Hybrid Fixed-wing and Quad-rotor Drone
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with fixed wings or use quad rotors (two pairs of counter-rotating rotors) pose complementary pros and cons in operation. While UAVs with fixed wings are more efficient during flight, they cannot hover and require significant space for takeoff and landing. On the other hand, quadcopters can take off and land with minimal space and hover, but their efficiency is small, limiting operating time. The objective of this project is to design and build a UAV that combines the benefits of both fixed wing and quadcopters. The Tandem Tilt Wing Vertical Take-Off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is designed to be an improvement in efficiency during flight vs conventional quadcopters. Quadcopters are versatile and ubiquitous in the UAV industry and their uses include commercial and private applications, ranging from photography/videography to search and rescue to recreation. The tandem tilt wing platform improves upon the quadcopter configuration for missions requiring sustained forward flight, generating lift with its wings instead of constant downward thrust. The tandem wing configuration maximizes wing area while minimizing wingspan, provides a stable and stall resistant platform, and simplifies the incorporation of a quadcopter’s VTOL capability into a winged UAV. This UAV will have the following characteristics of operation: 1) Vertical takeoff and climbing to the desired altitude, 2) transition from quadcopter operation to fixed wing for forward flight, 3) transition from fixed wing to quadcopter to hover and 4) vertical landing. Performance metrics of the UAV such as flight time are to be evaluated against the benchmark DJI Inspires’ specifications, and the payload is an equivalent 0.66kg/1.44lbs. The Tandem Tilt Wing concept has promise as an improvement from common commercial UAV designs.