So, a month or so ago I told people about the crazy Talon airframe I had built and wanted to try and fly:

Well, now I have it flying!!

I have written a bit more about the process of getting it working and what my thoughts are on it's performance :

I know a couple of people at least were keen to see if it actually flew, I was a little skeptical it would be able to balance itself in the pitch axis myself!

I'll post another video shortly which shows some of the less successful flights, where it didn't quite manage to balance!

One of the biggest problems seems to be the landing gear.

Next challenge: Transistion and conventional flight :D


Views: 622

Comment by Jason Short on August 13, 2011 at 2:07pm
Looks great. It seems like you've got a lot of natural stability on pitch because of the CG. Correct? I still think the wind could induce some oscillations but can't wait to see it fly outside. Nice job.
Comment by Yuan Gao on August 13, 2011 at 2:32pm

Hey Jason,

I'm helping Henry out with the Talon filming (I'm the one holding the camera).  Just to say: it doesn't have a lot of natural stability in the pitch axis, you can see in this video the flaps fluttering around trying very hard to keep the craft stabilised - it's relying very heavily on Seraphim/Forebrain to stabilise the craft.  In addition to that, the flaps also vector the thrust forwards and backwards, which is a challenging situation for trying to hover a VTOL without cyclic blade pitch.  We have a couple of ideas to counter the problem.

Because of this, the PID has to be very accurately tuned, and the response rate of the control loop has to be quite fast.  In fact, we've got a video of what happens when the PID isn't properly tuned - it becomes extremely difficult to fly, and the craft has an amusing tendency to just tip forward when the PID isn't tuned because of the landing gear design and the natural pitch instability.

We'll take some videos of it flying outside once we've gotten the PID gains tuned.


Comment by Roberto Navoni on August 13, 2011 at 4:30pm

Hi Henry,

you are doing a good work , check our work the solution is very similar but we decide to use a biplane configuration in our Fox Hybrid :) It fly first time one year ago. The video of flight start at 7.30 minutes



Comment by Henry Fletcher on August 14, 2011 at 5:06am

Hello Roberto!

Yes, that looks a brilliant craft! How did you find transistion from hover to forward flight? We'll be embarking on some attempts to do that soon!

Warmest Regards!


Comment by Henry Fletcher on August 14, 2011 at 5:25am


Didn't do any more tuning, but couldn't resist trying it outside:

Not immensely stable, but there are a lot of wind eddies around the garden, caused by the buildings and shrubbery, and the wing area means these have quite a large impact on the airframe.

Comment by Zac on August 14, 2011 at 7:04pm

Nice job, I can't wait to see how you get it to transition!

Comment by James on August 15, 2011 at 5:27am
So would I, as it fits in with an idea I am toying with of a tilt-rotor quad. Ok, it would not be identical to your setup (my idea would be a lot more compact, think OV-22 crossed with a quad) but the transition from quad/VTOL to conventional flight is something that has really been messing with my sanity.
Comment by Henry Fletcher on August 19, 2011 at 3:22am

Haha! Yes, I know what you mean James! Though now I'm just thinking along the lines of starting to approach the issue simply....I'll throttle up and fly directly upwards, to get airflow over the wings and see how that works...then if it all goes pear shaped I can still immediately start hovering again!

When I'm confident enough that it is flying like a standard fixed wing I'll try leveling out! Then I'll work out the tricky in between bit for efficient, low altitude, automated, transition when I have both ends working fine!


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