Local Motors/Airbus VTOL UAV takes to the skies!

Hey everyone, 

I wanted to announce the successful first forward flight with the Local Motors/Airbus VTOL UAV. Powered by a Pixhawk 1 with Arduplane 3.7.1, weighing in at 54.85lbs!

I was called in three weeks ago to help them design, build, and fly all before 11/30/2016.  I showed up at the shop and they had nothing but some ESCs, Motors, and concept art. Well on Wednesday we made the attempt to transition, and it came back in one piece.

The full report and video of the flight can be found here:



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Comment by JB on December 9, 2016 at 9:08pm

Hi Aaron

I find the Local Motors UAV Delivery initiative intriguing in that I'm still uncertain what purpose it has. Initially I looked into participating as well, in order to facilitate the development of the platform for SAR/Medical use, but was hesitant due to the restrictive IP arrangements of the competition. It would seem it has gone full circle and once again the IP of the community is being leveraged to find solutions for commercial en devours, which I'm fine with, provided that the IP developed is also shared, and not locked up so the community itself can no longer benefit from them.

Having a community style development program does not provide confidence that the development itself, once completed, might leave contributers empty handed. We've seen that before.

I think the relationship should be a two way street. 

Would it be possible for you to outline what Local Motors ambition and goals are with the project, for example if they wish to monetize the development internally for commercialization purposes, or if there is a component that will benefit the wider community, along with how the rights of community participants are protected by the IP arrangements and structure of Local Motors?

From my perspective, I cannot justify the idea of UAV deliveries of any non-critical or non-medical supplies, and think that personal home delivery of goods is yet another man made solution looking for a problem. From a sustainability perspective, massive centralization with delivery to consumers is neither an environmental solution, nor a benefit to the wider community, as the resulting logistics, systems, efficiency and community impacts of UAV delivery methods offer no improvement whatsoever to the existing systems in use, which are bad enough already.

Personally, I think feasibility cannot be measured in turnover of fiat currency, at the cost of the environment, and the people who are forced to adopt it because they have no other choice than to use the existing, yet faulty systems that come into existence, because decisions are made by a balance sheet, where our shared environment is an "off the books" item.

It would be interesting to see what forms the basis of the decision to support the development of these ideas, and if the result is in any way an improvement, and in particular for whom. 

Best Regards

Comment by leonardthall on December 15, 2016 at 6:24am

Well done Joe!!!!


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