As with any design problem, there are competing constraints, so imho it’s worth discussing requirements in a bit more detail before getting caught in the convenience of “solutioneering”.
I’ll put forward a couple of considerations:
- The desired payload will remain approximately constant over life of type: electronics will shrink but you’ll keep adding more. This means that the SWAP required now can be locked in as a design requirement.
- The customer/user base operates in two key environments: laboratory flying arenas and open parkland. The first dictates a maximum practical size, the second a minimum.
- Cost vs quality. Commercial R&D endeavours generally have deeper pockets than universities, who in turn have deeper pockets than diy’ers and students. Where is this pitched?
- Modularity vs simplicity. A reference build ideally has a single, defined configuration. A test/dev platform needs to be easy to change. These requirements conflict in many ways. I think you’re aiming for the latter?
- Agility vs efficiency. With careful motor selection this can be managed via voltage and prop choices, but usually requires a compromise. Testing different things often requires different performance.
Just food for thought.