Hey all,

Im fairly new to RC aeronautics and aircraft but have an idea and a need for a multi-rotor copter that will function of 4 blades while running around, but will have an extra 2 ducted fans that will engage when it needs to lift a autonomous submarine that myself and my team have developed(I am a 3rd year naval architecture marine engineering student as well as an officer in the Australian Navy). This is the challenge:

This Is my main question:

I am fairly novice at programming, i need some help in how would i make the copter go to the sub autonomously, then need to drive it manually( have FPV camera and gear) to pick it up, then to fly autonomously back to have with the extra 2 ducted heavy lift fans??? 

this is what it will do:

  • Carry the sub to a nearby location(using 4 rotors and extra 2 ducted fans to carry the weight of sub), the sub will be deployed and do its thing
  • copter to return home(running on 4 rotors) , while the sub is doing its thing
  • return to the location of the sub to pick it up to return home

So the sub is fully equipped with just about everything you can think of with respect to electronics and sensors and has room for more if need be.

I have full access to my own 3D printer swell as carbon fibre and kevlar so no need for holding anything back. 

Please feel free to ask any questions and any help or suggestions at all would be really appreciated.


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Im looking at the variable pitch because then it will be capable of more efficient flight at different loads, as this is what I'm designing it to do, carry things. ALso the variable pitch, when done well will make it more manoeuvrable and higher speeds. Im not going to dive straight into variable pitch, I will start with fixed itch then upgrade to variable pitch for the final product

An update for the project, below are some pictures of the design so far, and before any of you go all "this isn't right"  on me its just a rough plan trying to get the layout done and the general look i want it to have but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

The arms seem kind of wide, if they are wider than they need to be it can block airflow from the props and reduce efficiency. Is the clear middle area for the electronics and batteries? You might want some support structure under the motors if you're not already planning on it so when landing it doesn't rest directly on the motors. It looks very cool! I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Yeah i was thinking that but it is going to have to carry weight, and that weight will have to be from the middle electonics case so they need to be strong, They have an aerofoil cross section aswell. but might re-think it and try think them up a bit, thnks :)


and yeah its going to be perspex, and i have only had tiome to draw in the ESC's and their fans at the moment but will update with all the electronics, landing gear and wirring drawn in soon :)

If you want to keep the airfoil arm shape it might be more efficient to have an "H" shape frame where the airfoil goes left to right coming from the center and then a rod goes front and back (on the tips of the airfoil) for the motors (still a quad shape overall). So you get the airfoil shaped arm for extra lift when moving forward but there would be less directly under the props to reduce efficiency. The airfoil shape might have to be pitched upward since when flying forward the copter would be pitched down (or have the airfoil around a rod so the pitch of it can change but the motors wouldn't pitch with the airfoil).

Yeah im thinking of having the same sort of thing but im going to have two smaller arms for each rotor and they are going to be more vertical and rotated slightly so that when its moving forward it will produce a small amount of lift while still being strong

Hi Harry,

I've been following this along and I was wondering what it was you were aiming to lift with the beast of a Multi Copter you are building?  Are you going to be lifting and placing breeze blocks or timber for the construction industry or will you be slinging an IMAX camera under the quad?  



Hi Harry,

Have you succeded with your project? What much weight does it carry? I am asking you this because i want to buy a kit.


Im interested myself in eventually building a quad or hex capable of lifting 50lb payloads. I realize thrust per prop depends on it being a quad or hex. Lets say I went the hex route, 6 motor/props with a 50lb payload. What would a copter capable of lifting itself plus 50lbs need to weigh? I realize it would depend on the motors, props, frame materials. What motors would you recommend? What about prop size? Lets say the frame was carbon fiber. Can someone explain the best way to calculate thrust/lift requirements, motor size, prop size, batteries needed for 15-30 minute flights. Is there a basic formula or online calculator available for these sorts of calculations, for example: "For a hex to lift a 50lb payload, rule of thumb the vehicle will weigh 2 times the payload weight or 100lbs. The total lift needed at minimum would be over 150lbs of thrust/lift or 25lbs per motor. To be functional, double the min required thrust per motor to 50lbs. The motor/prop combo required for this is "X", which would require "Y" mAh in battery power to fly a vehicle weighing "Z" for 15-30 minutes. (Is there an online calculator for this?)

I realize this would be a lesson in aeronautical engineering but Im very interested in learning the calculations and how to figure out the best equipment to use based on the calculations.

Id appreciate any guidance or links to learn the answer!

@Ryan M, in terms of calculators...try eClac (http://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc.htm?ecalc&lang=en).

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