ThatFlyingThing's Expert Ratings
The Martian 2 frame is a great budget alternative to the often very expensive carbon fibre frames. It is a clone of the very popular alien frame from ImpulseRC. The frame comprises 4 millimetre carbon fibre arms and 1.5 millimetre carbon fibre top and bottom plates. This is all bolted together using aluminium fittings, which help to keep the weight down while still maintaining strength. Since the arms and body plates separate, you're unlikely to need to replace the whole frame, even in a very bad crash.
Just like the original alien frame that this is based on, the Martian 2 frame has plenty of space and so means you're not building in a cramped environment. You can easily fit a large VTX and receiver as well as full FC stack, comprising power distribution board and flight controller, within the body of the frame. This is fantastic for beginners, who would likely find a tight racing frame build very challenging. It also makes building the frame out very easy and a lot quicker.
Martian 2 Frame In Detail:
The version we are looking at today supports 5 inch props, but there are also 4 and 6 inch versions. The Martian 2 frame comes with a power distribution board which is handy to provide power to each of your ESCs, but this doesn’t include any BECs. As the frame has standard FC mounting holes, you could use a number of other PDBs instead of the basic included one. The frame is compatible with standard 22xx motors, so the majority of popular motors can be attached very easily. There is an additional extra top plate piece in the shape of an alien head, which helps to give additional protection to your antenna. Extra touches like this could have been ignored, so it’s nice to see it included.
Both the top and bottom plate have cut-outs to save weight and all the corners of the cuts have reasonably large radiuses to help with durability and reducing stresses. One thing I was very pleased to see, is that there's no hole immediately inside of the motors on the arms. This is something that was included on a lot of frames early on and was used to mount feet to the arms.
The problem with these holes in Martian 2 frame is that they act as stress risers, weakening the arms at that point and making them much more likely to snap at that point in a crash. Having a solid carbon fiber arm increases the durability and getting rid of the feet means you have four fewer things to snap off in a crash. The arms taper in nicely from the motors rather than having a sudden cut; another nice durability feature. Additionally, having the arms tapered means that less of the motor thrust is wasted on the arms and more is directed down, so you can fly faster and more efficiently.
This frame is predominantly pitched towards acrobatics, rather than racing. This is particularly clear when looking at the potential camera angle achievable, as this is fairly limited at around 30 degrees. The majority of racers are now using 45 degrees of camera tilt or more, so if you're looking for a racing frame the MartianII may not be the one for you. With that said, you can still get a good amount of speed with this frame and as an acrobatic frame it is a great option.
Building the frame was fairly straightforward and the arms fit together well, linking into one another and adding to the strength of the frame in a crash. There are no instructions unfortunately and no diagram, so it is worth looking at some previously built frames before getting started. The finish on the frame that we received was very good, but as with all carbon fibre copies, some buyers have received theirs with rough edges.
This is easy to remedy by simply filing down the edges of the frame and removing the sharp pieces of carbon fibre. It is important to do this outside with a suitable mask on, to prevent the carbon fibre pieces getting into your lungs. You can also file your fame under a gently running tap to stop the particles getting into the air in the first place. This is my preferred method, and is a lot cleaner. Filing down the frame only takes 5-10 minutes, so was no big deal for me.
In the air , the frame feels very nicely balanced both front and back and side to side. Rolls and flips are both very easy and smooth thanks to the near X configuration. The motor arrangement on the frame is very slightly shorter than it is wide, making the frame more of a squashed X than a stretched X. When you are running both a top mounted battery and an HD recording camera, this is a good thing as it allows you to flip just as quickly as you can roll. Usually this is not possible because of the extra force needed to flip the quad around the larger radius and move the weight of the battery and camera.
Martian 2 frame Pros:
- Very sturdy construction and can handle a heavy hit without breaking.
- Individual Arms can be swapped out if broken, rather than replacing the whole frame.
- Plenty of space to build in, ideal for beginners and experienced builders alike.
- Great for acrobatics thanks to its predictable handling.
Martian 2 frame Cons:
- Included power distribution board is very basic and probably needs to be replaced.
- May need to use an alternative camera mount, as the carbon fibre side plates aren’t compatible with everything.
- Carbon fibre quality and finish of the cut can be poor, so you may need to file the edges down.
For the price and features that you get with this frame, it’s very hard to beat. Similar alternatives will set you back two to three times the cost, often without adding features or quality. After thoroughly putting the frame through its paces and subjecting it to multiple crashes, I'm happy to say that the frame is very sturdy. Despite crashing a lot, I have only ever broken the one arm and this was in a particularly bad crash, with the drone rolling as it fell.