Hybrid Aircraft (Halo Pelican drop-ship) software help?


I am a Mechanical Engineering Technology student @ the University of Cincinnati in Ohio USA.

I am starting to work on a very complex hybrid aircraft modeled after the Pelican drop-Ship found in the Halo series video game. For those of you that are not familiar with what this aircraft looks like I have attached two in game screen captures. As seen in the images; each rotating engine nacelle houses a VTOL thruster and a forward flight thruster, making the control scheme very complex. In essence it will be a Quad with rotating nacelles and "twin engine" airplane, all in one.

I am looking for lots of help in developing / modifying a system for controlling such an aircraft. If any can help / is interested in helping, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Max Oltersdorf

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Between the Halo Pelican and the Avatar Scorpion, people have really begun some difficult projects!


It used to be that everyone wanted a Predator type UAV, but now its gone WAY beyond that.


Avatar Scorpion is the same as the Command and Conquer Scorpion going back a decade xD

Cool, but before you go thinking you're an old hand at old time gaming, I remember playing command line- non-graphical games on the mainframe in the '70s.



i think you could go with APM, using arducopter as software base, modify it to let it yaw with servos instead of differntial speeds on specific motors

-> you have a great hovering platform now you need to make it fly forward with controled flap movement....

Hobbit C64 1988 with my Dad. 3 years later I was writing my own games. I'm not old old school but I am ok'd school xD

That would be a somewhat complicated process


4 ch 1 for each EDF ESC- guessing here  maybe you can get away with 3 ch 1 on each of the two front to help with roll and one on the back mostly for thrusting and monuvering, maybe look for something in I2C setup


4 ch more for servos to control tilt of the EDF pods.  


The Halo look is cool looking but not that pratical, since its a space ship. Maybe translated into a plane form so that you can gain some efficiently in forward flight,  lol but now you might as well look at making an Ospree it would be less complicated, although not simple.


Chances are on your setup you would need a 10-12 ch controller, some really complicated software, a major in electrical design and proramming, a 2 year supply of hot pockets and NOS energy drinks.  lmao..  I wish you much luck in a very ambitious project.  Also not sure if they make a counter rotate edf which you would need so it didnt just spin under its own tourque force.  I have seen some T shaped quads out there which dont seem to be too sable but you might be able to use something like that to get it up and transfer to a forward flight.


I'd use (4) Jetcat P80 engines in rotating nacelles.

The rest would pretty much be fuel tanks and electronics.

when you use I2C ESCs there will be no problem with channels, yes it needs a complex code, but why not try it? :D
^-- Is a noob and not very reliable for information, so use mine lightly...lmoa
Thanks for the replies thus far!
As a mechanical engineering student I can make new blades for the edf's that ill be using.
I am not concerned about the electrical issues that will arise as I already have help with that.
I am however in dire need of assistance with the coding... and "auto pilot" / stabilizer / mixing hardware selection and or design. 
# of channels needed = 9 minimum, 11 preferred
  • 6 channels for ducted fans
    • 4  for downward nacelle thrust
    • 2 for aft thrust ( left / right)
  • 1 for landing gear
  • 1 for rear door (optional)
  • 1 mode selection of auto pilot (or could be a physical switch)
  • 2 for nacelle servos (left right)

Correction to # of channels

# of output channels needed = 8 minimum, 10 preferred

  • 6 channels for ducted fans
    • 4  for downward nacelle thrust
    • 2 for aft thrust ( left / right)
  • 1 for landing gear (optional)
  • 1 for rear door (optional)
  • 2 for nacelle servos (left / right)
# of input channels = 5 minimum, 7 preferred
  • 1 channel for throttle
  • 1 for left / right spin
  • 1 for forward / backward / tilt up / down
  • 1 for roll left / right
  • 1 mode selection
  • 1 landing gear (optional)
  • 1 rear door (optional)

landing gear and rear door can be direct remote no need to be automatic in any way

You intend to design and make EDF blades?

I must not understand. That sounds like a senior project in and of itself.

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