I live in a windy part of the planet, so stability in wind is the most important factor in successful AP for me.

I have bought a used 700 T-Rex electric with Helicommand Profi  stabilisation, that I have never flown  - needs to be set up. I fly quads with APM2 and planning on build a Y6 to lift a 550 Cannon DSLR, although I might go lighter 4/3 format camera.

So my question, all things been equal, ie good set up, good FC board and tuning - Which platform will be more stable in wind - a multirotor  or the 600 / 700 Heli?

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    Helis are definitively better at handling wind.

    But there are some tradeoffs. Helicopters are mechanically much more complex and costly. The biggest weakness with helicopters from a AP view is vibrations. It can be really hard to make a heli run smoothly with many parts that has to be just so. And there is no room for mistakes with helicopters, even just a hard landing can end in disaster. The force of the large rotors will tear the copter apart if something happens. And you often end up having to replace a lot of parts to get it working without vibrations again. With a multicopter you usually get away with just replacing some propellers after a bad landing. This is the main reason why people are switching to multicopters for AP work.

  • I'm a huge proponent for conventional helis... I fly a gas powered mongoose by airstar international, which is a little overkill for what you're asking about.  But I have to say, it' does fly absolutely amazing in decent winds.  Having said that I don't have much experience with quads, but when you look at/compute actual lifting area of quads vs. conventional, you generally have a larger lifting surface with a conventional heli, which equates to less disturbance from turbulence. 

    Y6, Assuming 12" rotors: 6 rotors x Pi x radius^2  ----     6(3.14x6"^2) = 678sq.in.

    Conventional Assuming 700mm blades: 27.5"^2 x 3.14 = 2374sq.in.

    I don't know if that makes sense, but there's an inherently higher loading on multirotors than with conventional. So there's also more area to dampen out turbulence.  And on top of that, imagine if you can the tip vortices generated by 2 blades lightly loaded compared to 12 highly loaded blades, multis are a blade tip vortex nightmare.  

    And then, when in doubt, I'd always look to the type of helis people fly around in... besides the chinook and osprey, they ain't multis.  

    Here's a link to my helicopter on youtube. Mind you it isn't stabilized at all(helicopter or camera mount), and this is my second flight with the heli and a brand new camera operator.  It's not great, but gives you an idea of what can be done with conventional helis with the bare minimums.  

    And on a side side note, I'm getting 15 minute flights with a 5 minute reserve... Go GAS!!!!  It has an on board generator as well, so no dead servos or receivers, and forget about ever charging another battery.

    But good luck anyways on your decision


  • Hi Philip..

    Ive been flying a T-Rex 700 electric for about 3 years now and find it extremely good in windy conditions. We do shoots for mines, auction companies, agricultural companies, film companies.. you name it!! 

    We fly everyday as a commercial aerial photography business all over South Africa.

    This includes Cape Town.. A city known for very windy conditions!

    We use the Aligns F3C 700 version, No stabilisation beside heavy fb weights & paddles.. you will still need all your concentration to be on your flying and not on operating the camera, So I recommend a two man team for a safer operation.. 

    They great work horses and require very little maintenance.

    We have two teams doing on average 6 shoots a day and we haven't had one failure in three years. 

    We use them for Video & stills photography and they have no problem lifting DSLR camera's like the Canon 5Dmkii..

    They also extremely stable using an underslung configuration due to pendulum effect it provides.

    The Camera Gimbal we use is from Photo Higher called a AV320. 

    We run a 12S setup using only Hyperion & Thunder power packs.. We get a 5min flight time with 1min reserved for safety.. We land at 3.7V per cell and never have to worry about damaging batteries or power failures.

    Anyway as a firm believer in Align I hope this helps..

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