Arducopter Hexa 3DR Frame Now on Pre-Order!



The rugged Arducopter 3DR frame is now available in a Hexa version capable of supporting larger payloads and longer flight times. With the stock 850kV (purple) motors, a basic Hexa with ESCs, APM, GPS and an RC Receiver weighs in at 1356.3g and can lift more than its own weight.


This version supports a fancy new feature allowing easy access to the power distribution board. The entire stackup can be removed with thumb nuts to allow access to the central area between the base plates.






Lifting tests were performed with the following results:


Frame Weight: 1356.3g

Battery Weight (4S 5000mAh): 534.0g

Misc. Payload: 533.7g

All-Up Weight: 2424g

Flight Time in Hover: 12:10

Over 24 minutes endurance is possible in this configuration! (Using Misc Payload for a second battery)


Frame Weight: 1356.3g

Battery Weight (4S 5000mAh): 534.0g

Misc. Payload: 843.7g

All-Up Weight: 2734g

Flight Time in Hover: 10:00


Maximum Take-Off Weight Test Performed at 3190g


Tests with the larger motors are awaiting arrival of stock, expected around the end of February. You can order your kit with either motor set but the 880kV versions won't ship until February 29th. 850kV orders and orders without motors will ship next Friday, February 24th.


NEW TEST with the 880kV motors: (hovering in gusty winds)

Frame Weight: 1508g

Battery (4S 5000 mAh): 531.2g

Payload: 986.3g

Flight time: 10:17

All-Up Weight: 3025g

 -- only about 140g extra payload for the same duration flight but conditions were considerably more turbulent for the 880kV test flight

Frame Kit: $199.99

Frame + Motors: $419.99

Frame + Motors + Electronics: $649.99


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  • Well it sounds like you have the same hardware I had when making those tests so I don't see any reason why you wouldn't get the same results! We did have 11x47 props though I believe and I'm not sure if using 12x47s would put too much resistance on the motors or not. My guess is it's fine, just make sure the motors aren't burning hot after flight.

  • Jeff,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I do have the old frame! My all up weight right now is 2kg and flying for 5 minutes with a 5000mah 3s battery. After everything cools down the battery voltage is around 11.3v.

    So keeping the 12" prop and 880kv motors and stock esc do you think the flying time of 10 min and 3+kg weight is still doable if I buy a 5000 mah 4s battery you used in your test without detrimental effect to the longetivity of the motors?

  • Roger,

    These stats are for the old hexacopter frame - the new style frame is a little smaller and actually will not fit anything larger than 11 inch props. So you'll have to get the smaller props unless you have one of the original frames (with the circular middle plates & longer arms; these frames have been replaced at least 5 months ago already)

  • Jeff,

    The 3kg+ all up weight is very enticing ... the propeller you used on the 880kv motor test involved an 11x47 apc prop ... However, I have stock up on the 12x47 so the question is, do you have an opinion on the impact of using the 12 propeller on the 880 setup you've documented in terms of motor performance and the more important length of flying. Also, I've bought a couple of 3s 5000mah batteries already so same question, if using your frame and doing the 3kg+ all up weight, what will be the impact on motor performance and flight time. Thanks.

  • Great... Thank you Jeff

  • The stock PID settings work just fine, I haven't needed to change them yet! :)

  • Can you give us the PID Settings for the 3DR Hexa Frame... All stock of course...

    APM2.0 (Arducopter 2.5.5)

    850KV purple motors

    stock ESCs 20A

    4S LiPo

    10" 4,7 APC Props

    Thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ok... I just finished reading the 2.5 comments. Will try again... Weird thing was I increased throttle_p on my 3DR 50% and it still was dropping (>3m)... Will play with it and 2.5.12. It's almost like we need a subforum for every release to organize common issues and folks logging/working them vs. reading all the pages as the community grows :)

  • 3D Robotics

    Cliff-E. If you fly around a bit it should learn your Alt Hold setting, but we're setting a better default in the next software, 2.5.1. If you want to try that now, before we release it in the Mission Planner, you can download it here and load it with Arduino. 

  • No problem, makes sense. A solid kit, flies as smooth and drifts less than my MK Hexa. Very good job--the frame looks like it can take a beating.

    I realized the motors and weight (though heavier than the MK, as they come in 1200g dry) bias the APM PID logic to be smoother as you add weight...

    I do have one other problem: alt hold is not working, switching into that mode, the hexa just drops. Throttle PIDs appear to have little effect , though when throttle_rate_p is at 0.9, it sort of holds, but twitches a lot.

    I have my ESCs on medium timing (heard a few clicks during flight), and default everything else. I also checked with my co-worker that finished his kit this weekend, same settings, and guess what, his doesn't hold altitude as well. No foam on my baro, but my other APMs don't have foam and they hold-alt fine. Any suggestions?

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