Aviation has been a passion of mine for a long time. I love things that fly, and I wanted to build one for myself, so I decided to start with Quadcopters. Since I’ll be new to flying them I decide to make one that is safe for a beginner to fly. Hence the propellers need to be protected from damage, both to themselves and to others.

The best way to do that is by keeping the props in a protected cage. I’m not the first person to come up with such an idea, there are many other drone frames with protected props. Like the lumenier Danaus.

Lumenier Danaus

Taking inspiration from the Danaus, I set about to design something similar. Enter the Monarch (like the butterfly)


Designed using Rhino CAD, it’s a 230 size quad with ample space for all the electronics including a camera and VTX. Designed in 2D as I’ll be laser cutting the frame.

The frame is laser cut from 4mm plywood. I used 3mm for the top to reduce weight.


The frame along with the nylon standoffs comes to about 170 grams. Wiring the ESC and motors to the power distribution board.


Adding the flight controller, I’m using a Spracing F3 flight control board, running betaflight.


The receiver is attached to the bottom end of the frame with zip ties. I’m using a Flysky 8 channel ppm receiver. It does not have an SBUS output hence I have to connect 8 wires (PWM) to the FC.


I fixed the propellers and closed up the frame with the top part using nylon standoffs (Caution: These are not the strongest, they come apart in the event of a crash).


I added a simple foam landing gear to the quad to protect it in the case of a rough landing.


I attached a 3800mah battery on top of the drone using zip ties. Finally, she’s ready for the maiden flight. The AUW of the drone is about 750g with a 3800mah battery. I have not yet added a camera and VTX to it, I plan to do it once the drone is properly setup.



Spec 4X Racestar 2204 racing edition motors
4X BL-Heli 28A ESC
1X Mateck power distribution board
1X SP racing F3 flight controller
4X Kingkong 5040 props
Frsky TH9X radio with 8Ch receiver
3800mah 25C lipo battery