Hi All

I would like to have a Quadcopter that would carry a GoPro (preferably with a brushless gimbal) and try and get close to the hour mark in flight time.

Does anyone have an airframe/spec that get even above 30 mins and would they mind entering into some Long Distance R&D with me to try and spec something up.

Tried a lot of innovations with frames, props and motors but not got past 25 mins mark myself

Thanks for any replies/specs



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I've gone past an hour, but all with large propellers and low kv motors.  Quads can do it easily, but with the low kv motors you'll run into stability problems.  I've got a hex flying a solid 45min with a Sony NEX5n on 22ah6s packs.  That seems to be my limit on the hex configuration.  My latest quad is a Foxtech Devourer 130 with U8 motors, that in a quad configurations will do a solid 60min.  Foxtech seems to addressed the stability issue as well by adding 8 degress to the arms.  My 900mm quads all suffered from stability issues in high wind, they'd actually flip sometimes.  Not cool with 18" tmotor or supreme propeller!  I'm not actually going to keep the D130 as a quad as I need to lift a heavier payload, so it will actually be an X8.  We're going to mess with 4 ducts to boost the X8's efficiency though.  Should be interesting...

Hi Shaun,

Do you mind sharing details about your hex setup.

I have played with the 100-U8 motors in both Y6 and quad setup with Li-Ion batteries. We were not able to tune the 6Y to be stabile enough. The quad was offered much better stability after a lot of tuning.


What's the long flight time needed for? Just out of curiosity.

It's a Tarot T960 with 5010 motors and 1861 supreme Foxtech props guided by a Pixhawk.  It's a workhorse for us.  We just finished a 300 hectare mapping project of a open pit mine in some really challenging conditions.  Just getting going on the D130 X8 now, every bit of range saves me huge in post processing maps.

We do mapping, so the longer we can stay in the air the less flight plans I need to piece together.  Even putting two separate flights together is a real pain, GCP's and manual tie points required as well.  That's actually what I'm doing right now lol.  A real PIA even at 40min flights.  Actually most of my flights this week were all around 30min just because of the terrain and layout.  If I could get a solid hour, I'd have a lot less work in front of me.

Ah, I see. Sounds very interesting, I hope you can find what you need. But in my experience, as you said, large props and low Kv motors is the way to go also, high voltage is said to help, but I've heard arguments for low voltage as well. I'm not entirely sure if this is true, but it would seem that if you have less propellors you can get a longer flight time, hence why helis are so good at long flight. But if you want to fly for a long time, you're gonna need something big and light, that's for sure. Also look into hobbyking's multistar high capacity batteries; I'm not sure if they're better than other batteries but they claim to have capacity for the weight. I have no idea if they're good or not, just thought I'd make them known. I'm guessing you can't use fixed-wing aircraft for the job? Because that would make long flight times MUCH easier, lol

Tried fixed wings, but the forward speed is too fast for accurate mapping, not to mention how the wind tosses them around lol.  I'll check out those batteries, I had less than stellar results with HK's 8ah (ran them in pairs) Nanotech's.  Currently we're using 22ah 6s2p packs at 2.9kg....heavy.  Just bought a set of new packs at 22ah as well, but 2.35kg, way lighter.

Wow, so the long duration quad can flip over in wind?!  How is your long duration hex?

I've got a Tarot 650(ish) quad with 15" props that will fly about 25 minutes on a 4S 8000 Multistar, and an action cam on a gimbal.  It should be able to fly 35-45 minutes with two batteries, but I have yet to prove this out.  I haven't tried flying it in wind yet however.

How about those hybrid quad/planes? They definitely seem interesting, but I guess if you're going at a constant speed they wouldn't do much good. What do you need to carry?

Helicopters would be a better, and very well known solution to much of these problems, without the need to develop a new airframe type and control system. ;)

Steadidrone X quad.


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