Quadcopter made from wood

After building my last quadcopter drone, I was lest with a lot of spare parts, I’ve decided to invest some time (and money, of course) and build wooden multirotor drone. Od course, not everything would be made from wood. That is kind of impossible. Only frame. Quick research on the internet proven that is fully possible. A lot of people are using wood to build drone frames. If they can, so do I.

Since this project was supposed to be as cheap as possible, I’ve decided to use the same propeller size as my main setup: 10×4.5″, the same radio: Turnigy TGY-i6 and batteries Turnigy 3S 5000mAh 25C. Full planned configuration is as follows:

  • ~400mm wooden frame (plywood and slats) in Dead Cat configuration,
  • 10×4.5″ propellers,
  • Suppo 2212/13 1000KV motors,
  • 30A Xt-Xinte ESC,
  • Thunder QQ Super Flight Controller, since seller has sent me a new one,
  • Turnigy TGY-i6 radio,
  • Turnigy 5000mAh 3S 25C battery

Today was the first day of actual building. After one day I have central plate and front arms.

Cutting plywood for quadcopter frame

Fron arms with Suppo 2212/13 1000KV motor

Front arms attached to central plate

Fron arms with Suppo 2212/13 1000KV motor

3mm plywood was too flexible, so I reinforced central plate on edges with additional wooden slates. That gave some extra rigidness on longer axis. Arms are secured using M4 bolts.

I must say, that this frame might be way better than I expected in the beginning. I was surprised how rigid front arms are. And lighter than anticipated. It’s not done yet, but I expect frame’s weight will be around 400g. I’m only affraid if it will survive first crash…

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Turnigy MT2213-935KV MultiStar Motor & Propeller Combo 10-4.5 Review

Good motor-propeller combo is a key for building stable and reliable multirotor platform. Since many amateur RC builders does not feel qualified enough for choosing motor and propeller separately, many producers offer brushless motors and matching propellers as sets. One of them is Turnigy with their budget, entry level set of 935KV motor and matching 10×45 CW and CCW propellers.

MT2213-935KV motor propeller set

It contains:

  • one MT2213 935KV brushless motor with dual mount for both standard and DJI style sloted propellers with male 3mm “gold” connectors,
  • one CW 10×45 DJI style sloted prop,
  • one CCW 10×45 DJI style sloted prop,
  • 3 female 3mm “gold” connectors,
  • screws

First, the motors. They are rated at 935KV and are suited for both 3S and 4S batteries. Unfortunately, not too high power limit (200W in surge) does not allow to use 10″ props with 4 cell batteries. Manufacturer suggests 10″ prop with 3S and 8″ props with 4S. Too bad, since from my experience, their effective lift limit is around 250g per motor. Going above that value causes multicopter to behave little sluggish due to not enough power on more aggresive maneuvers. One the other hand, my current bulid uses four of those motors and weights 1400g with camera, FPV set and 5000mAh 3S battery. And it flies like a charm. I would not mind to have more power, but it’s fast and agile enough to have a lot of fun. Of course, one can forget about aggressive acrobations, but flips and rolls are doable as long and one remembers about alitude loss.

Very nice feature of those motors is possibility to use both DJI props and standard, not-sloted propellers. Short M6 shaft helps to eliminate extensive vibrations for running propellers. And a drop of anaerobic glue secures shaft’s nut tight enough not to let it unscrew in midflight.

Turnigy MT2213-935KV

Second, the propellers. To be frank, those props are crap. Sorry guys, but that is true. They are not rigid and reliable enough. At about 60% throttle they were going into audible oscillation that even my neighbor that had never any experince with RC recognized as something strange. And he was right, since one of those props actually broke during flip. And I think everybody knows what happens to a quadcopter when one of propellers stops to exists then machine is in the air. Crash. And although it fell into high grass grass that softened the fell, all four propellers were broken after that. So I replaced them with APC 10×4.5MR without any regrets.

To sum things up: motors yes, propellers absolutely not! If you are looking for a good 900~1000KV motor then consider Turnigy MT2213-935KV bought separately. And match them with, for example,  APC 10×4.5MR like I have.

All photos are from HobbyKing.com website

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