Name: David Conger
Location: USA (California)
Reason for starting: I was looking online for something to open source to stabilize a model aircraft (goal was Helicopter). I found the ENAC Wiki and wanted to build one. At the time even the PCB were not available online (just the designs). As an avid Linux user I wanted to see Paparazzi use grow and be a part of that growth. I was addicted and can't stop now.
Projects: MicroFunJet 420mm: Converted HobbyKing 420mm RadJet. I started with a stock RTF HobbyKing RadJet 420. Then added rails for mounting a UmarimLiteV2 controller. To keep weight to a minimum I soldered wire directly to the top of an XBee XSC for RF modems. It is pressed (pins into the foam) into the fuselage with the antenna down through a hole. For RC I'm using a modified Berg 4L receiver. The ESC and servos came with 3-pin Molex already which connect directly to SRV0,1,2 on the Umarim. The GPS is a very small one from CSG shop. Of the two I bought both had faulty Sarantel Helix antennas. This was actually ok, as it gave me the idea to solder a 11mm square ceramic antenna in its place. This works very well now. The GPS is mounted as far back as possible for CG considerations. The airframe file uses a "weasel.xml" foundation with changes to add u_center module and set the mixing correctly. Future modifications will be the addition of a keychain camera to record flight video.
First Project: FunJet POC vehicle I started building my own FunJet aircraft in mid-2008. I wanted to start with a proven design. I have 3 test flights to date with it. As soon as I have my elevon reversed issue resolved I hope to fly in AUTO1/AUTO2 to finish the POC stage and move onto my next build. Flew in AUTO2 in December 2008.
MicroJet DF45 Project: < 400g jet with Tiny1.3 autopilot I have always wanted to take an COTS kit and fit it with a Paparazzi autopilot. I found the Kyosho DF45 delta wing to be a great looking, well built kit. The kit is very complete. The motor and fan unit are pre-assembled along with most of the airframe. Balsa with a covering film. The fuselage is a very well done fiberglass. It takes only a few hours to finish the airframe.
Micro UAV with IMU Project: Multiplex Merlin with Tiny1.3 autopilot and ArduIMU What a great little UAV. I have a micro video camera and 2.4gHz RF Video, 72mHz RC, ArduIMU and Tiny1.1 autopilot. It flies fantastic. I will also mount a micro video recorder on it so I can have ground based video from the RF and higher quality onboard recorded video. The Merlin is a great plane if your flying site is small. Swift II foam wing: This was a good testing airframe. I started with a Tiny13 then added a GPS, XBee 900mHz RF. RC is via a modified Berg4L. Onboard video is a small video recorder from online. I started with very small winglets but soon added larger ones to add more yaw stability. The IMU is a PPZ9DOM IMU I assembled myself. This setup works pretty well. A video of the 2nd flight is here: http://youtu.be/nn0uxd3uNhk not bad considering almost zero tuning and completely stock code from the repository for the IMU.
Summary: Paparazzi has been very inspirational for me. I have learned so much over the years about electronics and autopilots. I really enjoy building these tiny UAV and keep trying to get them smaller and smaller. The smallest so far is the Merlin. Next will be a micro flying wing even smaller.