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Old Jan 31, 2016, 01:59 PM
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35 minute flight time with 450 APM heli

i installed an apm on a cheap hk450 heli a few month ago and got it flying pretty good before i stripped out a servo, but before that happened i tried my 5200mah 3s 10c multistar pack and it hovered for 35 minutes about 10 feet above the ground with no wind, considering that my phantom gets 25 minutes without any fpv gear on the same battery i was amazed.

i managed to test ALT hold and it worked very well but i didnt have a gps onboard so i couldn't test loiter.

i showed this to my friend who flies rc helicopters and he was amazed that i could just take my hands off the controls and it would pretty much just sit there and that i could fly figure of 8's after only a few flights. since it now had an apm it was basically a quad with autolevel so it was very natural to fly coming from multirotors.

so now that i have seen what is possible i have decided to overhaul the cheap stock hk450 and get it ready for FPV. im going to keep it light, just a fpv camera, microminimosd and a small 200mw vtx

for control i will be using my 9xr pro with 16ch openLRS and telemetry.

flybarless head coversion since apm will be stabilising it
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...450_HK450.html

digital metal gear servos,
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...12sec_10g.html

30A YEP esc with governor mode
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...ontroller.html

CNC Tail assembly, the stock one is very sloppy
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/380738238345

carbon frame parts to replace the broken aluminimum
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...ide_Frame.html
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...ide_Frame.html
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking..._tail_fin.html

Mini APM 3.1, it fits perfectly inside the frame under the tail
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MiniAPM-V3...item1a002746fe

mini ublox 7 gps/compass where the gyro would normally go
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Ublox-...In597OSpCMviBA

power sensor
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/APM2-5-2-A...AAAOSwFqJWlbyd




im still waiting on most of the parts i should be getting most of it tomorrow.

has anyone else done APM helicopters or flown fpv?
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Last edited by geofrancis; Jan 31, 2016 at 02:21 PM.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 02:17 PM
Pa flyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geofrancis View Post
i installed an apm on a cheap hk450 heli a few month ago and got it flying pretty good before i stripped out a servo, but before that happened i tried my 5200mah 3s 10c multistar pack and it hovered for 35 minutes about 10 feet above the ground with no wind, considering that my phantom gets 25 minutes without any fpv gear on the same battery i was amazed.

so now that i have seen what is possible i have decided to overhaul the cheap stock hk450 and get it ready for FPV

flybarless head coversion
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...450_HK450.html

digital metal gear servos
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...12sec_10g.html

30A YEP esc with governor mode
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...ontroller.html

CNC Tail assembly
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/380738238345

carbon frame parts to replace the broken aluminimum
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...ide_Frame.html
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking...ide_Frame.html
http://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking..._tail_fin.html

Mini APM 3.1, it fits perfectly inside the frame under the tail
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MiniAPM-V3...item1a002746fe

mini ublox 7 gps/compass where the gyro would normally go
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Ublox-...In597OSpCMviBA




im still waiting on most of the parts i should be getting most of it tomorrow.

has anyone else done APM helicopters or flown fpv?

I've got one of my 450s set up for fpv. It's a HK450GT with the fbl head and a Skylark Tiny OSD. With a 2200, 20C battery I only get 4 minutes, but I only run the battery down to just below storage voltage. Between the OSD, it's current sensor and GPS, plus the camera and VTX there's a lot of extra weight on the helicopter.

I just set up a Bixler for FPV to get more flight time.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pa flyer View Post
I've got one of my 450s set up for fpv. It's a HK450GT with the fbl head and a Skylark Tiny OSD. With a 2200, 20C battery I only get 4 minutes, but I only run the battery down to just below storage voltage. Between the OSD, it's current sensor and GPS, plus the camera and VTX there's a lot of extra weight on the helicopter.

I just set up a Bixler for FPV to get more flight time.
you must have been running a really high headspeed only to get 4 minutes i pretty much had mine fast enough to keep it in the air.


i have been eyeing up a 6s setup for this heli, 1300kv motor, 6s esc 2x 5200 3s batteries and 4 bladed head, if i can get 35 minutes from 3s i should get 45 from 6s.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geofrancis View Post
you must have been running a really high headspeed only to get 4 minutes i pretty much had mine fast enough to keep it in the air.


i have been eyeing up a 6s setup for this heli, 1300kv motor, 6s esc 2x 5200 3s batteries and 4 bladed head, if i can get 35 minutes from 3s i should get 45 from 6s.
Just put the 2x5200 packs in parallel with the setup you have now.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmackenzie View Post
Just put the 2x5200 packs in parallel with the setup you have now.
whats the max weight of a 450 heli ?
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geofrancis View Post
whats the max weight of a 450 heli ?
He was going to put the 2x5200 in series. Putting them in parallel won't make it any heavier than if they were in series .

But I agree he might be at the point of diminishing returns.

Stretching the heli might be better than going to a 4 blade head.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmackenzie View Post
He was going to put the 2x5200 in series. Putting them in parallel won't make it any heavier than if they were in series .

But I agree he might be at the point of diminishing returns.

Stretching the heli might be better than going to a 4 blade head.
i was looking at longer blades i think i read 360mm blades will fit, the other option was asymmetrical blades but i cant find anywhere that sells them for a reasonable price.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geofrancis View Post
whats the max weight of a 450 heli ?
It depends on how much lift it can produce. Higher voltage, higher head speed, and longer blades will raise the limit. Increasing voltage is probably the quickest route to longer flight times. Though it's always a trade-off for weight and performance. The closer you are to maximum lift, the lower the climb rate and the slower the response to controls.

I've done a little experimenting myself with extending flight times on helis. The best I've done is 15 minutes for a 120 size heli using an over-size battery. However, performance degrades quite a bit as weight increases. I normally use a standard battery providing six minute flight times with that one.

Newer flybarless controls provide the same self-leveling flight mode as the APM so it can be done with others as well. Even so that's a pretty impressive flight time. If the objective is only level flight for the purpose of FPV it can be practical. Typically helis are performance oriented so the long flight times are usually left to the multis. Though a single rotor may be a more efficient platform.
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Old Jan 31, 2016, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigHB View Post
It depends on how much lift it can produce. Higher voltage, higher head speed, and longer blades will raise the limit. Increasing voltage is probably the quickest route to longer flight times. Though it's always a trade-off for weight and performance. The closer you are to maximum lift, the lower the climb rate and the slower the response to controls.

I've done a little experimenting myself with extending flight times on helis. The best I've done is 15 minutes for a 120 size heli using an over-size battery. However, performance degrades quite a bit as weight increases. I normally use a standard battery providing six minute flight times with that one.

Newer flybarless controls provide the same self-leveling flight mode as the APM so it can be done with others as well. Even so that's a pretty impressive flight time. If the objective is only level flight for the purpose of FPV it can be practical. Typically helis are performance oriented so the long flight times are usually left to the multis. Though a single rotor may be a more efficient platform.
i believe helicopters can be much more efficient than multirotors simply because your not size limited with the prop, it takes far less energy to spin 1 large prop compared to 4 smaller ones.

i already have ardupilot powered planes and quadcopters so when i seen this video i had to build one,
Arducopter 3.0 Helicopter Demonstration (13 min 58 sec)


this one made me want to FPV it

Testing ArduCopter 3.0.1 on TradHeli - Second flight (5 min 17 sec)
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 11:20 PM
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Any updates ?
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Old Jun 21, 2016, 05:12 AM
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Any updates ?
nah i stopped this project after a few failures, helicopters are very mechanically complicated, combining that with very complex electronics just made reliability a nightmare.

if you started with a well setup heli with proven reliability it could be done but you cant start out with all new parts there is just too much to go wrong.

I ended up just building a hex for long flight time and getting a vortex for fast flying.
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Old Jul 01, 2016, 09:03 AM
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another heli guy lost
oh well, good luck with your future projects.
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Old Jul 01, 2016, 04:45 PM
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Sorry to see it didn't work out using a heli. Yeah helis are complicated for sure. They have a lot of moving parts. Though I don't see any reason you can't get a heli to fly reliably on extended flight times. The ones I have are pretty darn reliable as long as I'm not crashing them. Reliability has never been an issue for me, it's the time it takes for setup and the complexity of crash repairs. If you crash you pretty much have to rebuild completely checking all components are in good shape. That takes some time. With a multi as long as the props are in good shape and spin true you're pretty much good to go. Still I prefer to fly helis, they're just more enjoyable.
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Old Jul 01, 2016, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigHB View Post
Sorry to see it didn't work out using a heli. Yeah helis are complicated for sure. They have a lot of moving parts. Though I don't see any reason you can't get a heli to fly reliably on extended flight times. The ones I have are pretty darn reliable as long as I'm not crashing them. Reliability has never been an issue for me, it's the time it takes for setup and the complexity of crash repairs. If you crash you pretty much have to rebuild completely checking all components are in good shape. That takes some time. With a multi as long as the props are in good shape and spin true you're pretty much good to go. Still I prefer to fly helis, they're just more enjoyable.
I really liked how it flew but it was just too much time to get it to work.
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