RCU Forums - View Single Post - Long range / flight time with parallel batteries & other questions
Old 12-06-2019, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: White Bear lake, MN
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Start with this book: R/C Model Airplane Design or this one: Basics-Model-Aircraft-Design-Techniques
From there, Amazon will lead you to bazillions more, both about RC airplanes, and full scale - which all have STRONG bearing on whether yours will fly or not.

I chatted with my friend, and he leads a small group of aeronautical grad students in designing planes just for the kind of autonomous flight you are thinking about. They have years of high level aeronautical engineering classroom learning...but NO experience in building/flying. So with each new group is the build/try-to-fly/crash scenario. Usually due to either pilot error, or initial design flaws. Not at all saying you need the years of learning, just pointing out that theory and real world collide pretty often, even for those that should know more than enough, so be prepared for setbacks. We've all been there. But with sticking to it, it can be done.

Yes, cooling airflow is critical. As is selecting the components that minimize power consumption (less heat, longer flight time on a given battery amount) - but still produce enough for flight.

3D printing is its own challenge, but in the real world I can build a basic plane from scratch using traditional materials (balsa, etc.). in less time than a printer would take. Far, far less if I went with something like foam board. Consider both methods - very fast and dirt cheap for proof-of-concept, then printed for refined design.

In the end, do what you have fun doing - it's up to you to decide whether this is just something to make an attempt to mess around with for a bit, or if one aspect or more of the subject (aerodynamics, 3D structural design, electronics and coding) appeals to you for a deeper dive.

Last edited by tedsander; 12-06-2019 at 07:10 AM.