iQuad Tilt-Rotor Quadcopter (v2) Flight Testing

After more than a year of design and development, I've built version 2 of the iQuad custom tilt-rotor quadcopter which is capable of achieving high forward speed by tilting its rotors forward in flight. After several days of flight testing and tuning, I was able to achieve stable hover and incredibly fast forward flight. Near the middle of the video, you can see the iQuad hitting a top speed of 53.3 miles per hour on the third flight of the day! This was achieved with a 40 degree forward tilt of the rotors.


For stability control, I'm using an APM 2.5+ and a modified version of the 3.0.1 arducopter firmware. Big thanks to R_Lefebvre and Gary McCray for convincing me to switch to the 3.0 version and other suggestions. To support tilt-rotors, I created a new body configuration, which adds servo control and does the proper mixing of the pitch, roll and yaw inputs depending on rotor tilt. I also added logging for the tilt input and servo angles, which was very helpful for debugging some initial stability problems. For the final phase of the project, I'm planning to add four wings that will wrap around the metal arms (and maybe some tail-fins), to allow a full transition to forward flight.


Here's another video of me having some fun with the iQuad. Near the middle of the video you can see the iQuad hovering in place while tilting forward/back.

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  • Yep, I've seen those... I think I've checked out pretty much every VTOL related video on YouTube to see what others are building =)

  • Well done ! 

    It looks have very good performances and stability.

  • Yes, the wings will tilt with the motors. Most "real" VTOLs like the Osprey keep their wings level, and only the motors tilt, which I guess is easier to build at a large scale, but can't be great from an efficiency standpoint since since the wing is in the downwash of the prop. I think tilting the wings with the motors should be better from an efficiency standpoint, and in my case it's mechanically simpler as well. Also, I'm hoping that the propwash will keep the wings from stalling even at high AOA.

  • Fantastic!  This really is the start of something great!

    So will the wings tilt?  

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