Most integrated compact FC for Fixed Wing option

New to FC world but not flying. Looking for help

I’m really interested in a small integrated FC system with return to home feature, ability to connect camera (not for fpv, but sharing footage later captured on monitor with recording) mission planning (waypoint) and gryo for stability in a fixed wing glider.

I looked at the ardupilot Hardware link and it looks like there is so many options in terms of hardware and most of them are not fully integrated as in you have to connect external gps and other sensors.

In your opinion what is a good choice for a small fixed wing aircraft keeping weight in mind with minimal wiring?

I would like to fly normal without any assist, and when i do want to get adventurous to set waypoints via my phone (android) using the GCS software.

I’m having a hell of a time picking the right controller to begin with and need some feedback. I would like to connect a micro camera as well but can’t find anything that is 720p they are all analog.

Talk to me, educate me.


The best way to get educated is to start with the Wiki’s. They are very comprehensive. Read thru them, get as far as you can and then ask for help in these support forums is the best plan.

Some targeted observations:
Video is a separate thing from the Flight Controller. Many Flight Controllers have integrated OSD to provide FPV data. No Flight Controllers have integrated GPS. “Other sensors” are integrated (IMU’s, barometer, some others depending on FC).

As you say there are many Flight Controllers that will suit for a fixed wing glider. The 1st thing to consider is how many output channels you will need (motor?, servos, etc.)

Hi Dave,

I’ve read the wiki and done quite a bit of research before coming here to post. I’m at a point now where I need to pull the trigger on a FC unit than build around it.

In terms of output channels, for a standard fixed wing with Ail/Ele/Rud/Motor, 4 is most common but I like to run Led on a NERS and if i have flaps well add another channel. So for the sake of your question lets go with 6-8 channels

Interesting there are no GPS integrated FC on the PCB itself, I would have though by now there would be a more integrated FC system.

Knowing that now, what do you recommend?

I’m also a Futaba user although I don’t think that should make a lot of difference. I use R7008SB for the telemetry options currently on all my models.

I would like to avoid a rats nest of wires but I’m not sure if that is possible with really any FC computer.

More importantly, i want reliable with good quality control. Last thing I want is for failure b/c some chinese knockoff has a cold solder mid flight come to light.

Cost is not as important and quality

Actually “by now” was many years ago. There were Flight Controllers with integrated GPS but it’s not a good environment for that. Additionally most GPS modules contain the compass. And while a compass is not required for a Plane it’s an even worse environment for those.

You may want to define “compact” and what you want to pay. That will likely shorten the choices considerably. $50 or $200?

Noise is always an issue so I understand, but GPS is not nearly as sensitive, but that is another discussion.

To answer your questions, compact as possible, lightweight is of course critical so the glider can spend more time flying. It is a mid size 1300mm wingspan so it is not a huge glider. I can get a good 18-20 mins flying with it on and off throttle in windy conditions.

Price is not an issue, if you tell me there is a $200 unit that is “reliable” not some chinese knockoff I have no problem pulling the trigger. I rather pay for reliability than to lose a model and all the electronics in the plane which will cost far more than the the FC itself.

I would like minimal wiring if possible b/c of the limited space in the fuselage as is in the glider. I don’t need redundancy like some FC offer. I hope if the quality of the FC and sensors are good it should not need any redundancy. Does that help?

Thanks for your patience and help. There really is information overload when it comes to this stuff. I’ll need your help picking your brain as well on a camera compatible with what you think works for me as well.

OK, a popular Flight Controller for Planes, and anything else for that matter, is the Matek H743-Wing. Latest tech, plenty of I/O, and some integrated features (OSD, BEC’s, direct battery power).

I should add that I haven’t put one of these in a plane but I do have the mini version in a Multirotor. I do have a couple of other FC’s in Plane’s. A Kakute F7 AIO (AIO have some advantages) and an older Omnibus F4 Nano (old tech now).

Interesting choice. I did some quick reading and the Matek looks like support is in China. I’m not sure if support will be an issue and language barrier possibly. Kakute I can’t even find any info other than an email for support. They do look to offer other products which you can give me your feedback on. I like ones which have an enclosure like Pixhawk Mini preferably.

Dave correct me if I’m wrong but the Pixhawk Mini should work as well correct?

You mean the Holybro FC from China like almost all others?

Maybe what you want is a Cube Blue? Cool, go for it.

Had no idea they were made in China too. I doubt there is any made outside of China correct, most are made in China or Taiwan?

Is this what you are referring to:

Looks like it is out of stock, geez my luck

Is there another unit similar in size possibly like the pixhawk mini you trust more from a reliability perspective

Yes. $600 it’s all you!

Back to reality, Mrobotics is a US company if that’s your driving factor. Check our their stuff.

Being made is the US is not a driving factor at all, iphone among many other electronics are made in China. Its all about the quality control and what the US companies impose.

I don’t care if its made in China or really anywhere as long as it is a quality product.

Looks like this is out of stock as well unfortunately.

I’m looking for compact as you know with a case possibly to avoid wiring rats nest coming off pcb

Matek, Holybro, CUAV, Cubes. Mro. In no particular order.

Already suggested a Matek FC.

Matek F405 series have been good to me. The F405-Wing and WSE are good because they have the PDB for planes and plenty of outputs for servos.

I’ve also just started using the mRo Pixracer R15 and 2.1. Still early days but they’ve been good and haven’t done anything to make me not trust them.

Well it looks like I was limited to the number of replies on day one.

Thanks I will look at each and see which one fits the bill.

Do you have any recommendations of 720/1080 cameras which I can connect to an FC and what TX/RX system is reliable.

I see a lot of 900Mhz and some newer stuff. I suspect for long range the 900mhz is the way to go.

I also looked at the tbs crossfire, not sure if its needed if the software flies the waypoints and i lose signal it will eventually come back and the radio will have control again

My reservation with the open board options like Matek is the wiring. I would like a small unit with case like Pixhawk mini. I just don’t know if that is the right one to pick.