Before designing the Black Eagle I sat down and drew up a list of design aspects that I would like to include in the plane:
The plane must be energy efficient and have the ability to operate for long durration photography missions
The plane must be easy to build using well know construction methods
The plane must be easy to repair and modify
The plane must be easy to balance (easy to find good CG)
The plane must be cheap yet sturdy
The plane must be ready to accept FPV and APM systems
The plane must be able to carry a high-definition camera
The plane must be easy to fly and fly well in "iffy" conditions
The plane must have the ability to operate in suburban environments
For testing I used a 2200Kv motor with a 6x4 and some small servos. The ESC was a Hobby King 40A. The final version will most likely have a 1100Kv and a much larger prop.
I used cheap packing tape and red and white Elmer's foam board.
This is an unproven design and this Instructable is just a general explanation of the build process. Please adapt this design to meet your mission. If you do, I would appreciate if you left some pictures in the comments.
A little note on the name: The name Eagle was chosen because this is an aerial mapping UAV and some eagles can spot prey when they are 4500 feet away. I thought that it was appropriate for two birds with good eyesight to share a name. It is the Black Eagle because I plan to build a carbon fiber version.