Drones

BlackOps tricopter claims "swoopier" flight than quadcopters

BlackOps tricopter claims "swo...
The BlackOps tricopter in action
The BlackOps tricopter in action
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The BlackOps tricopter in action
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The BlackOps tricopter in action
As with other tricopters, the BlackOps also has a relatively long flight time (over 25 minutes) due to the fact that its 11.1-volt lithium-polymer battery only has to power three brushless motors instead of four
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As with other tricopters, the BlackOps also has a relatively long flight time (over 25 minutes) due to the fact that its 11.1-volt lithium-polymer battery only has to power three brushless motors instead of four
The BlackOps also sports what is claimed to be the industry's only brushless camera gimbal on a commercial tricopter, powder-coated aluminum construction, carbon fiber propellers, and the ability to be flown by first-person view
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The BlackOps also sports what is claimed to be the industry's only brushless camera gimbal on a commercial tricopter, powder-coated aluminum construction, carbon fiber propellers, and the ability to be flown by first-person view
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There are already quite a few camera-equipped quadcopters that can be used for shooting aerial video. According to Japanese startup RcRebel, however, that type of drone moves too robotically to capture really fluid footage. That's why the company created the BlackOps tricopter, which is claimed to fly more like Superman than like a robot.

Looking at the BlackOps you'll notice that not only does it have just three props/motors, but that they're not arranged symmetrically – it has a definite separate "tail" at the back. This setup reportedly allows for much higher yaw speeds than are possible with a quadcopter, resulting in a very acrobatic aircraft.

"Its unique design allows the craft to do banks, pitches and yaws fluidly like an airplane, and yet enjoying the ability to hover like any helicopter," RcRebel's Clemale Morman tells us. "Imagine flying high and spiraling down to earth like a stunt pilot. A quadcopter cannot do this."

As with other tricopters, the BlackOps also has a relatively long flight time (over 25 minutes) due to the fact that its 11.1-volt lithium-polymer battery only has to power three brushless motors instead of four. Additionally, like the Pocket Drone, its prop arms can be folded back for transit and storage.

The aircraft also sports what is claimed to be the industry's only brushless camera gimbal on a commercial tricopter, powder-coated aluminum construction, carbon fiber propellers, and the ability to be flown by first-person view. Although it is possible to mount your own actioncam on the gimbal, an optional BlackOps-specific 1080p onboard camera is also available.

Like some other drones, it can additionally do things like following along above its user, automatically holding its altitude, autonomously following a preprogrammed flight path, or circling nose-first around a given location.

RcRebel is currently raising production funds for the BlackOps tricopter, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$800 will get you a ready-to-fly kit, when and if they're ready to go.

The drone can be seen in action, in the video below.

Sources: RcRebel, Kickstarter

Rc Rebel Tricopter Black opS demo UAS / FPV/ Multicopter - Drone

View gallery - 3 images
6 comments
The Hoff
Can't imagine the camera is smooth since they don't show any footage from it.
Gaëtan Mahon
One Guy of the FliteTest Crew uses a Tricopter VERY smiliar to this one to do the in flight recording of other UAV's they test and from my PoV the footage looks really good despite him not even using a Gimbal and only very rudimentary forms of vibration dampening.
That being said... $800 sounds like a lot especially if you consider you could, according to some of the FliteTest Videos, get up and running for like 1/3 or 1/2 the price they ask for with even less "proprietary" parts that don't have to be machined at all.
VicCornell
This looks like a straight lift from David Windestål's Tricopter designs starting with v1 at http://rcexplorer.se/projects/2010/03/the-tricopter-v1-and-v1-5/
He made them for the same reason - the more airplane-like flight characteristics. There are already lots of these type of system for sale. Hardly a kickstarter type project.
Bruce H. Anderson
Three points define a plane, so I have always wondered what benefit there would be to 4 rotors.
warren52nz
I think the statement that it can fly for longer because it only has 3 motors is probably wrong. Those 3 motors would need to use more current to provide the same lift as 4 motors. Theoretically the total power would be the same.
Also a tri-copter has no backup if a motor fails. It would just tumble out of the sky. A quad can theoretically run on 3 motors (but it's tricky) and a 5 or 6 rotor is easy to program for a motor failure.
Having said that I would imagine motor failures are pretty rare these days, especially with electrics.
MQ
Gotta Love people who claim to create something which has now been doing the rounds for a few years....