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.
- Easy to install
- Protects well against bumpy landings
- Easy to replace at the field, just bring some extra and pop them in!
- 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.
- 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
- More difficult to replace (requires a hot glue gun)
- Bulkier than skewers, not for folding multi-rotors