The Tricopter V3! Coming soon…

It’s finally here! Well almost. The Tricopter V3 is coming very soon.

Designed to be as light as possible without compromising strength or stiffness the Tricopter V3 only weighs 205 grams including arms, tilt mechanism, motor mounts, screws, landing gear and vibration dampened camera mount! Yet it’s stiffer and more precise than previous versions. The kit will be available for sale here on the site shortly. But as usual all plans and files will be available for free so you can make the parts yourself.

RCExplorer Tricopter V3.0

10x10mm carbon fiber arm

Tired of the how easily extruded carbon fiber booms crack and loose their torsion strength, I set out to find a better alternative. Many, many hours of searching I found a factory that could make 10x10mm carbon fiber square tubes to the specifications I was looking for. These woven carbon fiber square tube arms are incredible stiff, strong and lightweight. The torsion (twisting) strength is unparalleled which results in a crisp and precise flying experience, even with high power setups. Unlike extruded carbon fiber arms, these arm can take abuse without cracking. They are also 33-40% lighter, have more room inside to run wires and are stiffer in all aspects. The kit will include 3 arms with predrilled 3mm holes, so you don’t have to drill it yourself. 3D printed tricopter tail mechanism 2

The new design features 3D printed parts, as they are can be made lighter, have more complex shapes and are cheaper to make than injection moulded parts. They are also much easier to share. If you don’t want to buy it, simply download the STL and print it yourself.

RCExplorer tricopter V3.0

The Tricopter V3 is designed to be easy to build and repair. The landing gear and tilt mechanism is held on using zip-ties, just like in previous versions. These zip-ties acts as “mechanical fuses”, absorbing energy and protecting important pieces in a crash.RCExplorer Tricopter V3.0

Included in the kit is also a vibration dampening camera/battery tray. The tray is suspended underneath the main body using 4 1.5mm thick curved shaped pieces of piano wire.

tricopter wire dampeners

The wire comes pre-bent (which saves a ton of time and frustration). This vibration dampening system was created specifically for the large flight envelope of the tricopter. The vibrations created by the motors and props spinning only has one way of reaching the camera, and that is down through the thin curved shaped wires. Since the camera plate is stiff, the whole camera tray has to vibrate for the camera to vibrate. With the heavy battery and camera mounted on the tray, a lot of energy is needed to get it moving. The thin and stiff piano wire has a high resonance frequency and low frequency vibrations will have a hard time to travel down to the camera plate. The small  amount of high frequency vibrations that does make it down has so little energy that they are easily absorbed by the heavy battery and camera. Resulting in buttery smooth footage. The main benefit of this system compared to many soft vibration dampening solutions, is that it doesn’t move or wiggle during fast forward flight or quick change of direction. This system you can whip around like a maniac and still get perfect video.

Folding tricopter

Just like the previous tricopter versions, this design is also foldable. This makes transportation easier, but it also help prevent damage in a crash. The arms simply fold back and absorb some of the energy. The arms are held in place by friction, which means that you don’t have to use a tool to fold or unfold, simply grab the arm and push or pull it.

3D printed tricopter tilt mechanism

The new all 3D printed tilt mechanism for tricopters. Designed to be as simple, precise, light, durable and with as little air resistance as possible. It has over 130° of throw yet only weighs  8.7 grams. Printed in black ABS plastic for maximum durability. The tilt mechanism will be available in the tricopter kit, as well as sold separately. The STL file will be available to download for free so that you can print your own at home.

RCExplorer Tricopter V3.0

A build video with step by step instructions along with a detailed build log is also in the making and will be posted around the same time as the kit. STL and DXF files along with list of recommended electronics will aslo be posted at that time.

But what about the price?

The kit containing:

  • 3 pre-drilled woven carbon fiber arms
  • Tricopter frame
  • Vibration dampening Camera/battery tray
  • Tilt mechanism
  • Landing gear
  • FPV transmitter holder
  • Motor mounts
  • GoPro velcro strap
  • Battery strap
  • Fron spacer
  • Zip-ties
  • Screws

Will be:


So when will it be available?

Early to mid September, if everything goes to plan.

Thank you very much for your patience and support.

336 thoughts on “The Tricopter V3! Coming soon…

  1. I’m working on getting the store going 🙂
    I’m debating on opening up to pre-orders as soon as it online. However it won’t be that long before the kit is ready to be launched anyway.
    Setting up an online store is taking a bit longer than I thought 🙂

    Thanks for your support 🙂 Yes the Shipping to Denmark will be affordable and fast 🙂

  2. Thats very cool. Thank you for the quick reply. I’ll try to be patient 😉

    Maybe, when you can find 5 minutes between all the other tasks, you can write suggestions as to which motor/prop/electronics combo you would recommend for this awesome frame?

  3. Awesome!
    I learnt to fly with your v2.5.
    I currently have your 2.6hv.
    Look forward to buying your newest v3 David.
    Finally we can give back to someone who has given and freely shared with us.
    Thank you David. We love your work and passion.

    • I Know that I won’t be able to put it together until next year but I ordered your kit without thinking about it : you brought so much knowledge and fun through rcexplorer and flitetest!
      Also I think you should put a refilled HK cart with everything that is needed to complete the setup! (Or maybe sell us a “power kit” with everything from battery to controllers, props and motors)

  4. David, you’re awesome hope you’ll visit Canada someday. In regards to the frame, I think many of us would be very willing to pre order so I hope you consider that as it is a fantastic design.

  5. I’m working on the store part of the site at the moment. Lots to do still. I might open it up to preorder if I get the site up before the last parts for the kit shows up 🙂
    Thank you for your support

  6. Thanks for passing all your hard work to us at a reasonable cost. It’s been fun seeing this design evolve over the years. I think this iteration really looks professional grade. Great work, I’m ordering one as soon as it is available.

  7. Hey David, just wondering, you say you use the NTM 2830 900kv motors. Have you upgraded them in any way? A lot of people, including myself, have had lots of trouble with them. I wouldn’t trust them on such a beautiful machine like this.

    • I haven’t had any issues after tightening the bell. What you have to do is to unscrew the setscrews on the top ten place the motor upside down. Gently tap on the shaft until you can’t move the bell up or down anymore, then retighten the setscrews hard. The motor should be able to spin freely but it shouldn’t be possible to move it up or down at all.
      I’ve had maybe 30 or so of the NTM’s and haven’t had a problem so far.
      But if you don’t trust them I can recommend the 2216 V2 900kV from tigermotor or the SunnySky V2216-11 900kv. Both excellent motors

  8. I think I just jizzed in my pants :/ That looks so hawwwwwwt! Want want want. I’m assuming shipping to Australia is going to cost me my first born though? 🙁

  9. Hi David,
    I really think what you do is awesome! This design beats pretty much all concurrence out there… I was thinking about a Titan Tricopter from Fortis Airframes to replace my 2.6(no HV) but after seeing this I think I’m going to wait a while and get one of those bad boys… However, I have a few questions. Is the central frame the same as the original one? If so, could I order only the new parts (such as the arms, tilt mechanism etc…) Do you think it would be possible to have extended arms to mount an “endurance” setup (15′ props, 400kv, 6S)? I am currently running Sunnysky 2216-11 800kv motors, would they fit?
    Thanks in advance for the answers,
    Also thanks again for all what you have brought to the hobby.
    You really have all my respect and admiration.

    • Yes the center frame is still the original one. They will be sold separately, as will all parts of the kit including the arms and tilt mechanism.

      I think a 400kv setup would be stretching this kit a little bit. The tilt mechanism can take a 35mm motor just barely (DT750 is fine as it sticks up) 15 inch props should be to much of an issue though. Unfortunately the longest arms I’m going to sell is the standard 325mm, at least to start with.

      The Sunnysky 2216 will fit perfectly. Any motor with 16 or 19mm hole spacing is going to fit. The yaw mechanism can take up to 35mm motors, but I wouldn’t recommend running anything larger than a 32mm on it as it can rub against the servo.

    • I had huge problems finding hex screws of the right length to reasonable prices in sweden. I did find one company that sold them but they were 10200% more expensive (102 times more expensive)
      The philips screws does their job and help keep the cost down. Doesn’t look as nice but they work 🙂

  10. Thank you David for your continuous research and development on the tricopters. These are amazing machines. I just finished building a 2.5 and it was an enlightening process.

    On a different note: what model 3D printer are you using? Would you consider making a sort of review about it? Asking because I am in the market for one.

    • An Ultimaker 2. Love it. Had some issues with it in the beginning but I learned a ton about it by disassembling and fixing it 🙂

      I’ll probably post something about it, to show people how I make the parts for the tri if nothing else.

  11. Great Job David ! I Love what you are doing !

    A Complete tricopter kit make by the Genious with a very affordable price ! I want’t one right now

    Thanks for all ! God Bless you

  12. Thank you very much for your reply. I have built V2.6 by using 330 boom. It is very sensitive to the PI in KK board. So I stretch the boom to 500mm as your V2.5. It is more stable than short one (330mm). I am interesting to get one of your V3 because I like the small size for transportation. Can you share your setting parameters for KK board?
    Thank you in advance

  13. David, Nice work. I’ll be buying one. I am glad you are getting this business off the ground. Here’s to a successful venture. You have a talent for flying and creating useful products. All my best to you.

  14. Hello
    Hello David,
    Thank you for this magnificent work. After mini H and Mini hexa, I wanted a big to tricopter,
    I hesitated between the ” talon of HK and the Titan! But after the advice(council) of member Mich of a French forum, I am going to wait for the exit(release) of your new model, the concept deserves to buy at you, and to give you my money for this(they) haughtiness multi! I am impatiens to be able to command(order) your V 3
    Amitiés of France

  15. sorry didn’t wright it wright : will you be selling base plates sepretly? an how much will be shipping for the whol kit to Slovenia
    (nex to Austria,Italy,Croatia)

    • He wrote earlier that all parts of the kit will be sold separately as well so you can grab an extra boom or two. As for shipping, considering David said it would be about $15 to australia, we can assume that it will be about the same and likely less. Cheers.

  16. Awesome!

    Can’t swing it just yet, but will be buying as soon as I’m caught up on parts for current projects.

    Wish I could make the hk uk meet, but have fun for us too!

    Keep on keepin!

    Freaky aka Frank

  17. Congrats, David. You are back from US and doing dam good! My first FPV machine was trikopter V1.0. And its still flyes. After 3 years and a huge amound of different quadros and hexas, that has passed through my hands, its a great pleasure to return to “old school”. I’m more then sure, your new version will be the new standart for FPV machinges with three motors 🙂
    Can’t wait for your store start working.

    • Thank you very much Alexey. For mea at least there is something magical about the tricopter. For some reason when I haven’t flown it in a long time and only flown other multirotors I get surprised by how good the tricopter feels 🙂

  18. Hi David, lovely looking tri. Im a total noob, and love the look of tri’s and dead cats. In your opinion, which would be better to learn on, tri, or quad? Be nice to see your immense sense of fun, and great sense of humor back on FT one day

  19. Hello David forgiveness for the translation!!
    I wanted to know if I can buy another version while waiting for him(it)
    V3 and how buy with you.
    I really want your frame.
    Even a version previous while waiting for her(it) v3

    • Hey Christophe, I hope David doesn’t mind if I answer (to help him out) but as of now, there is no official rcexplorer tricopter of any version for sale and no store yet. GetFPV and Fortis Airframes both manufacture very obvious rcexplorer inspired frames but why not wait and support our fellow hero of the FPV world? The alternatives just don’t cut it for me personally 🙂

  20. Hello and thank you for everything you have done for the hobby throughout the years. It is very appreciated. When your kit comes out I would like to build it as a 3s to keep the same battery as my other multis. Do you think a 3s build is worthwhile, or is the 4s that much better? If you think a 3s I would be acceptable can you suggest a motor and prop combo? I know you used DT750 and 10×4.7 on your 2.5 build, but I would like to use an NTM or something from White Spy. Can you suggest a combo that would work? Thank you again for everything.

  21. Hi, David:
    Can you please give some suggestion on setup KK board for V3? I think it will help lots of people success on your design tricopter.

  22. hello! is the new camera tray some sort of delrin/g10 😀 also are you gonna sell the the landing gear/camera tray seperate from the kit?
    i already have the 2.6hv and would love to buy the new v3 camera tray and landing gear 😀

  23. Hi David,I am wondering why you fly the tricopter. I fly them as well but I have a phantom as well. And the gps etc is very usefull. Can you give me a clear reason why you love flying the TRI.

    I dont know if i want to settle fpv on my phantom or tricopter so hope you can help me out

    • Depends on what your after. The Phantom will give you a “digital feel” especially on the yaw movement. The footage will look and feel different. The tricopter is more “fluid” in it’s movement. The yaw movement is much more natural and has way more resolution that accelerating/decelerating pairs of props will ever give you. The tricopter also doesn’t loose thrust while performing yaw movements. It doesn’t spin down any of it’s motors. This is most noticeable when flying aggressively. You can get into situations where you oversaturate/run out of power when using a lot of yaw on a quad. Also a tricopter can use more of it’s available power for the same reason. The tricopter has much better control in a nose down dive. It can also perform much faster yaw moves, such as quick whips.
      But the main reason why I like it is because it feels natural and “swishy”. The tricopter flies a little different and produces very natural feeling video because of this. I want to feel like I’m flying and inside of the craft. Flying a Phantom with a gimbal does not give me that feeling, it feels more like I’m flying tripod simply trying to positioning a camera. (It brings back memories of playing Counterstrike and being in spectator mode). Not saying that it doesn’t have it’s uses. It’s great for cinematography and such. But that’s not what I’m after.
      Naturally a lot depends on how you setup the tricopter and quadcopter…
      But these are my personal views 🙂

  24. I just ordered all the necessary bits from HK. Looking forward to the release! I’m glad, because the day I decided to go for it and order your frame off the flite test store, it disappeared! I patiently waited, as I would settle for no less than your tricopter body. It has become so iconic, anything else would just look silly!

    • Yes you could. Mounting the motors be a bit tricky if you wanted them to be precisely underneath each other. Another set of circle motor mounts would work. Or if you’re god at modifying it would be pretty straight forward 🙂

  25. Oh, and you couldn’t do all us poor souls on a budget a favour and start to honour Mobius with your approval could you? In any case IF I bought a GoPro it would probably be and Original Hero 3 White, because of the focal length… thoughts?

    • The Mobius is great for the price. However I’ve had quite a few problems using it as the main flight camera. Random shutdowns and the dynamic range is not that great. The focal length on the standard mobius is a little narrow for my taste as well. The lack of higher framerate without cropping the sensor is also something I miss. I like flying and editing 60fps video. The wide angle mobius as a recorder cam is a great choice for a dedicated recording camera though. However, since you need a board cam to fly from the total price for the mobius+board cam is getting close to a GoPro. If you’re on a budget I would recommend getting a GoPro2 used and install the non-protune firmware. Better image quality than the mobius. Cheap and reliable camera that you can record and fly from 🙂

    • The arms have a wall thickness of 1mm.
      Everything else is made from G10 fiberglass.
      The Frame and fpv transmitter post is 1.5mm thick
      The landing gear and camera plate is 2mm tick
      The circle motor mounts are 2.5mm thick

  26. I’ve was hopeing to put a set of TigerMotors MT3506 or MT4606 on this, but even a 3506 are 42mm in diameter. So this would be a no-go on this frame, right?
    How about servo, would a digital servo with a stall of 2,3kg@6v be able to cope with a smaller motor (something like a Tiger MT2212-800kv)?
    Since I’m shopping around to this build, that I’ve hope would be a longtime-hover master 🙂


  27. For whoever can answer this noob…
    could i use all the high quality components on the V2.6HV Deluxe on this body?..the arms are 50mm short(375mm on the v2.6hv deluxe).
    Thanks in advance!

      • awesome, thanks… this is going to be my first “build” ever.. (i’m a pyro and i would really like to get some footage of some shows) the videos of the shows that i’ve been to suck big time. it’s nothing new, but a different perspective to see the fireworks always finds a way to amaze.

          • Hi there! The past few weeks I’ve been reading, viewing, eating and breathing every little bit of info you’ve posted to the world regarding the tricopter. Let me tell you that you’re a true inspiration and good things always happen to good people so keep’em coming! Will definitely share some flying-pyro videos as soon as I can teach myself to build it and fly it. Take care.

  28. Hallo David
    Would this mortar be suitable ?
    Sunnysky X2212 KV980 Outrunner Brushless Motor.
    I have already put an order in for 2 of the servos you recommend.
    Will use the Afro 20 speed controls

  29. David, in a crash, what will break first with the stronger arms? Still the arms, or can the frame crack?

    I am curious to know what spareparts I need to order.

    Can’t wait, I have most of the parts already waiting.


  30. David, great to see you back, you have been missed……lets just leave it at that!

    Looking forward to the release. I was looking at the new Maker tricopter only because I like to support user communities but your open source attitude “scratches that itch”.

    Best of luck

  31. Hi David,
    Thankyou you so much for all you have done for the RC Hobby. If you don’t mind I have a few questions;
    I was wondering what the rough flight for this is (on 4s and 3s if you know)and if I should update my current electronics for 3s to 4s. Are there any substantial differences?
    Also, is the camera plate made out of wood or carbon fibre?
    From Cameron

    • Hey 884camo884-
      wishfull thinking but just do the math yourself. The CF tubes have a diagonal of max. 11.3mm and the slim ESC is at least 12.2 wide. No cigar for you!

    • Hovering, around 15 minutes on a 4S3000. Aggressive flying around 10. If you choose your electronics accordingly you can get the same flight time with a 3 and 4s.

      The camera plate is made out of fiberglass (g10)

      • Hi David,
        Thankyou for answering my question. I also have a few more questions;

        I am wondering if the flight time changes between 3s and 4s setups. I currently have 3s Afro ESC’s and would like to reuse them if possible. What is the difference between 3s and 4s (flight time, performance etc..) and would 3s fly fine for just flying around FPV. Will I still be able to pull up from descents quickly on 3s?

        I am thinking of buying the Sunnysky V2216-11 900KV Outrunner Brushless ( as they are more efficient than the T-Motors you have recomended. Are these a good choice of motor and will they be too big for the tilt mechanism (they are 27.8×34mm (diameter x length))?

        What props for these motors (or the ones you recommend)would be best?

        Also, what will be the dimensions of the Tricopoter when it is folded up?

        From Cameron

        • If you’re going with 3S I would recommend getting some 1100kv-1200kv motors and 9X5 props. 2216 motors are great. That would give you almost the same performance as a 4S setup. 900kV is recommended for 4S
          Any motor up to 32mm will fit nicely. Get some HQ props, the straight kind. They are great.

          Dimensions of a folded tricopter = 10cm x 52cm x 17cm (not counting props, roughly 60cm with props, hight is including the FPV transmitter post without a FPV transmitter antenna mounted)

          I personally prefer a 4S setup, but if you already have a load of 3S batteries of the right size go with 3S

  32. mdrm I can certainly do the math & I was aware that the inside diagonal is 11.31mm. That is why I wondered if David possibly tried to do this…
    Also why I mentioned no heat shrink and sides shaved down a little… Anyhow… not a biggie, I just think it would look cool to hide the ESC’s and wiring in the tubes.

    • oh the idea is very good. I have 10×10 Aluminium arms and have tried that.. doesnt work.
      The slims ESC also don’t fit in half inch Alu rods. Its always that last millimeter that doesn’t fit!

  33. For Whoever can answer this noob:

    Any recommendations on a Good and/or Best(like a good vs deluxe) 4S3000mAh and/or 4s4000mAh batteries?

    thanks as always

    • I have had really good luck so far with GensAce batteries. I bought one 4s3000 35 pack from them and found that with charging to only 4.18v per cell and discharging to 3.5 under load I was putting back ~2900 mah which is really good considering most packs are over rated. Revolectrix is supposed to make really good packs too but I never tried them. So so results with turnigy (great for when you don’t want to care).

  34. I’m really excited about this, but will be my first build.
    How will it work with a SunnySky X2212 980kv? And in that case, what prop is good for that motor? Feeling lost, and want to order the electronics asap! 😉
    / Tremor

      • Hi David,

        I haven’t placed my order yet. The reason why I was thinking of buying the 980 kv was that the store who we got an offer from (MRSS) only had 980.
        What’s difference will the copter have with 980 vs 900kv? tmotors = Tiger motors? Haven’t found them within a reasonable price-range tbh..
        Tack för hjälpen på dumma frågor 😉

  35. Hey David,
    Really excited about it!!! It would be great if you can take time to come up with lists of components for 3s and 4s setup ( if 3s is a good idea?). I saw that you already put some stuff in the comments before, but some of them are from US or from Hobbyking international warehouse. It would be great if you can come up with examples from Europe (like the servo).
    Great work!!!

  36. Hei, David

    happy to see you on RCExplorer again.

    Can you give me any suggestions about the speed controllers too buy. So i can start to order the parts i need. I want to use both 3-cell and 4-cell lipo.

    • Those props are fine on those motors but I would use a 4s pack for that combination. Better yet, get the APC multirotor 9 inch props as it’s better designed for this application (stronger, stiffer, thicker hub) and will fit almost all the motors so long as you buy the adaptor rings. Depending on what prop you are talking about it may not fit without drilling it out, at which point it becomes rather difficult to ensure you do it properly and can lead to bad vibrations.

        • I can recommend them, stiff and well balanced, I’ve used 9″ with 2216 900kv tmotors on a 2.6 deluxe style tricopter. The only downside is the boring gray color… Happened to crash my tricopter awhile ago and the electronics are now in a box waiting for your new frame. And on that one I’ll go with the graupners simply because they will look better with your awesome frame.

    • yes you can but I recommend going with straight electric props instead of the slow flyer props. They can cope with the hihger RPM’s much better and won’t start to flutter or bend during hard manoeuvres. They also cut the air a little better.

  37. Talking about building a shop. Have you had a look at Tictail? It’s extremely easy to setup a web shop. On the downside, it’s not fully incorporated with your current web site. And no, I’m in no way affiliated with Tictail.

    Either way, I’m looking forward to this tricopter kit!

  38. Checking every day for the webshop 🙂
    I got all the other stuff… The frame is the only thing left!
    Looking forward to filming som frisbeegolf throws from the air! I think it just might be awesome!

      • Sounds great! We’re all looking forward to it..
        How large is the risk of you selling out all your stock? I know many of us are afraid of missing the first batch. 😉

          • Count that as 249 David.
            The missing one is in my mail. 😉
            It will replace my almost 2 year old tricopter with your early and upgraded designs.
            It hasd been a trusty ans very robust friend, that makes some great video.
            I have a expensive hexa, but always grab the tricopter.
            And i think this answers a other Q. that the TanManTall asked.
            My NTM 28-36 has been spinning that for the better part of 2 yeats, not a single glitch from them. Even the same servo, esc, centre frame and everything.
            Only some different settings and arms.

    • Awesome! I have been thinking the same thing! I think it would be awesome to film a throw, getting right behind the disc would be freaking amazing! I also think it would be great to get footage from a disc’s perspective, showing the viewer what it would look like to the disc as it flies its line to the basket. I will have to watch out, not get lost in being a disc, go for the ace and smash into the chains.

      That’s cool that you were thinking the same thing! I’ll be sure to show you the footage if I ever get around to going all in on a go pro! Maybe I will go möbius. Good luck and please share any footage you get and tips as well 🙂

      • Yep, that was why i wanted to go with a tricopter. It should be possible to mimic the flight pattern of a disc. It’s much harder to get smooth disc-like turns with a quad. At least thats what people say 🙂 And by ppl I mean David 🙂

        If I record it in 60 or even 120 fps, I can manipulate the frame-rate in post. Making the first part of the throw fast, and progressively slower towards the end. Hopefully that can add to the feeling of seeing the discs point of view.

        The plan was to make videos for the different choices of lines on the holes on my home course. Or even see openings I didn’t know were there in the first place!

        We should definately keep in touch and share our epic videos.(and failures :-))

        Check out Matt Cooper on youtube.
        He uses a quadcopter though and I think it is possible to make it even cooler with a tricopter!

        • Cool, I will check that out!

          I’m looking forward to our attempts! I have a feeling the fails will be funnier to watch since we are both trying to do the same thing. I truly hope I don’t have to look for my tri in the woods as much as I look for discs! 😮

          • Well I’m allready failing hard over here.. Tried to test flashing my ESC with SimonK firmware and ended up with a smoking esc, motor and receiver! Testing is now on hold until David releases the build-video. I’m hoping the wiring-part of that video is more detailed the the tricopter-scratch-build video he did for FlighTest 🙂 That was like 9 seconds of the total 37 mins! Sadly I have no video of the smoke and panic when testing. I’ll make sure to tape any future endevours for your viewing pleasure 🙂

          • Hmm. Reaching the end of nested answers apparently.

            The flashing-part went great. But when I hooked up the receiver, esc and motor to the battery, things went south fast!

            I dont know if I hooked it up all wrong or flashed with the wrong firmware but the result was a smoking motor, dead esc and receiver. And a lot of panicked cursing!

            Also next time I’m gonna limit the current before testing. A small lightbulb for flashlights does the trick I heard. Or maybe a good old fashoned fuse… Rating?

            Luckily I had spare parts (for just this kind of thing)…
            As I am now out of any more spares I’m gonna be a bit more careful.

            Looking forward to the video! And maybe a wiring diagram 🙂

            • Thank you for sharing that! This is what I envisioned happening if I tried to flash the esc myself. Thus I just bought the Afro esc’s and all went well. Really would have been nice if you had caught that on video, that way the components would have added entertainment value to their epitaph! Sorry, I know what you are talking about, why won’t calm unplugging be my response to smoking components? Nope, panicked cursing all the way!

              Any way, I went back and found this thread to tell you I went out and finally practiced at my local course on a hole with the tri. Didn’t chase a disc, just tried to get the timing down and the flight path. Felt really good and should be entirely possible to make an interesting tour of the local course. The tri feels just right for it. I practiced on a big hyzer line over a stand of sumac. Awesome. No gopro yet, just practicing with a board cam. Can’t wait to start getting footage! I was surprised at how great it looked, I felt like my tee bird flying over the trees! This is going to be awesome.

              Just need to buy the gopro now.

              • I haven’t gotten mine up in the air yet! It seems my newbieness is causing even more trouble. I can’t get my transmitter to control anything. The binding part works out great, but no servo or motor response. (Orange tx and receiver from hobbyking.)

  39. Hi David,

    I’d like to join the chorus thanking you for everything that you do!

    How much do your 3000mAh and 4000mAh batteries weigh? I’m trying to figure out if any of my batteries will be a good match for the tricopter.

    • 3000mAh: 330 grams
      4000mAh: 420 grams

      I flew the Turnigy A-specs this weekend. They were 3200mAh 65C batteries that weighs 356 grams. Almost got 20 minutes of hovering on those 😀
      Absolutely fell in love with them. I think I’ll recommend them as the batteries of choice.

  40. Hi David,
    Regarding which batteries to go with would you recommend a 3000mah or a 4000mah battery? Also, what C rating to you recommend as you recently recommend 65C batteryes (which seems like alot!). Will the coptor fly fine with 20C batteries if my motors will be pulling about 60 amps (80amps with 4000mah 4s 20C batteries)?

    I am thinking of buying the 900kv 22-16 SunnySky motors you recommended earlier. However, these motors are 33mm-34mm across and I am wondering if these will rub on the servo on the tilt mechanism? With these motors running on 4s what props do you recommend? Will the HQ Prop 9×5 E Carbon Composite Prop you recommended to well?

    From Cameron

    • 20C batteries are plenty. The A-specs just happen to be 65C 🙂

      The Sunnysky 2216 are 28mm in diameter and 33mm tall. So no problem.
      Yes those motors on 4S will perform wonderful 🙂 Yes the 9×5 E HQ prop will be great.

      • Thanks:), Do you the extra money for a Turnigy A-Spec Battery is worth it? How different is the performance?

        Also, would you recommend a 3000mah Lipo (or similar in mah size) or a 4000mah Lipo (or similar in mah size)?

        • I recommend a 3000mAh 4S. The A-spec 3200mAh batteries I flew at the event were awesome as they held a high voltage throughout the flight. However they do drop like a rock when they hit their limit so you have to be careful. The performance was great though. Don’t know if they are worth the extra cash. Depends on what your after. I usually fly with 4s 3000mAh Zippy 20C batteries and have never “needed” anything else. It was just nice to experience som top notch batteries for once 😀

  41. tremor: The voltage rating on motors are more or less unimportant (except if the voting on the wire used is too thin). The Current rating is what matters. Powerloss (the heat generated) is a function of the current squared times the resistance. P=I^2*R
    So the really important figure is the current the motor is rated for. You can pump more power through a motor using a higher voltage.

  42. Morning David, I check in every day in the hope of seeing the Store icon appear at the top of the page 😉 How is the retail side of things progressing ? Very eager to get my hands on the tri-copter! Loving your work!

    • Nice find! I haven’t tried it yet but It looks promising! It might need some slight modification but not much. The spline looks to be alright. Can you measure the diameter of the spline to make sure? Is it 6mm? Is the screw that goes into the spline a M3 screw? I have to order a couple of those to see if they fit 🙂

  43. Hey David

    This news is greaaaaaat!!!!!!!
    Defiantly buying one …..
    David Is it possible to resell hobbyking batteries for the tricopter from your new store(if your shipping company allows) because for us international customers HK are only offering fedex from china and they are priceyyyyyyyy……..

    Thanks and best wishes for your new store.Looking forward to it ..

  44. Hey David,
    I went onto the Hobbyking site and found that the reviews for the NTM 28-30 900kv motor were all saying that the bearings in the motor were terrible. Have you been experiencing any problems?

    • The bearings are not the highest quality, but for the price on the motors they are decent. A little trick I use with all my motors is to grab it by the prop and wiggle it up and down. If there is any kind of play in the bell (it usually makes a small clicking sound) unscrew the setscrew that holds the shaft and push the shaft upwards from the bottom and while holding it in place, retighten the setscrew. That way there is a force pushing on the bearings which removes the play. Make sure that the motors can spin freely after (don’t go crazy hulk and push it with all your might. You just want it tight enough to where it doesn’t wiggle any more, but still spins freely) I’ve found that this makes most motors much more usable 🙂

  45. Hello David
    thank you for your answer for APM !! I hope that this will pass !!
    I do not understand the system of fixing engines 1 and 2 on the supports.

  46. Hey David, Any news on the release date? I’ can’t wait 🙂
    A quick question; would 12″ props fit this frame? I’m planning on using SunnySky 750kv motors with 12×4.5 carbon fiber props running on 3S 3A batteries. What do you think of this setup?

    I have lots of 3S batteries and I really don’t want to switch to 4S if I can help it. Also spinning bigger props at lower speeds should be more efficient then spinning smaller props faster.

    • 12″ props would fit but I don’t know how well it will fly. I have never tried props that large on this size tricopter. You don’t have to switch from 3S, just get some 1200kv motors and 9×5 props and you will have the same performance. Slightly shorter flight times as you don’t have as much stored energy with you up (4s 3000mAh = 50WH vs 3s 3000mah = 37.8WH) But it would be nice and light 🙂

  47. hi there again guys..

    can someone point me in the right direction?

    i’m looking to get the Hitec Aurora 9 but i cant’ find anything on the settings for the tricopter…any help is deeply appreciated

  48. Has anyone had any experience with the Neewer or whatever esc’s I find on amazon?
    I ordered plush esc’s for this build for some reason but I think I will repurpose them. I fancied I would flash them with simonk but I really have not the skills and I don’t even know if the new ones are flashable. I didn’t order the Afro esc’s because the .5A bec didn’t seem like much, but I couldn’t find any info on what the turnigy 210 servo would draw on the tail. Anybody with a clue that can set me straight, please chime in, I’d love the help. I see David recommended the Afro on the formerly hidden page so I’m guessing it would suffice, unless he had a sadistic streak heretofore unbeknownst to me.:)

  49. So sorry mates, never meant to give false hopes or anything like that.
    I’m in line like everybody else.
    Just wanted to share the link because of all the questions regarding what would work.

    Also nothing was “hidden” lol… just use the “search site” application.

  50. David,

    Will you use the NTM motors yourself, or something more expensive? The tigernotors at 50€ a piece are quite the investment,so do you think it is worth it?


    • It did indeed feel like a nice mid-September day today. Felt not like August at all and surely not like October, but rather right in between the two. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • I rather enjoy the waiting, actually. It’s a spiritual factor, transcending patience, to actually relish in this phase of anticipation. If you’re not ready Friday, I will have even more opportunity to practice this appreciation!

          I look forward to supporting you, I have so enjoyed and benefitted from your contributions, it will be nice to do that. Thank you.

          As an example of the scope or range of what you provide, i give you this small slice of the pie:
          I just built a filtered step down apparatus with the lm2940 with your help, and you’ve inspired me to do a lot of research into electronics, etc.
          Then, I have my 3 year old son who grabs my ipad and says “let’s watch david blow something up!” Something for everyone!! 🙂 inspiration spanning generations, how about that?

          Take your time! 😉

  51. Hey David and RCExplorer people, this v3 is just awesome.
    I’ve seen in the past all the rest of your builds but I never had built any, but now.. no, i can’t just watch anymore! 😀 I want to build my first, but before everything is ready i want to purchase a good radio, not bad and not super professional one. After my research, i’ve found the FrSky Taranis. With my zero knowledge it looks good to me with plenty of features.
    I thought it would be good to ask for your opinion for a radio that does not exceed my 150 Euro budget. Any suggestions from everyone else is also welcome.
    Sorry for the offtopic reply!
    Keep the good work David, people just love it. 😀
    Kind regards from Greece!

    • I have a taranis and I love it. You can program it to do pretty much anything you can think of. Some bits on it are a little cheap feeling but dollar wise, or I guess, euro wise, it feels good enough! The talking telemetry feature is awesome for fpv, it will notify you if the signal is weak. I like mine.
      If you are on a budget, and the taranis fits in that budget, I can’t think of a better choice for the money. I bought one after I got into fpv and wanted more channels and more mixing options. I had quickly outgrown my dx6i, with its two mix limit and two position switches. Just wasn’t cutting it. Now I have more channels than I know what to do with. I’d say go for it!

      But do your research and make sure it’s a good fit for you.

      • I was thinking the same,I can’t find anything better in that price still.Do i need an extra module on the tricopter for the telemetry?
        I’ll focus on the capabilities of taranis, as I’m thinking this will be my radio 😀
        Thanks for tour answer Patrick.

        • You’re welcome! No module necessary. You do need a telemetry receiver, though. I just ordered the d8r-II plus and I have a x8r as well they both have telemetry. I think there’s a six channel with telemetry too, but it wasn’t in stock. The receiver will send back rssi information to the transmitter and a nice lady inside will tell you when the signal is low, and then critical, and then tell you that telemetry is lost. At that point you should jump in the air and hold the transmitter in various positions while running with your goggles on, trying to get her to say “telemetry recovered.” There are various widgets and wizzlers you may connect to the telemetry receivers that give you voltages, temperatures, variometer tones, and all kinds of shenanigans, but I’ve not gone there yet.
          There are a bunch of tutorials on the youtubes about how to program it and all, as I am sure you have discovered. It’s truly dizzying!

          • That transmitter is so awesome, I’ve just seen all those extra telemetry things. I’ve seen a lot of videos on youtube that shows everything. Totaly worth its money!! Also i found out how easy i can get multiwii controller for this tri and the code is opensource and everyone can compile it, with just arduino nano with onboard programmer and 10DOF extension board that’s about max 15$ and zero shipping from hong kong :D.

  52. Hey David,

    I have a spare Naze32 acro and some D2836/9 950KV outrunners with props laying around as well as yet unflashed Silabs 30A Plush ECSs. All I’d need would be servos and your frame, so it would’ve hurt the bank as much.

    Waiting for the parts of the “Dart400” frame that HK released way under the price that GLB and similar offered before, front mounted 3D printed mobius gimbal.

    I’ve always wanted to build a tricopter, but as I already fly a 250 size for FPV and soon the 400 size for some smooth aerial footage, would flying a tri bring me anything those two don’t deliver already?

    Convince me and you might have yourself a customer :)!

    • Its what you prefer, but the tri has much better yaw performance. I had been flying a tri for months, when I converted it to a quad, just to try it out. It felt a bit more stable but it flew so unnatural for me that I switched back within 24 hours.

      Sure, my setup wasnt perfect, but it wasnt perfect on the tri either but I liked that soo much better.

      The tri is like a bumblebee, while a quad is more a moving platform :p

      Or maybe its more like a motorbike vs a car. The flying is just different.

      Best is to see/feel for yourself. There are lots more quads out there than tri’s so they are meeting the needs for lots of people.

    • Depends on what you’re after, and what your taste in multirotors are. I don’t really know if you will like the tricopter or not. If you have a friend that has a tricopter try it and see if you like it 🙂

  53. Why you said to buy the multistar propeller, when of the two is a reverse one? The reverse one will be useless, because a tricopter only need normal rotation propeller. So did you have any alternative propeller from hobby king? And which frequency to you recommend to use for FPV? And reserve one tricopter kit for the canada!!!! Thank you

      • Here is my take on it 4s means smaller prop size meaning potentially smoother and less prop flexing, higher rpmz, 1 to 2 minute flight time improvement or more depending on set up, more expensive battery, slightly larger ESC requirement, but all in all if u can afford it the 4s seems like the way to go. I started my learning with 3s x 8 battery packs, I kind of wish I would have thrown a 4s in here to try or a couple of them mainly for a longer flight time and I could use smaller props. I use mt2212-16 750 tiger motors and I think a 2212 980kv motor with smaller props and 4s batteries would have been the better way to go for efficiency ,versatility, and power/thrust

      • The difference between a 3 and a 4s setup, if both setups are selected to spin the prop at the same RPMs the performance difference is small. You get slightly more efficiency on a 4S setup and you get more torque out of the motor as well as slightly quicker throttle changes. To produce the same power you need less amps on a 4S setup. 250W on a 3S setup = 21A, 250W on a 4S setup = 15A. Which means you can run smaller ESC’s (as long as they are 4S comparable) as well as running thinner cables, and the wasted power will be less, as it’s a function of I^2*R (Amps squared times the resistance)
        If you have the right batteries for a 3S setup, I would go with a 3S setup. The difference isn’t that great.
        But If I were to buy everything from scratch I would get a 4S setup.

    • Fredestroyer007 the tricopter flies better with one of the three propellers spinning the oposite way, it reduces the overall torque that the rear motor was to compensate. Ideally you want the front left spinning clockwise, the front right counterclockwise and its your choice for the rear one. But this was it flies better and fasted

    • You can fly the tricopter on all the same rotation propellers, however you get better performance if you use one counter-rotating propeller as the P factor will be less. Also the lift generated on the prop during fast forward flight will be on the outside of the frame instad of the inside on one side, which also makes the tricopter fly better. Today it’s so easy to get counter rotating props that it’s worth using them. Back in the days when they were hard to come buy and weird sizes, it made complete sense not to use them.

  54. I love the printable pivot and the new G10 camera plate. An optional oversize top plate is easily built by those of us who pile a loaded Ardupilot on this. Well, I guess it’s PixHawk now. Built two of your rigs before and cut custom top plates for APM. Keeping th weight down for use with a KK makes total sense. I will buy this one for sure. It’s so good to hear from you again! Your videos, designs and antics are priceless. Do you still have those ancient crackers you bought with Chad?

  55. Hello David,
    I’m a newbie in the world of multicopter… What do you advise to start : a 3s or 4s version ?
    Forward i’ll wish to mount a gopro on the tricopter…
    Thank you

  56. Hey,

    I think i speak for all of us when we’re really excited about you finally releasing the store! Hope you have everything finished as planned. 🙂

    The only downside is that depending on when the store is finished, Posten (Swedish postal service) wont get the package to me in time for building the copter during the weekend! Don’t you just hate the feeling of having to go a whole weekend and waiting for the package to arrive on monday when you’re at work? 😉

  57. Hi David!
    Just want to say that this V3 looking super cool! Helt fantastisk! 😀

    Since my first V2.5 tricopter (still with frame made of ice scrapers) still flies without any problems I’m sure the V3 will be pure joy to fly. If/when I total my tricopter I know for sure what my second multicopter will be. 🙂

    Video I made this weekend, filmed from my tricopter. All thanks to you David!

    Wish you all luck with the store!


  58. Hi David when is the store going to be up so i can pre order a V3. and can you put your signature on the camera tray instead of the frame so i can show off my Windistål tricopter to all without taking off my kk2 board

  59. GJ David, the new version of the shop is looking great!!

    Hoping you’re up and running by tonight, starting to get nightmares that I’ll get back from my weekend away to find you sold out :/


  60. Everybody is Happy now…..

    Hey David, you said the build video is done, did you include the settings for the aurora? or are you going to? thanks in advance…can’t wait.

  61. Awesome!

    Very excited to get this project underway – looks like a fantastic kit you’ve put together.

    One question:

    If you had the choice between HQ/Gemfan/Multistar props, which would you choose?

    I’m having an internal struggle deciding on them.


      These guys make a conversion kit that converts the möbius to the form factor of a gopro. Seems like a hassle to me, but in the end I suppose if you count your time as free, then you’ll save some money.

      I’ve seen this question more than once. Is there some reason it would be a difficult undertaking to DIY a möbius mount on David’s mount? Seems simple to me, but I don’t have either the mount or the möbius in front of me.

        • Looks like it ends up almost 100g lighter than the hero3. I think with a 300G+ battery behind, it would be just fine, don’t you?
          Has anyone just strapped a möbius to David’s mount? I’m curious. I think I will do some searching. I really am having a hard time coughing up all that cake for a gopro, but it seems the best choice. Can’t china just copy the gopro for like, 10 bucks shipped?
          And duh, I should have known HK already had that mopro kit.

  62. Yay!!! I got mine Today!! now the waiting game, sadly i haven’t received my HK parts yet…

    Thank You David!!

    now to wait for the KK Video…..

  63. And I’m finally ready to maiden mine..
    Heres hows it looks right now, before cables are set better.

    902 grams of pure fun, thats with a 4000mah 3S – my 5000’s power cable is to short 🙁
    Setup is:
    ReExplorer Tricopter V3.
    EagleTree Vector.
    Fatshark 600.
    Altitude Nano VTX.
    Zippy Compact 3S 4000mah 25C.
    T-Motors 2212-16 750KV.
    T-Motors 14×4 Carbon Props.
    OrangeRX710 in Sbus-mode.
    Emax-12A SimonK ESCs.


      • Well I’ve dont know yet 😉

        I’m waiting for a day without rain or heavy winds ! Hopefully Friday or the day after.

        But have a Vector on a Talon, and that works great – if one can see past the Talon-servo mount!


  64. Maiden flight done, and it went very well.
    Uploading onboard video now, but did forget to calibrete the EagleEyes tracker – so mostly my patch antenne is pointing away from the tricopter, not good when useing 25mw and a simpel antenne on the VTX.
    There was some guest, but when one come to think of it: Only thing I’ve told the Vector is that I’m useing a tricopter, and what chanals to use on the S.BUS! It did very fine, I’m sure it could be alot nicer in the hands of a good pilot, but I’m happy!!


      • Love the Vector, have this one and one on my Talon – easy setup, good functions, low price for what you get 😉
        An to that a low weight, and you have a winner.

        Next time out will be with ground tracker active, so my 25mw will give alot better picture. And maybe without the big text on the OSD part, so will be able to fit more info on the same space.

  65. David,
    I hope you are really embarrassed to have run out of that initial batch of frames.
    I hope that means you have sold out of the 250 you had initially sourced.
    Regards Philip

  66. Hi David
    I am asking for you kit for Christmas and I don’t know which motors to ask for.
    I want something a little higher quality than the NTM motors. Would this be a good choice. Tmotor MT2216 900 kv or the MS2216 900 kv or the Sunnysky 2216 900 kv or something different altogether.

    • Well if you build it light (~900grams) then the MT2216-900kv with 10″*3,3″ would fit nice on it. Together with a 3S 4000mah, that would give you 15min of mixed flight or ~21min of hover. Remember to get small ESC’s (10A would be all that you need)

      The Tiger Motors are very nice, I’ll use the MT2216-750kv my self (with 14*4″ Tiger Motor Props).


    • If you have the cash, the Tiger MT2216 1100kv is a monster on 9 inch apc mr props, i have them on a quad and I absolutely would not have it any other way. However, the tricopter will be significantly lighter which is why I went with the Sunnysky 2216 900kv, i’m not sure if I will be ok with the drop in power though. The quality of sunnysky motors is VERY good either way, all of the hardware looks identical to what I got with the tiger motors so I wouldn’t be surprised if they are made by the same factory.

      For either the tiger MT2216 1100kv or Sunnysky 2216 900kv, 20 amp speed controllers is the max you will need, just make sure you use 4s batteries, you might be able to do 3s with the tiger, but come on, go nuts!

  67. What is the difference between the Tmotor mt2216 900 kv and the ms2216 900 kv other than the price? Which one is better for this frame. I am using a 4s 3000 and 9 5 hq props and a gopro on the front.

    • Well Ecalc are your friend:
      It dont have those HQ props, but something close..
      MT2216-900: 36% power for hover, 4.2min full power, 10.0min mixed flight, 16.1min of hover. 14.18A full throttle pr motor. 7.01g/w
      MS2216-900: 38% power for hover, 4.2min full power, 9,5min mixed flight, 14,8min hover. 14,33A full throttle pr motor. 6.45g/w.

      Useing TigerMotor Props:
      MT2216-900/9*3″: 49% for hover, 6.6min full power, 11.9min mixed, 17.6min hover. 10.03A full power pr motor, 7.02g/w
      MS2216-900/9*3: 52% for hover, 6.5min full power, 11.3min mixed, 16.2min hover, 10.2A full power pr motor, 6,46g/w.

      So not alot difference, theres more to useing better props 😉

  68. I finally got my tricopter V3 kit together. I was supposed to build it December/Januari but i got trouble with 2 seriously sick people in the family which postponed my build. But a couple of days ago i finally finished it.
    It’s got

    28-30 NTM Motors
    20A Afro ESC’s
    TGY-210DMH servo
    Eagletree Vector FC
    Frsky X9D reciever

    I find the tail a bit wiggly although i’ve lowered the gains from 100% to 50% , and the whole copter feels a bit sluggish concidering the motor/ESC combination so i guess there are some tweaking to be made in the FC. It really loiters good and the OSD on the Vector is beyond awesome so if i get the copter to fly a little bit more aggressive and without wiggly tail i will be pleased with it!

    / Ulf

Leave a Reply