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Quadcopter Design

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Advanced QuadCopter Design

Motors, propellers and ESCs

For multicopters, motors, propellers and ESCs (speed controllers) are critical and have been failure prone in the past.

This ECalc based Xcopter: motor - propeller - battery - ESC calculator will help you pick the best parts for your copter.


Professional Grade Power System for large Quadcopters (28 inch Propellers)

MulticopterDesign/TmotorU8Pro1.png MulticopterDesign/TMotor29Prop.jpg

Professional Grade Power System for Medium Quadcopters (16 inch Propellers)

  • And a top quality 70 AMP ESC (speed controller) to go with it.
  • MulticopterDesign/TMotor4008.jpg MulticopterDesign/Tmotor16Prop.jpg
    MulticopterDesign/KDE4014XF-380B.jpg MulticopterDesign/KDE4014XF-380.jpg

    A Hyper Efficient Medium Smaller Professional Grade Motor For Long Endurance

    MulticopterDesign/TMotorMN3508.jpg MulticopterDesign/TMotor14x48Props.jpg

    Professional Grade Power System for Small Quadcopters (10 inch to 14 inch Propellers)

    MulticopterDesign/TMotorMT3506.jpg MulticopterDesign/TMotor14x48Props.jpg

    Consumer Grade Power System for Medium Quadcopters (14 inch to 16 inch Propellers)

    MulticopterDesign/SunnySkyZ4112S.jpg MulticopterDesign/RCTimer5010.jpg MulticopterDesign/Hobbywing4in1ESC.jpg MulticopterDesign/RCTimer15Props.jpg MulticopterDesign/RCTimer16Props.jpg

    Consumer Grade Power System for Small Quadcopters (8 to 12 inch Propellers)

    MulticopterDesign/DJIMotor.jpg MulticopterDesign/DJI10InchProp.jpg MulticopterDesign/Hobbywing4in1ESC.jpg MulticopterDesign/Sunnysky4108.jpg

    The QuadCopter Frame

    There are many types of frames and it is most important to put together a frame that is appropriate for your use.

    X Frame or Dead Cat

    X Frame versus H or Dead Cat: Advantages and Disadvantages

    The Original X frame and more recent H or Dead Cat frames each have good and bad points.


    The Carbon Fiber or Fiberglass Tube and Plate Frame

    The carbon fiber or fiberglass tube and plate frame is popular because it is strong and light and easily manufactured.

    MulticopterDesign/Tarot650.jpg

    Using manufactured Plastic and Fiberglass Components in Your Own Frames.

    MulticopterDesign/HoverthingsFlipFPV.jpg MulticopterDesign/HoverthingsFlipArm.jpg MulticopterDesign/TBS-Discovery-1.jpg MulticopterDesign/IrisArmBlue.jpg

    Homemade waterproof frame using a hinged electrical box

    An excellent, very clean, rugged and waterproof design using carbon fiber arms and plastic electrical and plumbing parts.

    MulticopterDesign/wavecopter.jpg

    Vacuum Formed Frames and Components.

    MulticopterDesign/SFC4410.png

    MulticopterDesign/Aquacopter.jpg
    MulticopterDesign/VacuumPress.gif

    Specific Building Examples and Techinques

    MulticopterDesign/Quad18X12.jpg

    A Small Quadcopter Optimised to Use High Efficiency Lithium Batteries

    MulticopterDesign/Quad10X1.jpg

    This is an easy to build practical and rugged design with exceptional capabilities and double the normal flight time.

    A small practical Dead Cat H Frame for FPV and GoPro with Brushless Gimbal

    MulticopterDesign/QuadCompactH11FPV.jpg

    Ecalc calculations show realistic times for expected hover, but mix times for normal flight would be much longer.

    ECalc calulates mix as 50% hover to 50% max throttle use and with this efficient copter you would never get close to that.

    Normal flight times could be expected to be over 15 minutes with the setup shown.

    Links To Specific MultiCopter Builds

    MulticopterDesign/ForrestsQuad.jpg
    MulticopterDesign/StuartDodinX8.jpg

    A Commercial MultiCopter Exhibiting Advanced Design Concepts

    The Aeryon SkyRanger is an innovative and professional quality QuadCopter design for high end UAV applications.

    MulticopterDesign/AeryonSkyRanger2.jpg

    This copter has a lot of things right and is really a study in good design and quality construction.

    1. The rotating ball full enclosure camera Gimbal provides good weather protection and improved performance.
    2. The motors are on the bottom under the arms.
      1. More aerodynamically efficient with no prop wash interference and very little intake interference.
      2. Noticeably increased flight times, greater lift capability and quieter as well.
    3. High torque, low KV pancake style motors and slow turning, large diameter, high efficiency props.
      1. This is much more efficient than faster motors with smaller diameter conventional design props.
      2. This also increases flight times and load capacity and reduces the sound footprint.
    4. Tapered carbon fiber frame arms are more aerodynamically efficient and are light and very strong.
    5. The fully enclosed weather tight framework with snap latch type access makes maintaining the copter easy.
    6. A simple spring loaded landing gear provides for uneven landing sites and minimal interference with the prop wash.
    MulticopterDesign/Skyranger.jpg

    This QuadCopter incorporates several excellent design concepts and shows what can be done without budget constraints.

    The Skyranger has features we can use in our own designs but it is important to understand all designs are compromises.

    The 3DRobotics Iris is one of the best designed QuadCopters that you can actually get and it is a real bargain.

    Conclusion and Additional Design Considerations


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