Bixler 3 Drone
I recently purchased a HobbyKing Bixler 3 to use as a autopilot platform and am pretty happy with how it turned out. Both the under wing area and nose area have plenty of room and could easily fit a Pixhawk 4 Mini with GPS and telemetry.
I prefer the Pixhawk 4 Mini over the older Pixfalcon for a few reasons:
- the servo connectors are built-in to the module
- the safety switch is built-in to the GPS
- two of the four sides are connector free, making it easier to route
I ended up putting the power distribution board in the under wing area and 3D printing a hatch to hold everything else:
The hatch is held on by the front tongue and 2x magnets. The autopilot, telemetry, and RX are on the bottom of the hatch and the GPS on top:
The plane flew just fine in stabilised and hold mode with the default PX4 aircraft turnings. I was a bit surprised by how PX4 handles a strong headwind - if the plane can’t make progress in hold mode at the cruise throttle then it gives up and switches back to stabilised mode.
Once the weather clears up I hope to do some waypoint tests. I’d also like to find a quieter propeller. The stock is fine, but it’s slightly unbalanced and could be much quieter.