Raptor V-Tail Quadcopter Drone

Original design v-tail quadcopter, all pieces 3D printed. 2213 935kv motors running 10.5 inch props with a 4400mah battery.

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The 525 ‘Raptor’ EkoKopter measures 525 mm from motor to motor. With the aggressive stance of it namesake, and the right drive system, the Raptor delivers some extreme flying. The vertical v-tail design amplifies yaw while the front arm spread gives stability and gives an almost unobstructed field of view for a GoPro or similar camera system. Printed in PLA, broken parts can be recycled or composted.
This project started as an alternative to the standard hub and arms of the 'X' configuration quadcopter. X is fun, but v-tail is awesome! A lot of research, guesswork and reiteration went into the development of this less-than-ordinary design. I wanted a quad that was unique and decided early on that I would concentrate my efforts on aesthetics.

Development of a variety of shrouds for the front end is ongoing. It's amazing how a different package can change the whole feel of a project!

Landing gear is a consideration if you want to hang a GoPro or gimbal. I am looking at using three retractables from Tarot as the three points of ground contact. The front two could retract below the prop on the front arm, forming a prop-guard. An antenna can be hidden in the rear gear and retracted so it points out and away from the quad, minimizing radio interference. I will throw in some pics soon for clarification.

The drive system needs a little beefing to carry anything but the airframe itself. 2814s at 1400Kvh would probably do nicely. The original build used a KK2.1.5 flight controller, a Q-brain 20A ESC and a Turnigy 6channel transmitter/receiver package. All worked great together.

  • 1 × 3D printed frame Original design. Now selling on
  • 1 × KK2.1.5 Flight controller Bought from HobbyKing
  • 4 × Turnigy 2213 935kvh brushless motors These came with 10.5 in. props, good power package! I think these are supposed to be able to run 12in?
  • 1 × Q-Brain 20A 4-in-1 ESC Nice and easy to mount, I really like the clean look of contained 4-in-1 ESCs.
  • 1 × Turnigy i6 transmitter/receiver package Comes already bound, just plug and play.

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  • Foldable Arm Design

    ken.do09/27/2017 at 15:35 0 comments

    In my research, one of the features I came across that I really liked and wanted to incorporate into my design was the folding arms. Since I had to build my quadcopter in sections no larger than about 6 inches, this was an easy decision.

    The 'shoulder and arm' design worked well for me. I did redo the shoulders so that the arc of travel was increased to a little over 90 degrees. I also rounded the edges of the arm.

    Changes I would/will make to the arms would be an internal wire channel and to thin them out a bit to reduce interference with prop wash. I would/will also change the design of the shoulder to give it a more retro-futurism look.

  • Main Connector Body Design

    ken.do09/27/2017 at 04:53 0 comments

    I took a close look at my tail section and noticed it really resembled a vertebra. The main body connecting the tail section to the front arms followed this skeletal design form with the main connector piece between tail and 'hub' section being a plain, yet grooved extrusion of the terminating vertebral cross-section of the tail. 

    The grooves were designed with two things in mind; form and cable routing. Small 2mm x 4mm cutouts were placed intermittently along the connector to accomodate zip ties to keep the cabling in place. I also included an internal channel with a dual purpose role in mind; this channel could be used as a conduit for wires if I decided all wiring should be internal, and also as possible location for a carbon fibre reinforcing rod. I thought this was such a good idea that I extended the concept of internal conduits for reinforcement out to the 'vertebral wings', sized to accomodate an aluminum arrow shaft.

  • Tail Section Design

    ken.do09/27/2017 at 04:39 0 comments

    After deciding on a vtail configuration, the design process began. My main tail section design considerations were strength and aesthetics. I started with a simple shape, the arms at 90 degrees from each other, a central support fin, and braces from the support fion to the arms.  Once the simple shape was more or less what I wanted, I extruded it to the extent of my print bed capacity, about 150mm. I then created a large cylinder shape (all design work was done in SketchUp) and laid it perpendicular to the extrusion and chopped it out. Details were created in much the same way.

    The bolt pattern for the motor attachment points was lifted from another model and plunked into this one. Once I had the details and functional bits done, I had to size it to fit my print bed. I chopped the arms off, making them fit over a stub on the main tail piece. Printing the main tail section took about 14 hours. The arms were only about 2.5 hours.

  • Why V-Tail?

    ken.do09/04/2017 at 16:11 0 comments

    Sometimes I get asked this. The primary reason I designed it with the v-tail is because it looks awesome. The increase in yaw-authority is also a benefit, but the cool factor trumps all. 

    I looked all over the net for unique designs and found mostly standard designs. I designed this from scratch without knowing anything about design, multicopters, or 3d printing. Let's just say it was a learning experience.

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Enjoy this project?



EngineerAllen wrote 04/27/2017 at 07:52 point

i love vtails just because they look cool

  Are you sure? yes | no

Antonio Regueira wrote 04/22/2017 at 21:51 point


  Are you sure? yes | no wrote 04/22/2017 at 22:06 point

thanks! I appreciate the like

  Are you sure? yes | no wrote 01/18/2016 at 20:19 point

I only have video for the prototype but yes. I took this version to the local flying club. It is lighter than the proto shown here:

  Are you sure? yes | no

MECHANICUS wrote 01/14/2016 at 09:20 point

But does she fly? A video is worth a thousand pictures.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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