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VTOL X-Wing Project

#1
G'day, I'm Tristan and I'm from Australia.

I'll begin by firstly stating that I've had basically no experience with multirotors or RC planes. But I've been watching FliteTest religiously for a couple of years now, and I've learned a hell of a lot. I'll also apologise for the crude, scrap-booky way I've set some of these images out; my house was burgled recently and without a computer, this was the easiest way to do it.

So I built this cardboard X-Wing model just for fun. But then I thought "why not try and make it fly?". Well, maybe because I've never even built a regular multirotor...

xvpw60H.jpg

So I figured ultimately it would great if the X-Wing could take off, fly around and land like a tricocpter, but also convert, mid-air, to forward flight. This was inspired by Peter's VTOL Chimera. However I was quite keen to maintain the shape of the X-Wing, avoid having booms sticking out at the front of the body and so I wondered if I could stick one prop on the nose and two trailing props on the wings.

QtbEwjw.jpg

A quick look on some forums and it didn't seem like a back-to-front tricocpter wouldn't work, just that it's uncommon and not ideal for photography. However I still wasn't confident about having yaw function performed by a tilt mechanism on the leading prop; especially if that leading prop was going to have to pivot in forward flight-conversion as well. So the solution became to enable both of the rear props to pivot both up-and-down and side-to-side. But that would obviously be quite overcomplicated.

So currently my theory for making this VTOL X-Wing RC Plane is to have a single leading prop attached to the nose of the plane, which pivots to thrust either downward or backward. To achieve this i'm thinking a very similar type of mount used for the Chimera.

CSGGlMO.jpg

UqN2XHL.jpg

Then I would attach a trailing prop to each of the wings which would also pivot to thrust either downward or backward. But I also theorise that this pivoting motion of the rear props, between downward and backward might be able to be coordinated into giving the tricocpter some yaw function.

UzEKh8U.jpg

So a couple of issues even I can see are that firstly, the thing weighs 1.8lbs already and it's just a cardboard model. So once I add electronics, motors and a battery it'll really be starting to pack it on. The second issue is probably the most obvious; an X-Wing is just un-aerodynamic. Probably not such an issue for tricocptering, but to be able to fly forward in any sort of stable way, I suspect I'll have to do something to fix that. I mean the wings themselves almost have an aerofoil shape but they pretty much cancel each other out being mirror images of each other. But p'haps if I could make them more aerofoily then they might work. Additionally, they angle downward slightly, so if I could make them generate lift, they might help to angle the nose of the thing upward.

Another possible solution to the un-aerodynamic problem I thought of would be instead of rotating the front motor completely 90 degrees down, to face backward, what if I only rotated it say 60 degrees down; so that it would face mostly backward but still a little downward, so as to thrust the nose of the plane both forward and upward.

Finally, if any of this actually works and I can at least make this thing fly like a tricocpter, I'd be remiss not to try and pop some FPV into that cockpit, but that'll be a cherry on top once I get the thing in the air.

So do you guys see any other issues? Maybe some glaringly obvious ones I wouldn't've seen? Do you have any recommendations on what kind of power I'll need to lift an eventually over 2lbs X-Wing into the air?
Do you think it'll even work?

Any advice is greatly appreciated, cheers guys :)
 
#2
Hey man,
Firstly I'me sorry to hear that your house was burgled. Bad stuff happens.
Second, that X-wing looks great! What is the wingspan? The reverse tricopter idea is a good one, but I would keep it at that. At 1.8lbs, an x-wing would not have enough lift, a too much weight to sustain forward flight. This is all unless your wingspan or motor(s) is large enough to compensate for it. The downward 60degree motor turn is a very good idea, that will definetly work.
Colin
 
#3
Cheers for your thoughts dude!

The wingspan's about 76cm, which I only discovered was about 20cm longer than the ship itself when I got round to measuring it all. Oh well, that shouldn't be a problem.

But yeah, I think I'll go with ur advice and ditch the forward-flight element; it'd be cool but too much needs to be done to even make it possible.

Still, do you think a reverse tricocpter would work with a rigid prop at the front, and two sideways-tilting ones at the back? I don't even know for instance if a normal tricocpter's rear prop, when it tilts, has to compensate with thrust so that the rear of the vehicle doesn't fall out of the sky... So I don't know if having two tilting rear props would fall out of the sky any easier... but maybe compensation's not even needed.

What du reckon? :p
 
#4
Cheers for your thoughts dude!

The wingspan's about 76cm, which I only discovered was about 20cm longer than the ship itself when I got round to measuring it all. Oh well, that shouldn't be a problem.

But yeah, I think I'll go with ur advice and ditch the forward-flight element; it'd be cool but too much needs to be done to even make it possible.

Still, do you think a reverse tricocpter would work with a rigid prop at the front, and two sideways-tilting ones at the back? I don't even know for instance if a normal tricocpter's rear prop, when it tilts, has to compensate with thrust so that the rear of the vehicle doesn't fall out of the sky... So I don't know if having two tilting rear props would fall out of the sky any easier... but maybe compensation's not even needed.

What du reckon? :p
Hey,
I think the reverse tricopter idea would work awesome! Programing a Flight control board for it would not be easy, but it could be done. I belive I saw a tricopter like you descrbe on time in a youtube video. If I find it then I will share it.

On another note, you might need some large motors to lift that thing. Hopefully someone else will comment with motor reccomend ations. I honestly have no idea what would be correct.


Edit:
Here is the video I was mentioning. It is awesome!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhdiYrAltRM




Colin
 
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ErikR

Junior Member
#5
Hi All,

The reversed tricopter will work for sure!
If you have enough thrust, you can fly it like a tricopter without rotating your motors!

I've made a X-wing from foamboard.
Total weight with electronics prox 1.5 kg
3 motors 1000 KV on 3S lipo, props 9 x 5. max thrust prox. 2.5 kg
The control board is an old KK-board I used on my first tricopter (in a galaxy far away and years ago ..:) )
The tricopter is both reversed and inverted.
To hide the rear motors I've enlarged te guns on the wings a bit.

It flies verry well!
For video I stayed close and hovered, but it flies like a tricopter.

video: [video]https://youtu.be/ouWOqyMMlY4[/video]

Good luck building your X-wing.
You might consider the strength of the wings. Motors on the wing tip will challenge "the force"
Erik
 
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