Easy Star AP Platform

This is my homebuilt 'UAV' of sorts. It started life as a RTF Easy Star, but with a few mods, it is now a fast climbing AP platform. The plane originally came with a 3 channel AM TX/RX, 400 speed brushed motor, and some rather large servos. I basically ripped out all the electronics and replaced them with lightweight components - smaller RX, featherweight servos - as well as a more powerful and efficient brushless motor mated to a slightly more aggressive propellor.

To help balance the plane when fully loaded, I installed the servos right into the control surfaces in the rear. I also mounted the ESC and RX as close to the center of gravity (CoG) as possible. With this electronics layout and no camera, the CoG is actually slightly more to the rear than with the stock setup, which is perfect because with the camera in place, the CoG is right where its supposed to be, so the plane balances out fairly well with the additional weight. However, due to the increased weight, the plane no longer glides or thermals as well as it used to and its landing speed is slightly faster than before. On the plus side, the added weight makes it slightly more stable in flight, which is crucial when landing in windy conditions.
As of now, I cannot see what the camera is seeing. I have a 2.4ghz video downlink ready to be installed which will allow me to "see" through the camera using a small PVR. With the downlink, I also have the option of someday adding a video overlayed heads up display which can show me the airplane's altitude.


Motor: Warp4 6-turn brushless
Prop: APC 6 x 4E
ESC: Align 25 amp speed controller
Batteries: 1200mAh 8-cell NiMH
Receiver: Hitec Micro 555
Transmitter: Hitec Laser 4-channel
Servos: Rudder and elevator mounted Hitec HS-55 micro servos
Camera: 4 megapixel Pentax Optio S4 triggered by Prism switch




Bottom view of the elevator with the HS-55 in place


Side view of the rudder with the HS-55 in place


Shot of both servos


Side view showing the lens hole and the servo extension wires


Close up view of the lens hole and mess of extension wires


Close up of the Hitec Micro 555 RX mounted where one of the old servos was located


Shot of the Align ESC with the APC prop in the background


Close up of the Prism switch


View inside the cockpit


Optio S4 in place. Notice the high tech paperclip retainer preventing it from moving forward. The battery mount (not pictured) mounts above the camera, under the canopy cover.

Aerial Photography Galleries









Back to projects