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Old 06-06-2015, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default Transforming vtol edf jet drone (varitech) – robotech project

This new VTOL design introduces a new concept where the flight controller angle is changed to transform to horizontal flight, via a dynamic mixing algorithm that I call dynamix. This enables the mag and horizon (angle) functions of the flight controller to be fully functional during whole flight, which will make it very easy to fly and perform autonomous missions.

The old flight controller mixing algorithm was replaced with a dynamic mixing algorithm that continuously change the mixing ratios as the flight angle changes.

I use my Split Thrust Vectoring System to navigate the unit vertically and horizontally.

New variable angle wings to improve vertical flight performance while making horizontal flight possible.

Sturdier nozzle wings, to provide better controls in horizontal flight.

If I was younger, I would call this project the "Transformer Project". But I am more a Robotech generation rather than transformers. So, this is my Robotech project and the unit is my new Varitech.

Check out the video to more pics and see how it moves.

MonoPhan Vario – Virtuoso of Thrust ™

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1avXRU63_Y


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Old 06-06-2015, 07:55 PM   #2
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Whoa! Neeed.......flight....vid.

I don't have a short temper. I just have a quick reaction to B.S.
Rob
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:28 AM   #3
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Whoa! Neeed.......flight....vid
))

Waiting for some favorable weather to test it further. Too much wind recently. I will post videos as I progress...

Already tested the vertical flight with the new servo mix code, before I installed the folding wings. Worked well in vertical flight and up to 10-15 degrees. However, I didn't push it before installing the wings.

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:10 AM   #4
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Pretty interested in your project....I'll be following your progress Any info on your source of parts etc?
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:03 AM   #5
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Pretty interested in your project....I'll be following your progress Any info on your source of parts etc?
Thanks pattern14! I will keep you guys posted. I am using a micro multiwii board with MX series Turnigy digital servos. Nothing fancy...
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:47 PM   #6
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subscribed I like it

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fishbonez View Post
subscribed I like it
Thank you Fishbonez. Hoping to post some flight videos soon
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:43 AM   #8
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Here’s an update on the project. As some of you know this concept is built on my existing MonoPhan platform, which is a reliable and competent flyer. However, I made many changes to the existing platform to upgrade it to the new varitech.

1- As I mentioned earlier, the software was updated to handle all mixing needs in a dynamic manner, changing the mixing rations with the flight controller angle.

2- I switched from 7.4V to 5V power for the flight controller and the servos (I switched from external battery power to BEC power), to protect the servos from overheating.

3- The nozzle wings were strengthened.

4- The aerodynamic structure was changed by adding the folding wings.

I knew that these were going to have an effect but I could have never guessed it would be this hard to get it to be a reliable flying machine again.

First of all changing the feed voltage required me to change the PID settings. I was guessing that I would have to increase the P, considering the reduced reaction time of the servos caused by the reduced voltage. But it didn’t work that way. My tests showed that I needed to reduce the P setting!

The added lateral surface from the folding wings made the yaw stabilization somewhat tougher. But this wasn’t my biggest problem.

My biggest problem was that, I experienced a high level of instability during rudder (yaw) input in vertical flight. After applying the input and releasing the stick, the unit was moving left, like I applied the roll. I nearly crashed it a couple of times and tested some mechanical changes but didn’t get a satisfactory result. Since it wasn’t reliable in vertical flight I didn’t attempt to extend the wings.

After a painful week of testing, I found the reason that caused this weird phenomenon. Even though the end points of the servo travel was defined in the code, the board wasn’t providing a symmetrical end point to the cooperating servos, which needed to mirror or counter mirror each other. The slight variance in the servo end points was causing the unit to go out of control at situations where the servos were pushed to the end points. This required me to use an external mixer for the yaw mixing and update the code accordingly, which solved this problem.

I also made other changes, such as narrowing and extending the fan nozzle, to create a smoother transition for airflow, from the fan to the vectoring nozzle, and adding larger vanes inside the nozzle halves for a better control. This made a huge difference and completely stopped the fluttering of the nozzles.

Another change that I made was to my transmitter. I transferred the ch5 control to an external potentiometer, which I attached to the top of my stick. This way, I am able to control pitch/roll while I am changing the attack angle. I attached a picture, if you are interested in building one for yourself.

After all these, my 80A ESC failed. So, I am using my 100A ESC for the tests, until I get a new one. Extra weight and worse balance.

Anyway, I added the link for a short vertical flight test video of my fixed varitech. Now it’s time to test the transition and see how my dynamic mixing worksJ

Thanks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei7s...ature=youtu.be


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Old 06-29-2015, 05:35 AM   #9
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Ok. I remembered very well why I switched to 7.5V from BEC power at the first place, after the flight controller decided to "reboot in the middle of the test flight". I pretty much totaled the varitech right after I took below flight video. I couldn’t believe that the 3mm carbon landing gear bars snapped like a piece of cheap plastic during the crash. The body and the servos were damaged. The folding wings survived for future use.

The unit was rebuilt as seen in the pic with new landing gear and re-positioned original smaller wings for further testing, before going back to a folding wing setup. However, I am waiting on a new variable voltage ubec to proceed with the testing. Simply because 7.5V is too high, the flight controller is not operating properly and the servos are over vibrating/heating in the new setup and 5V has the risk of rebooting in the middle of the flight

These wings are proven to work on this machine and I believe will let me test the dynamic mixing at higher attach angles. However, I feel like I will need to go back to the cross wing design which MonoPhan was born with. We'll see.

Hoping to post new videos as I find the right feed voltage for the new setup...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5ldOsnnsnc


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Old 07-03-2015, 11:25 PM   #10
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This is the test that I did today after installing the new ubec and the old wings.It was a high speed nice flight. I took it to some 20-30 degree angles and found out that the so far the dynamic mixing is good but the aerodynamics are still not right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooYb...ature=youtu.be

Here is the reason:

When I switch to the fast forward flight via the stick, like I used to do since I started this project the vectoring nozzle is pretty much still perpendicular the horizon and creating a significant lift plus preventing the unit speeding up too much.

When I achieve the same result by changing the angle of the FC and fooling it to adjust the unit angle, the moment it corrects the angle, the nozzle is going back to the original position, which is reducing the lift and increasing the speed significantly.

This is the difference in flight characteristics and why it speeds up so much with the FC angle variations. It took me a while but I got it. I need more lift on this concept that I needed on the previous version.

Conclusion:

Back to the drawing board for a new wing design.

Thanks
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:02 AM   #11
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Here’s the third wing design that will be tested for horizontal flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juSI...ature=youtu.be

I decided to be on the safe side this time and instead of building a nice looking one with covering material and such, I cut it from a cardboard box The purpose of the first test is to see how the unit reacts to this wing in vertical flight. I never used wings with this much lateral surface on my units. They are a larger version of my classic cross-wing design.

I tested it in a somewhat strong headwind that I would never fly any of my units in, except testing, just to make sure it can handle the new wings in vertical flight.

It handled better than I expected. We had a couple of yaw inconsistencies but it corrected itself without me intervening. Next test will involve changing the FC angle and getting it into transitioning.

I’d like to thank “one or maybe a couple of my followers” who do so just to give ma a thumbs down on Youtube. Looks like you just can’t stop watching my test videos, even though you are determined to dislike them…

But my real thanks are for my followers who are supportive of development and don’t watch my videos with prejudice. I would appreciate if you guys can like my test videos in case you don’t dislike them for some reason.

Thank you very much for the support…
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:52 AM   #12
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Yep! I just can’t stop building stuff! I decided to no longer torture my bellowed 70mm edf drone with this project and build a new one. One, which is lighter (700g versus 1000g), more agile (my new 120 degree box type split thrust vectoring system), more maneuverable (almost 90 degree longitudinal wings). The funny part is this unit is built with what I had in my scrapyard, re-built analog servos, medium-rare cooked motor, old esc and FCJ

My major problem with the previous unit was that the yaw lost its responsiveness when I started to change the FC angle and put it to forward flight. The new unit is a monster version of my 55mm 120 degree FPV Triport drone and is a proven yaw champion.

I will add folding wings to this design, which are already designed in the drawing board (in my head), right after I get a feel of the lateral resistance situation in the current state.

You can find the maiden test flight attached. The one that I am talking to my neighbor is a short one, because I somehow used some depleted batteries. The second one is longer and against a pretty strong head wind. This flight is just to test if it will fly and the PID setting. So, as I mention in the video, don’t expect too much!

I know it doesn’t look much like a Varitech right now but I am pretty sure it will teach me a lot, just like every new variety that I build, and will look much cooler with the folding wings when I add them…

Thank you for following…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2ly...ature=youtu.be
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:57 AM   #13
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Upgrades:


1- During the first tests I realized that the 120 degree split vectoring mechanism is not a “nick” champion as much as it is a “yaw” champion. To get over this, the fan body was extended and the distance between the fan and the nozzle was increased by about 1”.

2- Even though extending the fan-nozzle distance helped, it didn’t solve the problem. So I started adding wings to the lower half of the body, to balance out the lateral resistance and create lift in forward flight, in a way that I can tilt the machine to higher attack angles. I ended up with a box type cool wing design.

When I use the stick to tilt the machine for forward flight I got almost to 45 degrees without a major problem. The problem occurred when I tried to get the same result with changing the FC angle. The unit wasn’t very responsive to FC angle change. From the reaction of the unit I could detect that I passed at least 2 dynamic mixing phases and I could see the FC at almost 45 degree angle, without any balancing problems. But because the unit didn’t adjust to level the flight controller, after that point, it lost its balance (because there wasn’t too much room left for gyro compensation, while the FC was using all of servo travel to level the unit). I was able to save the unit, no damage done.

I have 2 options. Either tweak the design of the thrust vectoring nozzles to get a more responsive nick action, or add an adjustable aerodynamic surface to cooperate with the FC angle. I will try the second option first, because there are many good qualities of the current thrust vectoring design that I love, such as light weight, solid yaw hold and simplicity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTIH...ature=youtu.be

Thanks for watching.


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Old 07-17-2015, 05:35 PM   #14
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I crashed it yesterday. Surprise? Nah! I always do it I took off all of the added wings and put it on the table, trying to figure why it just don’t tilt and beat the airflow the way that my other unites do. While I was looking at it with empty eyes, IT CAME TO ME!

It is something that I actually know very well, but for another reason. From the beginning of the Mono-Phan project I learned to keep the center of gravity high, because it helped with wobbling and balancing. And I kept that rule until this unit. But while testing this unit, I realized that lower center of gravity didn’t effect this new thrust vectoring design in a negative way, in terms of balancing, and I kind of liked the idea because it provided a more uniform weight distribution.

However, apparently this was the very reason that the unit refused to tilt despite all those added wings in the lower half. “It was not able to lift its back!” Below test flight is after I fixed the unit and raised the batteries to the top. The difference in flight is like night and day.

I know the video sucks and it goes out of the frame quite often and I apologize for it. But you can clearly see it lilt to about 45 degrees in many parts. I also find it kind of cool that I can simply fly it towards myself and catch it in the air at the end of the flight. You cannot do that with any other machine of this size (that I know of)… And the best part is, there are 2 parts in the video that the tilt was created by the FC by changing its angle the yaw was pretty responsive all throughout the flight and it didn’t speed up crazy like my other monster 70mm unit does (1kg, with 4800kv Cyclone Power motor, should give you an idea why it does that).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9PE...ature=youtu.be

It still needs some upgrades but it looks like I finally got into the right route… I mean I hope

Thanks for watching.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:18 AM   #15
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THE PROOF OF CONCEPT:

MonoPhan goes horizontal for the first time!!!

After totaling the redesigned unit twice and saving tens of possible crashes, I addressed the final problem that the Vario unit had last night. Even though I checked it multiple times, I have coded the algorithm to compensate the roll reverse at horizontal flight, which was causing the unit start to wobble, flip and lose control as I was half way to the transition.

I have been thinking the problem to be aerodynamic and working on the wings all along. To be honest, even though it is a very stupid mistake and made me lost a lot of time, I think it helped me to find the best wing design, by letting me test the unit with the wrong algorithm and find the most stable wing design under those circumstances.

After I corrected the error and re-flashed the controller last night, today I took it to 20 degrees attack angle at the first flight without any major problems)) It got so high and far, I almost lost the sight of it. The algorithm and changing the FC controller angle worked perfect and the only reason that I didn’t go to 10 degrees is that I didn’t need to risk it before fine adjusting the attack angle of the wings.

I am very happy to share this with you guys who have been following me on this for a while now. Today marks the day that MonoPhan gains horizontal flight capabilities, while keeping on being a very competent vertical flyer when needed.

Thank you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BR6...ature=youtu.be


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Old 08-07-2015, 12:58 AM   #16
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Vaalleon,

Amazing project with a whole lot of original technical thought behind it. Hope you have applied for patent as I can see you becoming a millionaire faster than you can say DJI. LOL

Just needs a little cosmetic refinement for the mass market and bingo, just in time for Christmas!

Nice work and best of luck !

Hawk
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:31 AM   #17
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Thank you very much Hawk! I hope time proves you right. If I hit the million, I'll send u a free unit

Now, proof of this concept opened the door to many affordable transforming flying drones, both single and dual fan, and I will start working some other sick machines.

Please keep on following monophan and share the videos that u like.

Regards...
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:25 AM   #18
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Well done. I enjoyed keeping up with the progress on this project. Let me know when you need investors. I would be interested in sharing in the mllions to be made

Happy flying may your crashes be limited and if they are not limited let them be cool.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:48 AM   #19
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Hey Fisbonez! Thank you very much for following me on this project. I will for sure reserve some shares for you Good to hear from you!
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:14 AM   #20
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Ok, this is more like where I want to go. The new folding wing design. The previous wings failed to handle flight angle less than about 20 degrees.

These wings turned out to be a beauty. Very smooth transition and better attack angle. Kept it around 20 degrees in this first flight. The servos need a little trimming before I go any further. Still, a very balanced flight…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxuT...ature=youtu.be
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:01 AM   #21
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Going back to the original design and applying what I learned along the way.

The initial plan was to use the unit as it was with the old split vectoring system but that proved to be less stable and way less efficient. So, I applied the latest 120 degree split thrust vectoring mechanism to the old unit, which also enables me to use smaller servos. The hover flight time jumped up to 5 min. It will fly longer in horizontal flight but I don’t know how much longer, will depend on the wing design.

This time I am testing a new sweeping double wing design with a high attack angle. During my tests with the successful folding wing “Phan Rulez” unit, I developed some ideas that I want to test. The design proved to be good for vertical flight during the first test. It looks like it will also support the fast forward. However, the question is if it will successfully transition. These first wings are made of cardboard so that I can cut and shape them as needed. I can also change the sweep and attack angles easily with this design.

Below if the first test flight. A little headwind. There is a 15-20% transition at 1:25 minute mark, just to see how it reacts. It went well. I’ll keep on posting some videos as I progress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XYopDmGAKk


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Old 10-21-2015, 04:43 AM   #22
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This unit turned out to be amazingly balanced. I took it almost half way through the transition and it didn't cause any problems so far. No wobbles, sharp turns, loss of balance, etc... It is almost scary. I will soon try to take it to 75% and see what happens. Now the question is if these wings will create enough lift. If not, I'll know it right away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmEcwbogXBw
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:01 AM   #23
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The video below, shows a flight at almost full horizontal. It got there without any problems and didn't speed up too much on the way. I believe the reason for that is the high attack angle of the double wings. When I got to full horizontal though I experienced altitude loss. Not too fast, it was still flying but slowly started to come down. So I gave a little more throttle (2:38 minute mark) and it pretty much stabilized. However, I need to make a slight change in the wing design to increase the lift a little bit. I don't want to have to spend more energy to fly horizontal... Let's see what will come out of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC3H...ature=youtu.be
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:02 AM   #24
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After losing some altitude in the last flight, I increased the surface area of the wings by replacing the upper wings with larger ones.

Below video shows how the wings operate and the test flight.

The unit transitions to full horizontal at 3:00 minute mark, until 3:40. I didn’t experience any altitude loss this time. At 3:40 minute mark, I transition back to vertical flight and bring the unit back. It is hard to see, since the unit gets pretty high. I will switch over to a higher resolution camera starting from next test.

I am pretty happy with these compact, high attack angle bi-surfaces’ lift performance. Even though this is a pretty heavy unit with a heavy cyclone power motor, they do a good job to keep it in the air. Will keep on testing and will start trying some different designs and maneuvers. Thanks for watching…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWul6FoUcYk
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:42 AM   #25
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Default Variable-Sweep Wing Transforming vtol edf jet drone (varitech) – robotech project

Having transitioned successfully, this bad boy deserved new wings to replace the old cardboard ones. It looks way better…


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