Hi All,

a year ago I posted about the maiden flight of Stephen's concept design for a long endurance hexa. It was fun building it and it was a reliable system with flight times of up to 35 min.
However, since then a lot of things changed - first of all a colleague of mine crashed the hexa into a tree...
Repairing it meant building it again almost from scratch. This was one of the reasons why I started designing my own copter. The other reasons were: I was aiming at even longer flight times and at a copter where you can easily and quickly detach and change the arms/motors for transport as well as to select a specific setup for different payloads. Unfortunately, these aims are usually mutually exclusive.
After several revisions, endless tests, and fighting hard- and software bugs I just started testing the latest and most probably the final version.

Today I lifted a payload of 225g - a Canon S110 and the corresponding camera mount - for 48 min with throttle at hover below 50%.

Two things: i) I haven't used the optimal motor/prop combination for that payload (I'm waiting for other props) and ii) the final battery voltage was 14.3V (in flight) - although the battery capacity was down to 20% and fail save was engaged. So there seems to be some potential for even longer endurance.

I'll make further tests within the next two weeks and report the results as well as more details.

Thanks again to Stephen for his help!

Update I

I updated the images and screenshots and attached the *.gpx file of a new flight with other motors and a reduced payload (Elph 110 instead of S 110). Basically, there is no difference in flight time. But because the voltage was again still around 14.4 V when the 20% capacity battery failsafe was engaged I switched back to loiter. I let it run down a little further. 

Conclusion: i) the first motor/prop combination is more effective and I have to wait for new props to arrive, ii) I have to investigate the voltage vs. capacity "issue" (with my other batteries 20% corresponds pretty good to 13.8V), iii) it was in the air for 50min, and iv) these flight times are reproducible.


Update II

50 min are possible with one S110 as well.

With two S110 (430g) the flight time is 47min. I switched to RTL at 14.3V and 15% battery capacity left. With 20% battery capacity left the flight time is 45min. 

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Comment by Jonathan Dandois on August 26, 2014 at 5:57pm

Wow that is great news Thorsten. Looking forward to more details.  I am going to start working on a modification of the octocopter design that Stephen developed v3.1 Hybrid Mikrokopter-Arducopter Octocopter that has large arms all the way around to accept 14" props.  I hope to get +40 minute flights with one of these 22000mah Lipos from Maxamps.  http://www.maxamps.com/Lipo-22000-148-Pack.htm, it has a density of about 13 mah /g, better than any lipo I have seen so far.  Also got some good advice from Stephen.  For now I went with the MK3638 motors http://www.quadrocopter.com/MK3638_p_360.html, as we have a lot of experience with them, but I am interested in some slower more efficient motors for future work on longer flying rigs.


Comment by Thorsten on September 3, 2014 at 7:48am

Jonathan, what will be the final AUW (with and without payload) of v3.1 with one of these Maxamps? Would be interesting to see if 14'' props work in this combination.

Comment by Jeremy Lindsell on March 5, 2015 at 4:39am

Hi Thorsten, did you come up with a good solution for detachable arms? I'd also be interested to know what motor/prop combination you've ended up with. Cheers


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