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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] beginners questions

From: Martin P
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] beginners questions
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 19:17:06 +0200

Hello Tilman!

> I see there is a forum somewhere, but I find forums totally inadequate 
> for discussions.

In general, I find forums fine, even better than mailing lists, but the 
Paparazzi-forum on seems to be pretty dead. 

> ... Money will be a issue, so I 
> need to start small and cheap.

Have a look on 
They have the ArduPilot which is by far not as capable as Paparazzi but 
definitely cheaper and they say it is easier. Just to see something else, too. 
Not a suggestion. 

> I see that small airframes like the FunJet are pretty popular. But I 
> guess this is mostly because it is a bigger challenge to make a small 
> and fast plane fly stable.
> I guess there is not much room for payload like digital cameras.

In R/C flying, a bigger and slower airframe is definitely easier to fly. I 
guess it is the same for autonomous flight. 

> Can anyone maybe suggest a bigger and flexible and of course cheap 
> solution? Maybe some easy DIY plans. Optics are irrelevant. :)
> And how difficult is it to scale things up? Maybe they get unreasonable 
> expensive... I have no idea, I'm not a RC guy.

Welcome to the world of R/C flying! 
I started R/C flying recently, so I feel competent to answer beginners 
See for some hints 
(in German, sorry to the other readers). 
I strongly suggest that you look for an R/C club in your vicinity. 
Btw, I just bought an inexpensive "pilot assist" system via Ebay which can help 
a beginner to save the plane from a crash and which could possibly be used in 
combination with the ArduPilot mentioned above (but definitely not with 

Although I have never flown the Multiplex TwinStar, I think this could be the 
thing for you. Used TwinStars are often available through Ebay. Optics not too 
bad, somewhat crash-resistant, easy to repair if not. 
Building a plane on your own usually doesn't make it cheaper. Strange but true. 
I love my Minimag which is my tried and proved workhorse and which will 
probably be my first UAV. 

> Apropos RC. I guess I will need some RC equipment? I'm thinking about 
> leaving the RC stuff out and controlling the plane via the telemetry 
> link. But buying some used RC stuff via ebay is probably a more 
> reasonable approach. :)

Yes to ebay. People sell their equipment when they go for sophisticated 
features which you will definitely not need.  
There is one more point which makes R/C equipment necessary, this is the legal 
I am still investigating, but IMHO as long as I watch the plane with my finger 
on the mode-switch and I am ready to take over, I can claim that I am R/C 
(German, again)
Furthermore, you should have a liability insurance. This is available for R/C 
flying. And we are R/C flying, aren't we? 

> How well to the IR sensors work near big hills and urban areas?

That's something I would like to know, too! 
> Regards
>   Tilman Baumann

Martin from Vienna, Austra 

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