Just finished building an almost production quality heavy lift foldable Y6 frame. Bare frame without electronics and motor mounts is 327.4g. All frame parts are cnc machined. The motor mounts are molded out of light weight fiberglass reinforced plastic (rear mount), and light weight graphite reinforced plastic (front).
The idea was to build a strong, lightweight, foldable, heavy lift platform at the bare minimum of cost. All the components are covered and protected by an ultra lightweight fiberglass body set. I was using carbon for the prototypes, but later opted for fiberglass to limit interference issues so everything could be enclosed within the body. The carbon body weighs in at 80g a piece. The Fiberglass body weighs in right around 45g (90g for both halves).
The arms are 16mm carbon fiber cello wrapped tubes. The arms have almost a 2mm wall thickness, which makes them virtually indestructible. 40-50% of the arms weight can be drilled out for further weight saving without compromising structural integrity in flight. The sub-frame assembly was cut from 2.5mm peel-ply carbon fiber panel (very strong and rigid, but at half the price of traditional weaved carbon fiber fabric).
Everything on this air frame is an original custom design, especially the landing gear. I have built and flown a number of multirotors with varying success. The quality and flight characteristics have continually gotten better with each consecutive build. In a previous blog that I posted "Trilo-Byte preproduction prototype" I tested the effects of using light weight shock absorbent landing gear. Due to the efficiency of prototype landing gear I decided to incorporate them into this version as well. Considering the amount of money that goes into an AP rig why do we still use stiff rigid landing gear when landings on even the best systems are all but perfect? I believe that it makes perfectly logical sense to dampen the landing struts to minimize excessive force on expensive hardware and components. The landing gears dampening systems can be adjusted with cheap inexpensive o-rings.
I am also finishing up on a production quality quad build using many of the same building techniques. I have also designed a better method for mounting ESCs', which makes them more accessible and easier to replace in the event one fails; also greatly reduces wire clutter. I will post the quad photos and subsequent flight videos once I have finished fabricating and mounting the landing gear.
The premise behind all of my designs are to make the highest quality air frames at the lowest possible price, but most importantly make them easily serviceable with readily changeable and easy to produce parts. Best of all, I design my frames around the ArduPilot hardware. I will post videos and more photos soon, along with more specs.
Feel free to post your comments, questions, suggestions, or criticisms. All feedback is appreciated.