Carbon fibre foldable quadcopter

BigX is a bespoke vehicle designed and built to support research projects. It’s big, with a 900mm wheelbase which means it can hold up to 21in propellers.


The frame is manufactured by SoliDrone, the model of the frame is FR4X 900F. I got this prototype frame in order to build it and test it. The company will start selling this great frame soon, so, check their website for updates. They have a beautiful render that you can see here:



Specifications of the vehicle:

Frame: FR4X 900F
Motors: Foxtech S5010 288kv
Propellers: 18×6.5in CF
Wheebase: 900mm
FC: Pixhack
ESCs: Hobbywing XRotor Pro 40A
Weight(no batt): 3kg


The carbon fibre plates are really thick, 3mm, which makes it very very hard and solid… SoliDrone, hehe… But that is one of the reasons why is a bit heavy. But considering the type of applications this one is going to be use in, it is just right. It’s big, 900mm wheelbase, and because of that, it can be equipped with very large propellers, but being foldable, makes it very easy to transport. This is a great feature.


Building process:


So, how big it is??


Weight with 16,000mah battery
Weight with 16,000mah battery

At the moment I’m putting 18in props to this one, and its performing quite well, maybe I will put bigger props on the future.

Hovering time:

I did several tests using two different batteries. Both  batteries are Multistar LiHV from HobbyKing. The longest flight was almost 32 minutes.

Battery Flight Time
10,000 mah 25 min
16,000 mah 32 min

Then I added a Raspberry Pi and using DronePilot, I made it fly autonomously in very different ways, and it performs great!! You can see in the video how good it flies. And as usual, the Scottish weather does not help, but this vehicle was able to fly under raining conditions and strong wind gusts, with ease.





Racer Hexacopter v1


This is a vehicle designed to race!

Glass fibre frame, extremely light yet very hard to endure the common crashes when doing FPV racing, Multistar Baby Beast motors, 6 of them! and 3 props 5×3 in props! Very very responsive package!!



Frame: HK Thorax Mini FPV Hex
Motors: Multistar 2206-2150kv “Baby Beast”
ESC: Afro 12amps, SimonK
Props: 3 blade 5 x 3
FC: naze32 (afro)
Battery: 2.2A


Some photos of the building process:

I’m using a neopixel strip (because its fashion now to use it… and its cool). The next photos are of the vehicle flying:



CH Foldable v2

CH Foldable v2

Carbon Hexacopter Foldable v2

Hexacopter built to carrying heavier than normal payloads (aprox 2.5kgs).


Frame Tarot FY690S folding
Motors Multistar 4822-690kv
ESC Afro 30 (BL Heli)
Props Foldable 12 x 4.5
FC Pixhawk
Landing gear Electric
Weight (no battery) 2096 grams




This vehicle was made thinking in vibration issues transmitted to the camera and flight controller unit. Several techniques to ensure the vibration is damped to ensure great flights and reduce jello effect on videos.




Trying to take advantage of the foldable frame, making this vehicle easier to transport/carry while not flying. Sacrifices were made to ensure the foldable capabilities, one of them is the not-so-efficient foldable propellers.

Fully folded



Flight performance:


The sound made by this rotor configuration is different from the common carbon props one (which I prefer), but it appears to be more silent. Wind resistance is normal-great, the propellers stiffness might be a crucial factor here. It handles pretty well, especially when the landing gear is retracted (more agile…). Videos will come later.


Hexa vibrations
Accelerometer measurement in hover

The vibrations measured with the flight controller accelerometer when hovering (test performed at the firsts flights of a vehicle, to ensure it will perform great) are between the accepted values which are -5 to 5, the vibration showed on the plots never exceed +-3 which proves the vibration dampening of the motors and the flight controller is performing well. This will ensure great autonomous mission capabilities.


Flight times:


There is no enough data to have a conclusive opinion. Only 3 flights have being performed. The two batteries tested so far are Multistar 4s 10C (max 20C) on different capacities.

Predicted with eCalc:

8000 mAh
8000 mAh
10000 mAh
10000 mAh

Real flights:

Battery (mAh) Flight 1 (min) Flight 2 (min) Flight 3 (min)
10,000 11:13 (hover) 15:16 (hover)  14:29 (hover)
8,000 n/a 14:19 (mixed)  13:45 (hover)
5,000 (65c) n/a n/a  ≈10 (mixed)


8,000 mAh fly time (not hovering) – it was raining… oh Scotland.





Aldux ensuring a safety loitering
Aldux ensuring a safe loitering
TQ Carbon v1

TQ Carbon v1

TestQuad Carbon version 1.

After several crashes with AlduxHexa, and the extra parts for repairing it… I had excess material to build a quad, so, I did.

Excess Tarot parts

The parts come from Tarot, so, its very close to a Tarot 650…

Beauty shot
Beauty shot

I’m currently using this vehicle to test navigation algorithms using a companion computer, a Raspberry Pi 2.

Before doing the tests of autonomous scripts for the iMechE UAS Grand Challenge, this scripts were tested in this vehicle, ergo Test Quad. It performs beautiful.





The “Big boy“…

Able to carry 4kg of payload and still fly for 10 min. Very fun to fly, very dangerous.

  • 740kv, 550watts Multistar motors.
  • 13 in carbon fiber props, t-style
  • 30amps simonk ESC
  • APM, PX4 and Pixhawk being tested on this frame
  • Tarot 680 carbon fiber frame

Endurance tests (new…):

  • 8000 mah 4s 10C Lipo (brand new battery) -> 21:47 minutes
  • 5000 mah 4s 45-90C Lipo (used battery) -> 10:53 minutes






This was my second quadcopter build, but first one documented… The post is here.

Built for fun and to learn to fly a quadcopter. More than capable to carry a GoPro.


  • Motors: Turnigy Aerodrive 940kv
  • Props: 10 x 4.5 SF
  • Flight controller: APM
  • ESC: 25 amps Turnigy
  • Frame: 500mm from rotor to rotor, aluminium

Current configuration:

  • APM 2.5 (upgradable and reprogrammable, original, not clone)
  • GPS uBlox with 3D printed case for extra protection (color red), excellent waypoint navigation
  • Voltage / Current sensor connected to the APM
  • Extra visible navigation LED stripes (blue for forward and red indicates back)
  • Turnigy 9x RX / TX (1000 meters range in LOS)
  •  3D printed anti-vibration mount for the flight controller (providing excellent loiter)
  • Runs great on 2200 mAh LiPo batteries (10 min flight times)

Current pics:

Some extra pics:

And some videos made with this vehicle:




A tricopter is similar to a helicopter except that it has three vertical rotors as opposed to a helicopter one.


The basic design of a tricopter includes three motors, one of which is vectored.


The drive system should be configured to provide the highest amount of “thrust resolution” possible. In this context, thrust resolution means the amount of increase or decrease in thrust produced as as the transmitter or gyro instructs the ESC to change power to the motor. A higher resolution (smaller changes) allows the tricopter to make minor adjustments and fly smoother.


The lower the kv rating, the higher the thrust resolution. Motors under 1000kv are ideal for tricopters.

Arms completed
Motors and ESC


Three ESCs are required, one for each motor. The throttle of each ESC is controlled by a separate channel and has a gyro between the receiver and the ESC. This allows the tricopter to become stabilised by varying the speed of each motor individually.

Some ESCs have finer resolution when instructing the motor to change speeds. There is no documentation for this and has been found through trial and error. Please see the Successful Combos section when selecting ESCs.


The effect propellers have on thrust resolution comes by virtue of their pitch and weight. Low pitch and low weight propellors provide the highest thrust resolution.





First 300 class quadrotor

This was built with the idea to be use inside the MAST Lab, and is still being used. This first version was a frame bought in hobbyking.

  • 5 x 3 props
  • 1800 kv Turnigy motors
  • Glass fiber precutted frame (easily broken)
  • Flight controller: Multiwii (several boards tested)






First 3D printed quadrotor, very very similar to TEGO 1, same motors and ESC, just different frame. First one to be flow with the computer, making use of the multiwii serial protocol, and a computer joystick. The post is here.

  • 1900kv turnigy motors
  • 10amps ESC
  • FC multiwii
  • 5×3 props
  • 3D printed frame 250 mm rotor to rotor





Second version of 3D printed quadrotor, but 3rd version of TEGO. Using Rotites. Several configurations were built. Different range of motors. This version was used by lots of students, and its the most famous TEGO quadcopter. Some of them are in display in the James Watt Building.

This one fly’s autonomously using a MoCap system inside the MAST Lab.