Hey, 

during the past year, a friend of mine and myself constructed a VTOL UAV i wanted to share with you guys. Basically, its a mix between a quadcopter and a regular airplane. It's similar to VTOL technologies Ltd's “Flying Wing”, but instead of having its “rotatable motors” at the end of its wings, the motor modules are located next to the fuselage, and most importantly “in front” and “behind” the wing itself. That way we are trying to achieve the highest possible aspect ratio and lift. In case that explanation didn't make all too much sense, the pictures should be of greater help. 

Version 2.0:

and Version 2.1 (experimental version), H-Tail section 


Concerning the flight controller, we used the Ardupilot Mega and the ArdupiratesNG code, which was slightly modified in order to account for the rotatable motors.

Some videos of it “in action”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a5ykFanB1k (motors only slightly tilted)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T537eGYjpWU (slightly tilted motors, transition between the two flight stages)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OONxCFcYI4A (almost fully tilted motors, fast flight)

A link to our project page, showing detailed pictures of the tilting mechanism:

http://www.wingcopter.com/html/schwenkarm.html

Its only available in german at the moment, but im working on an english version. The pictures should sufficiently explain the mechanism though; if that isnt the case, feel free to ask. 


The plane has seen two versions so far, each one having been modified many, many times ;).
It's flight is pretty stable right now, however there are still some tricky little problems that have to be addressed.

I just thought I might share our project and find out what you guys think about it.


Regards,
Andy



Ps: I wasnt quite sure in which sub-forum to post this; I hope this one is fine. If someone think differently, please let me know and I might kindly ask a mod to move it.

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That's pretty cool, are the props providing lift all the time? The motors don't tilt at all do they?

The props are providing all the lift while its in hovering mode, or flying slowly (motors tilted slightly - as seen in the first video). The main idea of the project though is that once the plane goes into "fixed wing airplane"-mode (motors tilted the full 90 degrees), the wings provide all the lift, while the motors are responsible for forward thrust. The third video shows this quite nicely, the motors are tilted roughly 80 degrees. Unfortunately, the plane got so fast it was hard for me to follow it with the camera ;) 

How do you stop or change from the "quadcopter mode" when the motors are tilted?

Actually, at the moment we don't change any modes at all, its all integrated into the code. One simply uses a rotary knob to tilt the motors between 0 degrees (quadcopter mode) and 90 degrees (airplane mode), the code does the rest and keeps the plane stable. However, we are thinking about incorporating a switch to change to a separate "fixed wing mode" at a later stage, so we can use the autonomous flight mission control features.

That is awesome.  Just wondering, what props and motors did you use?  How long is your flight time hovering/plane flying?  I am putting together ideas from a similar plane/quadcopter.  

In the two pictures above we're using E-Props from Graupner and brushlessmotors from Emax. But now all our Wingcopter fly with the new MR (Multi-Rotor) Props from APC. They weight a little bit more but are much efficient and stable than the E-Props or other props we have tested yet.
Flight time in hover mode is around 8 minutes, in plane mode around 20 minutes.

Here one picture of the newest Wingcopter version:


are you using a modified quadcopter code or an entirely new code ???

Which software did you used to configure everything, the flight modes, etc.???

and how did you made the VTOL firmware???

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