It’s been sometime since we’ve had an update on the PeliHeli, and after our success we got very excited and showed it off to Pelican. Rather than getting as excited as we were they looked at us quizzically and asked why?

Bit deflating to be honest.

Around a similar time we bumped into Nanuk at a trade show, a Canadian maker of rugged cases. They could not have been more excited! They make a lot of cases for drones, like this one for a Phantom, but never thought one of their cases could be a drone!

We’re we back in the game, and excited to get building again!

Pelican vs Nanuk

The Pelican Micro 1010 case had a couple problems, the latch at the front would ping open if the landing was rather heavy and in comparison to the Nanuk Nano 320 case looked rather dated, like something from the 90s.

The Nanuk had a really nice locking catch and we loved the rubber bumpers and styling.

New Features and Improvements


Early concept sketches and 3D printed parts

Along with a new case design was an opportunity to incorporate many features we had wanted in the old PeliHeli. Folding arms, to bring the size down, larger battery capacity, bigger props (DJI quick release 9045 props) and heavier lift capacity.

Shown here with rather small 6 inch props, because we had them lying around…

Laser Cutting vs 3D Printing

The next big innovation was a move to laser cut parts. These were a tenth of the price of 3D printed parts and also much much stronger. We could now iterate the design changes at a much faster speed.

Laser cut battery bay, so fast, simple and lightweight

The wood worked very well and makes prototyping really easy. A finished product will probably be made from Delrin or some other harder plastic.

Finishing Touches

It’s really coming together nicely now. Just a case of wiring everything up and plugging it all in.

Wired up, folded down and ready to travel

The overlapping arms at an angle lifts the motors out the way and gives us a closer fold. Much like arms on a pair of glasses, but it also gives the drone a nice dihedral angle to make flight more stable.

Stable flight with LED side lights

Another nice feature we love about this case is the sling points. Why put the drone in another box or bag. Simply sling it over your shoulder and off you go. It is waterproof after all.

Ready for Show

Things really started to accelerate. Just had a call from Nanuk and they’d love us to exhibit on their trade stand with them. Doesn’t it look fab next to it’s bigger brothers?

The Nanukopter alongside it’s bigger brothers

Wow, we’re so happy with it.