The HobbyKing Bixler is a very inexpensive airframe with very easy flight characteristics and reasonable payload capacity. Its price and crash resistant EPO foam construction makes this a plane well suited for beginners.
- Kit price $37 USD
- EPO Foam construction
- Detachable canopy for access to internals
- Easy access cockpit
- Nice and stable slow flight especially for RC beginners
- Material: EPO Foam
- Wingspan: 1400mm
- Length: 925mm
- Wing Area: 26dm2
- Wing Loading: 25g/dm2
- Flying Weight: 650g
- Motor: 2620-1900kv Brushless Outrunner
- ESC: 20A w/BEC
- Servo: 4 x 9g
- Propeller: 6x5.5 recommended.
Can be bought directly at HobbyKing 
A simple, sample airframe configuration file can be found in conf/airframes/examples/bixler_lisa_m_2.xml 
Attention: No tuning values in this file yet! It is an untested setup.
|HobbyKing also offers a very simple plywood FPV mount which can be used to mount the autopilot. 
Note the Lisa/M board is mounted at a right angle which is the natural orientation of the IMU. This layout also makes wiring much simpler.
This way the IMU is far from the planes' centre of gravity. Mounting the IMU under the wings would be better, but much more complex.
The camera mount for the keyhole camera seen here proved not to be crash resistant enough.
The plane flies well out of the box. But some modifications are popular:
- Rudder servo can be moved back into the rudder. The original long pushrod in tube setup is far from perfect. Moving the servo into the tail wing will increase accuracy but will also move the centre of gravity severely to the rear. A lot of counterweights in the front will be needed.
- Increase rudder size either by gluing some strong paper or cardboard on the rudder to make it bigger or by cutting the tail fin at the whole length following the hinge and attaching a full height rudder.
- Wings can be designed to be detachable. Just don't glue wings and carbon rod in, and hold wing halves together with Velcro. This makes the wings obviously much more fragile. The original carbon rod is not very strong, even if glued in.
Plenty of space is available inside, but much of this space is not very easy to access.
Here the 2.4Ghz XBee telemetry antenna can be seen pushed out to one side. Pointing down in flight.
Large batteries can be fitted without problems.
The foam hinges are very stiff and need to be exercised quite a bit by hand to make them move well.