VTOL drones were designed and built at the beginning of the 20th century for military applications due to easy take-off and landing operations. Many companies like Lockheed, Convair, NASA and Bell Labs built their own aircrafts but only a few from them came in to the market. Usually, flight automation starts from first principles modeling which helps in the controller design and dynamic analysis of the system.
In this project, a VTOL drone with a shape similar to a Convair XFY-1 is studied and the primary focus is stabilizing and controlling the flight path of the drone in
its hover and horizontal flying modes. The model of the plane is obtained using first principles modeling and controllers are designed to stabilize the yaw, pitch and roll rotational motions.
The plane is modeled for its yaw, pitch and roll rotational motions. Subsequently, the rotational dynamics of the system are linearized about the hover flying mode, hover to horizontal flying mode, horizontal flying mode, horizontal to hover flying mode for ease of implementation of linear control design techniques. The controllers are designed based on an H∞ loop shaping procedure and the results are verified on the actual nonlinear model for the stability of the closed loop system about hover flying, hover to horizontal transition flying, horizontal flying, horizontal to hover transition flying. An experiment is conducted to study the dynamics of the motor by recording the PWM input to the electronic speed controller as input and the rotational speed of the motor as output. A theoretical study is also done to study the thrust generated by the propellers for lift, slipstream velocity analysis, torques acting on the system for various thrust profiles.