So I have to write a report on a rotor craft for presentation in class. I will try to cover the basics on this report and it this one will be a bit shorter than the one I will present in class.
Rotor craft or rotary-wing aircraft, use a spinning rotor with aerofoil section blades (a rotary wing) to provide lift. Types include helicopters, auto-gyros, quad copters, hexacopters, octa-copters and various hybrids such as gyrodynes and compound rotor craft. A helicopter, the most common rotor craft is a type of rotor-craft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to be used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft and many forms of VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft cannot perform.
Hexacopter – This is a type of remote controlled flying device that has six propellers. Most of us are used to them as drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The propellers are arranged in a circular shape above the main body of the hexacopter. This body often carries a camera and features two legs shaped like skis. These skis allow the device to be stable when it lands. The six propellers give this craft more maneuverability and flying power than a quad copter. The craft can fly very steadily and reach higher altitudes than a quad copter too. This is because it has more lifting power. If you are using an expensive camera to capture footage with this craft, you can be sure that it is can fly the camera without any problems of stability.
The helicopter is composed of six rotors with constant pitch propellers; the six rotors are arranged as three counter-rotating offset pairs mounted at vertices of a triangular frame, with matched sets of counter-rotating rotor blades. Differential thrust from these three equally spaced points make helicopter able to manoeuvre quickly and precisely. Euler–Lagrange approach is used to obtain the dynamical model. Classical Linear Feedback control and nonlinear control strategy are proposed for control. The roll and the forward displacement are controlled by using a nested saturation control law. The pitch and lateral displacement are controlled in a similar way.
The UAV is a custom multi-rotor helicopter that consists of off-the-shelf parts. Six DJI 2212 motors connected to a DJI Flame Wheel F550 hexacopter frame and connected via 30A electronic speed controllers (ESCs) to the ArduPilot Mega 2.5 (APM 2) autopilot system. The ArduPilot handles low-level control of the ESCs, input and output from sensors (3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer, barometer, GPS), autonomous stabilization, GPS-based navigation, and hardware fail-safe (fallback to Spektrum 7-ch remote/ AR receiver). The APM 2 is connected via MAVLink protocol to an embedded PC. The embedded PC is responsible for executive control of the aircraft (i.e. running the tracking software itself). A camera is mounted on a servo-stabilized gimbal underneath the UAV and is also connected to the embedded PC. A 3DR 900 MHz Telemetry module is attached to the embedded PC to enable two-way communication with ground vehicles and forwarding of MAVLink messages to the APM 2.
Battery – These devices are still big energy consumers and its an area that still needs a lot of attention. For now this hexacopter uses the standard LiPo Gens Ace 4S 4000 MAh 25C battery which has a flying time of 10 minutes carrying a load and about 15 minutes without a load.
Uses – There are countless uses for this drone and many other drones in general. You can mount virtually anything on it that is within its weight carrying limit depending on the mounting you are using. Uses include video filming, picture taking, tracking, search and rescue, sports monitoring like in Formula 1 instead of using helicopters and so forth.
The main advantage of this craft is that it can keep flying even if one propeller blade fails. The motors powering the propellers are placed 120 degrees apart. If one fails, the other 5 can easily keep the craft airborne. The drone will land safely with no issues thus protecting the camera that is attached to it. In addition to that, this craft can easily be landed even if it loses two propellers. 4 of them are equal to those on a quadcopter’s. As a result, it can still fly effectively. Due to the 6 propellers, a hexacopter can achieve altitudes that are way higher than those that a quadcopter can achieve. This is because the propellers give it more uplift power than that of a quadcopter. This drone can fly faster than a quadcopter. Again, this is as a result of more propellers. A hexacopter has more load carrying capacity than a quadcopter. Thus, you can attach more payload to it than a quadcopter. As such, you can carry a high performance camera with a hexacopter.
Hexacopters are more expensive to build than quadcopters. The extra rotors cost more. In addition to that, they are larger than quadcopters. As such, they are not as compact. If they get damaged, the rotors of a hexacopter are more expensive to repair or replace.
The use of these UAV makes for a futuristic feel as seen in the video
Video – YouTube – DJI – Introducing the Matrice 600
If you are tech savvy, you can buy the parts detailed on the pic below and assemble one yourself. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube and online that can assist you in the whole process. You can also contact me and I will gladly assist you in the whole process.
AviaConnect (M B Dube)