Over the last three years I have been monitoring the web for evidence of large, heavy lift, commercially capable systems, for loads in excess of 10Kg


As many of you may know, there are a lack of larger frames on the market, that can handle more than 10Kg.


Rimcopters can manage 40Kg loads, and more!!!


From my research, I have found that many "heavy lift" frames are lacking one thing or the other. Either they are too heavy, or they are not strong enough. In both cases the frames are made using "tube and plate" style assemblies.


Three years ago I began developing a new type of multirotor frame. The basic idea came from my experiments with Aluminum extruded tubing as a core frame...bike rims.


This may sound quaint, perhaps even a bit tacky...bike rims for Commercial sUAS and UAV's...


I admit, its easy to get the wrong idea... I am not out in the dump collecting old bike parts to make recycled cheap frames! Stick with me for a bit, and discover why I kept going with this idea, and where I ended up :)


First, let me say that I am not here to bash anyone... There are millions of dollars invested into various manufactured designs, and those dollars are worth protecting!


It is not my desire to obliterate others hard work! My goal here is simple  : make the best multirotor possible ! The fact that what I have made is less expensive, and easy to buy and build... That it is made entirely of stock components... And can be reproduced in any part of the world may be concerning to some... I am only here to show that what I have made has value, is useful, and may help some of you in your goals.


Please, if you are offended, or don't have anything useful to add... Please refrain from offering any comments!


If you are an operator, and individual or company that see's value in the work, please contribute !!!


I do not sell frames, or systems... I learned that lesson!


I do not have a business, nor do I intend to create one... So relax!  Just enjoy the ride, and take from it what you can... If you intend to take this idea, and make a business... Beware ! I will not tolerate it, and ultimately, it would be better to just ask me to use the design, and pay for that use.


Individuals, who would like to reproduce my results may do so, for their own use... Make one, use it, and prosper!  However, if you intend to make them for commercial use... Please remember that this is my intellectual property... And I can and will protect it :)



Now, onto the good stuff



Rimcopter is a TYPE of multi rotor frame, not a brand. To be honest, I didn't even coin the phrase. The name simply denotes what it is... A multirotor made from bike rims.


WHY BIKE RIMS?


Thanks to 100+ yrs of production and development, the bike rim is lighter, stronger.. Less expensive than custom designed parts to do a similar job.


Tube and plate designs could never create the same strength to weight ratio's apparent in my designs, nor can the tube and plates adequately deal with Vibration and Deflection issues... The truth is, Tube and Plates could never be expected to hold the weight, and as a result of the design, they suffer from vibrations effects... Jello, lack of resolution, and over loaded flight controllers, trying desperately to over come the errors created due to motor deflections and stray vibrations!


Rimcopters are completely different. The flight controller and loads are completely isolated from the drive system. In addition, the strength to weight offered in the frame reduces the load to the motors substantially. The result is longer flights, with greater flight ability and performance... Without any complications from stray high frequency oscillations or motors moving all over the place...


When I say lighter, I mean MUCH lighter... In any given example, our frame design will be lighter. Sure, you can make a light tube and plate, however, it would never been strong enough to handle the loads!


AS an example, the 1000mm X8 Aluminum design, AUW of 1.2Kg including 30mm CF Landing gear (can take 200Lbs !!)


Y6 Carbon  900mm... 780g


In both cases the frames can take well over 150Lbs force, before ANY movement / deflection.


AS comparison, I can deflect the motors of a s900 with just two fingers... Less than 10Lbs force.


Too good to be true?


Not at all... The strength of this design is that ANYONE can produce one for them selves, and because of that, it is unlikely that any larger corporation will attempt to produce it.


So, you can see, its not marginally lighter... less than 1/2 the weight in many cases!

not slightly stronger... Exponentially stronger!


Not slightly less expensive... Frames can be made for as little as $75 - $150.


So then, what are you waiting for ?


Need a larger, stronger, less expensive frame ?


Of course you do!!!

What I can offer...Two formats ( X* and Y6 ) , in two sizes, from three materials ( carbon, aluminum or steel)

Welded, bonded, or bolted...

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I was wondering when Vulcan would pipe up about this post... I spoke with Vulcan developer more than a year back. The Vulcan is definately one of the better tube and plates out there, however, it is no where near as strong, or as light.

The real deal, rimcopter has exponentially less vibrations that arrive at the IMU. I am willing to prove this, I am also willing to demonstrate it to anyone, anytime they like.

Tubes and plates... fancy tubes... thick plates... it all adds up to the smae thing : Rimcopters are lighter, stronger, produce less vibration, and are WAAAAAY less expensive to produce, distribute, own.

I am interested in a comparison in vibrations between such a vulcan frame and one of yours. With hard data.

Me too!

Trouble is, getting a Vulcan to test... At the same time, it would be great to have a Gryphon, a Skijib... any 1000mm + frame that is meant for larger loads, particularily loads that require sensitive IMU's.

My assertion is that the Rimcopter will be able to produce a cleaner image / point cloud, with less expensive hardware.

It would be a worthwhile project, to collect and test each of the contenders, and do an analysis of strenght, weight, cost, availibity.

I would be more than willing to lend one or more of my existing systems to such an effort.

Thing is... I have little to lose in such a test... I have a few grand invested in my machines, $50K or so... I can only wonder what Vulcan has spent to get going... So, to be fair, I would understand if they were not so interested in a direct comparison.

If I had millions at stake, I would simply ignore someone like me.... as long as possible :)

What motors are this?

that time may be coming to a close

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Brian - Where are you at with theses heavy lifting copters? They look very promising. I want to know more.

How long have you been working with Euan?

Are you happy with the D130, Oliver?

Olivier said:

Heck of an idea, and your designs are gorgeous.

The commercially available heavy lifters I know of are the Foxtech D130, Gryphon Dynamics 1400mm frame, and  MikroKopter's "big quatro" and Octo XL.  Here's a video of the Gryphon frame at 28kg Auw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onWyHq0nhqA

Don't know much about the Mikrokopters and Gryphon,  but I fly the D130. It's borderline at 18Kg+, ok around 15kg. Would not really work at 20kg+, although a new re-inforced version is probably ok at 25kg ...The weak points are (retractable) landing gear, and center plate stiffness. The arms are 30mm 1mm thick, center plates are 3mm thick. But this variant would probably work up to 25kg or more ...:

One thing is that for anything above 15kg AUW, an X8  1000mm frame is not going to cut it as you need propellers larger than 24" (for any flight time longer than 5 minutes). Tiger motor U8-U11 will take 28"-30" propellers and I think your design would be great with a 1300-1500 X8 frame.

The only downside I can think of with your designs so far  is lack of foldability (important at these sizes) and no retractable landing gear. No retractable landing gear is not a show stopper most of the time. And  a few bolts to remove the rims if the arms were pivoting would be ok.

I really like your idea of "rim" reinforcement. I can see how you could get away with lighter and weaker (straight) arms yet get a stiffer and lighter frame overall.

Any idea about the sort of frame weight you could achieve with a 1,400 mm quad design, say suitable for 30kg Auw?

Great work, cheers!

Hi Byron,

All in all, yes. With two caveats: landing gear definitely feels flimsy, it works but I think Foxtech new "double" landing gear is a better choice. In fact and unless there is a real need, I'd go with a  fixed gear if I was building again. Other caveat is the folding "umbrella" style mechanism. It's ok and definitely makes it transportable, but I'd prefer lateral/horizontal folding, which would make it much easier to make a box for it.

Overall  if I had to choose a frame all over again I'd probably give some serious consideration to a frame like Brian Goff's. Or this one, although much more expensive (some might say over priced). Depends on budget as usual, what else is new ;)

Btw I came upon a similar heavy lift build with a Gryphon frame recently, that proved to be quite inadequate. I think those may be good up to say 10kg AUW if that. Way too much play in removable arm mechanism, and too much flex overall.

Thank you for your reply Oliver!

Olivier said:

Hi Byron,

All in all, yes. With two caveats: landing gear definitely feels flimsy, it works but I think Foxtech new "double" landing gear is a better choice. In fact and unless there is a real need, I'd go with a  fixed gear if I was building again. Other caveat is the folding "umbrella" style mechanism. It's ok and definitely makes it transportable, but I'd prefer lateral/horizontal folding, which would make it much easier to make a box for it.

Overall  if I had to choose a frame all over again I'd probably give some serious consideration to a frame like Brian Goff's. Or this one, although much more expensive (some might say over priced). Depends on budget as usual, what else is new ;)

Btw I came upon a similar heavy lift build with a Gryphon frame recently, that proved to be quite inadequate. I think those may be good up to say 10kg AUW if that. Way too much play in removable arm mechanism, and too much flex overall.

I agree on the landing gear... in this case the gear is not gear at all... simply a stand , whereas the load casing is the proper landing gear.

I have many option for landing gear, some which act as a roll cage and can withstand multiple angle impacts for many hundred kg of force.

modular scale-ability ;)

The Xfold many "look the part" however... The tube and plate construction are heavy, and flimsy compared to the Rimcopter.

Also, i will add that this frame suffers from mid band torsional effects, and suffers from a complex series of vibrational and deflectional disorders.... Rimcopters vibration free, 100% mechanically separated "hollow core" provides the platform for ultimate strength to weight, highest vibrational acuity... that's what I assert, and am prepared to demonstrate.

In addition, the Rimcopter is composed of higher quality, industrially certified components , like EASTON alloy and top quality , ISO certified stock components.

Rimcopters can be build as certified units, insurable units in any country of the world... identical units for the lowest possible cost... open source support... integrated, modular kits for OEM distribution's.

2017 will be the year Rimcopters will begin to deliver Certified, insurable fleets for international distribution, integrated leasing with full service and support for enterprise.

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