New Drone Pad Design

Thought I’d share my latest work-in-progress - a landing/takeoff pad for drones. Many drone pilots use flexible springy fabric pads (think automotive sun shades), but unless anchored properly, they can blow around and shift unexpectedly.

I used draftboard (easily painted) and red acrylic for this version. It 18" in diameter, so suitable for all but the largest quads. BTW, did you know that the letter ‘H’ in most fonts is not quadrilaterally symmetrical? Neither did I until trying to assemble the prototype - had to create my own in Illustrator to eliminate needing to flip one half of the pad to line up correctly.

Here’s a quick video showing a manual landing test from about 100 ft.


Nice landing! :smile:


Very cool!


You know what they say - “any landing you can walk away from…” :innocent:


I wish DJI would automatically look for landing pads like that and land directly on them, further refining the automatic return to home so that it’s not just GPS.

I know they do use the camera to narrow it down but my best results are usually a foot or two away from the original takeoff point, so I always just manually land it anyway.

Nice pad though.


Very cool! I just land mine on grass!


The legs on the Mini 2 are so short that I’ve had it reject autoland due to “obstructions” (medium tall grass).


Very clever!


That’s what I use for takeoff. Don’t usually have any real blowing around although I do have a couple of stakes I sometimes remember. Mostly I use it so the drone isn’t sucking up dirt while the props spin up.

Mostly I hand catch (except the Inspire) - I don’t like it coming down so slowly and kicking up dirt and crap. The Inspire I use a 2x2 table to setup and land on. That’s about 3ft off the ground so no issues and I don’t have to worry about getting whacked by one of those big props :smiley:

Maybe I’ll make an “H” template and paint the tabletop. It’s one of those aluminum slat roll-up/folding tables so just a shiny silver surface.


A landing pad for helicopters has a big H. Should a landing pad for quadcopter drones have a big Q or a big D?

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There are some that way, I prefer the H layout – easier to see and orient from altitude, plus I flew helicopters before quads. Some pilots prefer a big X over the H, but “should” doesn’t really apply. YMMV.


I appreciated the video. Perfect landing.


Ah, i can see that. I have a large DJI drone so no worries with that.

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All the generic ones I’ve seen have an H, even if it’s just a small one in the middle of a larger design.