Angled motor mounts allows the motors on a quadcopter to tilt forward, and it’s getting more and more popular amongst FPV mini quad racers. I get asked a lot about it and here is some info about the benefit of using angled motor mounts, and things you should be aware when using them.
Why use Angled motor mounts?
Firstly, they tilts your motors forward, so when you are flying fast you can still see the horizon and not just the ground. That is especially useful you cannot tilt your cameras.
Secondly, better Aerodynamics. As you fly forward, your multicopter pitches forward to create the force. But with motor mounts on, the multicopter doesn’t have to pitch forward as much to create the same amount of speed, therefore the drag is smaller (air resistance is smaller).
Is Angled Motor Mounts for you? What to Buy?
Given the benefit above, the effect is really not that significant and it doesn’t necessary improve your speed or performance. I think of them more of a personal preference. If you cannot find motor mounts to fit on your frame, you can achieve similar effect by tilting your camera more.
10 degree tilt angle is the most common, and it’s enough for most people. I usually angle my FPV cameras up additional 10-20 degrees on top of that, because I like to fly forward fairly fast.
Also, make sure the motor mounts are designed for your choice of frame. It depends on the angle of the arms to the frame body. You want the tilted angle to face exactly forward, and not side ways. It might also work, but you will have some wasted energy.
Finally, be aware of the weight increase of motor mounts and additional/longer screws might impact your flight performance. Even just 30 grams of weight increase could be a big deal.
Change of Settings in Baseflight/Cleanflight?
If you are flying in horizon mode, then you will have to give pitch some offset to compensate the tilted angle from the motor mounts. Otherwise your quad will be drifting forward when it should be hovering.
For example for 10 degree motor mounts, pitch -10 degree.
If you have the Naze32 board rotated around yaw axis, 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 minimize flying in self-level modes as early in the learning process as possible. Rate mode is really a lot more enjoyable for many people, for me at least.