Arcturus Jump - Piccolo autopilot using Latitude Engineering’s Hybrid-Quadrotor technology

Is any work being done by the development team to add this class of vehicle to the capabilities of the APM or Pixhawk series of autopilots?   The Arcturus design is very nice and looks like a very useful cross between Multi-rotor and normal aircraft designs.

here is a link to their site -


Views: 7030

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 24, 2014 at 10:35am

Dennis, I don't see it actively being worked on.  Biggest problem would be flash memory space on the APM class of controllers which are already maxed out running airplane or multirotor already.  But, I would be that in roughly a year timeframe, we'll see the code bases merged as a monolithic block for 32-bit controllers.  It's really up to Randy and Tridge.  It would be a lot of work.  But they are already working more and more towards having libraries common to both aircraft types.

Comment by John Githens on April 24, 2014 at 10:49am
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 24, 2014 at 11:43am

I also don't really see this as a great layout Monroe.  Something like a P-38 with 3 tilt-rotors, the third being at the back of the central nacelle would be awesome!  Either that or a quad like this with tilt-rotors.  But I don't like the idea of just leaving lift motors freewheeling like that.  Can't be good for efficiency.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 24, 2014 at 12:08pm

I ended playing VTOLs with my friend Rob from flying wings a couple of years ago. We got them working and transitioning but it was a faff

This is what I would copy if trying again

Autonomous aircraft launching from an autonomous boat.
Comment by Jolyon Saunders on April 24, 2014 at 12:26pm

Whatch their video, at the end you'll see the front motor begin to spool up as it lands.... The prop smacks the ground upon landing - which is silly. An otherwise pretty awesome plane though. 

The front two motors are too close to each other as well. It wouldn't take much wind to throw it off in hover.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 24, 2014 at 12:36pm

Yes, wind gusts can really upset these things in the VTOL phase.  The larger the wing, and closer set the motors are, the worse they would be.  I've seen a video of a model V-22, and there was a relatively minor gust of wind, came from behind, caught under the tail, and it flipped over right quick.  

The other design I've seen that could work is a quad tilt-wing, with two wings, front and rear, motors on the very end of each of the short wings.  Maybe less efficient in forward flight, but much more stable in the VTOL phase.

Comment by Jolyon Saunders on April 24, 2014 at 12:49pm

You right in that this layout may not be very efficient in terms of drag, but it has potential for higher forward speed combined with more efficient hover than a tiltrotor that utilizes fixed pitch props. Until we can make decent variable pitch props for this scale I don't see the tiltrotor configuration being very feasible where high speed is required. For slow applications tiltrotors are fine with FP props which I suppose you were referring to initially?

Comment by Dennis Okeefe on April 24, 2014 at 1:40pm

i was thinking two apm's but haven't figured out how to transition from one to another?  would that involve both apm's both controlling one or more motors for part of the flight (hover vs level flight)?


Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 24, 2014 at 4:14pm

The crossover point would be interesting.  When going from Copter to airplane, you would have to pitch the nose way down to build speed.  But as the airspeed climbs, the wings will start pushing the airplane down.  Going from airplane to copter, you couldn't bring it to a full stop, you'd have to glide in, then turn on the lift motors.  But when you do, the motors will fight the controls of the airplane.  This is probably the least tricky transition.

I don't thing you could transition from copter to airplane completely cleanly with a switch.  You'd have to start the thrust motor while still in copter mode.  Build airspeed while the airframe is level, then switch to airplane mode.

Comment by Jeff G on April 24, 2014 at 6:00pm

I think there will be a growing demand for VTOL drones with fixed wings for greater efficiency. 

I like the concept of a tail-sitter plane combined with a quad-rotor. This type of air frame would have the fewest moving parts. Most drones only carry a camera payload so the fact that the aircraft changes orientation could be accounted for by a gimbal. 

What became of the Quadshot by Transition Robotics? 


You need to be a member of DIY Drones to add comments!

Join DIY Drones


Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

© 2018   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service