best quadcopter frame

Design the Best Quadcopter Frame of All Time

Best Quadcopter Frame

best quadcopter frame

For the past three months I’ve immersed myself in designing the best quadcopter frame and learning how to cut carbon fiber.  It’s been a frustrating, hair pulling experience but I’m very proud with the results.

best quadcopter frameI thought my inner OCD self in making clean builds was bad, designing frames is 100 times worse.  To give you an idea, I designed 4 different frames in the past 3 months with no less than 10 different versions/revisions of each.  There were the standard two horizontal carbon fiber plates, vertical plates, aluminum/carbon fiber struts, carbon/printed, camera on top, camera in front and canopy frames.  I designed using different materials, aluminum, G10, TPU, Nylon and different manufacturing techniques before I settled on a design that I liked.  This is before even prototyping and testing!


Protection, protection, protection

What do we all want in the FPV quadcopter hobby?  I think everyone can agree that it’s to build a quadcopter, have fun flying and pray to not break something when you crash.  So the most important goal when I set out to design the best quadcopter frame was to make it as durable and crash resistant as possible.  Protection, protection, protection.  It had to be easy to work on too and of course fast.

To recap on my other post on Designing the FPV quad frame, here are the goals I wanted to achieve in the best quadcopter frame.

  • Sub 300g – It’s physics.  A high power to weight ratio means a really fast quad.
  • Strong frame –  I’ll be testing different thickness Carbon fiber and or aluminum to see what works best.  Even though the only arm I’ve broken was on my first quad, QAV250.
  • Easy to build and work on – An easy to build frame is a really important feature.  If you have a frame that’s too complicated you’ll waste a lot of time doing repairs.  I have quads I never bothered to fix after the maiden flight…ahem, Corgi.
  • X pattern or long X pattern – Of all the frames I’ve flown, the X pattern gives you the best feel.  It works equally well for race or freestyle FPV flying.
  • Designed for the HS1177 or similar camera with protection – The HS1177 camera form factor is pretty much the standard camera for FPV racing quads.
  • Built in recording camera mount for the GoPro or Mobius type cameras.
  • Bottom mount battery – this offers the best battery placement for a balanced quad.

In my final model I was able to achieve and surpass all the goals.

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

best quadcopter frame

Details Details Details

Although this frame looks simple, there are lots of small details you won’t notice until you spend some time building and flying it.  Every detail is meticulously engineered to the tenths of a millimeter to make sure everything works perfectly.

I haven’t come up with a name for this frame yet so for now I’ll refer to it as FX210, FlightClub X frame 210mm.

I compiled a list of tips from the reader comments from the Designing the FPV quad post and this is what I came up with.

  • 210mm true X pattern frame.  Of all the frames I’ve built and flown, I think 210mm is the sweet spot.  Big and heavy frames like the Alien 5″ fly really well like on rails but lacks the agility to whip around a track.  Smaller frames like the 200mm Xhover MPX200 or Armattan SCX200 can move quickly around a tight track but lacks the stability of the Alien.  I think 210mm is a perfect combo of stability and agility.  I could have easily made the frame a 205mm by just shrinking the arms but I wanted to make sure there is plenty of clearance for all props including the RaceKraft 5051.  A long X frame will be an option after I finalized this version.
  • Short small body.  I wanted to keep the body as small as possible to minimize air drag and maximize agility.
  • Fully protected camera and lens.  Most frames mount the camera on carbon fiber.  Carbon fiber is strong, light but provides zero protection for fragile parts like the camera.  When you hit something, there is zero give so 100% of the impact is transferred to the camera.  Either the camera, lens or carbon fiber will break on impact.  On the FX210, there are three stages of protection for the camera.  1 the protruded lip around the lens.  2 the flexible body absorbs the impact.  3 the camera is mounted on the metal camera mount that will bend on extreme impacts.
  • best quadcopter frameVTX protection.  Once again, most frames mount the VTX on carbon fiber with zip ties.  On the FX10, the vtx is mounted on the flexible canopy with a 15 degree downslope.  Instead of bending the antenna up like on most quads, the FX10 is bent down.  When the antenna is above the props the first thing that will happen when you land upside down is the antenna will take a lot of impact and bend into the props.  It will be most likely the first point of impact when it lands upside down or in a roll.  Mounting the antenna pointing down it will not touch the props or even the ground.  When the quad lands upside down the prop is already bending in that direction so very little stress will be put on the antenna or SMA connector.
  • best quadcopter frameEasy to change the battery strap.  Some quads it’s so hard to change a battery strap you almost have to take the quad apart to do it.  On the FX10 all you do is pull out the broken one and slip in a new one.
  • Angled antenna ports on side of body.
  • Aerodynamic body
  • Only two screws to mount the canopy.  No need for messy silicon glue on any part of this canopy.  I’ve tried to rip the canopy off with my hands and it won’t budge.  Simple, light and strong mounting solution.
  • Plenty of carbon fiber around the motors to protect them.
  • Bottom of the quad will be completely flat in the final version.  No screw heads poking out to rip apart batteries.
  • Fully chamfered carbon fiber bottom plate in the final version.
  • The GoPro mount is a work in progress

best quadcopter frame


best quadcopter frame
Tesing and Damage Report

best quadcopter frame

The prototype pictured here has had around 50 batteries of flight time so far.  It’s hit fiberglass race gate poles at least 100 times, flown through/into trees, done countless cartwheels, dive-bombed into the ground, got stuck 30 feet up in the tree then hit the ground,  hit a metal fence and flown full speed into a steel light pole twice.  Besides the props, it’s only broken a $7 camera lens.  How about that for protection?  Impressive if you ask me.  The camera lens broke when I hit the steel light pole the second time.  By the sound of the impact I thought the quad was a goner.  I was surprised to find the only damage was a cracked lens and bent camera holder.  I’ve built and flown countless all carbon fiber frames and I’m positive a full carbon frame would have suffered major damage and would have ended my day or week waiting for replacement body parts.

My main objective in designing the best quadcopter frame is to get maximum flight time by means of protection.  After I built the first prototype I was really surprised the first time I put it on the scale.  It only weighed 280g!  (for reference, the QAV-X and SCX200 are 319g, Alien 5″ is 390g)  That’s getting into micro quad territory and the 250g limit FAA registration.  As a result the FX210 is fast!  The first time I flew it it was too reactive running PIDs I had for the QAV-X.  I had to increase the rates in the PIDs to reduce the twitchiness.  That’s what happens on a light quad with powerful motors.  Once it was tuned it flies like a surgical jackhammer.  So much power on a light quad makes it easy to whip around corners and launch into orbit when you punch it.  Best of all is that I know if I crash I could just bend the props back and keep flying!

After 50 Batteries…

  • All 4 motors are still perfect.  No bent casings, nothing.
  • Antenna is still perfect.  Antennas on my other quads look like bent half chewed pretzels after this many flights and crashes.
  • VTX, no broken SMA connectors.  Zero issues.
  • The camera itself hasn’t suffered any damage besides the $7 lens.  30 second swap and I was back in the air
  • ESCs using the ESC guards are fine
  • XSR antennas are still intact, zero damage.  This was a salvage XSR I took off my AstroX TrueX frame.  (Off topic but this AstroX only lasted 2 batteries before the two vertical plates broke in half on the first crash.  I was planning to do a build/review post on this frame but it didn’t even survive past the second battery.  Easy not recommended on this frame.)
  • Canopy is a little dirty but has zero damage.  TPU is crazy strong, nearly indestructible.  Good thing about a canopy quad is that it’s very easy to keep clean.  It protects all the electronics from dirt and blended grass.  All you have to do is take it off and wash it under water and it looks like new.  My full carbon frames look like the inside of a lawn mower covered with shredded grass and dirt.
More testing

Even though this frame is already great.  My OCD won’t let it go.  There’s still some small tweaks and different ideas I want to try out.  I’ll build some more prototypes and test it myself.  Once I get a version I’m satisfied with I’ll have some frames cut to send to testers before making it available to everyone.

I still haven’t come up with a name for this quad.  Help me name this quad in the comments below.  The winner will get a free quad frame.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



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119 responses to “Design the Best Quadcopter Frame of All Time”

  1. Gregory Avatar

    That thing looks sweet! I would call it the “Dominator FX”. Awesome!

    1. lucio Guglielmi Avatar
      lucio Guglielmi

      1. Shut up and take my money. You are building everything I want in a quad.
      2. Name: the comet

      1. FlightClub Avatar

        soon, very soon…

    2. Scott Gerber Avatar
      Scott Gerber

      Based on the time you have spent developing this thing, you need to call it: OCD


  2. Jimmy Louis Avatar

    The blender… the FCX210… the WTF210 (lol)… the Razor 210

  3. Brandon Troiano Avatar
    Brandon Troiano

    Impressed, I like it!. I am a stickler for a well designed frame, and I can tell you put a lot of thought into it.

  4. Luke Landry Avatar
    Luke Landry

    Nice work! I want this frame soon! I think stay with the name “FX 210” or FX 210 Hornet.
    Give us a clue of when you think it will be hitting the market.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      thanks Luke! Hopefully it will be available next month. Chinese new years set everyone back.

  5. No_morepain Avatar

    When pigs fly. Something about this thing reminds me of a pig. It’s the pigasus. Done

  6. gkilgour Avatar

    the FC Jabber…FC for flight club, and jabber, cause its small, nimble and packs a serious punch!

  7. Joneszee Avatar

    Love the frame and will definitely be interested in purchasing one because I know how much you take pride in your work. Keep up the great work. I think The name you chose is a good one . How about OCD210… lol

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      hahaha, I like that.

  8. Shaw Myers Avatar
    Shaw Myers

    Buzzer 210. Looking forward to getting this frame!

  9. Larry Avatar

    Dude – you already named it above: you should call this the mantra.

  10. PDXFPV Avatar

    Nice job, you’ve put a lot of thought and experiments into the design. It’s interesting that you’ve arrived at something very similar to a BoltRC Kraken frame. Yes, I know there are differences, but it seems you both used similar criteria to drive your designs.

  11. Brian P McNeil Avatar
    Brian P McNeil

    Always love reading your builds and watching your videos. Keep em coming! I have the perfect name for your new quad based on it’s looks: Beetlejuice WINNER!!

  12. Joel Warburton Avatar

    Very cool Mike! Can’t wait for the finished product! My name suggestions are the Flight Club Cyclops (just for the look) or the Flight Club X-Fighter. 2 suggestions: I’ve found very little room in the Lumenier canopy for their X / Skitzo. So little that I couldn’t even use it to fit the components I wanted. I would want to see a canopied quad have the same height to stack components like a 35mm standoff quad would (QAV210 or R). I also found the Lumenier canopy to work with virtually no cameras other than old form factor HS1177s – no Runcam models would fit. I’d want to see a camera aperture that could fit the body of Runcam Eagle, Swift, Owl etc and had a large enough hole to fit their larger GoPro style lenses. Looks great – keep up the good work!

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      thanks Joel. My frame will the hs1177, foxeer arrow and runcams. I’ve got a 2.5mm lens on mine so no worries fitting a wide-angle lens

  13. James DiEdwardo Avatar
    James DiEdwardo

    Let me know when I can preorder

  14. James DiEdwardo Avatar
    James DiEdwardo

    Did you see the unusual frame Nytfury was flying in the Sebring Drone race a week ago? It was a prototype I think. It was a quad, but one arm directly in front, one in the back, and the two on the sides were swept back. The idea is that when it’s going fast, you’ve got essentially three props pushing instead of just two (since on a regular frame, the two in the front must reduce power in order to pitch forward).

  15. Luke Landry Avatar
    Luke Landry

    Cool. Will be watching for it.

  16. Dave Avatar

    This would be great as a kit option!! How about the Talon 210. Cheers!!

  17. Joshua L Domingo Avatar
    Joshua L Domingo

    Quad Pod 0CD! Love the the design…it’s simple and clean!

  18. Terry Prior Avatar
    Terry Prior

    I would call it Quadzilla… Its a BEAST!

  19. Chris Avatar

    Great work. It looks like it’s coming along awesomely and it’s great that you’re taking in the community’s feedback. I absolutely want to test pilot this frame.

  20. Chris Avatar

    Possible names: Brute210, Apogee210, Huginn or Muninn (one of Odin’s Ravens)

  21. Tracy Thomas Avatar
    Tracy Thomas

    Great job!!! Looks amazing. Name it the Menace!

  22. Ron Desadier Avatar
    Ron Desadier

    Congratulations! I will order one as soon as available. The small X has become my favorite frame for proximity. I fly a Xhover 200B with Motolab Tempest fc/pdb, XSR rx, TBS unify vtx and Runcam Swift II (vbat in OSD), XM20As and red bottoms. Clean and simple! VTX antenna under the props is definitely the way to go. I have cut my vtx repair to nil since hanging the antenna.
    I think FX210 is perfect. KISS.

    Side note: Soft mounting motors on beat up frames and motors definitely makes a difference. Not so much on racing gear.

  23. Kelly zimny Avatar
    Kelly zimny

    Thunder Dome X210. Can’t wait to get one!

  24. Joel Avatar

    Just let me know we’re to sign for the purchase of the FX210

  25. kyle3333 Avatar

    Looks great! I’ll pitch some simple options: 2Ten or Two10

  26. Joel Avatar

    One option as far as naming it is : SpeedDome . I would consider right angle with a TBS stubby this keeps it out of the way of the props.

  27. Lance Avatar

    Nice work on the new BULLY 210

  28. Joel Avatar

    Name it the FC210 S-Dome or the FC TSD210 (Flight Club The Speed Dome 210)

  29. Aries hughey Avatar
    Aries hughey

    Sweet, would really like to build one of these out!

    How bout the Kracken 210

  30. Espeedy Avatar

    Hey Mike, what about ICARUS 210? Since its meant to fly like the greek god who flies closer to the sun!!!!

  31. Jason Rouse Avatar
    Jason Rouse

    Love the thought going into this project Mike. I’m looking for a race specific frame at the moment. Will definitely hold off until yours is ready. Cheers.

  32. At165db Avatar

    X-ray (passes through anything unharmed) or
    Looks like a nice frame, can’t wait to see the final version!

  33. Francisco estevez Avatar

    You should name it the “mouse fcx210” becaise the copy is ergonomic like one

  34. Eric Avatar

    Dude, when I saw the title “Mantra” in your description I thought that was what you were going to call it! So that is my suggestion, the “Mantra”. FWIW I had a pair of Volkl skis called Mantra’s and they were great, they still make them, their top of the line “all mountain” versatile ski.
    I also want to say I have been following your site and learning, buying a bit, taking suggestions, and I love your videos, from the Tiny Whoop on, and it is cool to see it grow to a real force in FPV quads. I admit to being a sucker for prepackaged quads, Immersion Vortexes, Furious Toretto and Moskito (just got it today!) the Eachine QX90’s and of course the Inductrix. But I am itching to build one and this would be a great way to return the favors, it looks awesome!

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      if you are looking to build one, why not build the best 🙂

  35. Simon Avatar

    It’s brilliant! FC Nuke 210

  36. Simon Avatar

    Or FX Nuke 210 !

  37. Daniel Avatar


  38. william rawlins Avatar
    william rawlins

    the fc210 phoenix { out of the fire }

  39. GermanWt Avatar

    Great work and great frame !
    The name should be AresX or Ares210 as the god of war as of Greek mythology !!!

  40. Adam Avatar

    It’s looking very nice Mike, good job mate 🙂

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      thanks adam!

  41. Michael Henry Avatar
    Michael Henry

    210 Pillbug

  42. Brooks Avatar

    Hey Mike, nice design. How about ‘The Ripper-P3’ or ‘Fortitude-P3’ for the attributes of your design? Cheers, Brooks.

  43. brian Avatar

    How about the Kaizen 210. Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning to continuously improve and always moving forward. Never sitting still. Plus it rhymes with 210 ;^)

  44. claude Avatar

    Sounds very interresting ! Name ; Lightening FC210 ! Hope to see it soon on the market, great job !

  45. Fern J. BurnWell Avatar

    Crossbone210. I think the arms look like bones. Kinda like on the pirate flag. Either great design can’t wait to see more.

  46. Mark Avatar

    Please keep us informed on the status to buy this…

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      yes sir!

  47. Greg Avatar

    FC-Compulsion X-210

  48. victorj Avatar

    When can we get one? I’m not much on naming things but there are a lot of good names above.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      i’m shooting for next month. still have a lot of testing to do

  49. Gary Avatar

    You should name it Anubis, according to Wikipedia: protector of the dead. Quadcopters are the flying dead 🙂

  50. Slave 1 Avatar
    Slave 1

    Would you be able to use a 4 in 1 esc a fc and maybe osd vtx…3 stacker?

  51. Sean Avatar

    Hmmm. Don’t know what to call it, other than my next build! Put an integrated Session mount and a slick way to protect the undermount battery on it…take my money!

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      soon, very soon

  52. joe mascarenas Avatar
    joe mascarenas

    The “Scarab” 210. The prototype remind me of a Scarab. A mystical and revered symbol since ancient Egypt.

  53. Marc Avatar

    Very nice frame! Call it “Mantra 210”.

  54. Jose Sierra (@josesierra) Avatar

    That’s a nice looking frame, looks well thought out. I’m intrigued. As for a name… Hm. How about… “First Rule”?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      haha, i like that.

  55. Vince C Avatar

    Super clean design, especially from the bottom! Love it.

    1. FlightClub Avatar


  56. Damon Sesto Avatar
    Damon Sesto

    I’d call it the “Kraken”

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      i like that but i think that name is taken

  57. Damon Avatar

    I am ready to buy when you have them in the shop. Name it Dragonfly!

  58. Dean Spyropoulos Avatar

    Wasp 210.
    Love it. Cater for all in one Fc/esc/Osd. This is becoming a new trend

  59. Ollie geslani Avatar
    Ollie geslani

    Stellar job!!! How bout another fight club reference… Paulson 210

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      haha, i like that

  60. Kelly M Zimny Avatar
    Kelly M Zimny

    How about Craven X210 or Kraven FCX210

  61. Adam Avatar

    Boaty Mcboatface, no wait a minute, that’s the wrong naming poll. 🙂 how is this coming along mate?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      i’m waiting for samples from several different factories and trying different elements. once I get the samples I’ll send them out to testing.

  62. Don Fowler Avatar
    Don Fowler

    I really like your Quad. Looks well balanced. Love to have one. I like the name PhoeniX

  63. Jimmy Louis Avatar
    Jimmy Louis

    Quaddy McQuadface… Jabber is already a 1/5 scale RC motorcycle 🙂

  64. Scott Avatar

    The flight club argos, it’s got some Greek mythology in it and if it starts with A you might find it in the products first page when looking at quad frames

  65. Ray Dove Choi Avatar
    Ray Dove Choi

    Name it the X-Fighter (210)
    Nice frame! Can’t wait to try it out!!!

  66. MojoPapi FPV Avatar
    MojoPapi FPV

    Interesting Mako variant. Like where its headed, but always concerned about RX antenna placement. Would rather see them tucked behind arms for durability even though it doesn’t look as sexy.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      not to trash other maker’s frames but that frame has a lot of issues i’ve address in my frame. you’ll see soon.

  67. MojoPapi FPV Avatar
    MojoPapi FPV

    Well the VTX antenna placement I’m already stoked about.

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      it’s been working really well in our tests. over 100 battery packs and the antenna is still working great with no damage. I was worried it would get too much interference but we flew it in a warehouse and it still worked great.

      1. MojoPapi FPV Avatar
        MojoPapi FPV

        Killing me. Can I preorder?

        1. FlightClub Avatar

          no yet. hopefully in the next couple weeks

  68. DAN SAGARDIA Avatar

    Flightclub Knockout X210 – This is a really nice frame! I’d put my name on a pre-order as-is!

    1. DAN SAGARDIA Avatar

      Just read comments on your YouTube video of this quad… noted that you are also planning 4″ and 6″ versions of this quad… maybe you need 3 names like KnockOut 210 (KO210), Peek-a-Boo (4″), Upper-Cut (6″) – Really great work, admire your passion for this industry,

  69. Greg Lightbourn Avatar
    Greg Lightbourn


  70. Ken Avatar

    FCX210 aka “The-Atom”?

  71. Mark Avatar

    Name it – The Visionary 210

  72. KumoKraft Avatar

    I’m looking forward to this, Durden 210

  73. ErekR101 Avatar

    Name it…Zero’s & 1’s…..0’s & 1’s.

    Basically something that’s been developed throught a formulated process.

  74. Sherwin S Avatar
    Sherwin S

    You should make the legs replaceable so IF you do crack one of the legs, you can change it out. Like the Skitzo frame.

  75. David Avatar

    now this frame got me stoked, seems to tick all the boxes.

    how about… Singularity?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      no sure what you mean by Singularity?

      1. David Avatar

        as a possible name :p
        or hummingbird after its weight and agility
        although I’ve seen some pretty good ones earlier already so..

    2. MojoPapi FPV Avatar
      MojoPapi FPV


  76. zac Avatar

    call it “simple simon”. when and how can i get my hands on this combo?

  77. Yuda Avatar

    Okay just what I would like on a frame I will fly.. i am next in line! When will this be available?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      pre orders start this friday!

  78. helitroll Avatar

    My alarm is set. Friday, 0001 hours

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      woo hoo! me too 🙂

  79. Yago Martinez Avatar

    π (Pi) , alpha, zero or thor

  80. Tom Avatar

    FX Tyler Durden210 cause, well, you know. First rule of fight club….?

  81. scott howard Avatar
    scott howard

    are you selling these yet?

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      hi scott. pre orders started last night but they sold out by noon. if you are interested you can sign up to be notified on the product page. thanks!

  82. Vincent Avatar

    What’s the thickness of the main frame (4mm?), the frame weight including the plastic top hood (g?) & max camera up tilt (65deg+) ?

  83. Scott Avatar

    Hello –

    Have some name suggestions for you in the hopes that I can buy a frame if I don’t win one.

    Was doing the research to build my very first drone and came across this site! First impressions from a retired marketing guy 😉

    “Mouse” …..that’s it in a nutshell. Looked exactly like a mouse. I would even take it a step further and call it “Mighty Mouse” (look up the old cartoon character – fits perfectly!)

    You could tweak the spelling if concerned about rights to the name.: MyT Mouse , might-T-mouse…etc.

    Great design work!!! – PLEASE put me on a mailing list when its available…I would choose your “mighty mouse” over the dquad obsession in a heartbeat.

    Feel free to email me if you like the idea and would like any free suggestions on logo design 🙂

    1. FlightClub Avatar

      Hi Scott, thanks for the input. The quad already has a name, Tokio X. You can see more info about it here:
      email list :

  84. Eric Avatar

    I have my awesome Tokio X frame and all the components ready to go. When will you do a build and set up video for us? Using your recommended components I hope! I will be using a Taranis Tx so I hope you can go over the telemetry setup for battery usage warnings With no OSD that would be a great feature to use rather than just running a timer and hoping it is close. Thanks, very excited to get going on this build.

  85. Slimasaurus Avatar

    It looks like you used some sort of braided lines on the motor leads in one of the pictures. Can you tell me more about them? Are they metal braids? Where did you get them?

  86. Dean Adams Avatar
    Dean Adams

    looks nice! I’d build it up! Gotta say though, I hope you offer other colors. The black to me looks like a flying rat. If I had a black one, I would call it the rat. (please keep in mind, I in no way intend the “rat” moniker to be insulting). If it were gray, it would be the mouse lol.

  87. Benji Avatar

    I would call it: FlightClub race X

    1. Mike Tseng Avatar
      Mike Tseng

      hi benji. I’ve already come up with a name for this quad, Tokio X. thanks!

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