The QAV500 — a purpose built Quadcopter frame for FPV and videography in a 500 size configuration geared toward proficient LOS and FPV pilots. Now shipping worldwide.
Kit Price: $189.99 (w/o landing gear).
Share your thoughts and ask questions about this frame in the QAV500 thread at FPVLab
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See more videos on the QAV500 YouTube Playlist
Extreme speed, super stable and responsive, and no vibrations in the video picture. (Pilot: Juz)
High quality aerial recordings for commercial purposes. Simultaneous forward and down camn footage in 1080p HD. (Pilot: Dave Slack)
Super stable flight at fast speeds with vibration free 1080p video resolution. (Pilot: Juz)
Stable flight without camera gimbal. (Pilot: Juz)
Looking at the QAV500 during flight performing ‘nose in funnels’ and other maneuvers. (Pilot: Juz)
Flying with hang gliders. (Pilot: K_G)
Pelvouxdrone-shot-one (Pilot: Jerome Walrave)
- Vibration Isolation Design — The QAV500 is separated into 2 parts: a “dirty” section and a “clean” section. All electronics including flight camera, HD cameras, flight controller, etc. are located on the “clean” part of the frame and are isolated from the “dirty” motor/prop section by custom developed vibration bobbins. Reducing vibrations to the Flight Controller results in smoother flight performance. Reducing vibrations to the cameras results in smoother video quality.
- 3-Camera Mounts — The frame accommodates 3 cameras: a forward facing HD cam (GoPro), a forward facing flight cam, and a downward facing HD cam (GoPro). The frame can be flown with all 3 cameras in operation at the same time due to a large and unique Lipo mounting area to optimize the CG.
- Prop Free Video — None of the cameras have any props in view even with 10″ props.
- Power Distribution — The QAV500 ships with a power distribution board that provides you an incredible 14 power connections for Lipos, ESCs, FPV electronics, LEDs, etc.
- Power and flight time endurance — The kit is designed to accommodate large multi-rotor motors in the 40mm stator diameter class like the Tiger MT-4006-13 or HK NX-4008. These motors require a 25x25mm and 19x19mm mounting hole pattern or a unique triangular mounting pattern. The kit’s aluminum arms allow you to mount these motors with all 3 (NX-4008) or 4 screws (Tiger MT-4006) unlike the DJI plastic arms, which only accommodate motors with a 19×16 mounting hole pattern. The kit is intended to be flown with large 4s Lipos. This power train provides lots of lift and long flight times. These motors and 10″ props provide a hover time of 12 minutes with a 3300mah 4s Lipo and 14:30 with a 5000mah 4s Lipo while still landing the Lipo with 14.2 volts remaining under load (measured prior to landing).
- Symmetrical Design — Unlike other FPV focused quadcopters, the QAV500 is perfectly symmetrical. The motors are 500mm diagonal from motor shaft to motor shaft and the flight controller is centered at the CG point in the middle of the frame. This ensures that the motors/escs work equally hard and that the FC can apply consistant power to level the frame.
- Machined Aluminum Arms — The arms are machined from of a single piece of airplane grade aluminum. They start out as a solid block of aluminum and are then ground down by a CNC machine to precise tolerances. They are then anodized to protect the surface. They are strong and have no flex. This one piece design creates a very low profile and reduces parts count and possible failure points. Each arm only weights 53g. The arms have large 45mm mounting plates that accomodate large 40mm stator size multi-rotor motors.
- Large Payload Area — The area for flight controller and FPV equipment is large and completely covered by a Flight Controller cover. The FC cover also doubles as an optional battery tray.
- CG Optimization Freedom — The lipo can be moved across a large area of the frame to optimize the CG. This enables flying with different equipment and number of cameras. Other, non-symmetrical fpv frames force you to place the lipo in a fixed position which limits your options on what type of lipo to use. The QAV500 can be flown with 3300mah 4s Lipos but accommodates large 5000mah 4s lipos as well. It supports LOS flying with no cameras or flying with 3 cameras at the same time.
- Frame Kit Materials – the materials of the kit are light and stiff black G10, milled aluminum, and custom aluminum spacers.
- Weight — One of the largest and most powerful purpose FPV Quad frame designs, the QAV500 frame weighs approximately 500g. Fully loaded with 2 cameras, 3300mah 4s Lipo, and large 40mm stator motors, the AUW is around 1.6kg.
The below are suggested parts. There are many more choices available which we will try to include here over time as we get feedback from our users on which ESC/Motor/Lipo combo has worked well for them. The one definite recommendation we have is that you should use high quality and perfectly balanced propellers. More than any other part on your build, propellers have a dramatic impact on the amount of vibrations you will experience. Our favorite props are the Graupner E-Prop 10×5 and the XOAR 10×6 matched pair (see videos of the XOAR on the QAV500 from user ‘berthrsd‘).
Motor Aprox. Cost Quality Flashed ESC ok? Description Link
Tiger MT-4006 (Recommended) $78.00 ***** Yes (latest SimonK) A 40mm stator motor. Info
FPV Manuals FM-4006 $48.99 **** Yes (latest SimonK) A 40mm stator motor. Info
FPV Manuals FM-4008 $38.99 *** Yes A 40mm stator motor. Info
FPV Manuals NX-4008 $36.99 *** Yes (latest SimonK) A 40mm stator motor. Info
Item Rating (out of 5) Source
4 ESCs (esc can not be much higher than 10mm)
Turnigy Plush 18amp **** HobbyKing
Tiger 18amp ESC ***** GetFPV
4 Propellers 2 CW ("pusher" or "left") and 2 CCW. Get spares! props tend to nick or break often and easily.
XOAR Matched Pair 10x5 or 10x6 **** GetFPV: 10x5
Graupber E-Props 10x5 and 10x5 Pusher ***** GetFPV: 10x5
GetFPV: 10x5 Pusher
1 Flight Controller Many choices available.
KK Board **** GetFPV
DJI Naza ***** GetFPV
Carbon-Fiber Landing Gear ***** GetFPV
"Rib" Landing Gear **** GetFPV
Lipo pigtail (XT-60) or HXT 4mm (depending on Lipo) n/a GetFPV
HobbyKing HXT 4mm
4s Lipo (3.0-5.0 amps). We use 3300mah Nano-Tech (HXT) n/a HobbyKing
Test flight with 3 cameras (2 GoPros and one Flight Cam). The GoPros in this video are simply mounted on the stock frame with a bit of velcro and some neoprene tape underneath it.
Vibrations on a multi-rotor cause havoc to the sensitive sensors that are at the heart of every flight controller (“FC”). The FC constantly checks for the smallest of movements to counteract them so that the multi-rotor stays level. Vibrations to your FC are the equivalent of noise and static in your FPV video signal. In addition to the negative impact on your FC, for FPV and videography, vibrations negatively impact your recorded video signal and disturbs your flight camera picture. The QAV500 was designed to reduce vibrations to the FC and your cameras by separating the frame into “clean” and “dirty” parts which are separated by custom developed vibration mounts. Finding a way to decouple the vibrations coming from the motors/props to cameras and the FC is one of the most compelling aspects of this new platform.
Prop Free Video
The QAV500 accommodates 3 cameras. All of these cameras are mounted on the “clean” part of the frame and do not show any props (10″ prop is the recommended prop size).
Long Flight Times
With high quality motors (like the Tiger MT-4006), 10″ props, and a 5000mah 4s Lipo, you can achieve 14:30 flight times.
Center of Gravity Optimized
The frame was designed to accomodate large 4s lipos and use them as your counter balance to create a 100% vertically balanced design even with the GoPro and flight cam sitting all the way at the front of the frame. You move the lipo forward or backward to zero in on your CG. The frame is horizontally balanced as all the equipment sits in the center of the frame. The “Z” axis is balanced by moving the Lipo to the prop line. The lipo can also be positioned on the top of the FC cover when flying without any cameras (LOS) or with an optional, downward facing GoPro HD cam (at the back of the frame).
The QAV500 is designed to allow you to cary a lot of equipment and provide you long flight times. While you can build the QAV500 with any out-runner motor you’d like that can swing a 10″ prop and produce about 1kg of total thrust, we recommend Tiger MT-4006 720KV or HK NX-4008 620kv motors with 10″ Graupner E-Props, 18A Plush ESCs and a big 4s Lipo (3300mah or larger).
Different thrust configurations for the NX-4008 with 3s or 4s and 9″ and 10″ props.
Prop Size 3s Lipo 4s Lipo
1 Motor 4 Motors Total Thrust 1 Motor 4 Motors Total Thrust
9x4.7 407g 1628g 665g 2660g
10x4.7 700g 2800g 1129g 4516g