How to Pick The Best Multirotor Frame

Posted by
March 22, 2014

What’s The Best Multirotor Frame?

A lot of people want the best, but when it comes to multirotor frames, there really isn’t a “best multirotor frame” out there. Everyone has their own needs and opinions and it’s impossible for one frame to do it all. So on this page, I’ll be showing you everything you need to know in order to successfully find the right frame for your needs.

Motor Configuration Types

There’s a few different types of motor configurations, each with different benefits and drawbacks. There is no “best motor configuration” because everyone has different needs, but quadcopters are the most common.

Here are the most common motor configurations.

Tricopter: Good for smooth flying with fast response of yaw control.

Quadcopter: Easy to set up, lots of frame options and no servos required.

Hexecopter: More power than a quad with slightly better yaw control.

Octocopter: Most powerful and reliable.

Y6: More lift and more reliable then a quad (not as much lift as a hex).

X8: Slightly more lift then a hex but more compact and reliable.

I personally like quadcopters because of how simple and easy the designs are. Even though having more motors can sometimes save you in the event of a motor failure, it also means that there’s more of a chance of something going wrong (like failure of extra motors, ESCs, props and wiring).

Frame Categories

In order to pick the right frame, you have to know what you’re planning on using it for. Just because you know you want a quadcopter, that doesn’t mean that every quadcopter out there will suit your needs.

Here are the most common multirotor categorys, each with different attributes.

Aerial cinematography: Big enough to lift a specific camera with tall landing gear.

Sport: Super light-weight and extremely stiff for crisp and responsive control.

Sport FPV: Lots of mounting surfaces for extra electronics and action cameras.

Mini: Very small and virtually indestructible.

Mini FPV: Virtually indestructible with space to mount electronics and sometimes an action camera.

Make Sure That Things Fit

After you’ve picked the right frame, it’s a good idea to make sure that you know how you’re going to mount the flight controler. Some flight controller boards come with cases (like the DJI NAZA or 3DR Pixhawk) which allow you to use double-sided sticky tape to mount it to any frame, but most boards only have mounting holes, so you’ll have to look at the specifications of the frame to see if it accommodates the board you’re using.

You might also need to make sure that your motors fit on the frame. The mounting holes on brushless motors are pretty standardized and the motor mounts usually have oblong shaped holes to accommodate different sized motors, but most frame manufacturers will also give you the exact spacing between the two holes. If you can’t figure out what motors will fit on your frame, you can always just look around and see what other people are using.

Best Multirotor Frames

Here are some of the best multirotor frames for each category of flying. These are frames that I’ve either tried myself, or seen extremely good reviews about. The best quality materials are fiberglass (G10), carbon fiber and aluminium, but the most important thing is how well the frame is designed, not always the materials it’s made out of.

You might be wondering why the DJI phantom (which is a ready to fly quadcopter) is in the list of frames. Well, in my opinion, the phantom 2 with the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal is one of the best choices for aerial cinematography, as long as you’re not trying to shoot the next big hollywood movie. I’ve seen videos from the phantom that look better then videos shot with expensive octocopters. If you don’t like the idea of a quadcopter, then I would get the Flame Wheel F550 with DJI’s H3-2D gimbal.

So, hopefully by now you have the knowledge to be able to choose the best multirotor frame. If you have any more questions (about multirotor frames) or anything you’d like to add, leave a comment with your thoughts.

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