The sUAS market for surveying applications are dominated by fixed-wing aircraft instead of multicopters. The reason is obvious, the multicopters have very short flight time and can not run long flight plans.

I'm not sure that this will go on for long. There are already many multicopters exceeding the hour and half flight time(only experimental flights without payload). Right now there is technology to stay one hour with a reasonable payload. Part of the "secret" is that the payload represents a small portion of the vehicle weight, which in practice is equivalent to using a larger multicopter.

The advantages of multicopters with respect to planes to do this kind of work where you have to move to an area where, almost certainly, you will not find a meadow of green grass is obviously the launch and recovery. Multirotors no need catapults, nor any parachute and not need landing strip, the roof of a vehicle can serve.

We are working on a very special model, it is a quadrotor with 1280mm diagonal for 27-29 inch propeller and a takeoff weight of about 12Kg. Though not proven, estimate flight time will be about 1 hour with 2 kg of payload.

Printing huge multicopters. All parts of this multicopter but arms and frame plates has been printed in PLA. it have about 112 hours of printing:




Pixhawk. Watch this! Pixhawk size compared to the frame:





Best regards,

Jose Luis Cortes


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  • Developer

    @Jack: what kind of power source do these tools use? :-p

  • Agree! The advantage of quadcopter in photomapping is not just easy to take off and landing. The position and altitude precision is usually only +-2m or even better in good weather, much better than fixed-wings.
  • @eduardo, Jack is one of the most brilliant people we have on here, also one of the most cynical.

    He also takes junk most of us would throw out and accomplishes nearly impossible things with it.


  • LOL :-)

  • Moderator
    @eduardo, you obviously are new to Jack Crossfire's unique communication style.
  • Hi jack, what wood programming language ? where i can read about this ?

    i never heard anything about this!

    thanks in advance

  • 3D printing is obsolete.  Google just invented the wood programming language.  What used to take 5 days & a $1000 printer now takes only an hour & $100 of hand tools.  It's insane how wood is reshaping the micro maker manufacturing movement.

  • T3

    True, you could have someone CNC it for you but using a CNC machine isn't a cakewalk either. Not only that, buying all the aluminum can get costly if you don't already have scrap to deal with.

    While 112 hours is a long time, it's not costing a lot of money at all to do and that's total time so far, not just for one part.

    These big multi's always scare me, much like the big heli's, but if you take the proper pre-cautions, I'm sure it's quite nice for some of the tasks that need to be done.

  • Any thoughts on using Taulman Bridge 618/645 nylon filament instead of brittle PLA? I'm currently in the middle of a large Hex build for a 5kg payload, and personally I wouldn't trust thousands of dollars worth of hardware to be held together or up by PLA, it would be great however to make a silicone mold from the PLA part and use that to quickly pour resin parts when you haven't got 112 hours to spare for another FDM print =)

  • Moderator
    Yes, Andrew, but FDM is not the only 3d printing process ;)
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