Introduction: 16 Rotor Helicopter

My plan is to build a sixteen rotor multicopter

16  24x12 counter rotating props
16  size 1.6 motors
16  8000mah 6s li-po battery
weight 60 Kg
Thrust 170 Kg
light weight aluminum frame
14 x 14 foot area

How it works
Each rotor will be individually controlled by the flight controller. There will be two main groups, clockwise, and counter clockwise. In order to move forward, the rear props would increase in thrust, while the front props decrease thrust by the same amount. The same thing would happen for moving left or right. In order to turn right, the counter clockwise group would speed up, and the clockwise group would slow down the same amount, and vise versa for left.

The multicopter will have very simple controls, an individual could easily fly it with a single hand. It will have a throttle knob and a 3 axis joystick. In order to move the craft up or down, one simply varies the throttle. To move the craft forward, you would tilt the joystick forward, likewise for reverse. To move the craft left or right, you tilt the joy stick  from side to side. To turn the craft left or right, you twist the joystick left or right.

Flight controller
The flight controller will be made from a Parralax Propeller, it will have a 3 axis gyroscope and 3 axis accelerometer to provide critical information about the pitch, yaw, and roll of the aircraft. The propeller will determine which direction the craft is going, and will adjust the rotors accordingly. The propeller will also take input from the 3 axis joystick and throttle in order to control the aircraft.

Because of the sixteen rotors, this aircraft will be very stable, because each rotor is spinning, it will stabilize the craft by adding gyroscopic force. Also, since the rotors are counter rotating, the rotors cancel out each other's torque to prevent the craft from spinning.

The multicopter will be built with safety in mind. Each motor will have it's own battery, by not centralizing the power source, if one battery fails, the others continue to function. Also, since there is 16 rotors, if one fails, the entire thing keeps flying. Up to four rotors could fail, and one could still land safely. Another contributing factor to the craft's safety is the simple controls, simple controls means that the brain can use less power trying to remember what does what, and concentrate more on the flying. Plus if the pilot panics and lets go of the controls, the multicopter will automatically level itself out.

Flight time
The multicopter will definitely have 30 minutes of flight time, but my goal is to reach an hour. That's enough time to go many places.

The entire multicopter will be made with off the shelf parts. I won't need custom made props, nor would I need specialized motors.

My background
I have experience in building electronic circuits, understanding of aerodynamics, mechanical skills to complete this project, 3d modeling, and the tools to build the multicopter.

Birthday 3/20/63


james.talley.900 (author)2014-12-25

If you can find a flight controller that can handle more then 8 props, please let me know, I've been looking everywhere for one.


Mikrokopter 16

jroache1 (author)2013-09-04

It can, and has been done. Good luck!

godscountry (author)jroache12014-01-07

yes Their pretty far into development now,I agree,pilot should be under rotors,like E-Volo's new prototype.

monty324 (author)2013-07-31

This is a cool idea. I too am planning a manned multicopter. I hope you succeed in building this but I have spotted a few problems.
1 each rotor will be required to lift 10 kg (or there about). For this they will need to spin around 5000RPM and this will require a 2.5kw motor. Your 1.6 does have enough power but your batteries will need to be 10s lipo's.
2 The 1.6 motor is 80A. An 8000 mah battery is 8ah. This means it will supply 8 amps for 1 hour. By this logic, 1 motor would run down 1 battery in 6 mins, not 30 like you said.
3 your frame does seem to be overly large and this might cause undue stress.
4 With 16 rotors you will need a custom flight controller
5 In your design you have the pilot on top. this would be less stable than having the pilot underneath.
6 This will be very expensive.