The Monster Drone, or BFD mk 2.4



So over the past few months, what was supposed to be a simple frame upgrade has turned into almost an entirely new build. The overall motor to motor is over a meter, but i’ve yet to get a decent enough measuring tool to get the exact measurement.

New Frame and automatic landing legs revealed my RX for my controller was no good, so the controller was upgraded. My motor set, DJI E310s, were acting up, so i got new motors and ESCs. New ESCs have a low voltage safety, so a new battery was in order. This accidentally fried my VTX, so one is in the mail as we speak.

Build details are as follows

  • 288KV Arris motors
  • Readytosky 40A opto ESCs
  • Tarot 680Pro frame, with 500mm extended arms
  • Naza V2 FC
  • FrSky Horus X10 and 2 X8Rs
  • Flysight Black Mamba TX5820
  • Tarot T4-3D gimbal with GoPro hero 4
  • Tarot Tri-blade adaptors with Tarot 1555 props

Please ignore the mess and poor sense of scale, but she is a behemoth

The short flight tests I’ve flown show that it can handle decent wind gusts with little issue, but Yawing does take longer than i would’ve originally thought, but despite the size, the response time is very respectable in terms of changing direction. As for weight, the math and numbers show an estimated lift of around 12-22kgs max, but i’ve yet to verify that.

While this has turned from a frame change into a almost 100% new build, i’m quite happy with the outcome, and will probably begin my next project, which will either be a Believer aerial survey plane or the Skywalker Titan aerial survey plane, both of which are dual engine EPO birds.


Nice work…

that’s a bit of a beast…
what flight times are you expecting?


Hi @vwdstriker

My rebuild of an Alien 560 turned into a 780mm frame with 25mm CF tube arms
But I never finished the build :sob:

Bit concerned with your mention of low voltage protection on the ESC’s
Are you sure you really want to enable this? sometimes you need to land a bird with very low batteries and take the risk of knackering a cell or two but with these ESC cut-offs it can just fall from the skies. :scream: :scream:

My opinion FWIW, has any other fliers got a view on this ?

Steve :slight_smile:


My estimated flight times, if packing nothing but batteries, is around an hour, but i’ll have nothing but batteries and the small gimbal, but thats just ballpark guessing.

As for the low voltage protection, I’ve yet to see how they work exactly. It prevented me from taking off with a 4S battery, but I’ve yet to let my new 6s battery drain low enough to see how they enable on it. And since BLHeli dosen’t let pass through on the naza V2, I’ll have to buy a usb adapter and program them all manually.

For the most part, i’m still in initial testing and tuning, so i’m not super in a rush to get the adapter and program them, but its definitely in the works.


Very cool and with an hour flight with the gimbals attached is pretty decent! :+1:

I do agree about the low voltage cutoff on your ESC, for me its better to ruin a battery than have your entire multirotor come crashing down to the ground if a ESC decides to cut out. Although to be fair a hex can still fly with 5 motors… But still you might want to see if the Naza V2 has any low voltage safety features, like maybe entering RTH, or landing if the battery level gets low. I know arducopter can do this if you use the power module, but haven’t touched a naza for a good 3 years now!


Hi again,
I use both NAZA and the A2 controllers and can confirm that there are two stages of battery voltage level triggering.

First provides LED warning and indication on the OSD, if fitted
Second will land the craft safely, again OSD reports this.

RTH is not triggered as this may attempt to fly the craft longer than battery is capable of, worsening the situation.

Steve :slight_smile:


So after some testing, i’ve managed to disable the ESC’s voltage cutoff, get everything balanced and up no problem.

But i had a minor rough landing when i forgot i had the Intelligent Orientation Control turned on and flipped the switch i had it set too. This somehow messed up my Gimbal. A quick replacement ordered, and i’m back up in the air, but my GoPro hero 4 isn’t outputting video via the USB live out.

At this point, i’m fixing to give up on dealing with go-pro and find another HD capable camera than can do live out and record. I dont need the HD live out, but the recording is where i want the HD.


So an update after continued tweaking. I swear this is the project that will never end.

My Naza V2 is acting up and isn’t taking commands properly. I switched from GPS atti to Atti and the FC refused to accept. This almost lead to damage of my vehicle, which was parked nearby. Thankfully, it was still about half a meter off the ground and killing the motors lead to a broken landing leg, but nothing else.

I have decided that if i am going to eventually do long range and semi-autonomous flight, i will need to upgrade FCs, so i might as well start saving up for a good solid quality one. I was thinking a Pixhawk 2 with the Here+ GNSS, but i also happened to see the Emlid EDGE autopilot, which also has an HD video transmission system built in and a GNSS gps system. In terms of out of the box has what i need, i’m going to lean towards the EDGE.

The EDGE will let me keep my gorpo, as well as use most cameras no issue since most cameras anymore have an HDMI out.

I have also purchased a Runcam 2 to replace my Gopro. I am happy with the quality but i seem to be having issues with the video out on it. I’m currently in contact with the Runcam team.


That is not a bad decision at all. Although it is pricey compared to a pixhawk 2 in some ways, the integrated video and data link take it to another level as you get a HD video link. And best of all it runs the ardupilot firmware stack :slight_smile: