I know that this is simply another APM2 installation, but I thought I would post it anyway in case anyone might be looking for suitable airframes for their DIY drone.  Also, this is kind of exciting for me since I am finally doing my DIY drone project and like to share my activity.  While my dedicated UAV build is underway, I'm testing APM2 and its accessories in a SkyFly Max.  I already had this airframe, but it would be one to consider buying new.  It's inexpensive, easy to hand launch, and seems to have been sized for APM2.  I put APM2 in the upper equipment bay and located the RC receiver in the lower bay (I love using those technical terms on a park flyer!).

I made a small box for the 3DR transmitter.  I was a little concerned about heat, but it's not airtight and it sits in the airstream.  I'll be mounting the ESC outside like the 3DR radio as well.  It normally sits where the APM2 is now, but I also want to isolate it from the other electronics in case the ESC itself overheats.

My brother is my partner in this project.  We're doing this in stages.  First, we breadboarded the entire system outside of the airframe.  I had the task of walking that tray of electronics around his backyard pretending to be plane and hitting waypoints.  I can't imagine what the neighbors were thinking!  Our next task is to get APM2 working in simulation.  Only then will we move on to flight testing.



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Comment by R. D. Starwalt on June 16, 2012 at 1:07pm

Thank you for sharing you project!

You are using what you have and will be able to contribute more information to the group knowledge base.

As long as your neighbors do not see you wearing aluminum foil hats while testing, they probably will not mind. ;)

Comment by Carl La France on June 16, 2012 at 4:56pm

Is that the GPS on the Roof ? I like . Also the antenna Attached to the external box gives it some rigidity Looks Awesom !

Comment by Paul Marsh on June 16, 2012 at 5:38pm

@R.D. -- Thanks for the feedback.  Yeah, I put those aluminum foil hats away a long time ago.  Never did work for me!  :)

@Carl -- That is the GPS antenna on top.  It might be overkill, but I like the idea of keeping it out in the open, so I went with the remote antenna when I got the APM2.  Given the fact that I was actually able to get a 3D GPS lock in my basement, I'm sure if the antenna were mounted to the APM inside the fuselage it would work just fine when in flight.

Comment by Carl La France on June 16, 2012 at 5:49pm

When I get up to where  I am putting an APM on my plane I will be putting the GPS   on the out side because of the Aluminum Your looks good!

Comment by Brian on June 16, 2012 at 11:34pm

I flew a Sky Fly Max for about 75 hours worth of flights.  It's a great platform that can really hold it's own against any other one being used. I finally did mine in by trying to setup a parachute recovery system.  It put too much stress on the boom and it cracked.  I kept the body so that I could pop a mold off of it and make a fiberglass version for personal use.  My setup was AP(l) and I had build a center section for the wing to expand the wing by 11 inches and I coated it with yellow monocote (low heat for foam).  It did great in heavy winds as well as low  /no wind flying conditions.  

Bottom line is I'm glad to see someone else using one and posting.  These are great planes, easy to build and are perfect for UAV use.  I can not recommend this more to anyone wanting to setup a new platform.

Comment by Carl La France on June 17, 2012 at 3:09am

A 11inch extension in the middle of the wing would make this bird a " Albatross" with less wing loading an Excellent upgrade for any one  who has one . "I'm not saying just go out and do it ." but when there is a "Miss hap " something "out of your control" Eagle tries to grab it, A tree reaches out and gives it a slap ,And the most feared of all "the Ground" known to increase the invisible force of gravity on a plane to the point when it touches the ground  something bad happens ! and one of the wings gets damaged  it would be a good time to do it

Comment by Brian on June 23, 2012 at 2:47pm

The funny thing is, I made the middle section out of "meat tray foam" from the supermarket!  It's easy to work with and you get to eat a steak before you work on the wing... It's a win - win...

Comment by Paul Marsh on June 23, 2012 at 3:07pm

Since my post still has a little life, here's an update.  I installed the air speed system.  Once again, the SkyFly Max seems made for the APM2 and its accessories--there is a perfectly placed opening for the air tubes!  I'm getting together with my brother tomorrow to carry on with our project.  I'm not sure if we're going to fly or not.  We still haven't done things in simulation yet.





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