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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  • Waiting is definitely the hardest part.. will porbably be a few weeks before I have the parts.  I will definitely post pictures.  Thanks again Lan/Lam/Iam

  • @Shyam, not complaining, I just change my name :)

    I've used 12A ESC and had no problems. I wanted light weight. You might be OK with 12A ESC's, but if your craft get's heavy and uses much more power then it might not. You will have to try it and see, I was flying where the temperature was about 20 degrees also, if you fly somewhere that is hot then you also might need larger ESC's. 


    Cool now its just lots of waiting..., hope to see a picture and flight-times when you have your craft build!

  • @ ian: Apologies for spelling mistake, before you complain :-P

  • @Iam: I was wondering about the keeping the weight down by purchasing individual ESC's and each of them on the arms will help dissipate its own heat rather than like a 4 in 1 ESC chip in the middle.

    For this design, 12 Amps for the ESC's seem sufficient (that you used), but isn't it true that if 20 A ESC's will get less hot (because they have a greater capacity) and can be used say, in case of a 4S LIPO battery (for flying, not hovering). The 12 A ESC might just get to their cutoff ;) ? Please correct my understanding.

  • Thanks again!  Might have been a "ready-fire-aim" situation but i figured I'd jump in . 

    And thanks for the recommendation!  I've already purchased the 12A ESCs but maybe I'll pick up the 20s to have as well.  Still no flight control board yet.. hoping for the KK2.0's to become available soon, but still doing my research.. still trying to keep the budget under control!

  • @Pete,

    First quadcopter! That's a big undertaking! 

    You can use any battery, if you purchased the 17" props and 360kv motors you will need a 4S lipoly battery. I would run 20A ESC's, mine were a bit small, to be lighter, I never used much power to hover, but to fly around it might be better to have bigger ones.

    A panasonic Li-ion pack is between a 3S and 4S LiPo, a 4S Lipo will have a bit more power than a panasonic pack.

    A 4S-5A 500g battery will run over 30 minutes on my copter.

  • First off.. thanks for the writeup!  I've learned so much from this thread and all the comments.

    For better or worse, i am using this as a starting point for my first quadcopter.  I ordered the same motors,props and ESC.  I'm trying to figure out which flight controller would work for my budget and will try to get away with a cheap HK one for the time being.

    My question is about the battery.. I see the awesome results you have with the high end panasonic batteries, but I'm trying to see if there is a battery that I can use that will just get me in the air.   Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • You can always experiment, and then you will see for yourself how a 3S or 4S pack works on your quad. It takes a lot of trial and error before you get something to work well, nothing is ever exact.

  • Hi Shyam,

    I don't know the exact rpm of my quad, but I do know at apx. 1500g on 3S it take 70~75% throttle input. And when your down 50% of the pack it won't hardly lift off, so you waste power left in the pack by not running higher voltage. Also if you have a heavier quad then 3S will be even worse.

  • Hi Andrew,

    4*600mm tubes.. sounds like your M2M distance exceeds 1.2 meters. Is that true? How does it compare with a smaller M2M distance? Your views would help me understand better.

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