New Heavy Lift Prototype from Autonomous Avionics


Looking for feedback on the Autonomous Avionics SkyTractor Heavy Lift Octocopter. Any input is appreciated. Practical payload is 20 pounds, but we tested it with 30 pounds. Flight time is right around 12 minutes with the full payload, but the RED and Movi only weigh in around 12.5 pounds, so flight time should be around 15 minutes. We have built one with a DJI A2 flight controller and with a Pixhawk with good success.

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  • Thanks for the comments so far!

    Not shown in the prototype is the anti-vibration mount. We are working on a better mount to isolate the aircraft from the gimbal.


    Heat is always an issue and we are looking to add a cooling fan to the main electronics to keep things cooler. It was something we also saw as a potential issue during the prototyping phase.


    We looked at going with bigger props and lower KV motors, but keeping the size of the aircraft down was a big concern. The input is great and we will keep working on brining aircraft weight down to see if can get longer flight durations.

  • Interesting, the trick is to go with bigger props, lower Kv and higher voltage, check out the SteadiDrone VADER for ideas, the HL version does up to 55 pounds payload, and the standard version, up to 50min flight times.

  • Those ESC's will get hot, here in Australia it's coming to summer. Without airflow and lifting a payload it's going to heat up :-)

  • 3D Robotics

    How are you guys handle vibration to the payload? looks like the toad in the hole is just hard mounted to the bottom of the frame?

  • Hi DougB-

    The aircraft will handle a 20 knot wind pretty easily and is rock solid in the air. I will work on getting some video from the camera and of the UAV flying shortly and will post it when available.


    I do have a short clip from the maiden flight. If you notice the payload we used as a dummy for the camera and gimbal, it will give you a sense of the size and power of the aircraft.


    SkyTractor HL Maiden Voyage from Autonomous Avionics on Vimeo.

  • Do you have any video of it in flight? Also, some video from the camera in flight? How stable is it? How much wind will it handle?

    It looks nice,

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