Tilt-Rotor Quad Goes Crazy Fast

Drones Drones & Vehicles Robotics
Tilt-Rotor Quad Goes Crazy Fast



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.


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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.

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