Iris+ weight reduction modifications?

Hi all,

New to Diydrones, new iris+ owner.

Im wondering If anyone has every tried any body mods to reduce weight on the iris+? i.e. shaving plastic off in spots that are not structurally vital? after market arms? other?

Thanks for reading


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  • I am curious as to what your are doing that the default Iris flight times have become an obstacle.

    I get 20 minutes with no camera and gimbal. 14 minutes with camera, gimbal, video xmtr. Those are long flight times to me. My QAV250 gets about 7 minutes but it's so fast and powerful and has to autopilot that I have either crashed or am ready to get back on the ground before the battery runs out. But then the QAV is made to withstand many crashes, the Iris is not.

    The default Iris configuration is very robust and reliable in my opinion. As you start experimenting with different battery cell counts, props, motors etc you will drift away from that reliability factor.

    If you are new to this I suggest that you keep flying it and learning until the flight time becomes a limiting factor to your goals.

    If you are confident about your skills and are comfortable with the bird in the air for 15 to 20 minutes then you could start those types of experiments understanding the risks.

    • I totally agree with the flight reliability of the Iris+. I always use an external voltage buzzer just in case set to 6.7v per cell before alarm and the Iris always is well beyond 10 minutes of flight before it sounds. Understand my Iris has a Gimbal, GoPro, FPV transmitter and a Drone Deploy transmitter attached. 

    • You are hard core Andrei.... keep us updated on that Drone Deploy rig...I got my free month offer from them in my email inbox... now I just need my Iris replacement back from 3DR.

    • Couldn't agree more with this remark by Mark.

      You should also notice that the Iris went through extensive design cycles through the wind tunnel (looked like one those at NASA Ames).. so doctoring-up the hull and arms will have an effect on what I think is decent performance in high wind.  I've had mine aloft on autonomous missions in 18 mph wind, and it handled like a rock.  Doing anything that increases drag might have a detrimental effect on how the Pixhawk reacts to the dynamics of the flight environment.

      Those upturned tips on the stock Iris + props do serve a purpose, and I reckon your APC props are part of your loss of flight time cause-effect relationship. I've not been convinced APC props are a generic solution for these machines.... way too much going on in the flight mgt software routines to not think that they looked at a specific prop design to optimize performance.

    • Thanks for the good advice!

      It is true I am vey new and right now the flight time is not really an obstacle but as I look down the road to future applications such as extended site surveys of agricultural property it would bee nice to reduce the number of flights needed to cover a given area.

      More than an obstacle at the moment im just anticipating the future.

      I also tend to be overly worrisome and a little  ;)

  • Joby,

    Depends on what your objective is. I have been flying Iris/Iris+ since December 2013. The original Iris was much heavier and then the Iris+ came out with lighter arms and lighter legs as well as a better battery and motors which greatly increased flight times and payload capacity. 

    I supposed you could shave a little weight off but not enough to make an appreciable difference. The arms are about as light as you will find for this platform without sacrificing structural integrity. I have the original Iris arms which are much more stiff and stronger but they used a lighter composite on the Iris+ arms to shave weight which sacrificed strength. 

    Are you looking for longer flight times are just to carry more payload?


    • I'm not sure I haven't timed it from takeoff to failsafe. Yes there is a failsafe, comes on stock at 10.5v, however that's just a simple voltage monitor. In my case the iris was so underpowered with gopro and gimbal that I've had it unable to recover from a decent at 10.8v, so I wasn't even using the battery at the way up. Here is a side by side comparison of the two props

      Idk if you will be carrying anything on it, but at least in my case where I was and was at the limit of lift for this thing larger props did help increase my flight time as the voltage sagged
    • Longer flight times would be ideal.

      Any other suggestions for achieving this with the iris+?



    • It wont make much of a diffrence, but you could take off the the leds and their little reflectors. Also where I live we have hot dry air at a decent altitude so the Iris+ really lacked pulling power. I would always have to bring it in early so i wasn't worried about it descending unrecoverably after the voltages dropped a bit. To fix this I use 10 in APC multicopter props. Gives me a lot more umph. burns through the battery a bit quicker, but considering i couldn't use all of the battery with stock props it actually extended my flights by a bit.

    • How much of an extension would you guess?

      I was under the impression that there was a low battery failsafe which brings the iris+ back to home when the battery dipss below a certain threshold?



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