Drone copters abound. There are a number of advantages to different types of copters and in this artciel we are going to discuss the differences between a tricopter, a quadcopter, an octocopter, and a hexacopter. We'll also provide you some examples about different models so that we can help you make an informed decision should you decide to get a copter (or a new copter) of your own! Let's discuss.
The Tricopter drone
A Tricopter comes with 3 rotors and is the most basic of the copters that we are describing today. You'll see a lot of kids copters with 3 rotors and some of the older models come with 3 as well. While you don't get as much control, they are pretty easy to fly and fun.
Our Tricopter example : CX-33C Tricopter
Basic, but fun, this Tricopter has a 6 axis gyro, flashing leds, and a camera capable of 1.0 megapixel shots. Not the toughest contender in the fight but still a fun and very flyable drone. It has a stabilizer to help it maintain specific heights should you desire it and a control range of about 80 meters.
Quads are your standard drones. With 4 rotors, you get a lot of control and little complication. These are the ones that you most commonly see in parks and not only are they pretty maneuverable, a lot of them have some excellent features depending on the model you select.
Our Quadcopter example: JJRC X5 FPV Drone
This model sports a 1080p camera for taking pics and videos of your adventures. The controller can interface with your phone for a first person view as well, which really adds to the fun factor of this model. It has a follow-me feature which lets you lock onto a target (which the drone will then faithfully follow) and works with GPS, so keeping track of your drone is a breeze. It comes with a flight time of about 18 minutes so if you keep a spare battery around the interruption won't irritate you. Throw in a control range of almost 1000 feet and you have a pretty good little quadcopter.
So, what is an octocopter?
An octocopter is a more exotic drone, sporting 8 rotors for flight and control. While you won't see them as often as you will see a quads, they are definitely head-turning in design.
" The design folds up for easy carry."
Our octocopter example: Tarot TL8X000
With it's red and black design, this one is definitely an eye-catcher. It boasts a lot of excellent fatures as well. The design folds up for easy carry and includes a GPS mount, retractable landing skids, and failsafe mechanisms built in to help protect your drone. This model can lift up to a total of 10 kilograms takeoff weight and you'll get about 15 minutes out of the battery time. Sadly, this model doesn't have a built in camera or a lot of the other bells and whistles that you have come to expect but it is still quite a striking example of what an octocopter is and what one looks like.
What is a hexacopter?
When it comes to flying power, having 10 rotors instead of the standard 4 can really go a long way. These have a lot of lifting power and are great if you are considering a drone that you will be equipping with a high-end camera.
Our hexacopter example: Hobbyflip F550 hexacopter
The Hobbyflip is our selected hexacopter for your example in this section. With a 2.4 ghz controller, GPS, and brushless motors it's a lot of tech in a tiny package. It has a gimbal for mounting your camera, sports a landing skid as well, and it comes with its own charger for the included lithium 3300 Mah battery. Not a lot of bells and whistles to start with but these drones are certainly upgradeable.
So which ones are the best?
Well, that's going to depend on your usage for the drone. You are going to get more lift with octocopters and hexacopters but if this is not a consideration then there are plenty of less-expensive quadcopter models that will do everything you need and throw in a lot of bells and whistles to make it worth your while. We're not saying that octocopters and hexacopters are bad, no, they are high-end machines, but as they are less common than quads the controls may sometimes be a little advanced and the repairs can be a little more costly. Going with a quad can still get you a lot of features for less, so that is a definite consideration. You can always get property insurance on your drone, whichever xtyle you decide on.
Are there any design specific cons?
- Tricopters - These models are generally more in the toy category than some of the others. This can mean inferior construction and this should be a consideration if you are looking to spend a lot of money on your drone.
- Quadcopters - While fun and easy to maneuver, these are not going to have as much power as an octocopter or a hexacopter.
- Octocopters -These are generally pretty big and they take a lot of power, so you won't get as robust a flying time as you might with a quad.
- Hexacopters - While these are the most powerful of the bunch, they are also less common and so repairs will be expensive. That said, if you are looking to upgrade and have a lot of say in what you can add to the drone, having that extra lift is going to bbe exactly what you need.
Some final words
Now we have explained the difference between tricopters, quads, octo, and hexacopters. We hope that this information will help you to make an informed decision about exactly which drone is going to be right for you. More power, novelty, aesthetics, or bells and whistles, your new drone is out there and waiting. Happy flying!