Vulture

By Straw Hat Sam on Mar 08, 2023

37  4,012  10

To purchase this frame, visit Straw Hat Aerial: https://strawhataerial.com/collections/vulture

Introduction

The Vulture is my first miniquad frame, originally designed for Gopros and the Sony RX0II cameras, but after seeing how well the quick release camera mounting system functioned, I quickly realized that this drone can be used as a multifunctional "MiniLifter" because it still rips even with cinema cameras like Blackmagic Pocket 4K, and RED Komodo.

Features

  • Carries GoPro up to RED Komodo with no tuning changes required
  • Anti-vibration mount has ZERO jello with Sony RX0II (even after Catalyst Browse stabilization)
  • Novel camera quick release system and toolless angle adjustment
  • Optional nylon tubing propeller guards
  • Flexible LiPo battery mounting for various payloads
  • Ultra powerful in compact travel-size form factor

Specs

  • 6 inch prop
  • 28** 1700kV ish motor
  • Frame weighs 281g including camera mount and side shrouds
  • 268mm motor to motor diagonal distance

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Prop Choice

My top recommendation is the HQ Prop 6x4.5x3 cinewhoop propeller. It is an aggressive triblade that stays smooth at full throttle with light payloads and has great low end thrust to make it suitable for carrying cinema cameras. My main consideration for prop choice though was actually something that doesn't explode. At first I was using the Azure 6145 BSP props, but one day after testing at full throttle I had one explode on a cold day so I have been avoiding that one now.

  • HQprop 6x4.5x3 cinewhoop (Best overall and won't explode in cold weather)
  • Gemfan Flash 6042 (Best prop for lighter payloads and warmer weather 10deg C or higher)
  • T-motor 6143 (very smooth and durable)

Motor Choice (6S)

I have been using the Hyperlight 2807.5 1722kV motors. They are just the right size to be suitable both as a powerhouse when used with a small action cam, and as a reliable thruster for cinelifting thanks to it's 8mm tall stator. Another motor I have yet to try out is the Xnova 2806.5 1700kV motors which looks promising.

  • Hyperlite 2807.5 1722kV (known entity and works with RED Komodo)
  • Xnova 2806.5 1700kV (will the shorter stator handle larger payloads???)
  • Brother Hobby 2806.5 1700kV (best option for cameras under 500g)

UPDATE 3/23/2023: I have tried the Brother Hobby 3008 1900kV motors with the HQ 6x4.5x3 cinewhoop props. These motors are a great choice for pilots who will be using the Vulture primarily as a whoop with heavier cinema cameras like the RED Komodo (1.5kg payload). I recommend using a 90% motor output limit so as not to kill your LiPos. The hover time was 3 minute 45 seconds with a little 2200mah 6S 70C CHNL battery (with XT60 connector), and I was able to do full throttle bunny hops in my garage for 2 minutes 30 seconds. The amazing thing was that the small LiPo was doing perfectly fine, easily recovering from the throttle blasts, and no hot motors or components to speak of. With 1900kV, the biggest benefit is extra thrust which makes you feel more confident carrying a Komodo. I look forward to doing some field flights!

LiPo Battery Choice

First off, this is not a super efficient ultralight rig meant to be used with Li-ion batteries. It is a tiny beast that wants to catapult anything you put on it into the sky. So use quality batteries! The Vulture was actually designed to handle 8S so it you want to crank things to the max, go ahead! But for most pilots, 6S is the way to go:

  • Racedayquads 1800mah 6S: I have had these for 2 years now and they are great for payloads of 300g or less
  • CHNL 2200mah 6S 70C: This is my favorite battery overall, but I only have one because they are expensive and usually out of stock. Great for payloads 250g up to 1kg
  • GNB 3300mah 6S 90C: Now we are getting into big boy territory. Great for 500g-1.5kg payloads and lots of punch, but won't last as long as the 4500mah version.
  • GNB 4500mah 6S 100C: The C-rating is a complete joke, this battery has no place being used for a larger cinelifter. BUT since the Vulture has really low amp draw for a cinewhoop, this 4500mah battery can actually take it! Just don't push it too hard. The ultra lightness and compactness really make this battery suddenly a great option for the Vulture when running larger payloads in cinewhoop mode.

Tuning

The following settings are with these components:

  • Hyperlite 2807.5 1722kV motors
  • HQ 6x4.5x3 cinewhoop props
  • Hobbywing 60A ESC
  • T-motor F7 Pro FC (MPU 6000)

Here are my suggested PIDs with the Vulture on Betaflight 4.3.1. These will work in a variety of situations whether it is Gopro, RX0II, BMPCC4K, or Komodo:

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Here are the suggested filters I use, again with BF 4.3.1. NOTE: If you are using an FC with BMI270 gyro, I suggest turning off all gyro lowpass filters. Unlike MPU6000 flight controllers where it is good to have a 250Hz static lowpass filter as shown below, with BMI270 gyros they have a more aggressive in-built hardware filtering than MPU6000. This means if you add an additional static lowpass filter in Betaflight, this can cause excessive PID delay to the point which the drone experiences oscillations in the step response even at conservative PID gains. This is more noticeable in the Vulture because of its high power and low rotational inertia (compactness) that make it very responsive and requires lower PID delay.

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This is what happens when you have lowpass filters enabled with an FC with BMI270 gyro on the Vulture. As you increase the master multiplier, the step response appears to becomes "unbalanced" and exhibits behavior similar to an underdamped system even though at lower PD gains, the P to D ratio was ideal. This may be caused by the increased PID delay due to the hardware lowpass filtering of the BMI270. The solution is to turn off the lowpass filters.

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Now for ESC settings, with the Hobbywing 60A 4in1 ESC, I am running BL Heli 32.7 firmware with the following settings:

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Frame Assembly

This is not your typical miniquad frame so I recommend you follow my assembly guide:

Components Installation

It is easy to work on this drone, but here's how I planned and laid out all my components:

Best Practices

Be sure to watch this video to avoid common mistakes when assembling and performing maintenance on your Vulture:

Flight Times (estimated)

  • 150g GoPro Hero10 1800mah 6S: 4min (full acro)
  • 260g Sony RX0II w/ C-mount lens 1800mah 6S: 3min (full acro) Note: my 1800mah 6S batteries are 2 years old
  • 1.0kg Blackmagic Pocket 4K w/ Laowa 7.5mm CHNL 2200mah 6S 70C: 4min (cinematic cruising)
  • 1.5kg RED Komodo w/ GNB 3300mah 6S: 4min (cinematic cruising)

Footage

Design Review

Photos

Part List

Flight Controller

T-Motor F7 Pro Flight Controller - 30x30mm (5 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$89.90

Flight Controller

Aikon F7 30x30 V2.1 HD Flight Controller W/OSD (4 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$57.99

Flight Controller

HobbyWing XRotor Convertible F7 Flight Controller HD DJI Plug and Play - 30x30 & 20x20mm (7 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$49.99

Flight Controller

SpeedyBee F7 V3 Flight Controller
Getfpv.com
See Site

ESCs

Foxeer Reaper F4 128K 32Bit 65A 3-8S 30x30 4in1 ESC (5 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$84.99

ESCs

Aikon AK32 V3 55A 4in1 6S ESC - 30x30mm (16 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$74.99

ESCs

HobbyWing XROTOR 60A 3-6S BLHELI32 4IN1 ESC FOR FPV RACING - 30x30mm (15 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$74.99

Motors

Moteur C287 - 1750KV - AxisFlying (2 builds)
Drone-fpv-racer.com
See Site

Motors

Xnova 2806.5 Freestyle Smooth Line Motor - 1700kv
Pyrodrone.com
$29.00

Motors

BrotherHobby LPD 2806.5 1700KV Motor
Pyrodrone.com
$26.99

Motors

BrotherHobby Avenger 2806.5 1300KV/1700KV Motor (30 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$25.99

Motors

4 x Hyperlite 2807.5 E-Series Long Range & Cinelifter Motor - 1722KV (3 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$67.96

Propellers

HQProp D6x4.5x3 for Cinewhoop Grey (2CW+2CCW) - Poly Carbonate (5 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$3.59

Propellers

Gemfan Flash 6042-3 Tri prop (5 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$3.29

Propellers

T-Motor T6143 Propeller (Set of 4) (2 builds)
Getfpv.com
See Site

FPV Camera

DJI O3 Air Unit (80 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$228.99

FPV Camera

Caddx Nebula Pro Vista Kit 720p/120fps Low Latency HD Digital System For DJI FPV (162 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$164.99

FPV Transmitter

HDZero Freestyle Digital HD Video Transmitter (1W Capable) (9 builds)
Getfpv.com
See Site

FPV Transmitter

Walksnail Avatar HD VTX Module
Getfpv.com
See Site

Receiver

TBS Crossfire Nano Rx FPV Long Range Drone Receiver (1491 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$24.95

Batteries

Gaoneng GNB 2600mAh 22.2V 6S 110C Lipo Battery - XT60 (2 builds)
Pyrodrone.com
$59.99

Batteries

Auline 22.2V 6S 3300mAh 45C Lipo Battery - XT60
Racedayquads.com
$54.99

Batteries

Bonka U2 Series 1800mAh PSN 6S 22.2V FPV Racing LiPo Battery
Pyrodrone.com
$48.99

Batteries

RDQ Series 22.2V 6S 1800mAh 100C LiPo Battery - XT60 (7 builds)
Racedayquads.com
$44.99

Batteries

CNHL G+Plus 2200mAh 22.2V 6S 70C Lipo Battery with XT60 Plug (3 builds)
Chinahobbyline.com
$37.99

Batteries

Gaoneng GNB 22.8V 4500mAh 100C 6S HV LiPo Battery XT60/XT90/T Plug for RC Drone
Alexnld.com
$154.39

Batteries

Gaoneng GNB 22.2V 3300mAh 90C 6S Lipo Battery XT60 Plug for RC Drone (2 builds)
Alexnld.com
$112.39

Batteries

RDQ Series 22.2V 6S 2800mAh 100C LiPo Battery - XT60 (3 builds)
Racedayquads.com
See Site
Show stores (6)

Discussion

Sign in to comment

erikaSKOOL   Feb 22, 2024  

how much flightime i can get with 6s2p molicel p42a???

Israel_Martinez   Aug 02, 2023  

Great build and love what you are doing in the cinelift world!

LynxFPV   Jun 10, 2023  

to be honest....its ugly in my opinion. 😜 yet once you put the ducts on it changed the entire look. however, the frame doesn't have to look good to fly great. truly is an impressive design and you did an amazing job in its creation. been toying with the idea of a cinelifter and what you have done is a great take on it.

eebenghan   May 20, 2023  

Hi Sam, I just finish building mine with Axis Flying C287 1750kv motors. It's been running quite hot, any recommendations for PID tune? Anyone running the same motors?

Currently   Apr 11, 2023  
1

You've inspired me to build this set up for my upcoming summer trip! My goal of this is to fly a Sony RX0 II for 5-7 minutes of cruising. What is your opinion on the following setup? Anything that you would recommend changing to achieve that goal?
GoPro Hero 7

  • I plan on upgrading to the Sony RX0 II soon!
    BH 2806.5 1700kv
    CNHL 2000mah 100C Black Series
  • These seem to be a pretty good deal (cheaper than RDQ 1800mah) but is the extra 200mah beneficial for increased flight time or does the extra weight start cutting into that?
    Gemfan Flash 6042
Straw Hat Sam   Apr 11, 2023 
1

Hi Currently, that setup will achieve 5-7 minutes cruising flight time no problem. For the battery, I have tried the CHNL 2000mah and they have plenty of punch, but an issue I have with them are that they drop off voltage rapidly. Not a good trait for long range flights. I recommend the 2200mah CHNL Lipo because you'll get even longer flight time and you'll be able to use that battery for it you ever want to upgrade to even larger cameras.

Currently   Apr 30, 2023 

All my stuff came in and the quad is built! I'm super happy with the frame and components but the flight feel isn't super smooth. What's your opinion on Emuflight? I've had good luck with that on my 7".

nguoilaodong   Apr 04, 2023  
1

Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently 다바오

DarwinFOX   Mar 24, 2023  
1

This is my dream cineflifter, I LOVE the way it looks and the way you've designed it so well!

miromir237   Mar 24, 2023  
1

Amazing piece of engineering.

himynamesjoel   Mar 21, 2023  

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