Octocopter

Checking project ArchEyeAutomatic's octocopter after a flight at Lorsch AbbeyOur octocopter is the aircraft with the most flight hours so far. He has an unusual shape, which looks like a mixture of H and Y. But with this frame it is possible to mount the camera not below but in front of the copter. This keeps the centre of gravity flat, so the copter is not able to tilt while starting or landing. Also there is no need for a large landing gear, basically is is just four short legs of 6 cm each.

The autopilot system for the octocopter is the Mikrokopter platform, having a flight control board, a navigation board and a GPS receiver. It uses the Herkules III motor controller, a single board solution with high efficiency. The frame is designed and manufactured by Frank Thiemig, www.powerframe.de and kept fairly simple. This is important for flights where no spare parts are available – the rectangular tubes are made of aluminium and obtainable almost everywhere, so it is possible to repair the octocopter easily. With two 5800 mAh batteries it can fly with a Sony NEX7 up to 20 minutes in a light breeze. It can also stand stronger winds but they are reducing the flight time and also the photo quality can decrease.