Fortis Airframes Titan Tricopter 15" front blades 10" tail blade

For this build I tried to fit together fun, fun and more fun! I decided on a Titan Tricopter frame for its incredible crash resistance. The arms fold and legs shoot off to absorb the energy from a crash. It reminds me of a Formula 1 car, the only thing left is the cage that protects the vital parts.

I'm more of a slow flyer and wanted longer flights, however I still wanted the responsiveness of a Tri. For this I decided to put on larger blades and lower KV motors on the front, and a normal size prop and motor on the back.

I just ordered a pixhawk to continue line of 3DR brains (PX4, APM). It fits nicely in the body of the frame with just some foam holding it in place.

2 x 15x5" CF blades

1 x 10x4.5" Plastic blade

3 x 20amp AFRO esc (1 esc for rear servo)

1 x 30amp AFRO esc

2 x 360kv pancake motors

1 x 750kv motor

2200mAH Lipo

Pixhawk with external GPS/Comp

Views: 6137

Comment by Marius van Rijnsoever on June 22, 2014 at 12:05pm

Very impressive stable hold. How heavy is your copter and how long can you fly?

Comment by Daniel Lukonis on June 22, 2014 at 1:19pm

With the 2200mAh battery it is 1850 grams. I flew it for 15min today and stopped at 50% battery left. So probably about 18min flight time if I flew till the Lipo hit its lower limit.

Comment by Tom Mahood on June 22, 2014 at 2:32pm

I have a Fortis Tri airframe and really like it. He's done some elegant designing. I''m always a bit surprised that design hasn't got more attention, what with all the crash-proofing designed in it. It's a great beginner or advanced tricopter with readily available replacement parts. Unfortunately in my case  I tried pushing it to very large props (16" or above) and developed severe vibrations which I couldn't shake (pun intended). I ended up completely rebuilding the body but maintained a lot of the Fortis concepts. I documented my design/build adventures here and here. I was using an APM for that and not a Pixhawk though.

I didn't know you could mix props and KVs on a tri and get good results. What were your reasons for not using the same motor/prop on the rear?

Did you mathematically select the prop and KV combo for the rear to give you lift at hover roughly similar to the front two rotors?

Also I see you're not using Fortis's suspended camera/battery platform. Are you planning on doing any FPV or other imaging?

Anyway, very nice experiment. I will now remember that such motor/prop mixing is possible. Could come in handy.

Comment by Daniel Lukonis on June 22, 2014 at 3:29pm

I wanted the fronts to take most of the weight with good flight times. For this I chose my trusty pancake motors and 15" blades which I had great success with on my Solar Drone Experiment. I chose the smaller prop/motor on the rear for responsiveness. Essentially the front blades acting like plane wings, and the small rear motor/prop acting like a rudder/elevator.

I didn't do any math for the matchup. Luck prevailed.

I do plan on much longer flights and FPV in the future. I have a bunch of Panasonic NCR18650B batteries. I plan on mounting them under the front arms (picture attached). I'll then remove the battery from below and mount the camera on the anti-vibration mount at that time. This will hopefully add more front weight.

Comment by F. C. Bearsch on June 23, 2014 at 12:00pm
Great setup... Thinking of trying the same... Do you ever have issues with the tilt servo stripping?
Comment by F. C. Bearsch on June 23, 2014 at 12:08pm
The arms remove so can you build the batteries into the arms?
Comment by Artem on June 23, 2014 at 4:20pm

I have tri with 3x 15" props and 380kv multistars ))  I get regular 24min slowfly FPV and about 18-19 when doing flips, ful speed runs with a 4Ah 4s flightmaxes.  I am using RCE body though, and I figured out that for a 15" inch prop on the tail I use a slim-wing servo between 2 flitetest derlin mounts,,,, 

Comment by Artem on June 23, 2014 at 4:24pm

I think it will be better to keep the battery in the center as it is always good for balance... low and in the center....  

just my 5c..... 

Comment by F. C. Bearsch on June 23, 2014 at 4:52pm
nice, going to build one up and see if I can get a plus 20min flight time, however I think I will try li-ion batts in the arms...
Comment by Artem on June 23, 2014 at 4:58pm

better cut the frame yourself with a dremel and use 16mm tarot hardware with 16mm tubes, this way you will be able to fit you li-ion inside the booms along with the ESC wiring.... 


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