I have a Bixler 1400mm that I got a little while back. It’s one of the easier planes to fly that I own. Eventually I’d like to turn it into some sort of UAV using Arduino and some other sensors. The DIYDrones site has some great information and starter kits, but that’s for another day. In the process of looking for information on turning it into a drone, I found a bunch of people who had put GoPros on the front and filmed the flight. I have a GoPro that I use rarely when doing outdoor activities so I thought this would be a great use for it.
So he’s the plane after it’s been reinforced and flown (and crashed) a decent amount of times:
I saw a video on YouTube where a guy had made a two piece mount and that was what I modeled mine after. I decided to use some thin particle board I had, trying to make something lightweight is definitely a challenge.
I started with measuring the cockpit and cutting the wood into chunks that would fit and essentially lock into place by extending a bit into the nose and fuselage:
I used the drill press to make the mount holes before I cut the plastic down to size so I had something to hold on to when drilling:
Here’s a blurry shot after the holes have been drilled:
Then using a Dremel I cut the edges down:
Then I matched and drilled the holes in the wood as well:
A little bit of tape between the two pieces of wood and I had a flexible joint to slide into place on the plane:
Slightly different shot:
I ended up using a velcro tie around the fuselage to hold everything in place. Then it was off to the park to give it a test flight:
As the video shows, it works, but it’s heavy and the plane has trouble gaining altitude with that kind of weight. Most of the weight is in the plastic housing for the camera itself and not the mounts. I eventually redid the mount with a thin piece of metal hoping to shave off some ounces but that didn’t get me much.
I didn’t want to destroy the GoPro housing (or buy another for that purpose) so I ended up trying to make a mold of the cockpit canopy and using that to house the camera. I have a follow-up post on my adventures in mold making.