Sign in to follow this  
jrd7071

DIY fixed wing drone build

Recommended Posts

Hello I have been flying a phantom 4 pro for my surveying company for about 2 years. I want to start flying a fixed wing drone now. Has anyone here built there own and can give me some advice? I am just now starting to dig into all the components that I will need and it is a bit overwhelming. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, jrd7071 said:

Has anyone here built there own and can give me some advice?

I haven't yet built a fixed wing drone but like you have plans to build one. I have built a few multi rotor drones based on the open source Ardupilot flight controller software and Pixhawk hardware which also supports fixed wing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also just to add to my previous post in preparation for my fixed wing build I have setup a development and test environment using ArduPilot's SITL (Software In The Loop) for both ArduCopter and ArduPlane as this does not require any drone hardware. I am finding it a great way to get familiar with the flight mode differences between a multi rotor and fixed wing. I have the flight controller software running on a Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) virtual machine using Oracle's Virtual Box which is installed on my Apple MacBook Pro. I use the same ground control station as I use for my real multi rotor which is a cheap laptop running windows 10 and the ground control station software - Mission Planner.

QGroundControl is another open source GCS software and has the advantage of running on Linux, OS X, IOS, Android as well as windows. I typically use this is the field on my iPhone but can also connect it to this simulator setup.

The great thing is that since all the above software is open source its free to download and use although I do eventually want to contribute to the ArduPilot community by helping with documentation and/or testing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To continue on this topic of a DIY fixed wing build I believe that a dual motor tail sitter VTOL might be the best design. The main reason for VTOL is to take advantage of both the multi-rotor design for ease of take off and landing in confined areas and the energy efficiency of a fixed wing for much longer flight times. A VTOL solution also protects both the aircraft and payload from landing on rough terrain. Several VTOL designs use separate motors for lift and forward flight but they become payload during forward flight making the aircraft less efficient. Using the same motors for both lift and forward flight must be the most efficient solution. Some VTOL designs use the same motors for lift and forward flight by tilting the motors from vertical to horizontal but this just adds mechanical complexity. I am unsure if the motors on a dual motor tail sitter have to tilt slightly or if vertical stabilization is controlled by the aircraft control surfaces. It seems that at least one company is using this design in a commercial aircraft.

https://wingtra.com

and there is even a hobby version 

https://www.horizonhobby.com/x-vert-vtol-bnf-basic-efl1850

The only challenge I would imagine with this design is handling windy conditions during take off and landing but if it could somehow  yaw the wings to be parallel to the wind direction maybe that would help.

Edited by Spitfire76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this