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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  • @lan,

    Thank you for the link. Interesting. I saw that there is a nice explanation (in german, that I translated to english to read):

    It talks about motor diam in mm (d [rotor] = rotor diameter in mm), is it 50*10mm for this 5010-14 360kV motor? (motor link).

    However, I could not find there the excel sheet that you had mentioned.

    You are right, I heard above panasonic fake cell manufacturers. I ordered bulk (so i just hope that they are not fake when the cells arrive :(

  • EoD's spreadsheet.

    You can use the spreadsheet and see how adding say twice the battery capacity will affect flight time.

    If you use a higher C battery then you can have a higher weight copter, for the same battery configuration.

    $5.5/cell is a good price, please post your results with those cells, It would be nice to know if they are real and not fake Panasonic cells. Many low cost ones are fake cells.

    RC Groups - View Single Post - 129min 15s flighttime with quad
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  • Btw, for interested folks, ordering in bulk from '' cost me:

    ~5.5$/cell when you buy at least 4 dozen of batteries.

  • Hey @Lan: 

    I have ordered dozens of 3400mAh Panasonic ncr18650 to experiement. Discharge rate of 1C.

    I have also ordered 2900mAh Panasonic ncr18650 cells, its seems its discharge rate is 10 Amps (almost 3.5 C) to experiment with.

    Wouldn't that (2900mAh) be a benefit for heavier flights (requiring more C, current draws) ?

    - Would putting more batteries in series such as 6S4P (3400mAh) or 8S4P be more beneficial in flight times ;) Any comments on that?

    - Can you post the link of the excel sheet,  'flight times vs. weight'


    costs: 5.5$/cell 

  • @Andrew, yes anything that makes it heavier will give you less flight time. EoD has an xcel spreadsheet that lets you calculate flight times vs. weight for these long duration multicopters on the thread I posted in the blog details. I've been using that for a reference and it's pretty good.

  • Not sure, I've never tested flight times based on longer or shorter arms. I only have the one size. I think though that at 900mm there could be a lot of flex in the arms using such small tubes. If you fixed that by going with larger arms then you would have less flight time.

  • @lan,

    How would M2M distance affect the flight times? If I have two quads each with exact same built, but different M2M distance, say 750mm and 900mm, how would this affect the final flight time?

  • Ian,

    Just find the reason it doesn't fly well: gps of naza-lite needs to be recalibrate if you haven't used for a while. I took the gps off the big quad and put it on my F450, the quad shift when it is on >6 satelliates, and after I redo the calibration, quad hovers incredible well without any sorts of shifting.

    Anyway, I hope it work well on the big quad as well. Also, I find out that my quad without battery was 1.2kg, it's a bit heavy than normal, and with the battery:2*5000mah 4S is around 2.3kg. It is a massive of weight!!!Will the decrease the eiffiency of the motor?

  • Hi Andrew.

    The NAZA should work fine on this size of a quad. Do you have a video you can post so we can see what the problem is? Also you may want to read the main duration thread on RCG for settings others are using for the NAZA. I don't fly with the NAZA so I don't know what the settings should be. With the MultiWii Software it works very well on default settings.

  • Ian-I had few flight was my huge quad and find out that it seem to react really slow, I am using a naza lite with gps, but it doesn't over really stable, and return to home doesn't work with the drone.

    Please let me know if what's best configuration for such a big quad
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