• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.



New member
Hi Everyone,
I am here cause i want to build or buy something thats fascinated me for about 3-5 years now... I was looking at the Military Channel and i say the most amazing tools that soldiers will now have access too; The Black Hornet. the US military has finally purchased it: a Super Small Drone from FLIR... yeah i know... 80,000$?USD for a 2 pack... kinda of expensive right.. but the concept is attainable today other than the weight; 18 grams. its a very small surveillance device, quiet and is packed with all sort of goodies...i.e. night vision and Infrared...

"The aircraft weighs just 18 grams and is available in “day” and “night” versions with different cameras. With a range of up to one mile, the Black Hornet provides a live video feed to the operator on a chest-mounted display. The total system, including two aircraft, a controller and the video screen weighs less than three pounds. The controller has been optimized for single-handed operation. The Black Hornet is a restricted product, and is only sold to agencies of friendly governments, such as: the military, law enforcement and firefighters."

I want to see if i can hybridize something that already exist like a quad or a small plane with a VTOL design to extend the fight time while packing it with GPS, RTB, IR, NV and enough flightime to make it viable as a real surveillance tool.

I'm a real noob... I have lot's of computer experience but that is it... any suggestions, comments on what or where to start with or what i should consider would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks everyone!



New member
Welcome to the forums.
For something like that you will be building from scratch.
I figured as much... would you have a suggestion of where i could start from or with? I would expect the platform to be pretty automated but i have absolutely no idea where to start; CPU, GPS control unit, VTOLS engine, Screen, Receiver and transmitter etc...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Elite member
I would learn to build, program and fly a small quad first. Something like the FT gremlin. For the autonomously controlled stuff you will want to look at iNav, Ardupilot or Pixhawk.
You could dive into those with flying wings, pusher style UAV’s like the Zohd Talon or an FT Explorer. They will work with quads but fixed wing has duration and noise advantages.
Tri copters might provide be a multi rotor solution but they are relatively expensive and more difficult to set up.
VTOL is a whole other technical challenge. You are looking at at least a year of learning if you wanted to add that and autonomous GOS based functions with any degree of safety.
Also be aware of your countries laws regarding UAV use, many expressly forbid beyond line of sight flying.