Long Range Plane

NOTE: I know of all the rules in my country. I follow all those rules. Ive been asked about this before so before I say anything else, you don’t have to worry about that.

In simple terms, I have failed to find decent info about this new project of mine.
I want something that is hand launched, isnt too heavy (Im not sure if I could throw anything much heavier than 4-5 kg), is reliable, and has a lot of range.

So this is what id want:
Sub 5 kg or around that for easier hand launching
Can fly like 100-150 km (total)
Flies pretty fast like at around 20-30 m/s or more
Can slow down a lot for landings
Can be hand launched easily and safely
Does NOT have a front prop (Ive broken quite a few props)
Can carry all my Ardupilot sensors and the FC.

Im also curious: How can I get the camera feed into the Mission Planner via 4G telemetry?
The perfect plane for my mapping project* likely does not exist, but I hope to find something that can stay in the air for long enough

*A project of mine, I want to try and create a 3D map of an area near where I live. Im also thinking of putting a camera on the plane and doing hyperlapses

1 more thing, I already chose my Ardupilot components.

An asw28 foamie will fly nice and can be hand launched, folding prop so you wont break it, can do 4g link, wont do 20-30m/s for very long, might fly for an hour at 12-15m/s i do 10ah 3s in mine and when thermalling can fly for hours.

The MakeFlyEasy Believer can be hand-launched (albeit a bit heavier than your estimate at a MTOW of around 6kg) and should be able to complete all of your requirements.


The website states 90km flight range - but if you throw a Li-Ion back in you should be able to get over 100km.

The MakeFlyEasy Striver mini can also be hand-launched (albeit a bit heavier at 7KG MTOW) and can go beyond your requirements.


That Striver Mini Hand Throw interests me… and then I find that it is sold at dual and single motor versions and I cannot find the tradeoffs / advantages of single or dual motor operation (obviously, two motors means a bit of redundancy)

As they have parachutes can they still land on the ground normally?

Im willing to give up some of the easy-to-hand launch stuff for more and better flight.

What we really need is data on different airframes which tells us the airspeeds in level flight at a given power consumptions, then the total battery capacity onboard at the tested configuration. Then we could compare the different airframes and see which ones would work best. I find that if there is much wind at all the ground speed drops away very quickly and they are just not quick enough to be useful. 10m/s windspeed is not unusual and plenty of airframes dont go much over 15m/s without drawing high currents and resulting in a 15min flight time. To go long range on a windy day we need full size airspeeds like 40-50 m/s. To do that we need something very slippery and much bigger than a hobby grade foamy

Thankfully, there isnt that much wind where I live (but when its windy it does get unsuitable for any kind of flight)

I was thinking of doing that kind of test once I get my long range plane functional and in the sky
(the period of time while autotuning is a bit of a headache 4 me as Im never quite sure how the plane will be in FBWA while autotuning)

I did consider the idea at one point of custom designing a plane to be as efficent as possible, with the body being the perfect size (and having the perfect spaces) to take waht I want to put on the plane and that is it.

Unfortunately, I have no experience designing something like this and jsut starting is way out of my depth

This would be an interesting project! And very useful too. As you may know, e-calc does provide power/airspeed estimates for motor/battery/wing loading published data, maybe that would info could help until better information comes along.

It’ll be some time till I can do these tests for reasons of that RC plane taking some time to arrive.

Once it does arrive, this will be a pretty interesting project, and I did kinda need that data myself anyway

Calcs are one thing but real world testing of all our planes and rovers is better data

Test was done by Nate

Better to read the whole thread. Lots of good info.