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What is THAT ?


THAT is a Hexacopter, sometimes called a Hex-rotor. It is a heavy-lift remotely piloted aerial photography platform.

AC1 V3 Heavy-Lift SkyCrane

It is very like a remote controlled helicopter, and is flown in a similar way, but because it has 6 rotors, it is inherantly much more stable and controllable than a helicopter of similar size.

You may have come to this site following links from aerial photography, you may need my unique help or services with whatever project you’re working on, or you may have just met a man in a field flying a strange but intriguing machine, and popped over for a chat.  How ever, or why ever you are here, this is a good place to start.

AC1 Discovery 1.0 launched for her first flight on the 17th July 2012, and was my first semi-pro aerial rig. It was based on the DJI Flamewheel F450 model frame and used DJI motors, ESC’s, Flight Controller and GPS.

As its main use is for aerial photography, it also carries an FPV (First Person View) system that allows me and others to see what it sees from the ground, as it flies, and also a GoPro2, which records 1080P HD video and /or takes 11 MP photographs. This is linked to my ground control via a 2.4 GHz Transmitter / Receiver combo and a 5.8 GHz video / sound link.

Since the beginning,  AC1 has been through a series of upgrades that have now turned her into AC1-V4, an F550-based power-lifter christened ‘SkyCrane‘, with arm extensions, Tiger Motors, 11 inch Carbon Fibre propellers, and a refitted power system. Almost a meter wide, this new version has some serious lifting power and thrust behind it. Cameras are now the GoPro2 and the latest GoPro3 (Black Edition) on a special 2 axis stabilised gimbal. This provides up to 4K cinema resolution footage and 12 MP stills.

So what that adds up to is a fast moving but stable and precision-controllable flying machine capable of traversing all types of terrain, water, and air in the sort of spaces that it would be very difficult to get a camera into any other way.

All in the details

…so here is the latest setup for anyone interested…


DJI F550 + 2″ 3mm anodised aluminium arm extensions

Extra Tall  ABS plastic / aluminium / carbon fibre  landing gear

LED Nav lights / DC Voltage Regulator


6 x T-Motor 2814-10 770kV motors

ESC Power Distribution Harness

6V UBEC 3-5A

Carbon Fibre 11 x 5 Props


10 x 4000 – 8000 maH 4S LiPo Battery packs

Flight Control

DJI Naza-M (GPS upgrade)

RC / Telemetry

Walkera Devo 10 / 1002 TX / RX 2.4 GHz

Flytech FPV cam / 5.8 GHz transmitter

Cloverleaf / Skew Planar antennas

Eagletree Altimeter V4

Video / Misc

GoPro 3 Black Edition

GoPro 2 Hero

XAircraft CM-GP 2 axis stabilised gimbal

Aeroxcraft Landing gear

Aeroxcraft VTR-GP belt-drive digital servo-driven dual-axis gimbal

OFM 10″ Field Monitor

Walkera QR Ladybird Trainer Quad

 Average AUW: 3.31 KG