Call for VTOL test pilots! The PX4 standard firmware (master branch, downloadable via QGroundControl) supports first VTOL vehicle (duo-rotor, tail sitter). This video demonstrates the transition from hover - fixed wing - hover. Contact:

Additional vehicles are currently in testing, including a BirdsEyeView FireFly Y6 (tilt rotor) and a Quadshot (quad tail sitter). The main benefit during initial bring-up of VTOL support of the TBS Caipirinha is its small size and high operational safety, combined with the inherent ruggedness of a flying wing airframe.

As the PX4 flight stack (running with the PX4 middleware on Pixhawk) is unified platform without separate multicopter or plane codebases and using the same command & control (arming, logging, safety) state machines and mission management for all platforms, its perfectly suited for VTOL development. Adding VTOLs didn't mean to introduce a new vehicle category, rather, it mostly meant adding a new mixer, a VTOL transition controller and some minor tweaks.

Note these are initial results leveraging existing multicopter and fixed wing controllers spiced with a VTOL transition controller - the dev team is meanwhile experimenting with model predictive controllers. But even this initial baseline implementation works quite well and is ready for some flying.

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Comment by John R. Conrad on December 18, 2014 at 2:46pm

Talk about great timing!  I'm looking for a next project for my physics students here at Furman University.  I started this morning looking to see what's going on with the bicopter technology that I had last looked at a few years ago.  The plan was to start something with either multiwiicopter or kkcopter controllers.  This looks much better.

Count me in.

Comment by ausdroid on December 18, 2014 at 3:02pm

Excellent. I have a buffalo fx79 sitting around and I have a couple of large motors so will give it a try this week. Is it important that the motor thrust is in line with the longitudinal COG?

Comment by Roman Bapst on December 19, 2014 at 1:25am

Yes, this will give you a nice neutral behaviour. But I think as long as your motors are more or less in line with the wing you will be fine.

Comment by Pedro H on December 19, 2014 at 11:23am

Wonder if I can add 2 motors and PX4 and turn my FX-61 into VTOL?

Comment by Lorenz Meier on December 19, 2014 at 1:32pm

@Pedro sure you can.

Comment by Víctor Mayoral on December 19, 2014 at 4:15pm

Great work PX4 team! This is pretty impressive. Much more the fact that you documented everything. Amazing contribution.

@Lorenz, I'd also love to get a pointer to the literature that describes the dynamical model of this vehicle.

Comment by Bill Piedra on December 20, 2014 at 2:20pm

How do I apply?  I have been working on this VTOL for almost a year.    I have flown this as a 5 motor (quad + pusher ) and am now trying to get it to fly as an OCTO + 1.   

Comment by wayne garris on December 21, 2014 at 11:29pm

twin motors would look nice on a techwing, I'll sign up.

Comment by Mauro Rodriguez on December 22, 2014 at 2:53pm

Hi Bill Piedra. Could you contact me please at monauro at gmail dot com? I am working on a similar solution as yours in my Talon UAV ;) Regards!

Comment by Markus Oswald on January 10, 2015 at 1:02pm

If you think it PX4 could work for tilt-rotor or tilt-duct systems as well, I'd like to test it. (Hardware is ready for testing -only need right software)


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