Quad/Hexacoptor Flight Controller for massive drones

I would like to make a hexacoptor that can carry a (very light) human-about 100 kilos all in. I was looking at the DJI Naza M, but saw a comment about how it was not a good idea for ultra large drones. What controller would you recommend?

That’d be great for kiddie rides at birthday parties!

Hope nobody loses their head

PixHawk will scale about as big as you want, and is very configurable. With radio telemetry, you can put your monster drone through its test flights without having to be aboard.

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would he have to you power transistors?

Essentially, a PixHawk controller is configured for a number of DC Servo Motors (1,2,4,6,8) depending on the device (car, boat, airplane, or drone). The PixHawk outputs data to a Sender/Receiver pair. It’s like FM (frequency modulated transmission), the PixHawk encodes RPM for the motors, camera gimbal changes, and devices commands like “Landing Gear Up”.

If Abitdamad plans to build a drone which can transport a human across 100 miles, it will require motors powered by petrochemicals, not Lithium batteries. This changes the game for a PixHawk controller. The motor frequencies which normally drive ESC drivers have to be adapted to gasoline engines and fuel injectors or carburetor controls using servos. It’s not a big deal, but its a consideration.

Read again.

Payload is 100 kg.

Range not specified.

Yikes. PixHawk, DJI, and other hobbyist autopilots don’t have redundancy. Given the payload is going to be a human I think that’s an important factor. Prepare for sticker shock.

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Payload weight was specified. Flight time was not. Flight profile (hover below 10 feet, climb out of sight, cruise around limited area, cruise cross country, etc) was not. Reliability was not.

Human carriage was specified. Human carriage of ONLY the owner/builder, ever, vs. friend, vs. guest that signs waiver, vs. commercial, vs free-for-all was not.

These gaps in specification, and the inclusion of “human” make me (and very likely others) extremely reluctant to comment on a forum that is subject to retention, and possible legal discovery, forever.

Perhaps there is another time/place/format for a discussion? Live and unrecorded? Meet at Maker?

I have already selected the motors, escs, and batteries. The craft will not fly above 10ft, for longer than 10 minutes, and reliability is not the top priority.
Only I will every fly in it.
When can we meet at the space? I just need a good, affordable, and easy to use flight controller for a hexacoptor.

There are a lot of these controllers on the market, most under $1000 (which is truly amazing). But, once you add in the condition that a human will fly in this thing; everything changes (as SpaceX will no doubt learn the hard way).

1st, I wouldn’t spec a “hexacopter”. If you have ever seen a hex try to fly with a single motor failure, you wouldn’t want to be aboard. An octocopter is the minimum config for human cargo. 2nd, @lukeiamyourfather is right about redundancy, if you ever plan to board your machine, you HAVE to have a failover system controller.

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Not if willing to take the risk. How many times did Wilbur and Orville hear that?

I’m pretty sure if they had the internet, autopilots, and off the shelf aviation components they would’ve done it differently. :grinning:


Recreations of the Wright Flyer have proven that the damned thing was almost impossible to pilot. They did just about everything wrong, but through shear bloody mindedness, they prevailed.

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