Hello everyone. We are working on a new battery technology and we have been unable to find good information regarding the most popular multi rotor platforms. If you had to list the five most common models that you see day to day - what would those five models be?

Part two of my request is even more difficult. It doesn't seem as though much data exists in terms of the "numbers" of UAV's in existence. I.e. - How many Parrot AR's are out there? 

Any help would be appreciated.

Jason Roggensee
BuildCentric Systems
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By most common models do you mean brands, rotor configuration or RTF (Ready-to-fly) models?

Many build their own, 3DR has a few quads, hex's and Octo's, there're also Tricopters and even Bicopters. Quads are probably most popular, with popular weight range from 500g to 3kg.

Batteries commonly used are 3 and 4 cell Lithium Polymer packs from 1500mAh to 5000mAh, even 8000mAh, others use 6 cell packs.

All of the above. To clarify - if an auto parts manufacturer wanted to build a new kind of alternator for a hot rod - he would know that he needed to build his part in versions that would fit the chevy small block, the dodge hemi, the ford 302, etc as five of the most popular "engine setups" would allow him to serve 80% of the market.

I am trying to figure out the most popular "setups" for the multi rotor market and I know that is a tough thing to answer. Perhaps I should have asked... If 100 multi rotor guys show up to an event what are the top 5 most common setups you are likely to see. Platform, brands, rotor config, etc. - I know its a broad question.

It's a very tough question and I'm sure you could get 100 different answers and still not have the top 5, eg the ARDrone is mostly thought of as a toy and would probably not even make the top 100 amongst the members here.

Same for car parts, I'm sure there isn't one alternator for 80% of the most popular cars. More like 5% if that.

The thing about LiPo's that works well for multirotors is that they're massively configurable especially regards capacity, cell count and C rating. If pressed I'd say a 2200mAh 3 cell (11.1V) 30C would be number one, followed by a 5000mAh 3 cell 30C.

My quad for example will fly on either of those packs, the difference is flight time.

But there'll be lots of other suggestions...

It is certainly a broad question and the answer today may not be correct in 6 months.

What you really want is survey data of what is flying at a large event. At this time, multirotors are hot but competitive events are just happening. The Multirotor Challenge was just introduced in  2013. The event was organized and sponsored partially by Innov8tive designs -- a probable competitor or seller of your battery technology. The IRCHA Championship is a very large heli event so...

You may be better off looking at the trends in 3D RC helicopters. Helicopter Speed is a new event at many gatherings/competitions. The heli crowd is probably growing faster than the multirotor crowd but there is some migration from heli to multi due to the simplicity and ease of operation.

Good Luck!

-=Doug

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