3DR Quadcopter Carbon Fiber Frame

Would there be any interest in a 3DR Quadcopter Carbon Fiber Frame?  All the parts made of carbon fiber.  Is there a structural reason this would be a bad idea?

What if we could have a 3DR Quadcopter with molded carbon fiber frame?  I would like molded tall legs and eliminate the spacers and screws.  What if the arms, legs, and braces were molded as a single carbon fiber unit.  Then screw together the center equipment tower?

I, for one, would certainly like to have a lighter and stronger 3DR quadcopter or any frame configuration.  The DIY hobby has significantly evolved since its inception and I would like to have a higher quality 3DR frame.  If the quadcopter could be lighter and stronger and it could be made bigger and stronger.  The existing 3DR quadcopter size makes FPV, telemetry, GoPro w/gimble, sonar and optical sensor difficult if there is any expected decent flight time.  The current 3DR quadcopter is like a .40 RC plane, I'm ready for .60 or giant scale - FPV and GoPro with ease and 20 minutes would be wonderful.

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  • Developer

    If this is a forum for us to post what we'd like to see in a good quad frame, I will add that, taking a lesson from the Iris, having the electronics protected by an external case reduces the damage during crashes a lot!

  • Carbon and other composite materials are very easy to use if you understand how to use them. I built sailplanes with them for years with great success. Foam, kevlar, spectra, epoxy, glass, balsa and plywood cam be combined in various configurations yielding very light and strong airframes. I can see a two stroke engine driving the rotors with variable pitch blades like the tail rotors on helicopters. With a gas powered engine you should easily get flight times of 30 minutes or more. Sounds great to me. I also like the idea of a molded airframe and kevlar would be my first choice with a plywood skeleton if needed.

  • One of the problems you face is that carbon fibre causes distortion and partial shielding of EM fields, which means you're susceptible to interference and loss of signal in RF signals. However, there are successful carbon fibre platform designs on the market (e.g., www.quadframe.com) and careful placement/shielding of electronics would reduce the problems.

    Alternatively, there are other composite materials that are lightweight and strong that don't suffer these problems (but aren't quite as light or strong as carbon fibre).

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