Tri, Quad, Hex, Octo?
Wikipedia defines multicopter as a flying machine, which has more than two rotors. Most hobbyists fly with configurations that have either three or four rotors. This means, therefore, that the lift of the copter is produced by three or four motors and propellers attached to them.
The names of different rotor configurations are quite easy to learn. The same terminology is used to describe many other things and their quantities. In multicopter case, the denominator goes as follows:
- Tri - Three motors
- Quad - Four motors
- Hexa - Six motors
- Octo - Eight motors
These are divided in addition to basic geometry into a very diverse configurations, and these examples are, say, Y6 (three arms in a Y-shape body and six engines) and H4 = H quad = four engines in a H-shape body, etc.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages in different use. You get GoPro in the sky with any of these, but for example, if you want to take up a SLR or a videocamera, the selection moves to larger hexa and octo copters. If you plan to fly acrobatic, a smaller quad is more suitable. Which one is best for you? I hope you'll find it out when this serie of articles progresses.
Here are examples of pre-made frames, with which you get started if you feel doubtfull about building an own from scratch as your first copter.
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