Now a new type of remote control model aircraft is looking to combine the hover capabilities of a helicopter with the ability to fly like an airplane in a completely different design.
Eurocopter‘s X3 hybrid helicopter demonstrator combined the full hover flight capabilities of a helicopter with the fast cruise speeds of a turboprop-powered aircraft by basically installing two propellers on short-span fixed wings to supplement the helicopter’s five-blade main rotor system.
Now a new type of remote control model aircraft is looking to combine the hover capabilities of a helicopter with the ability to fly like an airplane in a completely different design. Instead of the quadricopter design employed by the Parrot AR Drone, the Quadshot uses a “flying wing” design with its four rotors allowing it to hover vertically like a helicopter or turn horizontal and swoop through the air like a stunt plane.
The Quadshot is being developed by Santa Cruz engineers Piotr Esden-Tempski, Chris Forrette, Jeff Gibboney, and Pranay Sinha and features a body consisting of a one meter (39 inch)-long curved wing, that has four motors/rotors located along its length. That wing is made of EPP foam, containing a carbon fiber spar for added strength. Even though the rotors aren’t arranged in the symmetrical X layout used by most quadricopters, video shot by the inventors seems to indicate that it still performs helicopter-like flight quite well.
With a reported “flip of a switch,” however, the Quadshot can be flown like a regular fixed-wing airplane. Should you want to really put it through its paces, there’s even a stunt-specific aerobatic flight mode, while a built-in camera mount lets users record crazy POV footage from onboard. When it’s time to land, the aircraft just goes back to heli mode, and settles back-end-first onto the ground.