3DR Aero Fixed Wing UAV Introduction

you you hey guys Adam with arrow works productions in black ops drones comm we're out here today with the 3d robotics arrow now this is a fixed-wing platform we don't see a lot of these in today's UAV market because everybody's into multirotors but fixed-wing aircraft can do a lot of things for you they can stay up a lot longer they can cover a lot more ground and today we're going to be just showing some basic flight performance with the arrow simple takeoff we're going to do some loitering and some circle modes and kind of give this the first maiden flight so let's get started all right we're going to do a flight check here make sure all of our control surfaces are working everything is looking good there all right now we're just in circle mode circling over our location here you right now I got to show you here I came in here on my downwind and final landed right here and look where this baby stopped could have got any closer to the GoPro filming on the ground alright guys we're back here in the Aero Works workshop now we did our maiden flight with the arrow didn't do a whole lot we wanted to mainly get up there and just make sure everything flew correctly test out the battery test out the radio we did do a couple autonomous modes like loiter and circle mode return to home we didn't get into any real autonomous Waypoint flying just yet but we feel confident that the aircraft is flying and all systems are go so what I wanted to do is kind of break down the Aero a little bit and talk to you about some of the differences between a multi rotor and this particular fixed-wing especially since they're both made by 3dr go into some of the additional add-ons that are added onto the pixhawk and let's go ahead and get started all right well one of the first things you'll notice on the arrow is that we have this tube coming out of the front and this metal shaft here which is actually called the pitot tube or an air speed sensor so what this does in an aircraft is take the air flow that's coming into the pitot tube put it into electronic sensor and feed that additional information into the pixhawk controller so that we can get accurate airspeed and not only just ground speed so when you're flying along with the with that iris let's say or on x8 you're using GPS coordinates and it's determining your speed this is actually taking the airspeed that's flowing into the pitot tube and into the airflow sensor to give you accurate throttle control because as an aircraft is traveling through the air if we have a 10 knot headwind and we're going 20 miles an hour we're only really going 10 miles an hour so the pixhawk needs to know when it needs to give the motor more power to get through that headwind and maintain the airspeed that we've set via the autonomous waypoints now under the hood here we've got actually two hoods we've got one that's a Velcro this one was equipped with an fpv system and I don't have everything plugged in right here but we have a 5.8 gigahertz transmitter here this is powered by a dedicated 900 milliamp power battery okay that in turn that video signal plugs in down here into an OSD which takes flight data from the pixhawk controller which we're gonna get into in a minute and video from an onboard nose-mounted camera right here in the nose so we have a small box camera in the nose that video is powered and transmitted through the OSD and then out the video transmitter and down to our goggles or a monitor or whatever now inside the bay here we have a large spacious bay out of the box they're set up just for the stock battery but depending on where your battery is you can have a fixed mount camera in here other sensors what-have-you we also have our IC 2 adapter tray here this is for all of your additional sensors also things like the LED and the sounder and things like that plug in there you'll notice under the wing here it's a little hard to see but if I tip it you'll start to see the telemetry antenna right here that's your standard 900 megahertz telemetry antenna just like you get with any of the multirotors of 3dr makes and then on top of the copter we have the arming switch which you're familiar with and of course I already mentioned the LED now one of the main things you'll notice here is that the wings are attached with rubber bands and a lot of people say well that seems a little chintzy but actually we've been doing that for many many years in the RC world and we do it for really a couple main reasons one is rubber bands are cheap you can find them just about anywhere but really the good thing is is that anybody can install them and second you don't need any special tools so you're not going to need that special wrench that you holds the two bolts on they're basically held on by rubber bands and we do a crisscross pattern with them I actually only have two rubber bands on right now just for the purpose of the video but if we were flying this we would actually have a total of four rubber bands criss crossing and going front to back so that we have maximum secure wings on there now one of the things that they also do is that in the event of a crash if this wing hits down the wing will actually twist off and pop those rubber bands off and that will keep you from actually cracking a wing or breaking a wing now when we remove the wing right now I have the aileron servo is disconnected but there right here it's just a simple wire harness we'll go ahead and set the wing aside and below the wing here you're going to see the pixhawk flight controller you're going to see the 3d robotics GPS and magnetometer and then on the back of the aircraft you're going to see the ESC or electronic speed controller and the tiger motor motor for power there that's pretty much it for components now on the side we also have the USB port for doing programming and changes and we have of course the telemetry radio which I already talked about and here's a look at that speed sensor on the inside here so you can see that the air speed sensor detects air through the nozzle it also has static pressure ports on the side and that's why you have the two tubes those come in to an electronic sensor which converts that into electronic data which then feeds up into the pixhawk controller to control air speed and again this is important aircraft because you can set waypoints and if you have a crosswind or a headwind you need to be able to tell that propeller to speed up or slow down to maintain your air speed now this does break down even further there is actually a case available will show you the case picture right now what you can do after the fuselage or the wing is taken off the tail section actually is removable as well by removing this little allen screw here and disconnecting the flight control servo arm or clevis right here and that whole horizontal fin will pull off and that leaves you with a straight vertical fin and the tail boom now if you wanted to break it down even more there's actually some holes right here on the side that you can loosen the allen screws and this whole boom will pull out you can break it down even really small but for the purposes of the 3dr case that go professional cases makes you can break it down into the pieces that we have here the actually we'll separate as well you take off the horizontal stabilizer and that will all fit in a hard case along with your radio extra batteries and everything else this particular 3d R arrow was equipped with the spectrum D X 7s so very nice radio high quality has a nice veal feel to it and it's set up to have two mode switches and of course you can program everything else we'll be putting some navigation lights on here and some other sensors and we can actually program these other switches to do that right out of the box so very nice radio to get from 3dr alright guys now we've done the maiden flight we've done the overview in the workshop now we're back out here at our test field we're going to go ahead and do some autonomous flying with waypoints we're going to set an auto takeoff and a bunch of waypoints and we're going to monitor that with mission planner and hopefully we'll get some aerial shots of the flight as well let's go and get started all right so we're going to go ahead and we've got our aircraft position right here it's showing up exactly where it's powered up so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and start set some manual waypoints here this is going to be move this down just a little bit Waypoint one will do Waypoint two right here will do weight point three here and let's zoom out a little bit let's do weight point four or down here we'll do weigh point five six seven eight nine and ten okay so we've got our waypoints there it's basically a big circle grid I'm going to go ahead and expand the bottom up here because this is where it shows what those waypoints are we'll bring this up and you're going to see over here that Waypoint one is currently set as a waypoint we're going to set that and change that to a takeoff okay because what we want it to do as soon as we launch the arrow we want this to climb to Waypoint one and then continue on to two and three and so on the rest of them can stay waypoints the one thing we do want to do is set the default altitude so 100 is our default altitude and that's fine for right now after Waypoint 10 we will change that to a waypoint 10 to a return to launch all right so we've got our takeoff all of our waypoints ending in a return to launch they're all set to the default hundred and we like how that looks so we are going to write the waypoints which is this button right here so we're going to write the waypoints and they have been written now one thing you can do to verify that again is if you open this up you could actually delete all these waypoints okay now we have a blank screen and if I go over here to read waypoints it's going to pull them from the aircraft and we should and we'll go ahead and reset to where it actually is yes we should end up with the exact same field there now you can see what it did it because I had Waypoint 1 as a takeoff it essentially put a marker there and it went right to 2 because it's going to climb to 2 and then turn and go to 3 4 5 and so on 8 9 10 and then 10 and then return back to launch and then just to verify that will expand this again make sure we have a takeoff point all of our things are set correctly and we're good to go so we're confident that that mission has actually been loaded inside the arrow and so we're ready to start getting ready for it's for a flight now you can see here – we have our OSD fired up this shows us all of our critical information battery voltage altitude speed lat/long the whole deal last-minute flight checks stabilize everything is working we have it in Auto mode and see if this works there we go if it goes to 100 altitude you got our power back we're descending down here nice smooth descent keep the wings level nice and slow and flair beautiful hey guys that wraps it up here for an autonomous flight with the 3d robotics Aero so stay safe have fun and remember drones are good you

Adam at demonstrates the 3DR Aero fixed wing UAV. Capable of full autonomous flight and used in a variety of industries, the Aero is capable of covering 250 acres in a single flight on the stock battery and up to 2 hours flight time with larger battery configuration.

2.5K Flight video here-

Aeroworks offers introductory courses in UAV’s, Aerial Photography, SAR and Law Enforcement applications.

38 comments on “3DR Aero Fixed Wing UAV Introduction

  1. jimmy tiler

    Finally someone who explains it all very concisely for us beginners.Its a very intimidating hobby until one understands just what it relly is.Thanks mate!!!!!!


    So much hate here, on the part of the community about the price. There is a ton of value added to this platform by having everything setup, and ready to use. Some respect please.
    If you think it's so easy to throw together an autonomous system, and have it all work perfectly, go do it, and come back to tell us all how easy it was.

  3. Emperial Studios

    The only thing that changes with the head wind or tail wind is your ground speed Airspeed remains what it is. Why would you have to compensate your air speed when the thrust from the motor is constant with the airflow. The only collaboration is between air and ground speed.

  4. Michael Lydick

    Basically, you worked everyone up to program the autonomous mode………..then, unless I'm missing something, you completely ignored the entire flight that you'd programmed into the unit, showed it taking off, and then not even automatically landing. In essence, you went backstage, did the magic trick in a closet, and then came out with the rabbit in your hands shouting "TADAH!!!!"

    Seriously guys……seriously? Do you have any idea what kind of damage this type of video does to your company's credibility?

  5. VTwin4Christ

    I'm looking for a fixed wing that can circle a location while keeping video on center. better would be circle while individual object tracking. anybody know what fixed wing RTF offers such features?

  6. Paul McWhorter

    I got one of these 3DR Aero fixed wing and a 3DR X8+ for a high school engineering class. We have had lots of luck with the X8+, but we have not been able to get the aero off the ground. We follow all the instructions, are careful to check balance before launch, make sure the surfaces are responding properly in stabilize mode, and then try to fly it .  .   . Every time it just noses into the ground. After 7 nosedives in a row we are about to give up. It is as if we do not have the power to climb after throwing it. Propeller is on right direction and motor winds up but just never goes up. Hope some day someone can show us how to fly this thing.

  7. vladoportos

    Beautifully made airplane, but $5,400 its kind of a lot 😀 Pixhawk is like 400Eur with all the whistles, Skywalker 179Eur, 4x servo lets say metal digital 120Eur, receiver 2.4Ghz 30 – 60Eur, Transmitter ( depends ) lets give it 300Eur, some cables and glues 50eur, FPV setup for 5.8Ghz depends again, but lets give it great gear so 350Eur.. thats all together around 1500Eur, hmm maybe custom case is another 500Eur… so 2000Eur what else is included in 5K ?


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