Airborne VTOL small items retrieval system

Driving a car to pick up a very small item say 20x20 inches is very wasteful to do, so why not use something more efficient like an RC plane

Similar projects worth following
So, I got this idea while I was driving about 30 kilometers to pick up a very small bottle (about 50 grams) in a car that weighs about 1600 kilograms and does 28 miles per gallon. When you think about it, it's a very, very inefficient way to retrieve that item, to get 0.05 kg worth of bottle, you need to drive 1600 kg worth of car, while burning about 1.5 gallons worth of diesel.

About half a year ago I made my first quadcopter and I've always been fascinated by VTOL's, so why not combine all of this into an efficient way to retrieve small items. By building a medium size (about 1.3 meters wingspan) efficient VTOL, I hope to be able to retrieve small items that are small and light enough to fit inside, with a range of about 20-30 kilometers.

So, after some work I've started to build my very first prototype VTOL aircraft. To make it as efficient as possible, and extend it's range I'm using a real airfoil (E214), two 3Ah 4s LIPO's (14.4V nominal) and in forward flight, only two engines will be running. It's actually more efficient to run two engines a bit harder then to run 4 engines lightly loaded. The overall plane will be slow in forward flight, but efficient, I'm aiming at about 60-80 kmh (37-50 mph). My design wasn't based on something from the start, but after seeing a flitetest video, it seems it looks a lot like the C-119.

  • Finished the two booms and elevator

    Thom08/21/2014 at 06:45 0 comments

    I've made some good progress on the UAV, I finished the two booms and strengthened the A LOT. One fell of my workbench before I'd strengthened it and it broke in half. I've also attached the elevator and I've started to mount the servo's. The booms are made out of 6mm depron, at first a had a big heavy wooden rod running the entire length, but I've found the depron to be sturdy enough if you place enough bulkheads. The booms are about 4 times lighter now then they were with the wooden rods. Dumping the wood for strength has also made wiring a lot easier and there is way more room for electronics and servo's. 

    I'll post the pictures as soon as my required video is done uploading.

  • Video of the concept

    Thom08/21/2014 at 06:36 0 comments

    I made the required <2 minutes video. In the video I shortly go over the concept on paper, after that I explained the tilt mechanism a bit and showed you the overall UAV.

    As you can see the plane itself has also made a leap in progress, the both rudders have been attached, all steering surfaces have been cut and most servo's have been installed. Primary thing left to do is make the central fuselage.

    The UAV is going to stay connected to my laptop or ARM dev board via a serial telemetry system, so the connected requirement has been met and I'll know what it's doing, and where it's doing it. For the software I'm going to modify the Multiwii VTOL software made by a few good folks from the RCgroups forum. I'm going to push pirateNG onto a home built Multiwii mega, and when it want's to kick into landing mode, I'll switch to vertical mode with a fixed decent rate. How it does this is the following: when the pirateNG goes to landing mode, I'll have it set a port high that activates a second, normal Multiwii that overrides the pirateNG's controls. 

View all 2 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Tamara Gagliardi wrote 07/27/2015 at 06:55 point

Neat idea! The video was very useful to put the view the concept in action. Hope to see an update on a live demo. 


Currently working on:

  Are you sure? yes | no

Greg Kennedy wrote 08/21/2014 at 16:02 point
Your video is private! Might want to fix that!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thom wrote 08/22/2014 at 19:12 point
Thanks for the heads up, youtube is killing me at the moment. I can't edit a damn thing and now the video is gone, I've been trying to reupload for a day and it's still stuck, atleast now it uploaded, but it's on processing. If it's done I'll post a new link.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thom wrote 08/22/2014 at 20:29 point
It seems to be working now, I've tried logging out to see if I can still view it, which I can. Should be good, thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates