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Single Fan Thrust Vectoring VTOL Project - MonoPhan

Old 01-17-2019, 05:03 PM
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Default Single Fan Thrust Vectoring VTOL Project - MonoPhan

I usually use my existing threads for the new stuff that I build/post but this is kind of a new concept that I am testing. The unit is a first in many ways and is a prototype to test my easy VTOL concept, where I want to harness the lift from a wing without “really” transitioning to horizontal flight in terms of conventional controls and flight characteristics, while flying “almost” horizontally I am also looking for a design which will not be sluggish in vertical flight while creating lift in horizontal (or semi horizontal) flight, without folding wings, etc... Below are some videos from last couple of weeks…



This is my first Mono unit with CG this high with a single battery and with carbon fiber thrust vectoring vanes. The first flight was a failure as result of this and the not enough gyro compensation. So, I made some changes to PID, replaced the backbone supporting piece with a 2mm carbon fiber piece for better support and just in case added this small foam board piece to make sure there is some more lateral resistance. The second flight was successful but still not there. You really need to be on the controls to keep the unit off the ground. Higher compensation levels are necessary. Also, I am not sure if I will be getting as long as hover time as I was hoping. But I have other plans for this unit which will hopefully keep it I the air for much longer times.






This turned out to be a completely different animal. The wings placed at the center of gravity didn't seem to help stabilize the unit. Tomorrow new test with higher CLR and a higher gryo compensation levels...






Testing different wing designs which can handle vertical and horizontal flight. The problem is to come up with a wing design that can handle a stable transition to horizontal flight while handling the pitch and roll vertical flight stability with proper level of lateral resistance. The most successful one for transition was the last one, which is a recycled wing from one of my unsuccessful units years ago. It doesn’t compensate for the roll lateral resistance, which I had to manually compensate during the flight. I will work on that piece…






The last video shows the best result so far. The Unit is now capable of transitioning to horizontal. Need to adjust aerodynamics and the tuning further to harness the most possible lift from the wings.






Thanks
Old 01-19-2019, 07:07 PM
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The design is pretty much finalized. It flies amazingly good vertical and horizontal. Still working on getting the baro respond better. I have three settings programmed in the FC.



1- The first one tilts the unit right above around 10 degrees attack angle, avoiding altitude loss at full stick. In this mode, I will use the throttle for altitude control.



2- The second mode tilts the unit below 10 degrees attack angle. In this mode at full stick, the unit will start losing altitude, which makes it possible to fly it almost like an airplane, adjusting the altitude with pitch. I will extend the tilt angle below 0 degrees depending on flight capabilities.



3- The third mode will not go lower than 25 degrees attack angle and will activate the altitude hold. This will be the economy mode, where I will harness the lift from high attack angle wings and the unit will automatically adjust the throttle down and the lift kicks in and it starts climbing. I will adjust this attack angle to get the best flight time based on testing.



Looking forward to get some onboard videos and post.



Old 01-23-2019, 06:52 PM
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The design is finalized and the test cardboard surfaces are replaced with the new ones. I cannot believe the unit turned out to be such a good flyer. This is just a slow test flight to make sure all new stuff works. The unit loves transitioning to horizontal and speed up. Hopefully, new videos coming soon...



Old 01-28-2019, 06:11 PM
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It was a good test after a tough weekend. The yaw was unresponsive in horizontal flight all through weekend. So, I tested some additional surfaces and took off the stabilizer to let the nozzles handle better. Didn’t work. After studying for ours how the nozzles react at lower attack angles, I was able to fix the tuning and realized that I wasn’t piloting the craft correctly.



This video consists successful transitions and long stretches of horizontal flight with maneuvering. The flight is not as smooth as I wanted because of lack of rear stabilizers. So, I will add some new stabilizing surfaces at the back and test the results. I believe the unit will be able to handle attack angles down to minus 10-15 degrees which should be more than enough for some high speed dives. I don’t think the FC is capable of handling anything less than that.



Thanks



Old 02-10-2019, 06:31 PM
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After working on the final design changes, at last was able to start testing the baro assisted semi-horizontal flight to calculate the increase in efficiency, the reason that I built this unit for. This flight is 100% baro assisted (except take off and landing). I circled around the park without any major throttle intervention and let the unit adjust the throttle, keeping a constant altitude. I calculated around 20-25% increase in the efficiency of the unit. Which is better than nothing, less that I expected. I will test some different attached angles and see if I get anything better. I think I need to cruise with a higher speed that I am currently testing for better efficiency.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU6sE19W36M
Old 04-22-2019, 08:19 PM
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New FC test

Old 04-25-2019, 06:06 PM
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Hover testing the winning power setup after a couple of failures.

Old 10-26-2019, 10:17 AM
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Change of design…



A step forward in flight capabilities, a step back in technology… Not sure how they go together but it is the truth! After building some fully transitioning units with proper algorithms, that I couldn’t really fly, because of lack of space and skills, I built this easy VTOL that I can totally fly at the park and enjoy.



This is the continuation of my quest to get a better flight time and cover more distances, merged with my love of FPV that I have recently tried. I also wanted to stick to my single fan philosophy which started this journey. I converted one of my MonoPhan units to this bird. Both wings are independently controlled, so I can maneuver the unit in tighter spaces. After many tests and crashes, this is what I got so far. I think I was able to create a very easy transitioning (just push the pitch stick forward) slow flyer VTOL.



It currently has 3 different attack angle settings. This test is utilizing the higher two , I transitioned back and forth a couple of times during this flight. If I want to go faster I have one more that gets the unit flatter and faster, which I still have to test and understand the maneuvering. If that is successful, I may change the settings to test some negative attack angles… When you are in trouble just release the stick and the unit starts hovering.



Still to test the flight time but not with these batteries. They got old and the C rating is not sufficient, as can be seen in the landing. As soon as I transitioned to vertical flight the unit basically crash landed. I can definitely use some advice on modifying the wings for higher lift. The shape and area are set, per tested. But would an aerofoiled design help, or is it not worth trying… Thanks!



Old 11-14-2019, 06:45 PM
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The old unit became very unreliable after a hundred crashes. Built a new unit with larger surface area. Different and lighter (cheaper) foamboard with much larger surface area, 4S setup vs 3S, different servos and motor, and a longer range Radiolink radio.



Pretty much everything changed except the base design and the concept. The unit is quite challenging to fly vertically. Yaw is very tricky due to the large wings. I made a couple of minor aerodynamic adjustments but other than that have been working on the tuning.



Started flying good. Got it to quite low attack angles in this last flight. Getting a little shaky at faster turns at low attack angles. Will work more on tuning and if I cannot get comfortable enough I will work on the wing design a little more for a better vertical flight performance and faster turns.



Also ready to install the camera.



Old 11-15-2019, 01:10 PM
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At last my first easyVTOL aerial video. The old unit didn’t let me get a proper aerial video with all malfunctions and problems. The new unit did it for me.



At around 2 minute mark I switch to a lower attack angle and the unit speeds up with higher speed maneuvering. This is my fist unit which flies better horizontally than vertically. Which is a little sad as I had to give up some good qualities, but I am looking forward to some FPV action at the country.



I am thinking that with new batteries and at the slow flight mode with high attack angle I should be getting around 8 minute flight time.



Old 11-16-2019, 02:52 PM
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The same flight, ground cam:



Old 12-21-2019, 08:01 AM
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I tested the EasyVTOL concept with a unit re-designed for propeller to see how much I can improve the flight time. I was at least hoping to get +10 minutes. It turned out to be a beauty after lots of testing and variations (see thread: MonoProp EasyVTOL Prototype), but it didn’t break 10 min limit. The highest estimated flight time that I got was in 8-9 minutes range. This caused a light bulb moment and made me realize that if I need to get a good flight time in horizontal flight 1- I need to reduce the drag caused by the design significantly, 2- Come up with a folding wing design which will avoid continuous heavy load on the servos while the wings are extended or folded (to reduce the energy consumption).



To achieve this, I started building a new EDF unit using what I have learned from the first ever unit that started this thread and the later units. I am using paint stirring sticks from home depot to build the frame It smells like pine and I like working with wood again. I had to use some carbon fiber reinforcements to make sure she can survive the test crashes.



Below is the maiden test flight to test the stability and hovering. I have not installed (or designed) the wings yet. But I added some surface areas at the top to balance the unit as it has a very high center of gravity. The unit is stable from the get go but with two major issues: 1- one of the brand new wing servos turned out to be defective, not performing as well as the other, 2- the unit is grossly underpowered with 3S. I need to resolve these issues before moving forward.



I am hoping that I will be able to reduce the drag significantly with this unit and get a better flight time than even the prop unit. One of the other advantages of the unit is that I can test different wing designs as the wood/carbon fifer frame below will support anything.




Old 12-21-2019, 06:47 PM
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The first short hover test is with an old 1300mah and the second test is with an older 2200mah battery. This is not bad. A little more powerful battery of the same weight should do it. The unit tends to drift due to high CG. This should stabilize when the rest or the aerodynamics go in place.





Old 12-22-2019, 01:00 PM
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Maiden with wings installed. Problems: 1- Immediate loss of yaw with the wind hitting from the side. So, my assumption that the new design would help with vertical flight didn't work. I need to work on the settings. 2- The wing compensation is actually destabilizing the unit when there is a strong side wing. 3- This 2 min flight used approximately 1000mah, which points to a not so good flight time.



I will try to: 1- reconfigure the wing compensation to fit the new design. 2- Trim the wings to get the unit speed up a little more to increase the lift.





Old 12-22-2019, 05:13 PM
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Keeping on making further refinements to the design and parameters. This is the best flight so far. But unless something changes significantly the flight time will not be better than the prior units. Not sure what I am missing here. I am open to thoughts and suggestions. Thanks





Old 12-23-2019, 06:36 PM
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Much better handling and very easy to control. One more thing to test is to apply a higher yaw compensation at lower attack angles and/or raise the CG just a little bit to see how it handles. There is a tiny bit of occasional wobble while flying horizontal. But overall great flight and looks like an eagle





Old 12-24-2019, 09:59 AM
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There are still lots of tests to be done. If I don't get a decent flight time in my eyes this is failed. In the last flight, the wings were extended further than the previous one, which gave me a significantly better estimated flight time. To get a better flight time, I will extend the wings further to the limit which will impact the flight characteristics. I have been thinking about it, how the current control surfaces can handle that, and I think I may have to revise the frame geometry. We will see with the coming tests.

Thanks and happy holidays!
Old 12-29-2019, 09:32 AM
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Revised the frame geometry and re-tuned for better horizontal stability and got a very good result. Most of this flight was to test the vertical capabilities that I have not really tested before. Not bad. The unit is controllable. Now I need a longer horizontal flight to test the flight time. The major issue is that the unit is under powered. If I improve the fan the weight will go up as well. So, I don’t want to go that route but improve the design to reduce weight.




Old 12-29-2019, 05:20 PM
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AT LAST +10 minute EDF VTOL unit!!! Decided to take it out for a longer flight to test the flight time and good thing I did. It used 1693mah for 5:20 minutes, which puts the estimated flight time approximately to 9.5 minutes. When you account for the marginal efficiency improvement over the take off and landing taking less portion of the overall flight, a longer flight will definitely exceed 10 minutes. This proves the design successful... Now need to build a better and lighter unit of the same concept





Old 12-30-2019, 04:33 PM
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Testing the vertical capabilities of the unit. One thing that I know it cannot do is fly backwards but everything other than that looks good. Tight maneuvers and sideways look successful. I am in the process of building a new improved autonomous unit with arduino support. That may have the capability to fly backwards, too. The significance of this capability is to be able to handle the back wing while hovering. In the current state I always need to face the wind or take it from the side.







Old 01-05-2020, 07:09 PM
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This is the new unit that I built to reduce the weight and get a better hover performance. I used balsa, foam board and reduced the carbon fiber usage significantly but still used it for some reinforcements. The unit came out 70g lighter than the previous one. Not bad!



In this flight, the horizontal didn't go very well. The unit kind of dived and didn't fly in a balanced manner. So, I decided to use the remaining battery for a hover test. The unit can sustain a full vertical flight but still feels under powered. The transitions are spectacularly smooth, and the wings create great lift. I need to make some changes and re-tune to get the horizontal flight going.I am hoping to get well over 10 minutes flight time with this new unit.





Old 01-06-2020, 03:32 PM
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I re-built some parts of the unit due to some build errors. Re-tuned the unit and took it out. A much better flight. There is a little wing flutter when hovering and a little bit of wobble in turns. I'll look into these issues. Other than these the unit performed pretty good. I took off from the ground and transitioned back and forth twice and I wasn't very mindful of the energy savings. Still I only used 1760 mah for this 6 min flight. Which puts the estimated flight time to over 10 min for this particular flight. It's time for a 10min flight test and see how much juice gets left in the battery





Old 01-07-2020, 02:52 PM
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This is the 10 min flight. Still have some minor issues, with flutter and balance. But overall it was a good flight. Used 90% of the battery, which puts the estimated maximum flight time to 11 minutes. Will make a couple of minor changes and try to strengthen the frame a little bit to avoid resonance.





Old 01-08-2020, 06:28 PM
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Last two test flights for fine tuning. I re-designed the rear stabilizers in the first and additionally re-tuned the wings in the second flight. Both improvements made a huge difference in the quality of the flight. I think I am pretty close to installing the camera.One last thing that I want to test on this is the negative attack angles. The previous units are not capable of handling that. But this unit has a special wing geometry which may be capable. Hope I don't crash it





Old 01-10-2020, 03:23 PM
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Took this video to see how the active wings work during a flight. Windy day and the gyro compensation is pretty cool.








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