The TBS Gemini is a cool little drone. But where did the design come from and why is it better for racing?

As you probably know, Team BlackSheep recently announced a little hexacopter called the TBS Gemini, which you can read about here. They say that the Gemini is going to be the best multirotor out there for racing, but why should we believe them?

One of the biggest features of this drone is the frame. Surprisingly it was actually something that Team BlackSheep didn’t design themselves. The frame design actually came from a very smart german engineer who goes by the name of William Thielicke (aka Shrediquette).

Who Is William Thielicke?

William started building drones back in 2008 and has come out with a variety of cool and innovative multirotor designs over the years. He not only designed frames, but also flight controllers and software. He’s built a number of different models, from standard quadcopters using custom hardware and software to tiny Y6 models that could fit in the palm of your hand. Believe it or not, he also helped work on the design for the HEXO+ follow-me copter, a project that reached it’s funding goal of 50,000 in less then an hour and raised a total of over 1,000,000 dollars on Kickstarter.

Why Did Team BlackSheep Use This Design?

One crazy thing about the Gemini is that the frame design was actually created back in late 2012. There was a lot of research and a number of tests that went into creating this frame, so it’s no wonder that Team BlackSheep decided to go with it when coming up with a new product.

For most of the tests that were done, a wind tunnel was used to measure the amount of lift and drag that the model produced in forward flight. William eventually came to the conclusion that by rotating the motors and adding an aerodynamic shall to the model, you could dramatically reduce drag and increase lift. William’s final frame design had a 28% reduction of negative lift and a 31% reduction in drag.

The Gemini Is A Crab!

Originally, William got the design idea from a horseshoe crab. Technically it’s called a Limulus, a 450 million year old horseshoe crab that lives in shallow waters on soft sandy or muddy beaches. Honestly, they’re quite scary looking!

Horseshoe crab vs drone

The Original Gemini Video

Here’s the original video from William himself, posted back in 2013. In this cinematic video, he shows the flight characteristics of his gemini design. He also shows some of the wind tunnel results, which can also be found on his website here.