Building a tilt rotor UAV

We see a lot of quadcopters, and even the occasional octocopter around here. But this build does it with just two propellers. It’s a tiltrotor build which allows the two upward-pointing propellers to tilt forward and backward. The real world equivalent of this UAV design that pops to mind is the V-22 Osprey.

The motors are mounted on a beam running perpendicular to the direction of travel. Each of them is mounted on a bearing which can be rotated by a servo motor. They rotate independently of each other, which allows for yaw. Of course roll is controlled by driving the propellers at different speeds and pitch is adjusted by tilting both mounts at the same time.

[Stephen] mentions that the tiltrotor design has several advantages over its relatives that use more than two props. This design costs less to build, uses less electricity, and makes for an easier autopilot implementation. If you want to see it in the air, don’t miss the clip after the break.

This is just the second tiltrotor build we remember seeing. The other one was a Halloween prop.


  1. Mike says:

    Want to see another tiltorotr? here’s one we built last year:

  2. brad says:

    I’m dizzy now. The flight of the tiltrotor was smoother than the camera work…

    Shouldn’t that be the other way around?

  3. barry99705 says:

    Now just add a tail, wings and let the rotors go more than 45deg forward!

  4. neb4 says:

    nice machine looks good! One question is it made of cardboard?

  5. KoekieMonster says:

    nice build.
    Flitetest build this one, looks better:) :

    build thread:

  6. colecoman1982 says:

    I don’t think the Osprey works quite the same way as this. While it may work similarly in hover mode, what differentiates the Osprey is that it has wings that allow it to cruise like a normal airplane. This vastly improves it’s fuel efficiency and, thus, range when compared to helicopters.

  7. Steve says:

    there are several of these on you tube I had seen on about a year ago posted on RCGroups forum board here is a video of a winged VTOL.

  8. Tom the Brat says:

    “Final” flight? Let me guess, the camera man tripped and squashed it?

    • Ilektronx says:

      Haha, no. I just wanted a different platform to develop my autopilot on. Plus, eventually I want to build one with the capability to completely convert to forward flight. This chassis wouldn’t get me there, so I scrapped it.

  9. ross says:

    A V-22 flight test engineer started selling kits with full flight controls (each rotor has helicopter pitch-roll-collective)

    this way you can move in hover without adjusting the pylon angle.

    this build would be tilt propellor

  10. Roger Wilco says:

    you compare this to the osprey but the osprey can turn the rotors all the way to fly like a plane and i doesn’t look like this UAV can. Is pretty cool but is not like the osprey.

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