First Mass produced UAV Heli?

Just saw this from Gaui and very excited.

With all the benefits of a Heli over multirotors in large applications (Efficiency, payload capability, safety (ability to auto-rotate), etc.), I think this is a great step forward in finally having a mass produced option for a Heli configuration. Hopefully it starts a trend and some of the other heli manufacturers jump on board as well. Maybe, if more and more start using heli's it will help give Rob a few more tests for Arducopter Traditional Heli as well to further advance the firmware along!

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  • Thanks for bringing us this.

    $4000.00 seems a great price for the basic kit for this copter and it does look like it could perform some actually worthwhile work even if you do have to put in your own flight controller and RC system.

    The Gas engine is a lot more practical for heavy lifting and for longer flight times than electric and I am sure this will find some practical UAV uses.

    Conventional helis are also a whole lot more efficient than multis - that big rotor literally can't be beat.

    Sure the Yamaha is cool and only 10 times as expensive, if you could convince them to sell you one.

    Still if your a rice farmer in Japan, they have what you need.

    The Yamaha may be an alternative, but for the vast majority of the people on the planet it is not a "practical" alternative.



    • Thank you Gary,

      This is exactly what the post was about and why I am excited about the product. Plus Gauis 3D Helis that I own have all been very simple, durable, and well made so I expect this to be in the same category as their other products.

      Not only is the product itself exciting, but, being the first affordable option designed for the UAV market in a traditional heli is a step in the right direction IMO for all the reasons you stated.
      • +1 Jason,

        I also emailed Rob so I hope he will weigh in on this too, although probably not tonight, it's pretty late on the east coast of Canada right now.



    • Hi Gary, 

      Off course the Yahama style frame is not accessible to the mass due to is cost. My debate was only about the GAUI not been the first mass produced UAV frame. 

      I'm not totally confident that the Gaui is worth that money. Any petrol 800size heli will perform the same, at a lower price. 

      • Hi naish,

        Only time will tell if the new Gaui lives up to it's pretensions, but theoretically the 900 rotor would both have considerably higher efficiency and potentially considerably higher lifting capacity than an 800.

        But I think the real proof will be whether they take advantage of the larger scale to actually produce components (engine, hub, drive-train, etc.) that take advantage of the increased scale to provide more worthwhile MTBFs.

        One of the things the smaller copters definitely suffer from is being smaller and a lot of those teeny tiny bearings have a lot shorter useful lifetimes than an actual daily use UAV tool needs to have.

        So far all the hobby copters are just that we need something more like a Bosch tool.

        From the looks of it this is a simple copter designed for UAV type use, not hobby flying - we will see if it lives up to the hype.

        And as for the Yamaha, calling it mass produced might be a stretch.

        Of course the Gaui isn't actually available yet, so mass produced seems a bit thin for it at this point as well.

        I will be very interested to see what Rob Lefbvre thinks of this.



        • Hi Gary,

          I know well what you mean. I spent the last 18 moths personally evaluating an testing all UAV helicopters available in the market.. starting from a $3K Heli to a $3.5M one, as this is part of my job. 

          I know the difference form a RC heli scaled up and a full size heli scaled down, and I can guarantee you that with $4K you won't get anything close to a full size Heli scaled down.  

          The Gaui Is a very reputable manufacturer, and I'm pretty sure the GX9 will maintain the legacy and maybe be a little bit better in MTBF providing they used superior quality components like bearings. Said this, the GX9 still uses open gearbox with plastic gears, standard RC servos and standard RC components parts and linkages and standard RC connectors and wiring, so the MTBF of this parts will be the same as an RC Heli. 

          Yes the 900 size will give more efficiency, but then again there are other kits you can buy that are 900 size. 

          About the Yamaha being not mass produced... I don't know what you define mass produced, but for me 2600 helicopters built and 2 million hours accumulated means mass produced. 

          @ Rob, for your Trex 800 did you spent more than $4000 for engine airframe and servos only? 

          • At the same time, I think you would be quite surprised to see the amount of RC grade components used in military grade SUAS. The scan eagle, tiger shark, shadow, etc all use RC components from servos to engines and more. Pretty much any time you see "COTS" you can be certain there is RC components involved.

            When my platoon received the latest version (extended wing) of the RQ-7B shadow, on about the 3rd flight a servo locked up and we had to pull the chute.

            Expensive does not always mean better.

            The true huge benefit of the GX9 is you can put the components that you want into it. If you want to spend the money on VOLTZ servos or some other higher grade servo, you can as it is not a complete system.

            Also, look at the UAVs being built for the civilian market. Almost all of them are complete RC vehicles converted over with a pixhawk for UAS work. Your average farmer doesn't have 3.5 million to drop on a military grade UAV.
  • Nope.. unfortunately is not the first mass produced UAV. The Yamaha R-Max has been produced in high volumes since a long time ago. 

    • That is completely incorrect. the Yamaha R-Max is not available for sale, only lease.

      Please, show me where you can purchase one?

      This is the first mass produced UAV Heli for resale. There are some other examples of Heli's for Drone use, but, they are complete systems, not a UAV Frame like this.

      There are better examples than the R-Max that are actually for sale not just lease. And also, show me where you can buy a R-Max frame?

      • Unfortunately is you information that is incorrect.  

        The R-Max has been available for sale and lease for quite long time. Look at Georgia Tech uni as example, they bought few of them.  Since couple of years Yamaha decided to focalise only on the cropdusting market, and they approach is for lease only. 

        They aren't the only ones to produce a R-max style fame. If you search on goggle ONESEEN SKYTECH you will find a similar model for sale, and they have mass produced them since years. 

        The AF25B is an other example of mass produced heli for aerial photography work, followed from that as been selling Helicopters for for UAV applications, with autopilot included.

        And plus to be fair the Gaui is not a UAV, neither the AF25B as they are only helicopters frames without autopilots. 

        Having an on board starter and a generator doesn't make the GAUI an UAV. So a Trex700 petrol is a UAV too? 

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