Hi hi !
I am salivating at the idea of adding a VTOL to our nascent framework. We are experimenting with a fleet of UAVs that work together in this simplified manner : 1 or more drones “scouts” (eventually thru thermal imaging ) for targets and talk a GS / web server who in turn assigns the targets to the ops UAVs who then deliver payload to said targets using AUTO missions (Using Dronekit at the moment and stating to learn Maverick)
Anyways because in the eventual real world application distances between the targets and the HQ might be large, fixed wing UAVs could have an edge, but we’d also need them to be able to take off and land in challenging environments, hence VTOL.
Finally down to what I’m asking: thoughts and recommendations on what to start with. I had a bit of a discussion already with @GregCovey in the Finwing VT Bird 1.5 thread and trying to hone to a first plane. The finwing being a candidate of course.
I’ve read through quite a few threads so far and I see two different avenues: tailsitter – like the E-Flite X-Vert or Finwing Transformer, or quadplane, vectored or not, like the E-Flite Convergence. Now because our focus for the time being has to be on the framework as a whole rather than any specific vehicle, I can only justify going towards VTOL at this stage if I can minimize the vehicle specific dev. For the quads, I’ve been hunting SkyVipers, Iris+, and Solos and I was hoping for the same here but I have yet to find a RTF/BNF/… ArduPilot powered VTOL. Also why I am not considering fixed wing conversion projects, even though it looks like a lot of fun!
So for the question, is there a vehicle out there that would make the ArduPilot-ization as smooth as possible? The E-Flite guys are what I found so far. Considering both the dev on the vehicle itself and the flight firmware (reading thru the tailsitter dev thread – and not finished to… seems like tailsitter support might still be experimental?)
Thanks so much !