Hear the phrase “tilt rotor,” and your first thought may be of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, but in fact this peppy experimental R/C multirotor from Mountain View resident Ilya Rosenberg has more in common with the futuristic Bell Boeing Quad Tiltrotor concept now being considered for the U.S. Army’s Joint Heavy Lifting program.

“Basically,” Rosenberg writes, “it’s a quadcopter with wings and propellers that can rotate forward to transition from a helicopter-like hovering mode to an airplane-like forward flight mode.”

If you ignore payload components like a camera gimbal, most R/C quadcopters don’t have any moving parts besides the rotors themselves. Steering is achieved not by changing any of the thrust vectors, but by adjusting the speeds at which the four rotors turn relative to one another. Rosenberg’s design adds two rotational movements — one that tilts the front pair of rotors, and another that tilts the back pair.

With the rotors tilted at a relatively modest 40° forward angle, Rosenberg claims to have achieved airspeeds in excess of 50mph / 80kph flying his second prototype (shown here), which has no wings or conventional lifting bodies attached. Version 3, which he plans to unveil at Maker Faire, adds four 3D-printed wings which he expects will allow full forward rotation of the props in flight.

You can read more about Rosenberg’s iQuad project at diydrones.com.

If you’re going to be in northern California this weekend, don’t miss the chance to see Ilya’s version 3 tiltrotor quad (and lots more amazing stuff) at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Charles Haase

    Nice! Reminds me of this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWQiaYLgIaI&list=UUkaaQPwrt6fRdPOhFe2dEnA
    (warning: some NSFW language at the end of the video).

  • Mike Meyer

    It’s sad that the Maker drone community and the RC multirotor community seem to be ignoring each other. You talk like the plane/multirotor thing were unique, but the quadshot has been commercially available for over a year (reviewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK_-yTrwNtU)

    Personally, I think the most exciting recent development in multirotors is Curtis Youngbloods Stingray – a collective pitch quad. If he ever figures out how to deal with the dead spot at 0, I’ll probably order one.

  • Choon Way Liao

    There’s more ways to hack a multicopter into a flying car…

    and other flying vehicles

    and flying wing multicopters (custom made) can go crazy faster than the quadshot

    (the forward flight was done at less than 50% throttle)