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ArduPlane $53.99 – $69.99

Want to glide through the air with the greatest of ease? Take the ArduPilot above and try adding an ArduPlane based on the SkyFun or the Hobbyking Bixler 2, pictured below.


  • SkyFun: $53.99
  • Bixler 2: $69.99

What they Do

The SkyFun is a delta wing flyer made from high-pressure Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), the Skyfun is extremely stiff, has a gloss like surface. It’s easy to fly for beginners and fun for more experienced pilots.

The Bixler 2 is made from tough Expanded Polyolefin (EPO) foam, this model plane has a large wing span for longer flight times and/or bigger payloads. Like the SkyFun, it is pretty easy to fly but fun for an advanced pilot too.

Why they’re Cool

The SkyFun design is pretty crash resistant, which makes it especially good for a novice, but it is good enough that a pilot won’t get bored as they become a more advanced flyer. It’s actually pretty fast.

The Bixler 2 is fast to assemble and easy to fly. It has plug-in wings to make it easy to transport too. This bird also has good payload capacity and room for add-in equipment like a camera for First Person Viewing (FPV).

Andrew Terranova

Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and an electronics and robotics hobbyist. He is an active member of the Let’s Make Robots community, and handles public relations for the site.
Andrew has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children’s Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Learning Center in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.


  1. The Parrot AR.Drone is a fantastically capable platform, but I wouldn’t call it a complete package. Until they include a remote control or make it compatible with standard RC controllers out of the box, it will remain an iPhone accessory to me.

    Kudos for ease of repair and spare part availability.

  2. Fair point! You do need to supply the smartphone or tablet to control the AR.Drone. Parrot has a compatibility tab on their support page, which tells you exactly which devices it will work with.

  3. I don’t see the HoverFly kit listed !!! Those are awesome kits !

    1. Yes, that’s a good one to add to the list. Thanks for mentioning it. Hoverfly makes some very nice flight systems, boards and accessories. I almost included the Parallax Elev-8 quadcopter (http://www.robotshop.com/parallax-elev-8-quadcopter-uav.html), which uses a Hoverfly control board.
      Interested readers can find out more at http://www.hoverflytech.com.

  4. Michael Margolis says:

    I really like that tricopter build. Although the component table needs a correction for the speed controller cost – 3 of those will be $23.40 (the table shows $9.40). its still a lot of tricopter for the money. This will go onto my list of new years projects, thanks for posting this.

    1. Whoops! Good catch, Michael. I’ll see if we can get the cost table updated. I’m hoping to make this one in the new year too. Let me know how yours goes!

  5. Bruce says:

    Walkera has a new model called the Infra X, which is slightly bigger than the ladybug. It has sensors that allow it to avoid walls and the ground. Around $100.00, hard to find, but the videos look awesome.

    1. Nice find. That does look really cool. Did I mention that the market for small quadcopters is evolving at an incredible pace? You should definitely shop around and see what is out there before you buy. Be sure to check for independent reviews so you can be reasonably sure you are getting a quality product.

Aerial Drone Gift Guide