Vtol freewing testbed vehicle in hover and forward flight

Rachel M. Axten, Eric N. Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work presents further controller development and flight testing work towards the validation of a VTOL freewing UAS concept and dynamic model. Previous work has focused on hover controller design and performance culminating in a flight consisting of a manually piloted vertical take-off, hover, and vertical landing. A new testbed vehicle is constructed based on the lessons learned from this previous work that is suitable for manual and autonomous flight in transition. An adaptive autopilot is designed in the transition and forward flight regions in a flight-capable software environment. This autopilot is finally implemented on flight control hardware on the testbed vehicle. Manually piloted flight tests are conducted in which the vehicle takes off vertically, transitions to a nearly forward flight configuration, and returns back to vertical flight mode for landing. Next steps include validating the autonomous vertical take-off, hover, transition to forward flight, and vertical landing performance with the integrated adaptive autopilot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781624106095
StatePublished - 2021
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jan 11 2021Jan 15 2021

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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