One Really Big Quadcopter That Is Following In The Steps Of The Spruce Goose

Behold the Land-Bear-Shark, a quadcopter on a rather grand scale. At a full eight kilograms it’s an easy target to compare the [Howard Hughes] behemoth, but in addition to the weight, this still has yet to make its first flight.

To give you some scale to the image above, the board at the center is an Arduino. It controls the beast, along with the help of a SparkFun IMU board which rides atop. Really, if any quadcopter of this size has a chance of working, this should be the one. The construction is beautiful, making use of carbon fiber rod along with 3D-printed connectors to assemble the frame. A lot of thought has gone into small things like conserving weight used on the landing gear, which are incorporated into the bottom corner brackets. The batteries are connected in a manner that makes them easy to adjust, acting as ballast for balancing the craft.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this will be more than the tongue-in-cheek title of the post which calls it a Quadrotor-shaped sculpture.

[via Adafruit]

39 thoughts on “One Really Big Quadcopter That Is Following In The Steps Of The Spruce Goose

  1. Hey Mike,

    Quick error correction: The Land-Bear-Shark is actually one of my other odd vehicle projects, which is currently more presentable.

    You can find details on it on its summary page:

    A build report with video:

    The latest one, showing some… failure modes, but with better video:

    The quadrotor is just named “Emergency Quadrotor” at the moment, and does not yet have a project page. It might be better to wait until it either works or crashes epicly.

  2. Normally don’t like to double post but I noticed that the props are in the wrong orientation. And if you are going to use an Arduino, might I suggest ditching the standard and going for an Ardupilot with an Ardumoto board

  3. Those look like ducted fans and may be off the self. But they all seem to turn the same way so I am wondering about issues with the quad spinning. I know a good bit about helicopters and airplanes and not so much about quadcopters so I could be wrong. I mean you could defect the thrust to counter the rotation and provide yaw control but I thought they did it by couter rotation.

  4. Holy shit. That’s pretty big. Counter rotating props simplify a design but are not completely necessary (or possible in all situations like a tricopter). I can hardly wait to see it fly!

  5. Am I the only one that thinks this can NEVER work? (at least the way this guy’s doing it…)
    I don’t think he’s going to get anywhere near the required control bandwidth from a fixed vector, fixed pitch quad.

    In my mind, a larger quad will only be viable with either variable-pitch rotors, control surfaces, or full-on vector thrust capabilities…

  6. Having actually followed this project, here’s some more information

    1) This project is not called Land-Bear-Shark; that’s another of Charles’ projects. It’s called “Emergency Quadrotor” (for now)

    2) The ducted fans spin the same way and use 1-DOF thrust vectoring to correct for the rotation. Each fan mount is on a pivot and servo-controlled.

    3) The 3d-printed stuff was made on his DIY 3d printer.

  7. That is going to take a lot of thrust to get off the ground. The props are really too small for something so heavy so they are going to have to get some really high rpm going and that means low battery life.

    I have seen one similar but it was done with a tether to the power supply and not using batteries, the current draw was 12vdc @ 9A . Not something well suited to batteries and light weight.

  8. Ducted Fans? Really? Ducted fans are all wrong for a copter, they don’t work well at all when hovering, they need airspeed moving through the fans to be efficient. Really need to go with propellers here.

  9. This is not the land-bear-shark, that is a project for a remote controlled motoriesed tracked skateboard.
    this is a project known loosely as ‘Quadrotor-shaped Sculpture’

  10. This thing will never work, or will struggle greatly. You can build a quad without counter rotating props, you just angle two opposing ones. The size of the quad is not a problem. Larger quads have slower time constants. The problem is the EDFs. They provide low thrust/weight. Plus, they will respond too slowly to command inputs. EDFs are also terribly inefficient. Good luck, sir!

  11. Why do I get the feeling that this thing will work more like a hovercraft than a quad-copter? I really don’t wish him misfortune or anything; it just does not look like it will fly in the way that a quad-copter does.

  12. One of the aerospace students here wrote a thesis on why using ducted fans for micro UAV thust is a terrible idea. The gist of it was that power use versus thrust for ducted fans is extremely poor in comparison to using wider props (not to mention higher sound amplitude and frequency!)

  13. @Darkknight512 contra rotating is the way to go. Why waste thrust for anti-yaw when you don’t have to? And thrust vectoring if you need extra yaw authority. The one issue that you may have would be prop availability. Ducted fans vs props is a whole other issue. For maximum efficiency you want the largest prop possible in hovering flight. I am not an expert on ducted fans but I do know that outside of turbofan engines they have not been popular in aircraft. And I have never seen a production aircraft use a ducted fan for vertical lift outside of the F-32.

  14. it´s much easier to control a EDF-powered tricopter. Did the job using 3 pcs of 2,5″ ( 64 mm ) EDF w/ 4300 k/V outrunners on an Arduino-based control. Take-off weight is at 1100 gr. w/ 3s-2200 Lipo , sucks 45 Amps in hovering and joyride. I did two ways of yaw control and torque compensation : one way is tilting the yaw-EDF, the other is a thrust-vector control with flaps on the airstream outtake.

  15. ducted fan is indeed the worst choice, it´s simply energy wasting. In my case , efficiency wasn´t the goal – it was just about possibility, but it´s fun to fly it. Most efficient would be Schuebeler-EDFs, but most expensiv too ;)

    IMU w/ magneto is recommended, it´s a big advantage in flight stability, works better on mine than use of acc.-sensor.

  16. Big is cool,check out Hobby Kings beer lifting contest if you want to see some big and super powerful quadrotors,these are capable of carrying your little brother or sister to 5000 feet,haha.I don’t have the link,but the Hobbyking site has it.

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