Hey guys,

Just wanted to introduce a new drone with 1 hour flight time: https://turncircles.com/products/drones-quadcopter-TC411

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Yes, the Halbach Array has a great future in UAVs:

A high power density, high efficiency axial flux Halbach array moto...

In my most designs the motors have about 50% of the mass of the empty copter.

If you can reduce the motor mass by 2/3, your copter-empty-mass could be reduced by 1/3 - and thats a really big number.

But I don't see any Halbach Motor Prototypes at Turncircles, just a rendering/simulation.

I am very curious, when they will show a Halbach Motor Prototype

Interesting stuff, Stmpngrnd.  I think Kaan would have gained considerable credibility if he'd pointed this out in his original post rather than presenting "magic"

I still think the frame is more art than science, so he loses points for that feature...

That's the point Haydar. The batteries are the heaviest part on a drone followed by the motors. And that's exactly what we tackle.

Motor prototyping is ongoing in parallel. However it is neither easy nor inexpensive to work on it. So it will take quite some time...

Finally, the magic goes on... Bear with us.

Are you negotiating with Hollywood studios about the video?

It's interesting how emotional a discussion like this can get. It probably reflects the frustration that many of us have experienced trying to attain elusive goals that feel like they should be within reach. But any of us who have tried to undoubtedly figured out all the variables and trade-offs that go into flight-time vs. performance. The best we can do is make improvements around the fringes to squeeze out a little more of either until (mainly) new battery technologies are commercialized. That said, I think we should support one another in the quest to do better.

A 1 hour UAV is feasible, but like one of the other posts pointed out, its "usefulness" is probably compromised at that point unless shooting videos with a GoPro in calm weather is the goal.

Our goal is developing the FreeBird One was to maximize usefulness and flight time. We focused on the airframe, realizing that all we could do on motors, batteries, props, etc, was employ the most efficient set-up that we could find for the type of UAV we were trying to develop. The UAV pictured below is meant for all types of commercial use, able to carry just about any type of attachment you can think of mounted at numerous pre-threaded mounting points all around the vehicle - both above and below. It's about 3 feet in diameter, has a structurally-enclosed frame that can take some pretty hard bumps from foreign objects (like walls or trees). It flies in rain, snow, and high winds. We just posted a new video today showing position hold accuracy in 30-40MPH wind gusts that we were fortunate to experience a couple days ago. Not only does it hold its position (and get back there quickly when occasionally pushed away), but the video demonstrates some pretty good raw power.

We test only in real-world conditions, so nothing in-doors. We want to show what a real user would experience. Max flight time for the FreeBird One is about 43 mins with a 54AH 6S LiHV pack. With a GoPro and 3-axis gimbal, it's about 40 mins. With 2KG of payload (heavier camera, gimbal, etc), flight time is 28 mins with 10% reserve. Max payload is around 18 pounds. Max take-off weight is about 27 pounds. Max range is 12-13 miles, max horizontal speed for autonomous missions is about 45 MPH. The setup in this video had a 13AH 6S LiPo and weighed about 11.5 pounds with battery and top-mounted GoPro/gimbal.

What makes this possible for us is a 100% 3D-printed carbon fiber airframe. We've been able to create an airframe that we don't think could be done with the same strength-weight characteristics as an injection-molded body or frame assembled from pre-fabricated carbon fiber tubes or plates.

Hybrid designs with wings, horizontal ducted fan motors, etc are all interesting and valid ways to get more performance and flight time. It really comes down to what the goal is. We think there are lots of things these vehicles will do in the future, and we wanted to build a very flexible platform to enable experimentation and development of new UAV use opportunities. We've experimented with some unconventional uses with FreeBird One - as a snowblower for rooftops (with a scraping attachment for impacted snow), to tow payloads (it can pull about 100 pounds on wheels) with a rope attached, as a power washer (to clean structures that would otherwise need tall ladders), and the list goes on.

I couldn't get the youtube video to embed properly, so just click the link below if interested.


Good stuff Roger and great work.

1 hour (or two) multirotors are not only feasible,  there are several out there, e.g Forest Frantz's, or this one flying 2.5 hours https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2654849.  Also one hour drones even with a heavier payload than Gopro  are out there, 28" props with efficient motors will do it, I built one. (Staying in the realm of conventional electrical power,  a drone using fuel cell power or  auxiliary generator can do better).  Likewise a   light frame with 17" propellers or above and a Gopro type payload can achieve 45 minutes+ reasonably easily (OTC frame) even with conventional Lipos (vs say 18650  Li-ion).

But there is no going around the fact that a drone flying with 11" propellers on conventional electric power is simply pure snake oil and click bait, just like a perpetual motion machine.  It's all a matter of  disc loading, and among other things 11" propellers just can't  cut it with 7AH and a weight in the 2kg range as announced. Not emotions, but physics, engineering, and reality ;)  ...

Halbach arrays motors & denser battery tech will not allow you flight time  to 60min with 11 propellers sorry Bro! you need minimum 16 inch prop and up to achieve sort of efficiency !! design would need to be very light! the driving factor is off the shelf components will not do this with 11 inch prop ! what ESC are you going to use to drive the Halbach arrays Motor? also air density and temperature can affect efficiency !

regular small brushless motors with the same efficiency as Halbach arrays motors are on the market for sale 90% efficiency!

I am actually designing Halbach arrays motors for CARS & motor bikes 47kw 100kw range!

Do you have any video demonstrating this new motor technology, and putting some hard numbers to the performance data you are claiming? 

Thanks all for your patience. Here we've uploaded a recent test video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6fYHYG-1z4

(Testing different motors and props upward - Flight time around 53 minutes.)

Should you have any questions; feel free to contact me at kaan.ozgen@turncircles.com

Have to agree here. making arms go directly to the main frame would have brought the weight of the copter down while not creating additional overlap - but, I guess the space would be an issue, so in order to keep smaller prop to prop diameter=overall size, that made such shape (It provided enough space for batteries and electronics while maintaining smaller footprint)

I have been working on drone efficiency for years now and your landing gear may cause a lot of unnecessary air-disturbence. I advise you to re think them in favour of folding landing gears that would be installed on two edges and fold in inside towards the body and than arch around it to help with limiting prop clearance. This could also be a lighter solution (possibly)

Andrew Rabbitt said:

What's the idea with the funny airframe shape?  Is it to make it as flexible and structurally inefficient as possible...?

Hi Artem, thank you very much for your comment. 

We have changed the landing gear. It is not retractable nor foldable; however, it can be easily detached from the body. I will keep you up to date with the new material once they become available...



I am wondering what kind of task this cute quad can do?

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