Angled motor mounts allow the motors to be installed at a tilted angle on a quadcopter, and it’s currently a popular accessory in the FPV mini quad community. In this article I will explain the benefits of using angled motor mounts, and how to use them on a mini quad.
Why use Angled motor mounts?
A racing quad requires very high camera tilt angle in order to see what’s in front of it when flying fast. Otherwise all you will see is the ground if the camera is too low.
Angle motor mounts reduce the need for high camera angle yet allows you to see better when flying fast.
the second benefit is better Aerodynamics. Your quadcopter pitches forward to fly forward, the faster you fly the more tilted the quad is and the larger area there will be that blocks air.
When using motor mounts, the multicopter doesn’t have to pitch forward as much to create the same amount of speed, therefore the air resistance is smaller.
Can I use angled motor mounts?
I think angled motor mounts are more of a personal preference.
Given the benefits mentioned earlier, I have personally tested them and haven’t noticed the difference in speed and flight performance to be that significant.
However I have been told multiple times by other pilots that they “fly faster” with motor mounts than without. I guess that could be just because they are forced to go faster in order to keep the camera looking horizontally, similar to having a higher camera angle.
But they can really help in situations where you have to raise your camera angle but the frame doesn’t allow you to.
Beware that motor mounts have to be designed for a specific frame, because the difference in the alignment of the arms (the angle of the arms to the body), This will ensure the tilted angle to face exactly forward, and not side ways. When the motors are tilted side way you could be losing efficiency.
Finally, there will be weight increase due to the motor mounts and the longer motor screws, which can impact your flight time and performance. It’s not uncommon to add 20 to 30 grams extra weight when using angled motor mounts.
Change Settings in Baseflight/Cleanflight
If you are using angled motor mounts and flying in horizon mode, then you will have to give pitch some offset to compensate for the tilted angle, otherwise your quad will be drifting forward when it should be just hovering.
For example for 10 degree motor mounts, pitch should be -10 degree.
However, if you have the flight controller board rotated around yaw axis (for easy access to the USB port), for example yaw +90 degree, then you will have to adjust roll +10 degree instead.
Note: Baseflight and Cleanflight treat axis offset differently. In Cleanflight, you use -10, but in Baseflight, you use +10.
Just as a side note: in my opinion it’s important to stop flying in self-level modes as early as possible in the learning process. Rate mode is really a lot more enjoyable for many people, for me at least.
Check out this post to learn about why rate mode is better than angle/horizon mode.