DIY Ghetto Retractable Landing Gear


Hello and happy new year.

I decided that I wanted to have retractable landing gear on my hexacopter, but I didn't want to pay the full price for a ready made set (£50/$80). With all the parts I gathered, it came to about £12/$18, so that's quite a saving to be made.

I made a write up article to help others to make their own in hope that we can begin to develop the Ardupilot to enable automatic retracting landing gear like on the DJI systems A2 flight controller. I hope that Droidplanner will have a dedicated button to enable/disable auto landing gear, and also to set the altitude trigger, using either the barometer or gps or optical flow sensors. If anyone has undertaken this suggestion already, i'd be grateful for some links posted in the comments. 

Many thanks and happy flying

Tutorial Link:

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • thanks for sharing links, looks like the best deal around at the minute for ready made :)

  • Tarot retract

    They sell a controller but a servo y lead works just fine. I run it of the existing ubec with a big capicator. Is that too risky?
  • hi gareth, have got a link for the tarot retracts for £10 each. I'd like to find them. Do they include everything such as control board, legs, servo, wires, ubec etc? thanks.

  • Why not just set your rx failsafe to lower retracts?

    Also tarot have their retracts with cf landing gear for £10 each delivered if your looking some cheap retracts. Just installing them now.

    Also thinking might need a little programming of taranis so they will not retract when throttle is at zero to stop my hex falling on its camera if i flick the wrong switch while still on the ground.

  • an auto retract experiment has begun but I would like some comments:

  • Brilliant idea Artem. I like the idea of using both the transmitter + telemetry as a method to control failsafe,

    and the use of Arduino nano + sonar to control landing gear,  - but with signal filtering & override as Rob suggested.

    To me these suggestions are possible future implementations for my drone.

  • I wonder how many people are already using teensy to receive telemetry on their taranisi? It should be relatively easy to trigger on of the PWM pins based on mavlink altitude, RTL, failsafe and error messages..... 

  • legs are the ones which came with the s550 frame. Rob you star!

  • Nice idea.  What legs are you using for the retracts?

  • If the Ardupilot fails, I think the landing gear being up is the least of your problems. ;)

    I sure would't slave landing gear to a simple sonar sensor.  It will constantly be going up and down in flight at random times. You at least need to employ intelligent signal filtering.

This reply was deleted.