Multicopter Landing Gear

by Piper Cub | May 24, 2013 | (0) Posted in Tips

Hey Flite Test!
As we all know, sometimes multicopter landings aren't always exactly smooth, especially when flying FPV. With practice landings get better, but this article is quickly going over a couple of landing gear designs that I use to help soften those harder landings. 

Before I get to the designs, below is a short clip of one of my first FPV flights on my H-Quad and how it got a little bumpy on the pavement. This is what prompted me to design some forgiving landing gear. All I have is four bolts that stick out of the bottom, they make that horrendous sound against the pavement and contributed to the bouncing.

The two designs that I now use for my landing gear use cheap dollar store parts; BBQ skewers and foam balls.

Design #1: BBQ Skewers

So this landing gear works very well with any multi-rotor that has arms coming out from the center (which is pretty much every multi-rotor except for the H-Quad). It uses simple dollar store skewers that are bent into place. All of my multi-rotor airframes are wooden so these are really easy to install. Simply drill two holes about 10" apart on the arm and bend the skewer into place.

The Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Easy to install
  • Protects well against bumpy landings
  • Easy to replace at the field, just bring some extra and pop them in!

The cons:

  • Only works well  on wooden frames, hard to install otherwise
  • Depending on how holes are drilled, there is little lateral (side-to-side) stability

Design #2: Foam Balls

Once again, cheap materials from the dollar store, but they work well. The foam ball design will work on every multi-rotor, and the reason I don't use them on my tricopter is that they are some-what bulky when folding up. However, after the flight above, I decided to install them on my H-quad. Simply pick up some foam balls from the dollar store and install them on the bottom of your multi-rotor. I installed mine by screwing in a small screw to the underside of the boom, cutting a small hole in the ball and then using LOTS of hot glue.

The Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Work well at protecting the multi-rotor from bumpy landings
  • Easy to remove when "graduating" to the next level of landing gear
  • Relatively easy to install, not as easy as BBQ Skewers
  • Very stable

The Cons:

  • More difficult to replace (requires a hot glue gun)
  • Bulkier than skewers, not for folding multi-rotors
So those are the two landing gear designs that I currently use. I still haven't perfected those FPV landings yet so these act as great "training wheels". Even after I do start to get better, I'm not sure I'll take them off, they work really well and they're cheap. I hope these designs help to inspire you with ideas for your multi-rotor landing gear and good luck flying!




Frosty0_0 on May 28, 2013
Aww dude yer video's private. Great Ideas on landing gear though!

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Piper Cub on May 28, 2013
Sorry about that! Thanks for letting me know I just fixed it!
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Frosty0_0 on May 28, 2013
Oh man you really put it to that foam on landing, great vid I know what will go on the quad or H when i build it but im gonna use the idea you had for the tri I really like that.
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Cyberdactyl on May 26, 2013
One thing I've noticed about using things like skewers, large nylon ties, plastic coat hangers, long gangly and thin carbon fiber plates, etc. is if they are in the prop thrust column, they will likely vibrate and go in and out of aeroelastic flutter and cause video recording to be problematic by causing jello, if the camera is not adequately isolated.
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Geinstein on August 16, 2013
I love the simplicity of the first design.
I will put it on my H-quad
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Multicopter Landing Gear