Radio control (RC) aircrafts have been favorite toys of aviation hobbyists for years. Because of their simple configurations and low expense, they can also be used for reconnaissance and surveillance with information-gathering devices under commands of a skillful human pilot. However, control with human in the loop not only degrades the reliability of the flight performance, but also bring restrictions in endurance and accuracy. In order to resolve these issues and extend the usage of RC aircrafts, getting them capable of autonomous navigation is a preferred solution. This paper reports our approach by designing and integrating an autonomous system on a regular RC aircraft to achieve full autonomy while keeping the additional costs almost equivalent to the cheap RC platform. The current platform will be briefly presented, the system architecture and major components will be introduced, and detailed autonomous demonstration flight results will be provided at the end.

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