Custom Built HexaCopter and Solar Powered Autonomous Recharging System- Step by Step Details

Decided to build a hexacopter that will have maximum lift weight of its class, flight time (optimal goal) and room to mount almost every sensor/accessory for field testing. So we modified a tarot frame to meet our needs. Next, we will be building an aluminum based frame but the goal is to reach 45 min to 1 hr flight time by applying a concept that was developed by US Navy some long time ago. (A new frame design will be required)

The copter should be ready by the end of the next week. I will post videos of the test flight. We have obtained permission with the manned aircraft flying field located in Northern California with the permission of local airport manager. We will be using a commercial, almost never used airfield near Mono Lake.

The over all project objective is to build a drone with farthest transmission range, 4G/LTE video, and telemetry backup, redundant telemetry via satellite as well as ultra long range Tx/RX combo. So three telemetry backup solutions.

iSkyMaster is also developing solar powered autonomous recharging/battery swap solution for Drones (More to disclose later).

Configuration as follows:

1. PixHawk 2.4.8 "or" Pixhawk 2
2. 2 x 6S 10,000 mAH batteries.
3. 6 x T-Motor Anti gravity MN4006 KV380 = 2.3 KG Thrust per motor = 13.8 Kg total thrust capacity.
4. 6 x 1555 props.
5. 6 x 40AMP, BL Heli ESC
6. 6 x LED High intensity.


1. Futaba 14SG.
2. 100 km range ad on TX and Rx from SCHERRER UHF Military grade system. 


1. One camera Gumbel (STORM 32BGC) and one backup Video camera with recording.
2. uAvionix ADS-B (manned Aircraft Drone Avoidance System).
3. 2 Watt Video Tx.
4. Drone Tracker.
5. Lidar Solution.
6. Air Speed Sensor

If anyone wants us to test or try out anything, feel free to provide suggestions. This could be a nice community driven project.

We are also planning to do a fixed wing, long range test if possible.

Progress Report: Week 2

Frame ready, motors mounted, FC programmed, initial prop and power test. Throttle at only 5% :) Very powerful T-Motors for sure.

Watch the video:

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This not going to help you reach your goal you need 18inch props & motor that will swing them !

fue solutions out there very fue!!!

3. 6 x T-Motor Anti gravity MN4006 KV380 = 2.5 KG Thrust per motor = 15 Kg total thrust capacity.

4. 6 x 1555 props.

18" props?

MN4006 T-Motors can use maximum prop size of 1654 (tested). The goal is not to achieve maximum payload, the goal is to get maximum flight time.

Initial indoor power and prop test. Throttle less than 5%. very powerful t-motors for sure.

Simple one week worth of effort and the frame and hex is ready for initial flight test hopefully this weekend.

Note: The Hex arms were extended by 8", and added some additional carbon fiber support accommodate 1655 props later down the road. The original frame is really not designed for such motors and prop size, but why not. This is what this hobby is all about, experimenting and learning.

Watch the video:

Final Field test. Its  a beast!

Does your uAvionix ADS-B system work? I just purchased one and everything seems to be setup correctly but I am having no luck with it actually working. Are you using Mission Planner with it? From what it looks like it should just be plug and play but I'm having no such luck. Thanks in advance.

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