Would it be feasible to have a retracting rectangular parachute draped on the frame to increase range when cruising? During take-off or maneuvers it would be pulled taut against the top of the frame but a servo would spool it out and then the drone acts like the motor on a paraglider.
I see transition occurring two ways, either a gradual spool out while moving forward, or a sudden release / drop from stationary.
I'm interested in using just the rotors to control direction of flight, and a single servo to spool in / out, so no control of parachute using lines.
Rotors would have to be caged to prevent snagging.
This idea is probably useless for photography, but might be worth considering for delivery drones.
Sam Worthington said:
In principle, it should be feasible, but transition would be a challenge.
The 'chute would act like an air break on release and would probably be best placed at the centre of drag. This will change as the forward flight speed changed, but should be manageable. It would upset the flight controller a bit too.
I'm sure you've considered the problem of it tangling bin the rotors on release and retraction.
I'd be interested to hear how you progress things.