Still Alive and Evolving!

A project log for MiniHawk VTOL

A fully 3D-Printable VTOL aircraft, designed as a hybrid fixed-wing plank + tricopter planform. For FPV and UAV experimentation.

Steve CarlsonSteve Carlson 09/24/2021 at 19:520 Comments

Reports of the abandonment of this project have been greatly exaggerated! Over the past 5 months, I've been as saturated with research work as ever, and the Version 2 formal release is in the works, but not just yet. Please enjoy the videos at the end of this post to see what the MiniHawk-VTOL can do. 

The GitHub Repo continues to be the bleeding-edge source for any revisions or modifications that are made to the design. The only changes to the design geometry between the soft/secret release in April up to now are minor changes to the empennage and the motor tilt mount. Otherwise, the design is nearly stable/frozen and has converged to a very usable aircraft. However, be ye warned! There are some issues that need to be addressed, and which will likely persist in the Version 2 release and will only be fully solved in Version 3. Specifically, the motor tilt mechanism is absolutely terrible! Even with nice HS-5065MG+ servos on the tilt mechanisms, the VTOL forward transition fails occasionally as the servos get stalled. This is because the linkage design requires static torque contributions by the tilt servos during hover, even through the servos are suppose to have more than twice the required torque. This manifests as uncommanded yaw and spinning when attempting to enter forward-flight.