Call for VTOL test pilots! The PX4 standard firmware (master branch, downloadable via QGroundControl) supports first VTOL vehicle (duo-rotor, tail sitter). This video demonstrates the transition from hover - fixed wing - hover. Contact: http://px4.io/vtol.
Additional vehicles are currently in testing, including a BirdsEyeView FireFly Y6 (tilt rotor) and a Quadshot (quad tail sitter). The main benefit during initial bring-up of VTOL support of the TBS Caipirinha is its small size and high operational safety, combined with the inherent ruggedness of a flying wing airframe.
As the PX4 flight stack (running with the PX4 middleware on Pixhawk) is unified platform without separate multicopter or plane codebases and using the same command & control (arming, logging, safety) state machines and mission management for all platforms, its perfectly suited for VTOL development. Adding VTOLs didn't mean to introduce a new vehicle category, rather, it mostly meant adding a new mixer, a VTOL transition controller and some minor tweaks.
Note these are initial results leveraging existing multicopter and fixed wing controllers spiced with a VTOL transition controller - the dev team is meanwhile experimenting with model predictive controllers. But even this initial baseline implementation works quite well and is ready for some flying.
Great work PX4 team! This is pretty impressive. Much more the fact that you documented everything. Amazing contribution.
@Lorenz, I'd also love to get a pointer to the literature that describes the dynamical model of this vehicle.
@Pedro sure you can.
Wonder if I can add 2 motors and PX4 and turn my FX-61 into VTOL?
Yes, this will give you a nice neutral behaviour. But I think as long as your motors are more or less in line with the wing you will be fine.
Excellent. I have a buffalo fx79 sitting around and I have a couple of large motors so will give it a try this week. Is it important that the motor thrust is in line with the longitudinal COG?
Talk about great timing! I'm looking for a next project for my physics students here at Furman University. I started this morning looking to see what's going on with the bicopter technology that I had last looked at a few years ago. The plan was to start something with either multiwiicopter or kkcopter controllers. This looks much better.
Count me in.
Yes, the motors are fixed. Its a very lightweight and durable that way.
Very Very Nice! I take it that there is no articulation of the motors, the flaperons control the attitude in hover. Is this correct?
It can almost certainly carry a small p&s. And the good thing with wings is: You can get them in all sizes and shapes, and a slightly larger one can definitely carry one easily.
what's the payload on the caipirinha? enough to carry the autopilot and sony nex/canon p&s? would be fun for mapping