Flying Wing Mod

Mirumod, Macgyver, hull, cam, propeller, leg, cross, ball bearing mods... etc.
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WallyJas
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Joined: 26 Sep 2011, 08:00
Location: Perth, WA

Flying Wing Mod

Post by WallyJas » 24 Mar 2012, 03:58

Guys,

Would it be possible to take the camera and nav board from my old AR Drone and mount it in a flying wing (Alula) to create smartphone controlled, FPV airplane?

Schlauncha
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Joined: 21 Jun 2011, 03:50
Drone Type: AR.Drone 2

Re: Flying Wing Mod

Post by Schlauncha » 24 Mar 2012, 05:09

No.

WallyJas
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Location: Perth, WA

RE: Flying Wing Mod

Post by WallyJas » 24 Mar 2012, 06:54

Ok thanks for the fast reply.

I wasn't trying to sound too naive, I understand drone is a quad and converting to fixed wing would be a challenge. I just thought maybe someone would have missed software so that differnt setups would be possible.

Does anyone have a smartphone controlled, FPV, rc fixed wing at all? If not why not, is the range of the WiFi an issue?

Thanks

Sent from my T9296 using Board Express

Schlauncha
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Joined: 21 Jun 2011, 03:50
Drone Type: AR.Drone 2

Re: Flying Wing Mod

Post by Schlauncha » 24 Mar 2012, 16:13

Starting with the minimum that could easily work, you could use the AR Drone's boards and camera aboard a flying wing only as the camera system, using a completely separate r/c system for the aircraft. This would be heavy, large, and would be limited in performance due to the video being on a low power wifi connection. Compared to what you could probably sell the AR Drone for, you could use that money to put a similar camera on the flying wing, but the video transmitter could be something like a 200mw 5.8ghz which I have flown aircraft past 1000 feet with (never hit the range limit in the air, but I do know from ground tests that my new antennas are at least 2x as good, so expect 2000 feet to be ok, or up to 3 kilometers by the numbers other people report with the same stuff).

Now here is why the controls wouldn't easily work. The drone is set up to output four signals, to each motor's ESC. However, I believe this isn't just a normal PWM output that you could hook servos to, but rather, the motor controllers provide feedback to the drone in case there is a problem with the motors such that they are unable to make RPM. This means that it would be very difficult to put together some kind of arduino based adapters to put on each output to fool the Drone into thinking its normal motors are there, when really you're getting servo outputs.

Even IF you could get the board to peacefully output four servo signals, the problem is your control interface. The Drone is set up to run all four of these in concert to create flight by hovering, so I highly doubt it would be any small task to rewrite the code so that it would individually control each motor (servo) output to give you a throttle, elevon right, and elevon left channel for your flying wing. All the internal stabilization would be incorrectly fighting these channels, and even more likely, even just getting it to operate without cutting off and going into "emergency" mode would be basically impossible. On takeoff it is expecting to lift up to a certain height and stabilize there using control of all four motors. In an aircraft, the directions of movement are so radically different, you can expect it would not be happy. Also, the maximum tilt error would occur even when the airplane is flying normal (such as turning a corner or ascending) and would cut all control outputs. The ultrasonic sensor would also be trying hard to interfere with everything.

If you could do the motor to PWM converters, the best you could hope for in creating a different aircraft would be to output to different / larger motors for a bigger quadcopter setup, but I don't know of anyone who has.

Personally if you want some cheap FPV airplane flying, I would recommend getting the RTF Sky Surfer Brushless, or HobbyKing Bixler, and then pick up a 200w 5.8ghz video transmitter, then a small NTSC CCD camera (but make sure it will run off up to 12v! Some are 5v!). An OSD (on-screen display) is great too, because for example with my Cyclops CE, I have a "fuel gauge" to let me see how many mAh of battery I've consumed, and it gives me my airspeed / elevation / heading, along with a GPS indicator of which direction and distance I need to go in order to fly back to where I launched from. I use this with an EasyCAP on my laptop, allowing my laptop to be used like a battery-powered TV.

WallyJas
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Joined: 26 Sep 2011, 08:00
Location: Perth, WA

RE: Flying Wing Mod

Post by WallyJas » 25 Mar 2012, 06:54

Wow that's an I depth response thanks do much. I can appreciate all the work that would be required to even get to a test stage. I'll just stick with enjoying my Drone. Cheeers

Sent from my T9296 using Board Express

NorCalDrone
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Re: Flying Wing Mod

Post by NorCalDrone » 26 Mar 2012, 08:14

I am not sure the Drone motors are providing feedback. When one of my controllers went bad the Drone did not know it and proceeded to perform flips on takeoff. You would think that if the main board was getting feedback it would know the controller is bad and not let the Drone flip.

szuu
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Re: Flying Wing Mod

Post by szuu » 26 Mar 2012, 10:45

NorCalDrone wrote:I am not sure the Drone motors are providing feedback. When one of my controllers went bad the Drone did not know it and proceeded to perform flips on takeoff. You would think that if the main board was getting feedback it would know the controller is bad and not let the Drone flip.
there is no feedback that would let the mainboard test how the motor really rotates, only a general "cut off" signal when the motor controller detects abnormal condition, like blocked propeller.
if a motor controller goes crazy and does not follow the orders, no form of feedback could prevent the crash anyway :-P

NorCalDrone
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Re: Flying Wing Mod

Post by NorCalDrone » 26 Mar 2012, 20:53

The problems I have experienced when a board goes bad is that the motor powers up but won't accelerate properly.

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