The Great Planes Avistar Elite is a commercially available radio model aircraft for flight training purposes. The aircraft comes partially pre-built in an "Almost-Ready-to-Fly" (ARF) form, which requires 6-12 hours of final assembly. Additionally, has a balsa and plywood built-up structure that is very resilient. Due to the aforementioned reasons, it has often been used as a testbed aircraft for various research activities.
The airframe was constructed mainly following manufacturer recommendation with the exception of the propulsion system change and some small improvements to the control surface actuator linkages. The aircraft was originally designed intended to use an internal combustion gasoline engine, however, the aircraft was adapted to use an electric propulsion system as it provides near constant performance, increased reliability, and low vibrations. Aircraft specifications can be found in Specifications .
The aircraft was instrumented with an Al Volo FDAQ data acquisition system. The system operates at 400~Hz and integrates with a 9 degree-of-freedom (9-DOF) XSens MTi-G-700IMU with a GPS receiver. A pitot-static probe will be installed half-way down the span of the left wing in the near future. The pilot commands are also recorded by measuring the pulse width modulation (PWM) signals generated by receiver. The propulsion system information is logged by FDAQ through an interfaces with the Castle Creations ESC. Using the sensors, the system is able to log and transmit: 3D linear and angular accelerations, velocities, and position along with GPS location; pitot-static probe airspeed; 3D magnetic field strength and heading; control surface deflections; and motor voltage, current, RPM, and power. Specifications for the instrumentation can be found in Specifications .