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.


Yikes. I notice that you mentioned affordable… have you speced out and priced the rotors you are going to need for this? I don’t know exactly off hand what the pitch and size you will need but you are talking 36 inch or bigger rotors I’d think at minimum possibly even approaching the 50 inch mark depending and you’ll need 8 of them. Last I looked you’re going to have to pay 2 to 3 k per pair and will also need backups for all 4 sets in pairs. So you’re talking 8 pair at 2to 3 k per pair. We’re you planning to buy or make them? You can get good rotors from folding carbon fiber and save a lot of money but it’s a pretty advanced process without much room for variance and a pretty steep learning curve. This thing may cost you as much as a new mid sized car. I may be wrong here but I don’t think prices have dropped much in the last 24 months since I looked at rotors. If you have a cheaper source, please, please share it.

Edit I’m sorry you said hex not octo.

This project very rapidly went far over my budget, but the DJI 7000 is about 300-400 dollars each, including the motor, prop, esc, and a carbon fiber tube/mount.

That’s setup is highly reasonable in price. What length abd pitch at the blades?


33 inch twin blade. Couldn’t find much else

33 to 36is about the longest I’ve ever found that are anywhere near an affordable price. I’ve seen 50 and 60 inch rotors but they get exponentially more expensive after 33 or 36