History of Tiltwing

The U.S. Air Force  researched tiltwings extensively in the 1950's and 1960's.  Here are some conclusions:

  • Hover efficiency was low due to smaller props.
  • The wing (pointed upward) was susceptible to wind gust disturbance.

How is the present project different?

  • The Passively-Adjusting-Tiltwing (PAT) typically has less than a third of the total wing area.  A lifting body fuselage and other short wings provide most lift.
  • The primary purpose of the PAT is to adjust one or two props passively.
  • The thrust on the PAT is typically less than half the vehicle total thrust, most of the thrust is at a fixed orientation relative to the fuselage and for the purpose of takeoff/landing.

Video Demonstrations

Gen 1 and Gen 3 video demonstrations are below.

LOOK FOR the tilt wing to transition from pointing up (hover) to pointing more-forward (cruise).

SIGNIFICANCE:  This performance was achieved using control parameters for basic quadcopter,

control parameters need to be optimized to achieve best performance.

Field demonstration of Gen3 HS-Drone

Tiltwing activated as velocity increases, causing further increase in velocity.  When going fast enough for wing/body lift flight levels out.

Field demonstration of Gen2 HS-Drone


OBSERVE transition from hover (front propellers pointed upward) to cruise (front propellers pointed more-forward).

Gen 3 HS Drone (above video) has a single wing, creating a more-robust structure with fewer parts.  GEN 2 (left) has a separate wing for each front propeller

Lab demonstration of Passively-Adjusting Tiltwing

Wind velocity pushes back tiltwing and provides more-forward vector for tiltwing propellers.  The white flag identifies magnitude of wind (from exterior fan) velocity.

Passively-Adjusting Tiltwing with Damper

A damper stops chaotic unstable behavior of tiltwing, especially when hovering.