for over 24m/s. At least you don't have to worry about going backwards in wind... ;-)

    I'd also recommend either getting rid of or replacing the timber parts on the Talon nose for a more streamlined finish. Can't hurt.

    Regards JB

  • Developer

    @PascalP: it's a simply wp mission near the home point, you can extract from the tlog file.
    About rc link and telemetry, Taranis with X8R and 3DR 915 MHz telemetry.
    The drone is never more than 300 meters from the home.

    @Andrew: yeah, in a previous flight I did over 114 km.

  • Very nice time Marco !

    Li-Ion is very well fit for plane. I am targeting more than 1 hour flight time with a Skywalker 1900 (for mapping). Li-ion is probably a part of the solution.

    I am also interested in infos about your RC/telemetry gear.

  • Congrats Marco.  Would you tell us a bit about your RC link, telemetry gear, and FPV gear?   Also, do you track or graph mAH per kM as a measure of efficiency?  Or perhaps mAH per minute if it's not about distance so much as endurance?  Another fun metric as we start to look at more use of Li-Ion for distance FPV is Amps/kg at start of the flight.

    I just maidened ArduPlane 3.5.1 on a Radian Pro glider this week, and at times also saw GS very near zero as FBWA did a great job of letting my glider "sea gull" into ~10kts wind.

    My next airframe in the queue is a MyTwinDream, and I will definitely be going Li-Ion there.


  • Developer

    great stuff!

    I'm sure you'll get much more range without that wind. The plane has zero ground speed or close to zero for quite a few portions of the flight. If the wind had been much stronger you wouldn't have got it back :-)

  • Thank for sharing Marco, very interesting work!

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