And yes... It does come in Blue :)
Introducing the QuadRacer Zero, a revolutionary frame that challenges the paradigm of frame design. Traditionally it's been necessary to compromise on weight, durability or performance in order to find a balance. The Zero annihilates this issue by being a tough, vertical arm design that weighs less than 75g. It outperforms traditional frames and eliminates the problems that vertical arm designs traditionally face. The Zero will fly like nothing else you have ever felt, sharp, responsive and locked in. It's like stepping out of a Fiat and into a Lamborghini. The only question is, can you handle it?
For a long time now, the miniquad industry has focused on making things lighter and faster with very little focus going into aerodynamics. A certain amount of aerodynamic efficiency can be achieved by reducing the overall footprint of the frame, but this will only get you so far as the battery still takes up a large area. The next step is to introduce an aerodynamic pod, which has been done successfully by many manufacturers. But neither of these options really get to the heart of the issue...
For a long time, the most obvious answer to us seemed to be to turn the flat arms on their sides, the 'vertical arm' approach. The arms, during forward, flight are a large surface area for drag while also blocking thrust from the propellers. The benefits of a vertical arm approach are obvious, but this approach is fraught with issues, primarily resonance and vibration as the the thickness of the arm is now parallel to the rotational forces the motor applies to the arm, whereas conventionally the arm absorbs these forces by having the thickness perpendicular to the force. With the use of carefully engineered interlocking and recessing and precisely designed 3D printed components, we've been able to absorb these forces, maintain strength, weight and performance.
We've completed the whole design without the use of additional aluminium components or tensioning to keep weight low. The focus of this design was performance from top to bottom.
The arms are held into place by two interlocking with top and bottom plates which are in turn, held together by a single bolt through the centre and into a press nut in the top plate. This means changing an arm is still only a matter of a few screws and doesn't require a complete disassemble. The pod itself is flexible and robust, not prone to cracking or breaking and can be easily removed either with nuts on top of long bolts or by a 4 bolt system. Importantly, the camera can be removed without removing the whole pod. While we made a performance frame, we understand that maintenance is important, so we refused to make it difficult to work on.
So, what's the downside?
The answer is that there is none. Traditionally there is a choice that must be made be made between weight, durability and performance, a choose 2 scenario. We think through the use of customised materials and good design, that we have eliminated the choice scenario and achieved all 3. The frame weighs 80g, and we've used strong foam composite arms and tough flexible 3D printed components to make it crash resistant. It's aerodynamic and it flies like a dream.
We get asked a lot, how tough are the motor mounts? We've put them through hundreds of crashes throughout testing of the frame and they stand up pretty well to abuse. However, they do occasionally break so we're including spares in each kit, will make spares available to purchase cheaply AND open source the design so you can print your own if you have a 3D printer.