Hexacopter vs. Octocopter: What’s the Difference?

If you’re a fan of multirotor drones like me and planning to buy one, you may wonder, should I get a hexacopter or an octocopter? 

While both are popular choices for various applications ranging from aerial photography to industrial inspections, they differ significantly in their design, performance, and other parameters. 

But what’s the difference between a hexacopter and an octocopter? 

The key difference between a hexacopter and an octocopter is the number of rotors. While there are six rotors in a hexacopter, an octocopter has eight. 

Let’s delve deeper into the nuances of these drone types to help you navigate this decision-making process effectively. 

Get ready to fly!

Hexacopter vs. Octocopter: Summary

Details
Hexacopter
Octocopter
Parameters
Hexacopter
Octocopter
Design
6 arms and rotors
8 arms and rotors
Size & Weight
Smaller and lightweight
Bigger and bulkier
Payload Capacity
Less significant
More significant
Altitude
Flies at low altitudes
Flies at high altitudes
Redundancy
Less redundancy
Stability
Less stability
More stability
Speed
Slower
Faster

Hexacopter vs. Octocopter: Detailed Comparison

Design

Hexacopters typically come with six arms and rotors, spaced 120° apart, to offer a balance between stability and maneuverability.

On the other hand, octocopters have eight long arms and rotors, providing increased redundancy and lifting capability. 

However, octocopters are generally more complex to build and maintain. So, you must decide wisely!

Size & Weight

Due to a lesser number of arms, hexacopters typically have a smaller physical footprint compared to octocopters. 

This makes them easy to store and manage. Octocopters, in contrast, tend to be larger and bulkier because they use eight arms and propellers. 

Note: This size difference between the two drones may potentially impact maneuverability, portability, and ease of deployment in various environments. 

If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes or in case it weighs over 250g, you must register it with the FAA.

Payload Capacity

On average, the payload capacity of an octocopter is much more significant than that of a hexacopter. Here’s an example. 

While the DJI Matrice 600, a hexacopter, can carry a load of up to 15 pounds, the octocopter Boeing eVTOL is capable of ferrying up to 500 pounds of cargo. 

Isn’t this huge, making an octocopter the best drone for heavy lifting?

Altitude

With a total of eight high-performance rotors and powerful motors, octocopters can fly at higher altitudes than hexacopters. 

This makes the former a better choice for applications like mapping, surveying, rescue operations, etc.

Redundancy

If I talk about redundancy, it’s less in hexacopters compared to octocopters as they feature six motors and propellers, while octocopters have a couple more. 

Octocopters can continue flying even if one or two motors fail, as you can use the remaining ones to balance each other out and maintain a stable flight for a safe landing. 

This provides greater redundancy, making them more reliable for critical missions or heavier payloads.

But still, the redundancy in hexacopters isn’t bad either.

Stability

For the reason explained above, octocopters demonstrate more stability than hexacopters.

Speed

Octocopters literally fly like a rocket, thanks to more thrust, flight stability, and wind resistance.

I’m not saying hexacopters are slow fliers, but they definitely can’t match the speed of an eight-rotor drone.

Hexacopter vs. Octocopter: FAQs

A hexacopter is better than a quadcopter. Thanks to its six-propeller design, a hexacopter like the DJI Matrice 600 has limited redundancy and the ability to land safely with one or two motor/ESC failures.

An octocopter is more stable than a quadcopter. This is because of its four additional rotors which provide the required redundancy, allowing it to maintain its stability and control even if one or two motors give up.

An octocopter is a better choice than a hexacopter. Its eight propellers provide better redundancy and enhanced stability, especially for heavier payloads. Nevertheless, it’s costlier.

A redundant motor system is necessary because flying without it is not only a hazard to your equipment, it’s dangerous to others.

 

After all, you don’t want your heavy equipment or gear to fall out of the sky and seriously injure somebody.

The weight a hexacopter can lift depends on several factors, like its size, payload capacity, and intended use.

Conclusion 

Here you go, peeps. Choosing between a hexacopter and an octocopter hinges on the specific demands of your task(s) at hand, including payload capacity, redundancy, and stability. 

While the six-blade hexacopters offer a balance between agility and payload capacity, octocopters are my go-to option for redundancy and stability. 

I hope you’ve now gained enough knowledge about these two multirotor configurations to select the most suitable drone for yourself.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *