Introduction to the Orange Hawk Project from Stephen Carlson on Vimeo.

Presented here is a VTOL aircraft design that I've perfected over 16 months, and intend to release as an Open Source project with design plans and code. Initial details:

Wing Span: 1000mm

Area: 21.5+2.6 dm^2 (Elevons)

Quarter-Chord Sweep: 30.0deg
Airfoil: MH45 with Root: +2.0deg Tip: -0.5deg

Material: 21.0kg/m^3 EPP

Equiv. Rotor Diameter: 500mm

Flight Controller Based on MultiWii 2.1

All-Up Weight: 1.2 kg, Theoretical Maximum: 1.5 kg

Designed Fall 2012

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  • The project is still intact, but with very little accomplished on it as life and school has been in the way (This was built during a brief island of stability in my engineering coursework). Looking at having more available time ahead, I've recently decided that it might be good to make a 70% or 50% version, with inspiration coming from the structures and patterns used in 250-sized racing quads.

  • Is there any update on this project? Really interested on this

  • Hey Stephen, 

    I need to talk to you regarding the translation of this awesome VTOL project onto APM 2.5 or 2.6. Please reply asap.

  • Hey Stephen, 

    Did you ever consider making the tail propeller rotate forward so it provided forward thrust after transition?


  • hi Guys !

    i've just discovered this beautifull creation  ;o)

    here's the mine !



  • Ow, correction on the bearings:

    Motor Arm Support Bearings: (4, .25 in OD ID, .375 in ID OD, .125 in Thick Ball Bearings)

  • I've added two PDF files describing the vehicle geometry and build process. Fairly dry in build instructions and descriptions, but anyone who has built a flying wing will know what to do.

    Some details in short:

    • The vehicle baseplate and frame are composed of 3mm light plywood, laser cut or otherwise.
    • The wing material is EPP, 1.2# / 21.0 kg/m^3 in my aircraft's case.
    • All frame tubes are carbon fiber: intersections and joints are wrapped with Kevlar tow and cured with thin CA.
    • The cassette, baseplate and other associated pieces are also glued using CA; epoxy is also possible.
    • The entire frame is constructed on a cork-board with T-Pins securing the parts and pieces.
    • The wing is cut using a CNC hot-wire cutting system, or by hand using airfoil templates and a hand-drawn hot-wire bow.
    • The wing spar slots and baseplate removals are carved using a Dremel tool and/or soldering iron.
    • The frame and carbon fiber tube supports are glued into the wing using 3M-77 spray adhesive.
    • The wing is shaped using a bandsaw / scrollsaw, and is sanded smooth. Cutouts for bays are made using whatever methods work: I used a soldering iron to burn out the bay openings.
    • Wing covering for my prototype was colored 1.2 mil tape, but heat-activated covering is also possible.
    • Winglets are 5mm Coroplast corrugated plastic secured with double-sided tape.
    • Elevons are 3mm light balsa, covered with colored tape.
    • The cassette assembly is secured to the baseplate using elastic bands, wrapped as tightly as possible.

    Components used are repeated with an addition:

    Component: Selection (Number, Usage)
    Battery: 3s2200 35C Lipoly
    ESCs: Castle Creations Phoenix-25 (2, Front), Phoenix-35 (1, Rear)
    Motors: Turnigy D2826-10 1400Kv (2, Front), KDA20-22L 800Kv (1, Rear)
    Props: APC LP08060E, LP08060EP (Front) APC LP10047SF (Rear)
    Servos: HS-81 (2,Tilt Mechanism), HS-65HB (2,Elevons)
    Servo Savers: Kimbrough Racing Products Small Servo Saver
    Motor Arm Support Bearings: (4, .25 in OD, .375 in ID, .125 in Thick Ball Bearings)
    5v Regulator: LM2941-based Linear Regulator
    CCD Camera: DPC-161 5v 380-line
    Video Tx: Lawmate LM2400-500mW
    Flight Controller: 16MHz ATmega328P uC, Nintendo Wii Motion Plus IMU
    Receiver: 6-Channel Cascading PPM 72MHz


    Link to the PDFs:





  • Was thinking along those lines for longer flight times. Nice job.

  • Thanks Stephen 

  • Sure!

    The software used for the 3D solid model, as well as the stress simulation and 3D rendering is Autodesk Inventor 2012 Pro. It is available to highschool and university students free, I believe that all you need is an email address that has a .edu domain when you register, so it isn't quite open source, but as close as you can get. The main portal for Inventor is engineersrule.org which redirects to http://students.autodesk.com/

    The aerodynamic simulation software is a 3D GUI for XFoil called XFLR5. It is open-source, available on Sourceforge here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/xflr5/files/ . The main project page is here: http://www.xflr5.com/xflr5.htm .

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