My new coaxial copter project...Imperial Probe Droid

My buddy Sean who makes the Aerotestra quadcopter told me I should post my new project here on DIY Drones because people would like seeing it...

I am assembling a coaxial tube shaped waterproof drone that carries a GoPro camera on the bottom end in a clear polycarbonate dome. But I also realized a rather fun adaptation of this design...The Imperial Probe Droid from The Empire Strikes Back. Last night I wrote some simple code to cnc machine components of what will be a test stand for the avionics and propulsion systems. And this morning I machined those parts and partially assembled the test rig. Here are some pictures...

You can see some of my other projects and my business at and

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wow.. does it lift off in spite of all the metal?

% throttle at hover ?

Specifications : motor KV make model prop size liftoff weight

 whose FC? do you plan to produce kits?

      interested readers want to know!


Hi Rotorflyte,

Very nicely machined and I'm sure it will fly, but that does seem like a lot of aluminum to be lifting into the air.

Don't you need an additional vane at 90 degrees to that one like a Coax Copter:

Or do you plan to yaw to the correct pitch direction.

Seems like it would be problematic in gusty conditions.

What coaxial motor is that ?

Best Regards,


It is a great deal of are correct. This test rig was quickly assembled to test lift capability of the current motor/prop configuration. The completed drone will be primarily built from carbon fiber... I've been working with Carbon for about 5 years now.

I will refine and produce one perfected drone for myself. It will be posted on the rotorflyte website. If there are interested consumers then it will be reproduced and sold. 

Yes, the test rig is not finished yet. I'll be machining the final pieces tomorrow morning. And yes, it is heavy. But it is a test assembly only. I wrote the cnc code last night and machined the pieces this morning.

The second control vane is not assembled yet. I'll post more pictures when it is completely finished.

It is meant as a stable camera platform only...and for calmer weather conditions. Once this test rig is complete I'll post some videos of it flying and maneuvering.

Very cool man! How will this arrangement fit into the probe droid body? Are you thinking something along the lines of a ducted fan setup drawing through the vertical axis of the body? Also, I am wondering if it wouldnt be better to invert the control planes?

Very good...! 1 million points for you. Yes, I am going to duct the props. The motor/prop assembly will be situated in the 'head' of the Droid. The 'body' of the droid will also be part of the duct. It will be made entirely from a single layer of 5.6oz carbon fiber so it should be exceptionally light.

I'm finishing the last small parts for the pictured test stand today.

"invert the control planes"...not sure what you mean. They need to be underneath the props, not above them. But this is just a simple test rig so the finished drone will be different in all ways.

Nice! What I meant by inverting the control planes was moving the pivot point to the leading (upper) edge. It looks like you have it setup for the trailing edge now and I would think that tend to put excessive load on the servo and encourage the control surfaces to "jump" back and forth across the center point.

Nevermind. I just took a closer look and I see that you have the servo connected to the center of the surface and the bar across the bottom swings rather than pivots. are very correct. In fact I think there is a good chance the control vanes will break off during the first few flights. But I can always increase their thickness to deal with this. You're also correct about the excess load on the servos. I'll shoot a video of the first flight attempt and post it on youtube asap.

Thanks again

I don't know, what the happen when flying. It look heavy. but you're great to create it.

Thank for picture.

So it barely flies...which is what I expected given the weight. I tried to run a tether from the tip cone to suspend the drone for flight testing, but it adversely effects the unit. So I'll try to assemble a super simple outrigger landing gear.

Testing went well. The unit flew, although a bit unstable at times. 

I was able to gather enough data to start the creation of the final airframe that the Probe Droid will be based on. The inner duct, motor mount, and battery tray will be made from custom formed carbon fiber. The remaining structure that gives it full detail to Probe Droid specifications will be made of painted foam. This should keep the weight much lower than the heavy test rig pictured above. The addition of a properly designed duct will also have the added benefit of increasing thrust. I'll add pictures as work progresses...

Man, when you get this up and running I hope you offer a kit form! I would love to have one of these patrolling my yard!!

Have you considered putting the entire fan/duct assembly on a gimbal rather than using the vanes for directional control?

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