90 Degree reverse thrust landing

I would like to try this out on a small EPP Flying wing. I have been very impressed with reverse thrust landings and was wondering if it is possible to setup ardupliot to do a complete 90 degree dive at the ground with reverse thrust to gently crash itself into the ground for a landing?

Can ardupilot handle flight looking straight down at the ground? A fairly light build with a decent size motor/prop on an EPP flying wing should be able to land straight down with out obtaining much damage if the motor is powerful enough in reverse thrust. This could be a great solution to area’s that don’t have runways.

What major issues would this have with current firmware?

Thank you,


One issue will be a high torque at low airspeed. You’ll need to fly fast enough to maintain roll control.
I don’t see why it won’t be able to fly a vertical , or at least nearly vertical descent. How steep have you gotten? I never tried anything steeper than 1:1 (45 deg). You could try this safely at a high altitude to see how it handles. Just set up an approach with the LAND point not at zero alt. Just be ready with the ABORT feature as soon at it reaches the end, or just switch to MANUAL to recover. You’ll need to set up the LAND parameters to allow for either a crash landing, or perhaps a rapid attitude adjustment in the last few meters to pancake it in (“flare”). It would help if your model is aerobatic and has oversized control surfaces. If you have SITL working that might be a first place to try.
Very interesting challenge. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

I have a Crash Test Hobby small EPP Wing that I am going to try it on when I get back to Florida. The thing is nearly indestructible so it should work out well.

The main concern I have is when ardupilot goes 90 degree’s down in a stall, it freaks out (ailerons start going full opposite directions back and forth repeatedly). If I am intentionally dropping it down 90 degree’s will it still have the same crazy behavior?

I’m sure 80 degrees will be enough! That should keep you out of the zone of ambiguity.