At fully loaded weight, the Sky Eye has a low margin between cruising speed and stall speed. After some time playing with the autopilot onboard in stabilization mode, I’ve seen the autopilot drive the airframe into a stall twice now, and both times it was not pretty.
It does not help that at this weight, the Sky Eye has developed a vicious spin. I have not yet been able to get it to recover in under 1.5 revolutions after a power on stall, and the altitude loss during those spins is dramatic.
So knowing this, I opted to get an airspeed sensor to augment ArduPilots total energy control system (TECS) loop such that a stall is much less likely. I originally opted to install it in the nose, but realized shortly after that I am fond of laying the aircraft on the ground mounted on its nose and one wing tip. The small airspeed center does NOT like carrying the airplanes mass. I have thus opted for a wing installation. Here it is:
I have to say, I am immensely impressed with the accuracy of this unit given that the whole setup was only $30. If you are thinking about an airspeed sensor for you plane – DO IT. It is absolutely worth the money. It looks pretty darned cool, to boot.
Also pictured here is my new GPS location. I was having reception trouble when it was mounted underneath the wooden board so I was forced to move it up on the top of the fuselage. Here the GPS works great but the magnetometer has intermittent problems due to close proximity to the canopy magnets. It works much better nonetheless though.