I have run a skywalker, sky hunter, UAV3000 and am currently running an RV Jet. Personally I love the RV Jet for its versatility and the fact that the styrofoam seems to actually have a quality control process (skywalker and hunter are a crap shoot for quality sometimes). Pretty simple to build an APM or Pixhawk based fixed wing. The programming of the RV Jet is a little more complex but not so much as to scare you away. I fly with two cameras. Either the Canon s100 everyone uses or the Sony a6000 for SLR performance. To get the sony to work is a little trickier but there are now solutions that let you link it directly to pixhawk/APM.
Fixed wing anyone?
I'd be interested to hear what fixed wing solutions people are using?
The turnkey solutions I've looked are outrageously expensive and it appears to me the choice is extremely expensive turnkey or build yourself ardupilot (or similar) based systems.
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I too plan to get into a fixed wing in the future, been looking at the SKYPROWLER, sort of a mini V22 Osprey, looks mighty interesting but it is not in production yet. the complete version is around $3k.
I don't know enough to buy a bare bones UAV and build a full camera platform. The Skyhunter is appealing, wish someone offered a ready to fly version.
DJI is missing the boat if they don't develop a fixed wing (or perhaps they are?)
Thanks for the replies, whilst I'd love to set-up and test the flight controller myself, if I'm honest I don't have the time :(
I like the look of the AeroHawk: http://www.hawkuas.com/aerial-systems/areohawk.html
and 3DR Aero M:https://store.3drobotics.com/products/aero-m
I have been looking at the HobbyKing Quanum Observer as a potential development platform (despite my earlier "don't have time" comment)
Really like the RV Jet too now I've had a look!
Also been meaning to ask about gimbal stabilisation for Nadir photography, I don't seem to see a lot of it in fixed wing set ups. Not so important?
You don't need to gimbal the camera in a fixed wing, as you can use the telemetry data from the autopilot to deal with the images and correct them. They also handle wind shear much better than a rotary wing. A consultant in town has used the aerohawk and its performance has been pretty terrible (many issues landing, poor performance)...The aero M is a robust air frame that is easy to repair if something happens. You can get a gimbal to put into the skywalker airframe but we ended up removing it because it caused more problems than it solved.
Well I went and bought a Qanum Observer (nee Ranger Ex). So it looks I'm building a system :D
Will be using Pixhawk as the controller, but will probably need to relearn how to fly manually first!