My 97minute:06second record quadcopter flight


Quadcopter details:

-Custom CF frame built from 12mm tubes and 1m~3mm CF plate.

- RCTimer 17x5.5 CF Props

- Turnigy Plush 12A ESC's running BLHeli firmware

- RCTimer 5010 - 360Kv motors

- Panasonic NCR18650 13,600A battery pack

- Bareduino Arduino FC with MPU6050

- OrangeRX DSM satellite RX

- AUW 1296 grams with battery

- Frame AUW is 499 g


Everything is COTS (standard, off the shelf) equipment.


More details to be posted on the massive thread and amazing duration quadcopter's built and posted by EoD here.

RCGroups current all-time duration multicopter thread


- RCTimer motors had original 18awg wires replaced with 24awg bringing the total weight to 79.9g

- Props were sanded and balanced, motors balanced.

- Motor-prop screws are 3mm aluminum.

- Motor screws are 4 x per motor and nylon. All 16 screws are less than a couple grams.

- Super light frame came in at 66 grams

- Barduino Arduino board from seedstudio along with an MPU6050 breakout board was used to build a tiny Multiwiicopter flight controller.

- A Spektrum satellite RX was used for the radio link. A larger MWC board was used to tune the flight parameters first then the bareduino was installed. You have to load the firmware, edit the PID"s using the MWC software, then again reflash the board to enable Spektrum support on Arduino's with one shared serial port.

- The Plush ESC's are running BLHeli firmware, and were stripped of one voltage regulator each. Heatsinks were added.

- Most "data/esc" wires are ~36awg.

- The battery pack is the awesome Panasonic 18650 cells as posted by EoD on his duration quadcopter flights.


The flight:

- It started at about 11:30am. Battery pack was charged at 2A for about 7 hours. Rested for 30min, then flown.

- I installed a small battery voltage monitor so I could land before the pack got to low. 5grams, cost me a minute.

- About 30 minutes in I was at about .400mv down, I had about 4.2V of power. Looking good!

- 1 hour in. Still lots of power, however the voltage started to drop a bit faster. Every 0.01v ticked by and I could tell it didn't last as long as when the flight started.

- 1.15 minutes in. Still looking good, starting to realize maybe we won't make 120 minutes.

- 1.25 minutes in. Wow we are dropping faster and fast, I still need 11 minutes. After flying for almost 1.5hours I hoped I would not be seconds short of the record. Going for it!

- 1.30 minutes in. I can't remember where it was, 3.15 per cell I think. But I was able to quickly calculate how long a 100mv was lasting and what I had left to 2.7V (my personal cut-off point) and it I'm not sure if I will make another 6! minutes.

1.35.45 . The longest 5 minutes, 45 seconds ever.

- 1.36 minutes 2.80v per cell, some at 2.79, one at 2.75. I knew here I beat the current "hi-score" record! Pushing ahead.

- 1.37 minutes Started hitting 2.7 on some cells, decided to land. According to EoD he had a "couple" minutes at this point. Not wanting to damage my battery I landed it here.



Could this design fly longer? 100 minutes? maybe. I could remove the heatsinks on the ESC's, they didn't add any minutes and 'cost' me 5 grams of time, copper enameled wires, direct solder the battery instead of connectors, and not use the battery voltage monitor. This would save at least 20~30grams and I think you could safely fly to over 100 minutes. Maybe 101!


The 97 minute video!

Some pictures inserted into the video. Any questions just ask. Sorry for the "Alien Autopsy" quality video it was hard to capture this indoors in poor lighting and it has been to windy outdoors.

contact: cptfrazz(at)gmail





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  • Ian,

    I used 4* 600mm tubes on the drone, the frame is Tarot ironman 650 but I almost made it 900, so it's about 900mm width?It flown quite good, except I haven't test it with 2*5000mah 4S batteries yet, I might do it this weekend if everything goes right. I brake one of the prop as I set the level gain too low, the drone crash into the grass. I am waiting for my props' package to arrive,  so I can replace them and test how long this Giant can stay in the air

  • 360kV - correction* not 260kV

  • Hi ian,

    Could you highlight on that 'will hardly fly with 3S'. What's the reason of it not flying at mid throttle?

    260kV = 360 revolutions per volt. 11 volts means 3960 revolutions with required current. What do you think sould be the RPM to get a hover (with your copter's weight).

    Sorry, for these questions. My mind is a bit bamboozled and I need to make it quite with convincing it :)

  • Hi Shyam,

    Two problems with what you propose. They don't make low C li-po batteries anymore, since 2~3 years ago. People have been looking for them in other groups/thread and I have not seen any posted.

    Second thing, your copter with 5010-360kv motors on 3S will hardly fly. You need more voltage, it will be flying at 70-80% throttle and that's if it's as light as mine. 

  • Hi @ian,

    I was looking at standard 3S LIPO, 5000mah battery. I could only see 20 C as the minimum discharge rate for the batteries. Is there something less (I saw a post mentioning 1 C or less discharge rate). Could you post a link to such battery?

    I would like something that is rechargeable with my current setup (i.e. Accucel charger from HK), pref. a LIPO.


  • I do see that, just thought it was funny :) I could always just change my name :)

    Oh so a battery pack in the middle is better then from that standpoint. I don't think you would get any savings in wind resistance either. The props don't reach into the middle, and your not flying forward when going for endurance times. It would only be to make it look nice then, not fly longer.

  • the center mass is better for stability which in turn increases flight time.

  • because I (i) looks like a l (L)  I used two different letters...

  • why does everyone call me Lan? instead of ian?

  • @marcelo

    I understand how you are wiring it. That is a good setup. It will look nice. But it will still have a lot of wires compared to the packs in the center. You also have to now run 3 wires from each motor to the center as well. Are you going to run the motor wires inside the tubes as well?

This reply was deleted.