Quadcopters: Four motors. Quadcopters are the most popular types of quadcopter drone multirotor design because they are mechanically simple, stable, and have a reasonable lifting capacity. The four motors on a quadcopter are arranged so each motor spins in the opposite direction than the one next to it. Two motors spin clockwise, and two counterclockwise. This creates rotational balance, keeping it very stable.

 

Quadcopter Configurations:

X Configuration Quadcopter: By far this is the most popular type of quadcopter drone design overall. The X configuration is often used for aerial photography and aerial videography because of stability and the camera can point out between the front two motors without getting much of the props in the frame. This type of multirotor drone configuration is also a favorite of FPV Racers and for acrobatic stunt pilots as well. The motor configuration is much like an automobile making it agile and predictable. It is also a strong design and extremely stable.

X Stretched Configuration Quadcopter: A newer modification on the X configuration. This type of quadcopter drone design is strictly used for FPV multirotor racing. The idea being that the rear motors are moved further away in less turbulent air created by the front props. The elongated design also provides more stability on the pitch axis.

+ Configuration Quadcopter: The plus configuration type of quadcopter drone makes it track very well going straight. Many believe the propellers are placed in a more aerodynamically efficient position. Often used in acrobatic flying and FPV stunt flying because, compared to the X configuration, the + configuration quadcopter flies similar to an airplane and is easier to control.

Y4 Quadcopter: This type of quadcopter drone looks like a tricopter, but instead of a servo the Y4 has a second brushless motor. Yaw control is controlled by altering the speed of the two rear motors. Y4 multirotors tend to like a tricopter, but they have more lifting power and are more durable due to the lack of a servo mechanism.

V-tail or A-Tail Quadcopter: A type of quadcopter drones with the front two motors is normal quadcopter arms, while the rear two motors located in close proximity, tilted at a vertical angle. A V-Tail or A-Tail is similar to a Y4 but has much more Yaw authority due to it using thrust to turn rather than counter motor torque. This type of multirotor drone is not a very common design because it is a bit less efficient than the other quadcopter designs.

 

Other Multi-copter Configurations:

Pentacopters: Five motors. This is probably the least common type of multirotor drone design. An advantage of pentacopters is the wide-angle of the front arms, making it great for shooting aerial photos and videos without the props being seen in the frame. Pentacopters have more lifting power than tricopters or quadcopters but have more cost.

Hexacopters: Six motors. Like quadcopters, this type of multirotor drone the motors on hexacopters are arranged in pairs with one turning counterclockwise and one turning clockwise. In other words, hexacopters have three counterclockwise-spinning rotors and three clockwise-spinning rotors. Hexacopters and quadcopters have similar flight mechanics but hexacopters have more lifting power because of the extra two motors. Thus this type of multirotor drone beneficial to pilots who wish to carry camera equipment more sophisticated than an average action camera, like high-end DSLRs and even Motion Picture Cameras. An advantage of this type of multirotor drone is its redundancy. With a sophisticated flight controller, hexacopters can still fly with one of its motors shut down. the trade-off being hexacopters are larger, heavier, more complex, and more expensive than other types of multirotors.

X Configuration/+ Configuration: In + mode one of the motors faces front, and in X mode, two of the motors face front. Like quadcopters this type of multirotor drone, X mode is most commonly used for aerial photography and aerial videography and + mode is most commonly used for stunt flying.

X8: Similar to quadcopters, but X8 copters have two motors per arm, mounted one on top of the other. These types of quadcopters and multirotor drones are also similar to Y6 copters. X8 copters have much more lifting power than quadcopters because they have twice as many motors. But, the overall efficiency of the system is less than the efficiency of a quadcopter because the lower props are spinning in already sped up air due to the upper props. There are endless amounts of flyable types of multirotor drone configurations. Even asymmetrical designs have been flown successfully. Today's flight controllers can be configured to anything you can dream up.