680 Quadcopter Aluminum Landing Legs for Electric Retracts

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2015
Categories: Build LogMultirotor AircraftRandom

I’ve been quite irritated with my carbon fiber landing legs I came up with for my Alien H4 680mm quadcopter.  The legs are on servo-less electric retracts which I have assigned to a channel on my transmitter.  I can put the gear up or down during flight.  That’s cool, especially with a 3-axis gimbal for the camera.  It keeps the legs out of the photos or video.


The problem I’ve had is with the 6 millimeter carbon fiber tubing I’ve used for the legs.  Those tubes wrap around the 4mm “trunnion” which comes out of the retract.  When taking off, landing, or working on my quad the legs take a beating and over time crack.  Just two days ago two legs snapped in grass as the copter shifted laterally during takeoff.

IMG_1318Lucky for me I have a cousin who has a machine shop.  I had him make me up some aluminum landing legs.  They have a 4mm section which replaces the trunnion, then expand to 6mm.  The “shoulder” between the 6mm and 4mm supports most of the weight, and the aluminum is MUCH stronger.


Yes what about the weight difference?  Each leg of the carbon fiber landing legs with trunnion and rubber cap was 7 grams.  The new aluminum legs with rubber cap are 15 grams.  I’m adding 28 grams to the whole bird with this upgrade.  Not terrible.

Below is a video of the old CF retracts in action.

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