Radio Controlled “3D Aerobatic Airplanes” as Basis for Fixed-Wing UAVs with VTOL Capability


There are fundamental performance compromises between rotary-wing and fixed-wing UAVs. The general solution to address this well-known problem is the design of a platform with some degree of reconfigurable airframes. For critical missions (civilian or military), it is imperative that mechanical complexity is kept to a minimum to help achieve mission success. This work proposes that the tried-and-true radio controlled (RC) aerobatic airplanes can be implemented as basis for fixed-wing UAVs having both speed and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities. These powerful and highly maneuverable airplanes have non-rotatable nacelles, yet capable of deep stall maneuvers. The power requirements for VTOL and level flight of an aerobatic RC airplane are evaluated and they are compared to those of a RC helicopter of similar flying weight. This work provides quantitative validation that commercially available RC aerobatic airplanes can serve as platform to build VTOL capable fixed-wing UAVs that are agile, cost effective, reliable and easy maintenance.

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Poh, C. and Poh, C. (2014) Radio Controlled “3D Aerobatic Airplanes” as Basis for Fixed-Wing UAVs with VTOL Capability. Open Journal of Applied Sciences, 4, 515-521. doi: 10.4236/ojapps.2014.412050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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