Welcome to the APP-02 page. The goal of this project is to create a platform from which airborne photography can be explored. Ideally this vehicle will be as inexpensive as possible while still being as flexible as required for several different roles.
Great Planes Super Decathlon
After much research the Super Decathlon kit from Great Planes was selected. This kit is designed for either nitro or gas power up to 35cc. To power this aircraft the Desert Aircraft DA-50 has been selected. Sure its overkill at 50cc but it should really get the airplane moving and there is going to be a substantial amount of weight in the plane when it is all up.
The DA-50 was chosen due to the large number of reviews attesting to its performance and its tremendous power to weight ratio. This engine is essentially CNC carved from a billet of aluminum so any extra material is removed from the casings. The engine is a 2 stroke gasoline engine increasing the power output and reducing the weight significantly. The tradeoff is in fuel economy, however this is a somewhat debatable figure as the power output is high enough that it is unlikely to be run at full power very often.
Electronically the APP-02 platform will be flown using a Futaba 9CAP radio system with Futaba receiver and servos. This airplane requires a minimum of 6 servos running on 4 channels if the servos are combined together using Y-cables. There are some unique requirements for this particular model however that will require further channels. This model is going to have a GoPro Hero 2 camera mounted on a dual axis gimbal system allowing for pan and tilt while flying.
Electronics Flow Diagram
As mentioned above the APP-02 will be using Futaba equipment for control. On top of this it will have a GoPro Hero 2 camera for picking up a live “first person” view of the the flight. The live video feed is going to be transmitted to the ground via an Eagle Tree telemetry system. This signal will be fed into ideally a set of Vuzix 920 video display glasses with the head tracker add on. The goal will be to hack this head tracker to work with an Arduino controller that will super-impose two channels onto the 9CAP transmitter signal controlling the GoPro gimbal mount servos. This will likely be a pain…
After all this is up and running the goal is to side mount a Digital SLR camera that will take high resolution stills.
Progress to Date:
To date the airframe has been about 75% completed. Work is being done on the fuselage right now which is requiring substantial modification to fit the 50cc DA-50.
Airframe Together With Motor out Front
Vertical & Horizontal Stabilizers
Completed Wings Waiting for Servos
Partially Complete Fuselage