About a month ago I decided to invest into a hexa for the purposes of aerial and ecological mapping. Over two weeks ago I ordered a range of parts online, in total 5 different shipments. The beginning of this week the frame arrived from mikrokopter.de. The rest should follow shortly or next week.
I followed most of it to the letter, but acquired arched landing gear and spares. The arched landing gear is useless in the end, as it's a lot shorter and weighs the same as 3 struts, which is the maximum I'm going to use. When the equipment arrived I felt a little bit underwhelmed by how thin and fragile everything looked, but as I started to put this together I recognized how the construction actually wasn't too bad.
Before going for the hexa I also considered an octo or a quad. An LE quad has more 'airtime', but it doesn't have any reserves for payload. I may want to hook up 500g or so at some point. The octo can carry a lot of weight, but the airtime and complexity is a lot worse. So I settled for something inbetween.
First thing to do for the frame was to see whether the weights were correct as reported on the site. if these deviate too much, then all of the calculations will be wrong. I found them all to be correct as reported down to the last gram.
Here's a little list to save you some time:
Total frame weight: 574g
Expected AUW: 2375g one battery or 3250g for two batteries.
The photo shows the size of the frame vs. the TBS Discovery which I have around. On top of the plate is a computer mouse to provide another indication. The prop is a 10"x5.5" APC one which is typical for the smaller Arducopter hexa. Eventually this machine will use 15x5.5" carbon props.
Calculations on flight duration for a 143g payload (Canon IXUS 230HS) show that I should expect to get around 41 minutes out of this machine on a single battery with 11Ah. A second battery of the same size adds 12 minutes to 53 minutes flying time. I'm always a little bit skeptic of such numbers, so I'd be happy for 25 resp. 40 minutes already.
More to come!