Introduction: Flone 1.0

Please check the new version of this instructable: flone 3.0

Flone is a H airframe for flying smartphones.
Video of maiden flight:

It haves the place for a minimal setup:
* Android smartphone.
* Multiwii/Arduino flight controller.
* Mini Power Distribution Board.
* DSM2 Controller
* 4 motors
* 4 ESC
* Batery.

We enjoy designing it, it's well balanced and haves the space for a clear field of view of the camera.

The design includes a tiny Flone PDB integrating airframe and XT60 power connector.


Get updated with new improvements in the airframe and the Android App in the webpage of the project:

We plan to release the first version of flone software under GPL around the end of 2013.

The app for ly the smartphone is available in:


Organized by:
Telefonica I+D
LABoral centro de Arte y Creación Industrial

Step 1: Obtain Materials

Purchase of materials.

You can download the flone dxf file in their thingiverse repository:

You'll have to look for a local or online store to purchase the materials. We provide you links to Hobbyking as a reference.

Item     Where to shop Price ($)

HK 3S 1500 mAh Battery   HK Link  8.2
MicroWii Flight Controller  HK Link  33.9
4 x Electric Speed ​​Controllers  HK Link   4 x 9.24
Pair of black propellers 6x4.5 HK Link  1.82
Pair of orange propellers 6x4.5 HK Link  1.82
Anti vibration sponge   HK Link   1.5
Anti vibration adhesive    HK Link  1.99
Male XT60 connector   HK Link  1.92
4 x  Spacers  Local store 1
M3 Screws  Local store 1
Elastic ribbon      Local store  1
Foam Legs         Local store  1

Step 2: Cutting the Airframe

Laser cutting machines are wonderful, you just click a button and create an object. If you search  your city probably the friend of a friend works at a place where they have one. If you live in a big city and you're lucky, there will be a FabLab nearby your place. Use your power to ask and find them to cut the Flone's digital file.

If you don't seem to find one or you just can't wait, print the file in A3 paper and cut the wood veneer with a jigsaw.

Step 3: Assembly It

Main Frame.
Reinforcement arms.
Electronics plate.

1 Glue the reinforcement arms to the main frame. (make sure the hole for the legs it's aligned so they will be able to stick in in next step)
2 Glue the legs
3 Once everything dried up, fit the engines in its final position and fasten them with cable ties.
4 Remember that cyanoacrylate and cable ties are the best friends of the dronistas. The cable ties brake before damaging the precious propellers or move the motor shaft. If you can't use them you could always use model airplane glue.

Step 4: Attach Flight Controller to Electronic Plate

Place the flight control board

Regardless of the flight control board you have chosen, the placement is always the same: in the center of the bottom bracket. It is highly recommended to glue the board with the sponge to isolate it from the vibrations of the plate.

We are using a MultiWii of 10 degrees of freedom, but you can choose any other one.

Step 5: Solder Flone PDB

The Power Distribution Board is the link to the main battery. You can build it with any copper plate making holes and hand soldering wires. Weld in a connector for the battery and the ESC (Electric Speed ​​Controller) power cables.

Step 6: Attach DSM2 Radio to Electronic Plate

The DSM2 radio is the main communication system with the outside. At this stage of development of Flone we need a 2.4 GHz radio with at least 4 channels to control the quadcopter. In the future we will use the smartphone to control himself so that Flone will be controlled from another smartphone.

Step 7: Flight Control Board Configuration

The MultiWii / Arduino uses a USB cable to communicate with Processing software on the PC. Verify that you can communicate with it. You have to calibrate the magnetometer, accelerometers and gyroscopes to fly properly.
Check out that you can arm the motors and that they will consistently respond to the movement of the aircraft if you try to bend it in any direction.

For download the lasw Multiwii software:

Step 8: Connection of the Engines

Connect each motor to its ESC but before soldering in its final position you have to figure out which cable connection is correct for each motor to rotate in the desired direction.

To connect each motor to its ESC start connecting the 3 cables randomly. Now connect the ESC to its corresponding 3 pin connector in the flight control board. Connect the battery to the PDB. Switch on the RC and power up the motor. Check out the rotating direction against the draw in the arm in which the motor will be placed.

Repeat for the rest of the motors. Make sure you got it clear before welding the connections.

Step 9: Glue the Sponge & Ribbon for Vibration Isolating the Smartphone

1. Place and hot glue the sponge in the upper side of the main frame.

2. Next, tighten the ribbon around the sponge and the main frame and glue its extremes into the main frame's opposite face.

Step 10: Screw the Electronics Plate

Your Flone is almost ready to flight!! Screw the electronics plate with spacers to the main frame.

Cable tie the ESC and the cables to the main frame. Just keep in mind to leave enough room for the leg's protective foam.

Step 11: Calibrate and Arm Propellers

Always the last step in the assembly of an aircraft is the placement of the propellers, now that we know that we can control them, not vice-versa.

Step 12: Atach Foam Legs and Velcro to Battery

Attach the battery with the velcro strap and put the foam legs.

Step 13: Fly With Your Smartphone

If you got here, it means that you can fly.  We would like to keep in touch with you. If you have an accident send us a photo and a comment of your fallen Flone so we can continue studying and improving the stability and design... as well as writing a better warning handbook :)

Remote Control Contest

Second Prize in the
Remote Control Contest

Drones Contest

Participated in the
Drones Contest

Arduino Contest

Participated in the
Arduino Contest