UAV helicopter frame from Align - flown with Arducopter, of course

Hi Everybody , probably most of you know about the recently released Align Demeter UAV helicopter. We got the electric version, just the bare kit, without autopilot, HD fpv link and sprayer system .
The frame is nicely designed and the choice of materials fits perfectly the scope this chopper is meant for - dusty&possibly rusty agricultural work- together with a fully enclosed T/R gearbox.
The M/R head assembly is inherited from the Rex800, and it is spinning a 2.12m rotor diameter at around 1200 rpm (in our case). Another nice detail here, the blades come with semisymmetrical wing section (no schlag-S) and the leading edge has a protective adhesive film on it.
There has been a lot of detail care by Align in this chopper, you can really tell it, though some details are still under close observation while we keep flying it (just now our attention is focused on monitoring T/R shaft bearings).
We decided to fit a Pixhawk3Pro autopilot on it - it fits just nicely and perfectly in the original autopilot bay

We decided to put an MRobotics GNSS receiver, which proved to be just the best antenna we ever used on our choppers so far.
The setup is completed by a Mauch Power module, TBS Crossfire & PNP Core for R/C and telemetry feed.

Here is the video of the very first/maiden flight, with “first guess” P-I-vFF (you will see the tail is still bit shaky :slight_smile: , and ciclic bit too nervous for the size of this big lady), but the feeling was already very positive, rock solid .

Then after proper gains tuning, some loiter-ing around at different speeds at our mountain test area (we were determining the V-yankee speed for the actual configuration, in order to feed the math model with calibrated coefficients for the aerodynamic configuration, to get an accurate performance chart ):

Overall it is a real pleasure to fly around in FPV, and capable of some very good “numbers”, just to mention we took around 4 kg of payload for about 22minutes consuming only half of the battery usable capacity, with frequent approach&stops, stall turns and maneuvering, with top speeds of about 80km/h.
Some more pictures :slight_smile:


Nice endurance with only a 12S-10000mAh battery

Hi Luis, we are not using the recommended 10A 12s setup, just now we are on the 22A setup, we used the space supposed to accomodate the sprayer tanks

Ferruccio, glad to see you finally got it flying. Too bad it’s not piston power.

Did you get the stiffener for the tail to fix the vibration problem they had in the tail? It looks like yours has the short tail fairing.

It may be just the G1 they did that on. Yours appears to be two-blade rotor. The G1 I have at home in my heli shop is three-blade main and tail and it has a full-length tail fairing. 57lb takeoff weight, 26lb payload capacity. But the stock fuel tank is only 1100cc. I’m putting a CUAV V3x in it.

Not sure how many different configurations they’re building these in.

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Hey Chris, thanks!
Yes it is the two blade 2.1m rotor diameter (lovely sound by the way :slight_smile: ). We did not experience the vibration clearly visible in some of the early release Align videos, the tail fairing in our model extend till the twin beam support junction.
There is some tail vibrations while sitting on the skids with collective bottomed (the tail of this thing is really long), it completely disappears as soon as you go “light on the skids” though.

hi ferrucclo,
could you help to explain how you solve the tail vibration? what does “light on the skids” mean? do you mean the resistance of tail is too great?