30 days to build a radical VTAL drone

Boeing Phantom Works engineers pulled together this entry for the DARPA VTAL X-Plane competition - in just 30 days. It's called the Phantom Swift and is technically a quad copter - two props in the body and two in articulating wing tips.

It really changes the game when rapid prototyping tools allow team members to see the physical fruits of their labour in such a short time frame.

Now, let's hope the design files make their way into open source.

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  • I am not impressed at all with these "placebo" ducted propellers.

    Using a 2 blades propeller where tip is not even close to the duct won't suppress the tip disturbance.They could at least 3Dprototype their blades, and expose what a company can make with 3D printed rapid prototyping.

    Inspired from American Dynamics Flight Systems: VTOL AD150 UAV. - AD-150 ?


  • Can't you just picture little R/C V-22 Ospreys flying around boeing testing areas?! :D

  • This is awesome!!  I have family members who work for Rockwell Collins and I've heard that all the top UAV companies that produce large scale Drones are utilizing CAD Designed, Printed, smaller to-scale Prototypes to speed up the development times while at the same time lowering the overall cost of the project.

  • Uh, Euan was right - definitely a yaw problem. Wonder what they were thinking when they put the edfs in the fuselage? I understand they were trying to create an auxiliary lift system but they couldn't use it during horizontal flight. The design just seems inefficient. Once you've designed your own UAV airframe, you expect a little more from the Big Boys at Boeing who are fortunate enough to get paid for what most of us do as a hobby.

    I like the VTOL design generally (not crazy about this one particularly) - i just don't know that guys like the big Boys at Boeing push the limits enough with design and technology. There are so many different technologies that can be incorporated into a cutting-edge VTOL design. 

  • They've got a yaw problem - think the port outboard isn't aligned correctly. These Boeing boys...tsk tsk...:-)

    I can't help but think the "Prometheus" design would work better...laid out in V4 quad, with with wide front arms shaped into lift wings mounted low, and two elevated rear thrusters. Means the central fuselage is free for payload.

    In flight you have lift and thrust, rotate motors for V4 quad take off and land.
  • sweet, I wish that was my job.

  • I wonder if they re-use the software from the other similar VTOL plane/quad we saw from germany not that long ago. 

  • It is radical if you get paid to do it.  7 years of college engineering courses, purchase orders, TPS reports, staff meetings are the price of whacking a hobbyking quad together for a living.

  • Moderator

    Not all that radical, but cool none the less. I wonder what a group of DIYD developers could come up with if you locked them in a room for 30 days...

    APC do well in all the projects you see.

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