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OCTOCOPTERS

CALL OCTOCOPTER HOTLINE: 714-634-3320
Infinity 9 Octocopter
Spawning a new class of super sized octocopters, the Infinity 9 is redefining aerial production for cinematographers. Integrated with 17" carbon props, the wingspan easily reach 65" for unrivaled payload, flight time to sustain epic movement & stability.
Infinity 9 Octo Parts
We are processing a comprehensive selection of parts, upgrades & options for the Infinity 9. Turbo Ace's commitment to support ensures long term operations with premium components & access to cutting edge technology for a variety of advanced applications.
Cinewing 8E Octocopter
The Cinewing 8E has been replaced by the Infinity 9, a new generation of octocopters targeting heavier DSLR $ Red Epic payloads for unprecedented flight time & video performance utilizing triple bearing 48mm motors & high profiled 17" carbon props.
Cinewing 8E Parts
Although Cinewing 8E has been replace by the newer Infinity 9, there will be continued support for the Cinewing 8E. Look for an extensive list of parts, upgrades, tools & accessories.
Turbo Ace X88 Octocopter
The revolutionary X88-J2 is a first generation Turbo Ace octocopter to target Canon, Nikon & Sony DSLR aerial videos. As one of the early leaders in turnkey octocopter packages, X88 was a popular choice for professional video productions from 2011 & 2012.

OCTOCOPTER

The convergence of octocopters and high definition video camera technology is sparking a new era in aerial videos. Recognized as the ultimate choice for aerial platform, octocopters are now transforming the exciting world of aerial videography. Fueled by ever increasing demand in stability and payload, octocopters will eventually replace all super-sized RC helicopters as the more reliable and safer way to shoot professional aerial videos. Multiple counter rotating rotor blades and state-of-the-art 3-axis gyro offer outstanding stability with extra payload capacity. Beginner pilots no longer need an extended training period associated with standard RC helicopters which are much more difficult and dangerous to fly. Octocopters are also inherently more camera friendly because its centralized camera mount position helps to retain its center of gravity.

OCTOCOPTER ARCHITECTURE

RC octocopter consists of 8 motors and propellers instead of the single or dual rotor systems used in more conventional helicopter designs. An octocopter's counter rotating stabilization system is similar to co-axial helicopters but with much more power and efficiency. Without the torque associated with traditional single rotor designs, octocopters are much more stable and easier to fly. And in contrast to co-axial helicoperts, octocopter are much more powerful, wind resistant and efficient design. If you are a photographer with little or no experience with RC helicopters, you can use a smaller quadcopter to train before handling the big boys. Traditional single rotor helicopters utilize the tilt of the complete main rotor mechanism to control direction. Then to counter the torque from the main rotor, a tail rotor also control its yaw. In comparison, octocopters varies the speed of its 8 motors to control roll, tilt & yaw. With recent advances in high quality sensors and gyros, the motors for the rotors will automatically adjust to maintain a leveled flight for self-stabilization. To increase or decrease elevation, the pilot simply move the throttle stick (left stick for mode 2 operations) up or down to increase or decrease the speed of all 8 rotors. To turn the octocopter left or right, the pilot moves the yaw stick (which is the same as the throttle stick) left or right. Pulling the stick to the left increase the speed of clockwise rotor #2, #4, #6 and #8 thereby increasing the octocopter's counter clockwise torque to turn the octocopter left. Doing the opposite will of course result in the octocopter turning right. Moving the directional stick (right stick for mode 2) down increases the speed of rotor set #4, #5, #6 & #7 which tips the octocopter forward to increase forward movement. Doing the opposite increases the speed of rotor set #1, #2, #3 & #8 which increases backward speed. The same applies to rolling the octocopter left & right by speeding up the corresponding rotor set of #1, #6, #7 & #8 or the opposing rotors set of #2, #3, #4 & #5.

The octocopter flight controller serves as the brain where all incoming information is processed. A quality attitude sensor or 3-axis gyro provides continuously updated flight status while the flight receiver relates instructions from the flight transmitter operated by the pilot. The quality of auto-stabilization function depends greatly on the quality of the attitude sensor and how the data is mixed and translated into instructions for the electronic speed controller which in turn drives the brushless motors. Even with sophisticated algorithm for proper instructions, it's still up to the power of the motors and rotors to overcome any instability during flight.

An octocopter's aerodynamics is quite different than that of an airplane or even a helicopter. Since there are no wings used for lift, extensive horizontal surfaces represent a significant liability. This is especially critical when a octocopter is descending when motors are slowing down.

Another variable involves the octocopter's weight to surface ratio. A heavier structural design can only be partially remedied by more powerful motors. On the other hand there are plenty of problems associated with lighter designs as well since they often lack the structural integrity to carry heavier payloads. The best optimized design requires a well structured hub that serves as a bracing system for the arms. While using smaller diameter booms for shorter arms is perfectly adequate on smaller quadcopters, similar structures on larger octocopters is often insufficient. Larger systems such as hexacopters and octocopters with a sandwiched thin boom design are often too weak to carry heavier payloads. A thicker "waffled" center hub system similar to a network of "I" beams offers much better support. Another solutions involves the implementation of braces to reinforce individual arms. An easy way to do the structural "flex test" is to tie one to three pounds of weight under a octocopter, then hold any two opposite motors and measure how much sag results under the center hub in the process. Warning, do not attempt to hang too much weight under a weak structure.

OCTOCOPTER DEVELOPMENT AND ITEGRATION

Payload consideration are often overlooked because the octocopter designers might be optimzing flight maneuverability without significant payload on the system. Multi-rotors with larger wing spans such as hexacopters and octocopters require better reinforcements to stabilize longer booms/arms. Elaborately molded plastic structures often leads to excessive weight which can not be remedied with more powerful motors or larger rotors. Even with years of experience, octocopter developers usually spend months in researching components, learning how to program and adjust flight controllers, then debug the individually assembled unit. Even when a system is optimized, certain components may change and become unavailable within weeks. Without adequate and reliable long term resources, many of these suppliers never progress beyond a home based operation. Because octocopter is such a dynamic product, establishing multiple sources for consistently reliable quality can be a real challenge. For example, hub covers are often improvised from flimsy clear plastic domes or inadequate acrylic or carbon fiber strips that might pass in a brochure. In reality, most hubs lack ventilation and some become unmanageable with an increasing demand for protected space for highly sensitive electronic components. To meet these new challenges, a professional developer and manufacturer must invest in setting up a professional facility, train a team of staff to handle everything from design, purchasing, assembly and quality control plus a mangement team to oversee daily operations and set long term goals. Leading edge designs are most successful when the originating developer incorporate the best available flight controller technology while maintaining direct manufacturing control of all other components. Sub-contracting out components such as frames, CNC parts, motors and ESCs increases cost and reduces the ability to control quality.

In contrast, flight controllers require constant updates and upgrades which are suited to flight controller specialists. This is why prominent brands such as the Turbo Ace and Droidworx utilize the leading DJI flight controller while the Cinestar uses the Mikrokopter flight controller. We can draw a similar relationship with the Apple Macintosh utizing the Intel processor. Notice that Apple no longer develop its own processor and Intel can't seem to make a decent PC. Even when a company establishes an early lead, in developement such as MikroKopter flight controller, they can quickly loose it to the nearest competitor within a few months. While cutting edge technology will always play an important role, MikroKopter has overlooked less obvious but key factors in pricing, reliability, maintenance and operation friendly systems. Plagued by crashes due to overheating, MicroKopter flight controller has become the scourge in the world of aerial photographers with expensive camera equipment at stake.

For some, open source Arduino flight controllers might be a tempting lure for individuals who are interested in adding customized features by customizing the controller. Well, its flexibility is also its curse. A couple of our savvy engineering customers have recently attempted to optimize the Arduino flight controllers and the final product was no better than a $200 quadcopter after several months of headaches. It's very unstable and without extensive upgrades it also lack all the basic functions with are now standard on more advanced flight controllers such as DJI Naza and DJI Wookong. Due to the lack of volume, there isn't a whole lot of information on home made Arducopter which is based on the Arduino flight controller. In the real world, 99% of common octocopter applications can be accomplished by integrating existing components from third party manufacturers and, in our humble opinion, there is very little reason for the vast majority to play the part of a rocket scientist.

HOW TO SELECT AN OCTOCOPTER

How do you find the best octocopter? What should one look for to narrow down your search? Here are several important factors that you should consider.

QUADCOPTER CATEGORIES (DIMENSIONS & TOY/HOBBY/PROFESSIONAL GRADE)

Please note that octocopters are categorized by its dimension which is a measurement between motor shafts located at the end of opposing arms. Further differentiation are based on quality of components used. The integration of brushless motors with ESCs is one of the main feature of higher end hobby & professional octocopters. Trainer helicopters usually employ more economical brush motors which do not require ESCs. Smaller brush motors works very efficiently for these smaller quadcopters but are too weak for larger crafts. We shall cover these differences in the ladder part of this article. Here are some quacopters that you can consider for training.

  • Micro Trainer Quadcopters: 4-8 inches (e.g. Walkera Lady Bird, E-Flite MQX, XCopter) These micro are well suited for both indoor & outdoor flight. And because they are lighter and more resistant to crashes, they are often used for training quadcopter pilots.
  • Mid-Size Trainer Quadcopters: 12-20 inches (e.g. Draganflyer X4, Walkera 5#)
  • Mid-Size Hobby Quadcopters: 12-20 inches (e.g. Walkera MX400, Gaui 330X/S, Gaui 500X/S, AR.Drone, Arducopter) Most of these quads have enough payload capacity to carry a small camera such as the GoPro or Cyber-Shot.
  • Full-Size Professional Quadcopters: 24 inches approximately (e.g. Turbo Ace X830-S, Lotus T580, Turbo Ace X720, Lotus T380, AX650-K/R, CX650-R)

Please remember that some of the above models are fully assembled and tested (Walkera Lady Bird & MX400, the Turbo Ace X830-S, CX650-R). Some are just kits (Gaui 330X/S & 550X/S, AX650-K) which require assembly and testing. Further more many are not complete systems which require receivers and transmitter radios (Gaui 330X/S, & 500X/S, AX650-R, CX650-R).

OCTOCOPTER MOTORS & ESC

The quality of the motors on a octocopter is often the first indication of it's quality. More expensive brushless motors are lighter, more powerful and well balanced to reduce vibrations. Further more each brushless motor are driven by individual ESCs (electronic speed controller). If the ESC is combined into one single circuit board such as in the case of MiKrocopter, diagnosis, maintenance and repair can become a nightmare. And having so many ESCs located on the same board often causes overheating and most season pilots will do anything to avoid such a configuration. Another issue is cost. Because there are 8 ESCs for 8 motors, integrators often use smaller lower cost ESCs with insufficient amperage. Such deficiencies will only surface under high torque applications such as faster acceleration or heavier payloads. If you are using larger batteries for longer flight times, both smaller octocopter motors and ESCs will exhibit higher temperatures within each flight cycle. Excessive heat in ESC will cause a temporary shut down or permanent damage. Imporper match of motors to propeller size and payload may also cause the motors to operate in higher temperatures. Although brushless motors are made to last, overheating will accelerate the deterioration of bearings which results in prematured malfunction. In either case the failure of either component can be a desvastating crash. 

OVERALL PERFORMANCE IN STABILITY, MANEUVERABILITY & WIND RESISTANCE

There are several factors that disproportionately affect the performance of octocopters. Weight to power ratio and the sensitivity of the attitude sensor determines both power and stability. Aerodynamics and propellers size determine how the octocopter handles windy conditions. Sometimes the effect is counter intuitive. Despite some common claims, larger propellers with lower RPM may actually reduce stability because a larger surface is exposed to the wind. Another very important set of functions is the attitude sensor's ability to quickly sense an imbalance followed by the ability of the flight controllers to make necessary adjustment without over-compensation. Although the Mikrocopter flight controller use to set the standard in wind resistance programming, new versions of the DJI flight controllers have now taken the lead.

THE CAUSE AND EFFECT OF IMAGE STABILITY & VIBRATIONS ON VIDEO QUALITY

When looking for high definition video quality, image stability and vibrations are 2 separate issues. Image instability is caused by platform movement while vibrations are mainly a result of uneven motor and propellers rotation which may be amplified by wind and oscillation.

Because a octocopter is a moving platform that can tilt, roll or pan, it’s often difficult to anticipate the upcoming movement and consistently stabilize a subject in your frame. Fortunately, many of the more advanced camera mounts can automatically compensate for some of the movements. Continuous signals from the on board attitude sensor or 3-axis gyro in combination with your transmitter input effectively tells the servo(s) on the camera mount what direction and how much it needs to adjust. If a gimbal's pan-axis is integrated, the orientation of the octocopter may vary from the orientation of gimbal. In this case the gimbal's autocompensation must utilize its own independent gyro because it can no longer rely on the octocopter's attitude sensor.  Auto-compensation plays a vital role to significantly stabilize video movement. Although the effectiveness of this apparatus is limited to how fast the gimbal's servos can react to the octocopter's tilt or roll. So the stability of the octocopter is paramount in providing quality footage that you can later utilize. Even with the best auto-compensated camera mount, you will still see some residual movement which can be filtered out by utilizing a video stabilizing software such as Mercalli which is a very practical software tool for the average videographer or photographer. There are also more sophisticated stabilizing software which will can easily cost as much as the octocopter or an expensive camera.

On the other hand even the quickest multi-axis camera mounts and the smartest stabilizing software can not neutralize vibrations in your video. This vital problem needs to be addressed from several different levels. The source of the problem starts from the octocopter motors and the rotors. A well balance motor causes less vibrations. Some motors are dynamically balanced such as the TA-X830-04 on the Turbo Ace X830-S. Motor can only be balanced at the factory with a special machine. Similar to balancing a tire, each motor is mounted and spun at high speed and small amount of weight are added to the selected edges of the rotating component to reduce vibration and prevent ossilation. As for the propellers, a similar procedure can be used to balance them with an inexpensive blade balancer. Finally, even with properly balanced motors and propellers, there will still be always some vibrations present. The last stand to isolate vibration before it reaches the camera. Most camera mounts do not have adequate vibration dampening features. This will be a paramount issue if high quality video is your goal.

There are other factors that might adversely affect the quality of your video. For example, having any carbon material or structure under the rotating propeller can cause distortion in your video. To eliminate this possibility, one should avoid octocopters with carbon arms/booms extending below the propellers. Having addressed all these factors on your octocopter, you should not overlook the importance in selecting a proper camera mount or gimbal.

CAMERA MOUNTS & GIMBALS

How can such a simple device play a critical role? Well, having a super stable octocopter without a good camera mount is analogous to using cheap tires on a race car. Even the best engine can not overcome flat tires. A inferior camera mount will substantially amplify any undesirable shaking or vibrations. First figure out how many axises you need the gyro to auto-compensate and how many axises you want to access on your transmitter. For single-axis camera mount (e.g. Gaui G-210705 & HM-UFO-MX400-Z-32), look for a rigid structure to carry the camera. Since single-axis gimbals are sometimes used on smaller quadcopters, minimizing weight is often the prerequisite. As for 2 and 3 axis camera mounts on larger and more professional multi-rotors, there are two basic designs. The lighter simpler pivot design on a octocopter can be very effective in turning out quality video without too much fuss. Strategically placed servos drives the structure which pivots on 2 or 3 axises. Pay special attention to both the material and the joints used to establish a structure that can retain its shape while holding and moving the weight of a small to medium size camera. Flush bearing in a integral part of the pivot design (ALA3CMV2) and so are high quality metal gear servos of the appropriate size, speed and torque. Pivot gimbals improvised with hinges (Helibest) results in uneven movements and will eventually fail prematurely. For heavier cameras, you might want to consider the track mount gimbals which move on a combination of tracks and pivots. The track mount gimbals can be quite heavy which can affect both payload and performance. You will need at least a stronger hexacopter or octocopter to sustain the additional payload.

The size of and dimension of your camera can greatly affect you choice for gimbals. First make sure the camera will fit in the gimbals with the proper alignment of mounting holes and hardware. As with helicopter, quadcopter and octocopters, center of gravity on a camera mount is a paramount consideration. When a servo attempts to move both the gimbals structure and the camera, the combined center of gravity will need to be close to the pivot point. If the center of gravity is too far off, the servo will strain to lift and offset the difference. Forcing servos to lift unnecessary weight will cause undesirable jerky movements and reduce the lifespan of both the servo gears and motor. A versatile camera mounts for your octocopter can usually be adjusted to accommodate a variety of camera configurations. Before attaching your gimbal to the base of a octocopter, first test the center of gravity with the camera that you are using. Whether if you are using a one-axis camera mount vs a 2-3 axis, the procedure is the same. By holding the gimbal near each pivot point you can see if the camera is tipping towards a certain direction. You should move the camera in the opposite direction on the mounting plate until you achieve the best balance.

VIBRATION ISOLATION SYSTEM

High frequency vibration dampening is vital to proper Camera's CMOS sensor operations in addressing the jello effect from rolling shutters. Even with an extremely stable and well balanced octocopter, there are always residual high frequency vibration from the rotation of high speed motors and propellers. The implimentation of an effective vibration isolation system will isolate the camera or camera mount from the rest of the octocopter's flight operations.

To achieve optimal isolation, one needs to consider the weight of the camera. Under lower compression, the isolation material, Sorbothane, expands to a softer form to accomodate lighter cameras. Under higher compression, Sorbothane compresses to a stiffer form to accomodate heavier cameras. Utilizing isolation that is too soft for the weight of the camera will introduce undesirable video movement. Utilizing isolation that is too stiff for the weight of the camera significantly reduces the effectiveness of the Sorbothane to isolate vibration. This is why adjustable compression works exceptional well for different sized cameras. Another common flaw is implovised vibration devices which lack structure and dimension. Larger cameras require larger absorption surfaces in order to effectively isolate vibration without destabilizing the fundation of the mounting plate. Knowing the importance of isolation, a well thought out isolation system should be an integral part of all octocopter designs.  

A case in point is the GZ9 Vibration Isolatoin System. Featuring quadruple layer of grade 30 Sorbothane rubber, GZ9 offers the softest custom made Sorbothane bushings and washers available on the market. Sobothane are normally available in grade 50 which is too stiff even for heavier camera mount application. Integrated with 4 CNC aluminum locking posts with adjustable washers, GZ9 features an adjustable vibration dampening system which allows you to change the tension of the vibration isolation based on the weight of your camera. Move tension washer up to reduce compression for lighter/smaller cameras, move tension washer down to increase compression for larger/heavier cameras.
This mix of flexiblity and stability enables photographers to use an assortment of cameras and lenses.

PAYLOAD AND STABILITY

At this juncture, you are well aware of the importance of payload. So, please be warned that differentiating between flying weight and total weight with and without battery is very different. Payload, battery sized, flight time, stability and performance are all inter-related. A chart may be very misleading because you won’t have the stability and performance factor that is critical to a secured flight with expensive equipment on board. Always go on the safe side when specking your equipment for payload. If a quadcopter is able to pull 3LBs, that may mean that the quadcopter will barely get off the ground with 3LBs. What if you add a larger heavier battery or if the battery gets weaker after 2 minutes?

STRUCTURAL STRENGTH

Another often overlooked factor, structural strength, will significantly affect the ability to carry heavier camera equipment such as larger DSLR cameras. Most octocopters has the payload capacity to carry 4 lbs but lack the structural integrity to sustain the weight without flexing. Flexing which causes a dangling and bouncing effect is detrimental to both video stability and flight stability. Especially when dealing with a larger wingspans on a hexacopter or an octocopter you need to make sure the overall structure is sufficient to suspend the payload in addition to the carrying capacity of the multi-rotor helicotper. Look for a well braced super structure which will sustain the additional weight without sagging the center hub where the weight will be attached. Hexacopters and octocopers which are integrated mainly from carbon tubes/booms are generally weaker near the central hub. Booms that are too thin are too flexible. Booms that are too thick are too heavy. The wingspan usually determines the diameter of the booms. Although DSLR cameras are getting smaller and lighter, you are still encouraged to acquire the most powerful octocopter you can afford with special consideration for adequate payload and structure for improved performance.

THE SCIENCE OF PROPELLERS

The size, shape, pitch, mount and material of propellers will greatly affect an octocopter's payload and stability. Longer propellers requires higher precision while slimmer width requires higher RPM. Increased pitch may give the octocopter more lift and lower pitch is associated with less vibrations. Since the total weight of heavier octocopters is exerted on the propellers, the requirement for stiff and resilient material can not be overemphasized. If an octocopter weights 16LBS then each propeller is carrying 2LBS. Under this stress, thinner plastics will change shape and weaker carbon fiber may eventually crack. Using too big propellers on smaller motors is another common mistake. First of all, smaller motor mounts do not have sufficient dimension to provide a stable platform to accommodate longer propellers that requires higher precisions. And by forcing a small motor to drive a disproportionately larger load, you are reducing its ability to generate consistent torque for proper acceleration to gain elevation or make quick RPM adjustment to maintain stability.

Well balanced propellers will rotate with minimum vibrations. You should always use a blade balancing tool to individually balance each propeller. First mount a propeller on the balancer, then cut a small piece of scotch tape. Now, move that tape up or down the light end of the propellers until the seesaw levels. Instead of adding weight to the lighter end, another alternative involves sanding the propeller's heavier end to remove excess material. But with an mistakes, this second process is irreversible.

FLIGHT TIME & POWER EFFICIENCY

How do you increase flight time? A common misperception is "by doubling up the batteries we can double the flight time on an octocopter". The additional payload of the extra battery is only one of two factors. As you increase payload, there is a disproportionate drop in flight efficiency. For example a 20% increase in payload may cause a 40% drop in flight time. This is why, in a worse case scenario, you may actually be decreasing flight time because the helicopter is struggling to carry the extra battery. But in most cases when you double up the battery (100% increase), you might get only 20-50% more flight time. The efficient use of power for lift is an optimal combination of not only motors, propellers but also of weight versus design. We often see octocopter with large carbon booms directly under propellers, not realizing that the boom is blocking and interfering with the propellers air flow. Much of the current that hits the boom is bounced back in the reverse direction into the bottom of the propellers. That power lost can be as much as 20-25% in many cases.     

OCTOCOPTER REVIEW

LEGEND

RATINGS: (1) Poor (5) Average (10) Excellent

  • ARF: Almost-Ready-To-Fly (Octocopter without receiver and/or transmitter)
  • BNF: Bind & Fly (Octocopter without transmitter)
  • BL: Durable & Powerful Brushless Motor
  • CNC: Custom Tooled Aluminum Parts for better structure and precision
  • C-RTF: Camera Ready to Fly (Camera Mount is installed on Ready to fly package - Camera with Camera Mount installed
  • DEVO: New generation of Walkera Devention transmitters & receivers for improved response time and signal reliability.
  • DTO: Difficult to learn and operate
  • ESC: Electronic Speed Controller used to power and control BL motor.
  • POT: Prolonged Order Time
  • KIT: Kit that requires assembly
  • LDA: Limited data available
  • NA: Not applicable
  • NDA: No data available
  • NYA: Not yet available
  • OCA: Optimized Cooling Algorithm for cooler ESC operations
  • OH: Overheating of motors and/or electronics for extended or consecutive flights
  • OPT: Optional features available
  • RTF: Ready-To-Fly (octocopter packages with transmitter and receiver)

In addition to manufacturer's specifications the following information is consolidated from 3rd party reviews, forum discussions and numerous 1st hand end-user experience. Since data are gathered from external information sources, this octocopter purchasing guide does not constitute an endorsement for any specific octocopter model. End users are encouraged to research, investigate and exercise their own judgement with respect to the final quality and functionality of each product before making a purchase.


OCTOCOPTER REVIEW AND RATING TABLE:

Hexacopter
Models
Production
Package
Special
Feature
Dimension
Diameter
w/o Props
Rotor
Format
Market
Volume
Manual
& Ease
of Use
Stability

Acceleration

Payload
Gimbal
Camera
+Battery
Flight
Time
Wind
Resis.

QA/QC
Reliability
 
Durability
Ease of
Repair
Parts
Support
& Cost
Final
Finish
Motor
ESC Telemetry
GPS
Vibration
Dampening
Camera
Mount
Options
Price
Pkg.
Karbonic
K-Y6CB
Integrator
Customized
Hobby 11" 3x2
IAD
3 3 5 4 1.2LB
Total
5 6 5 3 6 5 1200Kv
75Watt
10A No No No No $2,100
RTF
DroidWorx AD-3
HL Y-6
Integrator
Customized
R&D 21" 3x2
IAD
2 2 4 6
LDA
1.3LB
Total
5
LDA
7 6 3 6 4 770Kv
375Watt
30A Voltage OPT No Medium DX8
AR8000
$7,000
RTF
GMB
NoBat
XA 533mm Integrator
Customized
R&D 6 3 2 6
LDA
8
LDA
1.1LB
Total
7
LDA
6 6 3 6 4 770Kv
375Watt
30A Voltage Lock No Small $4,000
RTF
NoBat
Droidworx
AD-6
MicroKopter
Integrator
Customized
R&D
PRO
Video
6 2 4 8 7 1.7LB
Total
8 7 7 3 4 5 QC3328 NDA No GPS No Pro
Mount
100
$7,200
RTF
Droidworx
AD-6HL
MicroKopter
Integrator
Customized
DTO
R&D
PRO
Video
6 2 4 7+ 8 2.8LB
Total
8 7 7 3 4 5 QC3328 NDA No GPS No Pro
Mount
200
$9,000
RTF
Cinestar
6 Revolution
Integrator
Customized
DTO
Pro Video 35 6 2 4 7- 8 4.4LB
+1.5LB
8 7 7 3 4 3 QC3328 NDA No GPS 4 OPT $8,502
Octocopter
Models
Production
Package
Special
Feature
Dimensions Rotor
Format
Market
Volume
Manual
& Ease
of Use
Stability

Accelera-
tion
Manever-ability

Payload
Flight
Time
Wind
Resis.

QA/QC
Reliability
 
Durability
Ease of
Repair
Parts
Support
& Cost
Final
Finish
Motor
ESC Telemetry
GPS
Vibration
Dampening
Camera
Mount
Options
Price
Pkg.
Oktokopter 2 Integrator
Customized
DTO
For R&D
Only
32"
810mm
8 2 3 9 7 3.4LB
+1.5LB
7 7 5 3 3 4 NDA NDA NDA GPS No OPT NDA $6,377
Droidworx
AD-8HL
Integrator
Customized
Pro Video NDA 8 2 4 8 8 4.2LB
+2.2LB
8 7 7 3 4 5 QC3328 NDA No GPS No OPT New Cell $9,777
CineStar™
8 Revolution
Integrator
Customized
DTO
Pro Video
Cinema
36"
900mm
8 3 4 9 7 4.4LB
+2.2LB
7 6 7 3 4 5 QC3328 NDA Voltage GPS 4 OPT DX8
8-Channel
$9,890
Turbo Ace
X88-J2
12" Plastic
Props
Factory
RTF
Single Pilot
Foldable
w/ Case
36"
900mm
8 2 8.5 9 7 5.2LB
+2.2LB
7 8 8 8 8 9 1100Kv 35A Optional
Voltage
GPS
RTH
CFM
OPT OPT
3-Axis
Track
DEVO 10
10-Channel
$4,195
Turbo Ace
X88-J2
12" Carbon
Fiber Props
Factory
RTF
Dual Pilot
Foldable
36"
900mm
8 4 8.5 9.5 8.5 6.3LB
+2.2LB
7 8 8 8 8 9 1100Kv 35A Voltage GPS
RTH
CFM
8 3-Axis
ALPRO
+Shock
Mount
DEVO 10
DEVO 12S
10+12 CH
$7,195
Turbo Ace
X88-J2
12" Carbon
Fiber Props
Factory
RTF
Dual Pilot
Foldable
36"
900mm
8 4 8.5 9.5 8.5 6.3LB
+2.2LB
7 8 8 8 8 9 1100Kv 35A Voltage GPS
RTH
CFM
8 3-Axis
AV200
+Shock
Mount
DEVO 10
DEVO 12S
10+12 CH
$7,995

UPCOMING TOPICS!

RECOMMENDED TRAINING FOR BEGINNER PILOTS

  1. Flight Simulators
  2. Small Micro Quadcopters for indoor training
  3. Training procedures

FLIGHT CONTROLLER & ATTITUDE SENSOR

  1. Self-stabilization
  2. Software upgradable
  3. Attitude sensor sensitivity

RELIABILITY & DURABILITY

  1. The benefits of over specification
  2. Brushless motors versus brush motor
  3. Ventilation & protection

MAINTENANCE & REPAIR

  1. Availability of parts
  2. The convenience of modularized design
  3. Diagnosing problems

ACCESSORIES

  1. Camera Mounts
  2. GPS Options
  3. Altitude Hold
  4. Telemetry
  5. FPV
  6. Live Streaming Video

TURBO ACE X88-J2 OCTOCOPTER

TURBO ACE X88-J2 comes in a RTF (ready to fly) package. To reducing shipping size and prevent damage, propellers and landing skids are dismounted after individual flight test and prior to shipping. End user can easily re-install them in about 15 minutes. In general, an octocopter offers a smoother platform for heavier payload than hexacopters and quadcopters. And because there are more motor in multiple directions, the X88-J offers a certain amount of redundancy. With some practice, a pilot can quickly and safely land if one of the motors fails. In similar situations, hexacopters and quadcopter will not be able to compensate for such failures.

See Video

Garrison Brothers So Cal Dirt Biking
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWN2jABv27A&feature=youtu.be

San Francisco
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIMpGj8-ySY&feature=youtu.be

GPS Demo Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhBvAs3dDwo&feature=youtu.be

X88-J2 OCTOCOPTER FEATURES

  • Super Rigid I-beam Structure, at 4.3 pounds without the battery, is an extraordinary lighter and more powerful structure than outdated weaker and bulkier designs based on sandwiched booms and plastic molds. The exceptional X88-J frame features (1) a central carbon fiber hub anchored by 4 pairs of radiating carbon fiber I-beams that will not sag and bounce under heavier payloads (2) shorter and lighter aluminum arms that extend out to the motors significantly reduced weight around the parameters for exceptional maneuverability (3) spacing within I-beams provides a propeller cooled locations to secure ESCs (4) sturdy CNC mounting locations at the end of each beam facilitate an extra wide landing skid (5) foldable joints for portability, traveling and shipping. Traditionally an I-beam structure is not required on quadcopters. With smaller wingspan and lower payload quadcopter can easily get by with weaker smaller diameter tubes.
  • Care Free Home Lock Flight Mode utilizes the octocopter's take off home position as a reference point for orientation/heading. The pilot no longer needs to maintain a tail-in (tail towards the pilot) orientation to keep track of the octocopter's heading. Pushing the cyclic stick up will always result in the helicopter flying forward and away from the pilot. Pulling the cyclic stick down will result in the octocopter backing up towards the pilot which in turn provides a very reliable "come home" solution. Similarly the roll (left & right) controls will correspond to the pilots home position without any mental acrobatics. Although the pilot can still use the yaw to turn or spin the octocopter, it will not affect the pilot's flight orientation from the home position. After activation, this Home Lock mode will be effective when the octocopter is beyond 30 feet from the take off position. The Home Lock mode is the most convenient and preferred mode for pilots who like fly facing the octocopter.
  • Care Free Course Lock Flight Mode utilizes the octocopter's initial take off heading direction as a reference direction for the duration of the flight. For example if the octocopter and the pilot's transmitter is facing north in the take off position, the octocopter will always treat the north as the direction (heading) for forward flight even if the yaw has rotated the front of the octocopter to a different direction. After activation this Course Lock mode will be effective when the octocopter is beyond 30 feet from the take off position. The best way to use the Course Lock mode is to keep the transmitter facing the initial take off heading direction during the entire flight even if this means the pilot has to turn his head to see the octocopter.
  • GPS Lock enables the X88-J2 to lock into a self sustaining hover at GPS location with a flip of a switch on the transmitter. Even when the octocopter is pulled away from its locked location, it will return to that original location. This a very useful and precise locking function that operates within a few feet (about 1 foot vertical and up to 6 feet radius) depending on the quality of GPS satellite signals and the flying environment. Generally speaking, the GPS system on the X88 is much more sophicated and precise than GPS on smaller quadcopter units. Without specific applications, GPS features on a quadcopter is usually not very effective.
  • Dual Stage Fail Safe Mode offers a backup plan when the octocopter receiver looses connection with the transmitter. When this occurs, the octocopter will automatically return to the point above the home GPS position. Hovering at about 60 feet, the pilot may be able to re-established connection and manually land the octocopter. If connection is not re-established, then the octocopter will automatically lands in fail safe mode. Also, if the octocopter battery is low, it will start an auto landing sequence before it runs out of power.
  • Dynamically Balanced Brushless Motors reduces high frequency vibrations at the source. This technology was successfully integrated on the X830-S quadcopter which is now adapted on the X88.
  • 35A ESCs with Cooling Algorithm offers extra capacity for continued operation without cooling off periods between flights. This is another feature that was originally used on the X830-S quadcopter. However, the X88-J has 8 of them.
  • Foldable Arms for safer transporting and traveling.
  • Professional Aluminum Carrying Case is customized to fit the foldable X88-J.
  • Modularized Design for ease of maintenance and repair.
  • USA Parts Support for fast and easy continued access to parts, upgrades and accessories.
  • Optional Telemetry for transmitting updated battery voltage readings to the transmitter (for DEVO 8S/10/12S only)
  • Optional 2 or 3-axis Camera Mounts for a variety of cameras and camcorders.
  • Optional Automated Gyro Compensation for the camera mount: Requires a secondary Xaircraft flight controller and 3-axis gyro.
  • Optional Dual Pilot with secondary receiver and transmitter for the camera man.
  • Optional single way point and multiple way point GPS with PC connections can be purchased separately.

OPERATING PARAMETERS

  • DJI WK-M Flight Controller: Super stable with GPS lock and dual carefree flight modes, this is premium controller is usually too expensive to be used on quadcopters and hexacopters.
  • Total Weight: Without battery, camera mount and camera is only 4.3 pounds for super responsive performance.
  • Payload Capacity: Up to 3 pounds of camera gimbal and camera.
  • Flight Time with medium to large camera mounts and cameras: 5-12 minutes depending on what batteries you are using.
  • Maxium Flight Time with smaller or no camera equipment: About 20% more flight time than all current full size octocopters such as Cinestar 8.

PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLLER, 3-AXIS GYRO AND GPS SPECIFICATION,

  • DJI WooKong-M controller with 3-Axis gyro
  • Multi Rotor Types: Will operate on quadcopters, hexacopters and octocopters
  • Supported ESC output: 400Hz refresh frequencies
  • Recommended Power Supply: DC 4.8 ~ 12V
  • Power Consumption: MAX 5W (0.9A@5V, 0.7A@5.8V,0.5A@7.4V,0.4A@8V)
  • Operating Temperature: -5°C to +60°C (You have to keep the IMU warm if you want to use it under low temperature, could be -5°Cor lower.)
  • Flight Modes: GPS Lock & 2 Care Free Flight Modes
  • Hovering Accuracy: Vertical: ± 0.5m, Horizontal: ± 2m
  • Suitable Wind Condition: < 8m/s (17.7mph)
  • Max Rotate Angle: 35°
  • Vertical Speed: 6m/s
  • Packaging & Shapes
  • Dimensions:
  • Main Controller: 51mm x 39.6mm x 15.8mmIMU: 40mm x 31mm x 26mmGPS & Compass: 50mm (diameter) x 9mmLED Indicator: 25mm x 25mm x 7mmTotal Weight: <= 150g
  • Built In Functions:
  • Auto-pilotFail-safe HoverVoltage monitor (not telemetry)

FRAME SPECIFICATION

Since octocopters are much larger than quadcopters and hexacopters, foldability is a highly desirable function. All eight booms can be folded up or down when you release several of the screws on the four arms. Like small quadcopters, this octocopter can then be fitted into an aluminum case for transport. If you are shipping the octocopter then you need to add some more packing inside the aluminum case to protect the X88. An outside over case is also recommended.

  • Foldable arms for ease of transportation
  • Carbon fiber super I-beam structured central hub
  • Carbon fiber skid landing with extra wide foot print suitable for auto landing
  • Aluminum arms to reduce static interference to video
  • Extensive CNC aluminum bracket integration for extra durability and structural integrity.
  • Fitted with 10" propellers.
  • Optional 12" carbon fiber propellers will be available soon.
  • Diameter from motor to motor: 90cm
  • Weight with all electronics (without battery and camera mount): 4.3 pounds
  • Professional Aluminum Carrying Case for easy traveling. Dimensions: 42cm X 42cm X 46cm

ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS

  • 8 x 35A ESC 4s input with 2mm spring-loaded motor connectors for ease of maintenance
  • 8 x dynamically balanced brushless motors
  • 4 GB USB Flash Drive for set up, upgrade and electronic manual
  • Walkera Devo 10 Transmitter with 10 channels (includes additional features suited for use on quadcopters, hexacopters & octocopters)
  • Walkera RX1002 Receiver with 10 channels

FULLY ASSEMBLED X88-J OCTOCOPTER PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • DJI Flight Controller for octocopter operation
  • DJI IMU 3-Axis gyro for octocopter operation
  • DJI GPS Lock & 2 Care Free Flight Modes
  • Walkera DEVO 10 transmitter (DEVO 12S transmitter on photo is not included)
  • Walkera RX1002 Receiver
  • 8 x 35A ESCs
  • 8 x Dynamically Balanced Brushless Motors
  • Generic 4000mAh 4s Lipo Battery
  • 4 GB USB Flash Drive
  • Foldable X88-J2 Octocopter Carbon Frame
  • Professional Aluminum Carrying Case
  • 1 Pair of Carbon Fiber Super Wide Skid Landing (dismounted for shipping)
  • 8 x 10" Propellers (dismounted for shipping)
  • DSLR 3-Axis camera mount is not included.
  • Preorder promotion does not apply to this model.

Newly released at NAB show. Delivery in May 2013, taking preorder soon.

See video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-HUbD-0FV0&feature=youtu.be

CINEWING 8

Engineered to effortlessly carry extraordinary payloads, the CINEWING 8 octocopter by Turbo Ace is the world’s largest octocopter. At 50 inches from motor to motor, there are eight carbon propellers on huge industrial strength brushless motors to accommodate not just one Red Epic but two. If extended flight time is a priority, versatile battery mounting options can easily accommodate up to eight huge batteries for super extended reconnaissance missions. From fully assembled and flight tested packages, parts support and upgrades to live streaming video setups, Turbo Ace offers convenient turnkey solutions spanning all aspects of professional octocopter platform.

CINEWING-8 OCTOCOPTER ARCHITECTURAL & FLIGHT CONTROLLER FEATURES
A well rounded octocopter system must combine performance with a host of user friendly features. With unparalleled resources in development, manufacturing, integration and support, it's not hard to see why the Cinewing 8 is the octocopter of choice for cinetographers. Featuring strategic combination of carbon fiber and CNC aluminum, the Cinewing superstructure is exceptionally strong yet light and efficient. Multiple GPS functions eases controls for the pilot. Separate cameraman control option offers unlimited gimbal panning with tilt & roll axis auto-compensation. Implimentation of retractible skid landing reduces gimbal inertia and strengthen landing stability. And by removing 2 screws from Cinewing-8's detachable tracks, operator can easily disengage the gimbal and skid landing from the bottom of the octocopter.

  • Aluminum & Carbon Fiber Super Structure with special mounting for heavier gimbals & batteries.
  • Auto-Stabilized Flight Mode utilizes gyro-activated stabilization to counter wind & assist pilot in maneuvering the aircraft.
  • GPS & Altitude Lock offer hands-free hover in a fixed GPS position within a 3-5 feet radius using satellite based GPS coordinates and within 2 feet in elevation using barometric sensor.
  • Home Lock utilizes the GPS based home position for a tail-in oriented carefree flight.
  • Course Lock utilizes the initial direction as a consistent and orientation for carefree flight.
  • Fail Save Return to Home can be triggered by a lost of signal or manually triggered to return the octocopter to the home position. This program can be preset to automatically direct the octocopter to climb to a predetermined height to avoid possible tall obstacles in its homeward path.
  • Auto-Land Sequence is triggered if pilot fails to land after an extended battery low status.
  • Foldable Arms for portability and transport.
  • 7° Tilt Rotors significantly improve cyclic control & stability under heavier payloads and winds.
  • Flexible Battery Mounting Positions allow the operator to mount 2, 4, 6 or 8 batteries in multiple positions to optimize CG, a critical feature for stability and maneuvering heavier payloads.
  • Retractable Landing Gear enables pilot to raise landing gears for unobstructed 360° view from the camera and then to lower gears for safe landing.
  • Detachable Gimbal & Landing Track facilitates easy separation of camera mount and landing gear from the octocopter.
  • Modularized Design facilitates convenient maintenance and repairs. Well stocked Cinewing 8 parts are accessible within 1-3 day delivery in the contiguous United States.

LONG DISTANCE TRANSMITTER, RECEIVER & TELEMETRY FOR OCTOCOPTER
Due to extensive use of carbon fiber on larger octocopter frames, signal path diversity and clearity are vital. Spektrum and Futaba transmitters are the only brands that perform long term field testing to establish consistent reliability. Both manufacturers have implimented fast rebind technology that quickly recovers lost signals using state-of-the-art Spektrum's DSMX and Futaba's FASST implimentation on newer transmitter and receiver models. With off-brand transmitters and receivers, the range of operation is 150 feet to 500 feet. But with Wow's implimentation of Specktrum and Futaba transmitter and receivers, you can easily extend that range to 1 mile (1.6km or 5280 feet). With so much equipment at stake, signal reliability is just as critical as the performance of your octocopter.

  • Telemetry senses and transmits updated in-flight battery status from the octocopter to the pilot’s radio transmitter. This information is often used to trigger an audio alarm to allow pilot enough time to safely land the octocopter.
  • Single or Dual Operator allows operator(s) to combine or split pilot and cameraman duties using a single or two separate transmitter(s).
  • Spektrum DX8 Long Distance Transmitter & Receivers for Pilot in Dual Operator Setup features 8-channel advanced 2.4GHz DSMX long distance technology with dual signal path diversity using main and satellite receivers with quick signal recovery.
  • Spektrum DX18 Long Distance Transmitter & Receivers for Pilot in Single/Dual Operator Setup features 9 to 18 channel advanced 2.4GHz DSMX long distance technology with multi-signal path diversity using main and two satellite receivers with quick signal recovery
  • Futaba 14SG Long Distance Transmitter & Receiver for Pilot in Single/Dual Operator Setup features 14 channel advanced 2.4GHz FASST long distance technology with multi-signal path diversity using multi-path receiver with quick signal recovery.
  • Flexible Cameraman Transmitter Options include budget friendly 2.4 GHz Walkera DEVO 10, Spektrum DX7, Futaba 6J & 7C in addition to premium transmitters normally reserved for the pilot.

GIMBALS W/ AUTO-COMP & VIBRATION ISOLATION OPTIONS
Instead of flimsy and wobbly jelly washers, larger camera and gimbal payloads require more robust vibration isolation systems. Then to reduce undesired video movement, an effective gimbal system utilizes a gyro based system to contineously and automatically compensate for the octocopter's pitch (tilt) & roll to maintain a leveled horizon.

  • Industrial Strength Vibration Isolation System dampens high frequency vibrations to prevent jello effect in videos.
  • AV200 Gimbal for Canon 5D Mark ii/iii & Red Epic features unlimited pilot or camera man controlled 360° pan-axis and tilt-axis.
  • Skyline Gimbal Stabilization offers auto-compensation & auto-tracking on tilt-axis & roll-axis.
  • ALPROV3WOW Gimbal for Canon T2i/3i/4i  & etc. features a more moderately sized gimbal option for medium sized DSLR cameras to decrease payload and in turn increase flight time.
  • Tarot Gimbal Stabilization offers auto-compensation on tilt-axis & roll axis for a consistently leveled horizon.

CINEWING-8 OCTOCOPTER SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 50 inches octocopter frame (from motor to motor)
  • Height: 8-24 includes depending on gimbal and skid landing configuration
  • 8 x Brushless Motors: 52 mm diameter, dynamically balanced & integrated with German bearings
  • 8 x ESC Modules: 60A with Advanced Cooling Algorithm
  • 8 x Propellers: 17 inches carbon fiber & configured with extra heavy duty mount , (Optional: 18 inches carbon fiber)
  • Optimal Payload: 20-25 lbs (Although the system can handle much higher payloads but video stability may be compromised.)
  • All in Weight: 30-35 lbs depending on payload & batteries
  • Flight Time: 12-30 minutes depending on payload & batteries

LIVE STREAMING VIDEO, FPV & MULTIPLE WAYPOINTS

  • Live Streaming Video allows the operator to see what the camera is seeing live at long distances and without noticeable delay: Setups and instructions available for GoPro Hero 2/3, Canon DSLR, Sony NEX-5N/6 including video transmitters, receivers, monitors, cables and batteries.
  • FPV enables the pilot to fly from a First Person View perspective – in other words – piloting the octocopter by looking from the octocopter rather than the conventional way of looking at the octocopter. FPV can be accomplished with either video goggles or a monitor, an OSD and a set of video transmitter and receiver.
  • Multiple Waypoints aka autonomous flight refers to the ability to launch and retrieve the octocopter using a preprogram flight plan. With a predetermined flight path, the octocopter will take off, cover each waypoint in sequence and return to the home position. This is available with integrated software that works with Google Earth, datalink transmitter/receiver modules and Wookong multiple way-point upgrades.


OCTOCOPTER CAMERAMAN TRANSMITTER OPTIONS

WALKERA DEVO 10 TRANSMITTER

  1. 10 channels transmission, including 2 channels with smooth servo travel control dials.
  2. Backlit LCD screen with extra large text for easy viewing under sunlight similar to the WK2801-PRO.
  3. Upgraded gun metal anodized plating. Same plate coating used on the Walkera Devo 8S. This is not the stock version.
  4. Displays telemetry data on the LCD screen including voltage, temperature, rpm and GPS data (enabled only when helicopter/plane has the capability to transmit telemetry data.)
  5. Vibration and/or buzz alarm which can be set to trigger on a user defined voltage, temperature and time.
  6. Supports both helicopters and airplanes with improved programming, mixes and interface.
  7. User friendly menu with 7-point throttle curve adjustment provides more resolution than the traditional 5-point curve.
  8. 30 model memory so you can set up and define multiple models of helicopters and airplanes.
  9. Online upgradable firmware for latest model updates and copy model setup data with ease.

DEVO 10 SPECIFICATIONS

  1. Encoder: ARM micro computer system
  2. Frequency: 2.4GHz(DSSS)
  3. Output Power: -5dBm~20dBm, long range 100mW power

DEVO 10 TELEMETRY

Protect your RC helicopter/airplane investment and put an end to constant worrying about running low on battery. This transmitter is set up to wirelessly receive updated telemetry data from the aircraft. To enable this function, you will need a Walkera telemetry module installed on the X88-J to acquire and transmit updated telemetry voltage reading before and during flight. Once this feature is on the X88-J, the voltage will be clearly displayed on the DEVO 10 transmitter screen thus eliminating the need for a battery meter. More importantly, you can set up a predefined minimum voltage level when the DEVO 10 will trigger a sustained vibration alarm so you won't loose track of the battery power or forget to land. You can order this optional feature installed on your X88-J at the time of purchase or you can install this feature yourself at a later date which involve some solder and wiring.

For Walkera telemetry to function you must have a DEVO 6S, 8S, 10 or 12S transmitter and your helicopter, mulit-rotor or quadcopter must also have a telemetry to gather and transmitter the data. Optional Walkera telemetry module below is available for Devo compatible Walkera helicopters which are not equipped with this function. Helicopters, quadcopters, hexacopters and octocopters using Walkera receivers and transmitters also have similar requirements for the telemetry to work. Walkera Mini CP and Ladybird already come with telemetry, therefore additional telemetry installation is not required on these models. Telemetry module together with Devo RX801, RX802 or RX1002 receiver, can also be installed on any brand of helicopter, quadcopter, hexacopter, octocopter and airplane to work with Devo 6s, 8s, 10 and 12s transmitters. For example, you can upgrade all your helicopters and quadcopters to telemetry including T-Rex 250, 450, 600, Walkera 1#A, Hiko, E-Flite Blades, helicopters larger than 180 size and medium sized quadcopters which has the payload capacity for this module. Take advantage of the newest in RC technology, the optional telemetry module can be purchased below. http://www.wowhobbies.com/walkera-telemetry-module.aspx