Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Fixed Pitch Tiltrotor - The Build and In Action

**Update** I will start my next build of a Mini-Tiltrotor. Check back for updates! The components list can be found on my board

A Little Background

Ever since I saw a video (at the bottom of this post) of an RC Tiltrotor on Youtube, I have wanted to build one myself. In addition, I have wanted to build my own autopilot. Why build my own autopilot when there are plenty of cheap ones out there these days? Well... Because it is a lot of fun. Anyway, I've had a video of my tiltrotor on Youtube at night. Since filming it, it burned out an ESC. I finally got around to fixing it, mostly so I could take it apart and scrap it to build a tricopter. Yes, I know, a tricopter is not nearly as cool as a tiltrotor, but it is a much better development platform for autopilots. Don't worry, my tiltrotor days are not over. Once I have a stable autopilot, I will build one that converts to full forward flight. I promise.

Advantages of a Tiltrotor

At the expense of a slightly more complicated autopilot and mechanical complexity, a tiltrotor has half the motors, ESCs, connectors, propellers, and power as a quadrotor. Essentially, a cheap tiltrotor can be significantly cheaper than a comparable quadrotor. And they are cooler. Yup. That's about it.

Flight Video

How It Works

Some of you might be wondering how this thing even flies. I plan on doing a multi part video on how things fly that includes something like this fixed pitch tiltrotor. For now, we will have to use a simplified diagram of the forces to understand how a fixed pitch tilt rotor can work.

Friday, January 27, 2012

RC Tilt Rotor In Action!

I was able to get my tilt rotor in action tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get a video of it in a larger field in action. Here a quick video I had my 3yo take while I flew.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The RC Tiltrotor!

I finally got a prototype autopilot board up and running with a gyro and a small but powerful Arm Cortex-M3 microprocessor, so I decided to throw together a tiltrotor. I am still trying to figure out pitch, but there will be videos to follow.
The tilt mechanism is from cheap front wheel 4mm landing gear stuff. The motors are HXT750s from Hobbyking and I am using HK SS 25A ESCs. A video to follow! (Hopefully with some successful flights!)