We're getting close to the end and the feedback and support has been incredible!
If we hit $50,000 during this final push we’ll make the catapults available for $400 with delivery the same time as the RTF models ship. Additionally, we’ll also expedite the parachute landing system as many of you have asked for it.
Hope we can make it there as we have just under a week left but looking forward to it!
AS SEEN IN...
ALBATROSS : A PROFESSIONAL GRADE UAV SOLD AT HOBBY PRICING
We’re just like you.
We have a passion for aviation. As children we grew up toying with model airplanes and tinkering with creations of our own design. As adults we experiment with implementing new technology into our personal and professional lives.
And like you, our backs aren’t turned on the rapidly changing landscape around us. Advances in technology and aeronautics are spreading far beyond traditional uses, permeating all sectors from farming and resources to art and science. Individuals are completing once impossible tasks while having a lot of fun along the way. Businesses large and small are making use of new technology to simplify once complex projects saving time and money.
The Albatross project came to us a little over a year ago while scouring the web for a high grade, affordable UAV platform that boasted unrivaled performance. In search of a solution to a challenge of our own, we realized there was a gaping hole. If it was affordable, it was made of inferior materials and unable to provide more than just basic missions and payloads. If it was well made, it far exceeded most budgets.
We began dreaming up a solution. Our mission was simple: create an airframe that’s affordable, efficient and of superior quality.
But, we didn’t stop there. We knew we'd never be satisfied with inferior materials. Our plane had to be fully comprised of carbon fiber and honeycomb composite.
Early on we recognized that in order for our platform to perform as well for farmers as it does for filmmakers, versatility needed to be paramount in the design. We worked tirelessly to craft a product that adapts to its seemingly unending applications.
Whether you’re a hobbyist in search of a thrill or a farmer looking to assess the health and biomass of your crops, your Albatross will never stand in the way of your creativity. The possibilities are limitless as you can modify the configuration, add and remove items as you see fit.
We understand that your priorities shift as landscapes change. At Applied Aeronautics, we are committed to developing solutions as dynamic as the users who operate them.
THE APPLIED AERONAUTICS TEAM
We designed the Albatross UAV to be the most efficient of its kind. That means low stall speeds, high max efficiency, a large cruise window and payload capacity, self cooling fuselage, built in component bays and an entirely electric propulsion system. This equates to less energy expended and more time in the air.
Our transformative design allows for dynamic use, making each Albatross truly unique. You can use the Albatross for search and rescue missions, inspections of pipelines, photography, filmmaking, thermal imaging, 3D terrain mapping, precision agriculture, surveillance, reconnaissance, FPV, live video links, humanitarian aid, fun and much, much more!
We are committed to integrating efficient design with modern technology in a robust, entirely composite platform. The Albatross is nearly silent, can fly for over 2 hrs, reach speeds of up to 90 MPH and travel for over 100 miles. The modified Albatross kits allow you to fly autonomously, capture stunning HD photos and video, complete aerial surveys, monitor crop health, and wirelessly transmit live video. This is all done with incredible accuracy thanks to an onboard lidar system.
We work to create solutions that are affordable, efficient and of superior quality. We refuse to accept that affordable means inferior and well built means unattainable. We create professional grade tools at hobby prices.
The wing consists of an optimized foil and a forward swept planform designed to ensure low stall speeds, high max efficiency and a large cruise window. This design also reduces the chance of tip stalling on approach.
The Albatross wing has a high aspect ratio of 13.6. Although possible to go with a higher aspect ratio, we chose not to. By maintaining our aspect ratio at 13.6, it allows our custom in house foil selection to be tailored for a wider flight envelope. It also allows us to remain within our 3m size constraint, while maintaining adequate wing area.
The wing has two built in component bays allowing for adequate separation of receivers, transmitters and GPS units.
Finally, the drooped wing tips are designed to reduce drag via the reduction of tip vortices, as well as increase aileron effectiveness at near-stall conditions.
Our fuselage is not only aerodynamic, but also provides a massive amount of usable space.
The fuselage was built in a slight trapezoidal shape to minimize fuselage/wing intersection, drag and interference.
It was also designed to be efficient in cooling. It was designed with a high pressure region in the nose and a low pressure region behind the wing, on top and below the motor mounting area. This acts to create a pressure differential, essentially "pulling" air through the fuselage. The layout allows for smarter cooling, by cooling off lower temperature components towards the front, and higher temperature components in the rear (motor). The cooling exhaust placement was purposely in an area with turbulent airflow, so as to not disturb the otherwise laminar airflow over the rest of the fuselage. Through boundary layer visualization-oil tests, we were pleased to see that under the correct circumstances, we maintain laminar flow over more than 80% of the fuselage. It will be required for the end user to cut their own cooling inlets and exhaust, so they can tailor their cooling requirements for their payload/motor options.
The tail is an inverted V, which improves efficiency while decreasing drag. This V shape is also naturally more stable in banked and coordinated turns.
Finally, it allows for a twin tail boom design and large diameter propeller while also raising ground clearance of the tail on landing and takeoff.
The number one reason for keeping airframes small is due to transportation and storage. The Albatross UAV is designed to be easily transported, taken apart and stored. Not only does this make things easier for the end user, but it also reduces shipping costs door to door.
Our Albatross packages take the leg work out of selecting the best possible components for your airframe. Every package we offer is made up of products we've built, designed or tested first hand.
The Albatross was built to support:
One of the core motivators behind the Albatross was to create an airplane with limitless capabilities no matter the climate or terrain. We designed the Albatross to have professional capabilities without the professional price.
The Albatross is a UAV in all aspects of the word. By configuring the airframe with one of our kits or RTF models, it can takeoff, fly and land autonomously via predefined flight paths. It can survey property and take extremely high quality photos and video. It can complete long distance and duration surveys, inspect property and assets. By adding a thermal camera, it can assist fire fighters with dangerous tasks. The possibilities are endless.
It's important to note that agriculture is a huge interest of ours. This is primarily because we are certain that our platform has the ability to dramatically simplify the lives of farmers, saving them time and money. By monitoring the health of crops in real time with the Albatross, you can assess changes based on growing techniques on a daily or weekly basis. This is all data that can be collected continuously and easily with the aid of an onboard NDVI camera.
We are committed to marrying this versatility with superior performance. We were determined to create an airplane that could travel for substantial amounts of time at useful speeds. If it was too fast, the data collected would become unusable (blurred, inaccurate). If it was too slow, the distance covered would be insignificant. A useful cruise speed and window were a necessity. This is where careful design, planning and testing played a critical role. What we ended up with was an aircraft that can cruise efficiently at 17-20 m/s (38-45 MPH) with a top speed approaching 40 m/s (90 MPH). 2 hours of airtime is easily attainable at these speeds. With fine-tuning we anticipate that this number will grow substantially.
Finally, the Albatross is nearly silent. Yes, it’s an electric plane which helps tremendously, but the low RPM motor coupled with a high pitch prop and little to no turbulent air noise (often a result of draggy airframes), means it doesn’t take long before you can’t hear it at all.
In short, we have created an aircraft that can be setup countless ways to complete countless tasks.
At Applied Aeronautics, we work to create affordable, efficient and superior quality aeronautical solutions of all kinds. Below you'll find an overview of other products we've recently developed. All have been built and tested!
The ground station has an 8 core processor, built-in GPS unit, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard memory, with unlimited storage due to the micro sd card slot on the side. The unit also has the ability to use a sim card for up to 3G wireless service, or you can use its built in wireless b/g/n capabilities.
The screen is a 9.7” 10 point capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 giving it a clarity and resolution matching the same quality as a new iPad.
Our ground station tablets come preloaded with custom software. This software is provided to us for free. For every tablet ground station sold, we will make a $5 donation to the developers to thank them for their hard work and generosity.
*The first 15 tablets sold will feature a hand crafted brushed aluminum "Launch Edition" back.
Our two-screen ground station has been in development for over a year. We have completed and tested several prototypes, and what we ended up with was one rugged, capable and self-contained package.
Our ground station has a 1500 NIT daylight readable 19” screen in the top panel of the case, and a 1000 NIT daylight readable 15” touchscreen on the bottom panel. This is powered by an Intel Dual Core 1.86ghz computer, with a 64GB solid-state drive and 4GB of RAM.
Wireless networking is present and multiple USB ports are panel mounted. It also contains a Windows based computer for running necessary software for automated flights and real-time data telemetry, as well as an additional screen to simultaneously view a live video stream. Analog video-in is viewable on the PC under various mission planning software applications. You can also use one of the various video inputs to display video on one or both screens. The PC can be viewed on the top screen as well, so there is no shortage of screen space. We were also sure to add a small space in the panel. This is perfect for housing your preferred video receiver.
We’ve added a video out that is routed to both the top screen and PC for ease, as well as a power plug within the space for convenience. We also routed a low loss coaxial cable to the top panel so that your antenna of choice can be mounted effortlessly. There is an additional USB port on the opposite side of the top panel for telemetry connection and ideal antenna placement.
The ground station has 2+ hours of battery life at full brightness, and external power inputs are panel mounted.
Need to take aerial photos for surveying purposes, inspecting assets or detecting crop health? Simply looking to take high quality aerial photos? You may want to consider our flat mapping gimbal.
When an airplane is not perfectly level you can end up with crooked and inaccurate images, forcing you to redeploy your UAV for a second pass. The Flat Mapping Gimbal corrects this.
Mounted into the bottom of the fuselage and compatible with just about any camera, this downward facing gimbal keeps your camera parallel to the ground through banks and rolls, takeoff and descent. No matter how you fly, rest assured that your photos will always turn out.
In order to offer the highest quality system while remaining cost conscious, we spent considerable time examining how the core operation would work from start to finish.
We tested all ideas and available systems as well as open source projects designed by our community. Ultimately we concluded that the best option was one crafted through a collective effort.
To that end, we wanted to offer commercial grade components where they were needed but not where they weren't. The end result is a robust, highly capable system that is extremely affordable given its abilities. It's important to note that we will offer updates as technologies evolve.
We used diversity antennas on both our transmit and receiving units, and a small form factor camera. This gives us the ability to change antennas that are suited to your exact needs in a moments notice. We also utilize antennas operating at alternate circularly polarized directions on both the ground and air units to maximize the diversity setup and antenna separation as we are using a MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) type setup. High definition video is possible with no more than ~100-130 ms latency.
**EXCLUSIVE KICKSTARTER PRICING ON ALL SP & MAX AIRFRAMES, KITS AND RTF MODELS**
EARLY BIRDS: ORDER ANY PACKAGE BY MARCH 30th AND RECEIVE A *FREE* FLAT MAPPING GIMBAL!! (SERVOS NOT INCLUDED)
OUR ALBATROSS READY TO FLY KITS ARE JUST THAT - READY TO FLY.* EACH KIT COMES TO YOUR DOOR PREASSEMBLED AND TESTED BY A MEMBER OF THE APPLIED AERONAUTICS TEAM. JUST UNPACK AND GO!
*NOTE: RC TRANSMITTER & RECEIVER SOLD SEPERATELY. WE OFFER STANDARD AND LONG RANGE OPTIONS AS ADD ONS.
Kickstarter is a phenomenal place where early ideas can get support from the very people who will use them. As you can see, our designs are complete and prototypes have been tested. We don't just think this can work, we know it does work!
We need your support because the only way to produce The Albatross at these affordable prices is to build it in substantial quantities.
By backing this Kickstarter campaign for as little as $650, you'll be the first to join a UAV revolution.
Risks and challenges
Designs for the Albatross are complete, prototypes have been tested and agreements with key suppliers and manufactures are in place. However, delays in production may happen, depending on the factory’s production pipeline and component availability.
With that said, we have taken precautions to minimize the impact of a potential delay.
We will continue to carefully monitor the production process so as to ensure that we stay on course and you get your Albatross on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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