Thirty Days (#13): Y6 in-flight motor failure tests

Testing out how the new Y6 responds to an in-flight motor failure. Not bad!

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Comment by Jared Reabow on May 17, 2013 at 6:10pm

hmm would be nice if you made a more clear video, perhapse record at a higher angle or closer/zoom

Comment by Joshua Ott on May 17, 2013 at 6:43pm

We'll get another one up soon. The flight ops guys down in San Diego are up here in the Bay area to attend Maker Faire this weekend. When they get back home, there will be more tests and video.

Here is an onboard view:

Comment by John on May 17, 2013 at 8:35pm

Very neat video!

On a Y6 configuration is there any adverse aerodynamic effect to having the lower propeller working in the airstream of the upper propeller? Seems like the thrust of the upper propeller will constantly be slamming against the lower propeller disk.

Comment by Joshua Ott on May 17, 2013 at 10:26pm

John, you are definitely correct, there is an efficiency loss, but the gains found in overall function and performance are worth consideration.

Joe did a bunch of testing and found that a 11x4.7 prop on the bottom and a 10x4.7 on the top are the best setup for the Y6.

Comment by Ian Drennan on May 17, 2013 at 11:32pm
The motor out recovery looks impressive. Having had the misfortune of losing a propellor blad on my quad I was wondering whether the Y6 configuration would be able to recover from a propellor failure. I am thinking the resultant excessive vibration would play havoc with the accelerometers. Any thoughts?
Comment by Cliff-E on May 18, 2013 at 12:03am

@Ian: Yes, it's a bit more abrupt initially as a motor power failure allows the prop to autorotate a bit to give the controllers time to adjust. With a prop snap, you lose power immediately and it will lean immediately to an uncontrollable attitude if you don't react quickly.

I found a Y6 motor failure barely controllable with AC2.7 & earlier versions, but with AC2.9+, you're seeing the improved throttle control algos really shine in the above video. Good job guys.

As for coaxial configurations:

I find that "it all depends", the NASA paper shows about a 18% efficiency loss... I do find my Y6 flght times are 3-4min less than my hexas flight times. As for power, on pure vertical climb I see periodic effects with climb rate on the Y6 sometimes, where as the hexas are always "linear". In horizontal flight, the Y6 has more pitch/bowl effect and needs more angle boost compensation to stay level.  But the Y6 hovers better in wind and moves more acrobatically like a quad when in motion comared to the hexas.

Comment by David Anders on May 18, 2013 at 1:47am

That's very good Josh.  Especially like the motor failure setup.  Question, is there a new Hex coming out that will be able to continue to fly with only 5 motors?

Comment by Max Levine on May 18, 2013 at 1:54am

After testing Y6 setups for long time, I can tell there is no need for different speeds or prop sizes with prop size up to 12", also it much better to use E-props and not SlowFlyers, on 800-900KV motors with 4S lipos.
If you want to fly in strong wind Y6 or X8 with e-props is the best setup.  

Comment by Glenn M on May 18, 2013 at 3:22am

Hi Max, when you say e-prop, are you referring to APC E props or the graupners?

Comment by Jared Reabow on May 18, 2013 at 3:37am

I did a bot of research and found you loose 25% of your power and efficiency through this setup, so what you gain through redundancy you loose in flight time and power to weight, however i would rather have a copter that ;ands more often than a copter than "lands" once.


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