Sat 26 Nov 2016 12:52AM

Flying Platform:

OL Oriol López Public Seen by 365

Fixed wing, multicopter, flying wing, traditional airplane, VTOL aircraft? What is the best solution to provide an open source drone?


Oriol López Sat 26 Nov 2016 2:01AM

When we want to design a mapping drone, the first question is if we want to go for a plane (fixed wing) or multirotor. The plane generate sustention and glide. On a good day in summer, you can stop the motor and if you have good air currents keep on flying for long times. The multicopters are easier to operate but much more inefficient aircrafts (same as a helicopter vs plane).

Plane VS Multicopter

In short, what we want is a small lightweight machine that is able to cover big extensions. Even it would be nice to put thermal camera and multispectral cameras, this drone is for simple mapping.

Pre-selected Candidates:

Fying wings:

  • Windrider Elebee 2 (I´ve created the 3D model)(have 1 unit)

  • Skywalker X5


  • Axn clouds fly (I´m modifying it with 3D pritned parts) (have 2 units) AXN Cluds
  • Multiplex Blizzard Blizzard
  • Hobby King Bixler 2 Bixler
  • Skywalker (several Variations) @ https://www.fpvmodel.com/)

The "iphone¨of the mapping drones is this one:

In terms of mapping drone: main commercial stuff
- tuffwing

- Atmos 6 - CAT UAV

- Delair Tech (french UAV´s)
- Skycatch (multicopters)
- Trimble
- UAV factory - penguin

the ebee cost a lot of money, what we want to create is a low cost version of the Ebee. If you have a lot of interest to go for a multicopter, we can work on it, (Skycatch go for this solution) but the market is much more saturated, DJi products are super good and cheap. Difficult to go cheaper than them.

The ebee is a flying wing type of plane (the fabrication and materials should be not more than 500 USD but is sold for 10-20 times more). What we want to do is to modify an existing platform to make an open source equivalent. Lightweigh and easy to operate fully automatic solutions.

The platforms should be modified and integrate a camera that is triggered by the flight controller.


Oriol López Sat 26 Nov 2016 2:57AM

Why not a multicopter?
Mainly because they are inneficient for long area coverage and it's a saturated market with so many options. Is really easy to make a quadcopter and is difficult to bring a big difference in the market. In fixed wing mapping planes, there is still a lot of room for improvement (mostly in price reduction), there is not a Dji of the mapping drones yet.

What about VTOL systems?
In theory they do have the advantadges of multicopters and planes (efficient flight and easy take off and land). Is an option that can be contemplated. In general they become more complex and I think that for our purpose as overkilling. Ardupilot is now able to manage some configurations. Building something like this is complex but not out of the realm of our possibilities.



Oriol López Sat 26 Nov 2016 3:09AM

An option is to build a multicopter to start testing under more static platform (planes move fast). This are the designs of my testing platform which is a tricopter with a 3D printed fuselage.

In the images below you can see the 3D Model in Solid Works
, the finalized drone (the front is a camera inside a sponge) and some old designs in a mosaic


Oriol López Sat 26 Nov 2016 3:23AM

Here some screenshots of the modified model of the Solid Works model of the Windrider EleBee 2. Still need ailerons and develop much more the design.


Poll Created Tue 6 Dec 2016 2:04AM

Hybrid - Quad Plane Closed Fri 6 Jan 2017 2:01AM

What is the ideal flying platform form mapping?


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 33.3% 1 MI
Abstain 66.7% 2 OL BAD
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 4 SZ TC LDS ASN

3 of 7 people have participated (42%)


Bogdan Alexandru Demeter
Wed 7 Dec 2016 10:37AM

Hybrid quad plane will not be able to do both jobs at 100% efficiency. It can't be 100% a plane in terms of using as low power as possible to be put on a gliding trajectory. And it can't be used as a quad copter in terms of agility & sliding L/R 100%


Oriol López Thu 8 Dec 2016 1:27AM

Ohhh this proposal is kind of fake, it was to show the capabilities of the platform to 3rd parties ;). Still, you can create a counter proposal with what you think is best option


Oriol López Wed 18 Jan 2017 9:22AM

Hi guys some new inputs:

This is a link to the components folder. You need to put it at the same level of the plane folder for the assembly to find it. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzLuCXIhbPsdQWpEdTh2cDZrUDA