We’ve seen our fair share of remote-controlled planes turned into UAVs and FPV platforms, but the Techpod is the first airplane we’ve seen specifically designed to be used as a camera-equipped robotic airplane.
The Techpod is the brainchild of [Wayne Garris]. He has been flying camera-equipped FPV airplanes for a while now, but recently realized the current offerings of remote control planes didn’t match his needs. [Wayne] decided to design his own plane specifically designed with a pan/tilt camera mount in the nose.
[Wayne]’s prototype was designed with some very fancy aeronautical design software packages and milled out of foam. From the videos after the break, we can see the Techpod flies beautifully, but needs the Kickstarter community to bring his model to the masses.
The specs for the Techpod put it up there with other high-performances FPV and UAV models; with its 102 inch (2590 mm) wingspan and a pair of batteries wired in parallel, the Techpod can stay aloft transmitting video for up to one hour.
Video of the plane in action after the break.
20 thoughts on “RC Plane Made Specifically For UAVs”
These planes should use the aerodynamic models of gliders..
I noticed this one has a missing mid-section which creates a major coefficient do to the obvious aerodynamic flaw.. This means it wastes a lot of energy..
I did some aerodynamic and programming work on the Sprint sponsored UAV which is still in use for telcom in a few different countries and was done with only 800k(super efficient considering what it does..)
That missing middle section is very common. The most famous FPV planes use the design of this plane due to the fact that chopperdave mentioned. Namely to give a big propeller enough space and keep it out the the camera’s vision. Also the propeller is not affected when crashing into the ground. Also you have to keep enough space between the motor (and ESC) and the video transmitter so they do not influence each other. Just look at these most popular planes for video flights:
Well, they seem to be getting at least an hour of flight time already, so they must be doing *something* right!
“an hour” ..I rest my case..
The design causes drastic circular drag coefficient.. I don’t doubt a lot of kits use this design..
Could you maybe provide a link where one can look at the design you mentioned and compare it with the one in the article?
you are correct in your assessment of the basic plane layout . There are some aerodynamic drawbacks to ” missing fuselage section “. I have taken the time to do well over 300 hours of run time using solid works flow module. I was able to over come the problems. here is what xorpunk is talking about in picture form .
problem solved . drag is only an estimated 0.8 lbs at 60 mph.
YOu are arguing the difference between $800,000 and something that will cost $250.00 to buy right now.
Wayne has put up a two hour flight in lapsed time as well.
The missing mid section is a great place to swing a prop and keep it out of the camera’s way.
Well, 1hour is not very impressive. This gentleman kept his plane up for 4h25m… using aerodynamically clean motorized glider he piloted. And Maynard Hill designed motorized glider UAV and it flew ~3000km in 38 hours and crossed Atlantic. Kudos to those guys for pushing the limits.
Those are different classes of planes, though. The first is a glider (which can only run if the weather conditions are right) and the second was fuel-powered.
I helped designed one that can stay up years at commercial-license altitudes and the build was sponsored by Sprint and a lot of other telcom companies. It was on discovery network..
Trust me when I say the design is fundamentally flawed, and not just on the aerodynamic scale as I mentioned in my other comments. Who am I to judge what people throw disposable money at though..
This is awesome.
Unfortunately the archaic laws in Australia mean that you need a pilots license to fly a UAV, and anything fully autonomous is completely verboten.
Having said that – I think I should buy one.
If ever there was a place with loadsa room to fly both FPV and UAV without hitting some poor bastard, or actually anything at all, it has to be Oz…
Seems like he might need to design out that whole Analog camera and telemetry shit, looks like VHS tape!
Those 808 HD cameras off Ebay have better footage than this.
hey everyone thanks for all the great comments. I am wayne ,techpod designer. You think an hour is long ? gearing up for 2 hours this week . The math supports 3 hour flights but that has not been accomplished yet . not going to start making wild claims I cant back up with results. Keep tuned in .
am I the only one who noticed?
You have to pledge $240 to get a kit. 500 kits for $45k means $100 per kit… someone wants to make a huge profit
No, I highly doubt that no one noticed. Actually I have been more then upfront with my goals and methodologies. The point of this exercise in social capitalism known as kickstarter is to help people kickstart their business. Lets say for the sake of argument I sell the 500 for $100 per techpod. I get $50,000 I order the 500 units, they arrive, I ship them out. My happy customers gladly receive their awesome techpods. The END . no more techpods. You break a wing, want another? well got another $45,000 I can borrow to have another 500 made?
Then give me 2 kits and a spare wing for $250. No problem if I burn the whole plane and break a wing too. Also, it won’t cost you 45k to make another 500, because you already have the molds… come on.
I’m not against doing business but buying an unproven design for a 2.5x markup is insane. $150 would have been a more sensible price in my opinion. That said, I really hope you make a lot of money with this (no, I’m not being sarcastic or anything, I mean it).
I’ve got an idea why don’t you prove what you are saying. Why don’t you do it? Just think how awesome it will be. Have fun!
I’m thinking of trying a raspberry pi as a HTPC for my plane. Anyone try this? Multiple cameras?
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