Is it possible to use ardupilot to control quadcopter with 4 gasoline engine?

hi, i wonder if ardupilot is able to control 4 gasoline engines for quadcopter
i want to make a quadcopter with heavy lift and gasoline engines are my best choice

Combustion engines do not throttle fast enough to direct drive propellers. I would suggest if you want to lift heavy loads and use combustion engine(s), go to a helicopter instead. Helicopters can lift heavy loads with ease, are much more stable, can use electric, piston or turbine power, and are considerably more efficient than multirotors.

Maybe it would be possible with Propellers which have variable pitch like the tailrotor of a heli.
Fixed rpm at the engine and changing pitch at the rotor. Still not clear how to yaw. :thinking:

There has been some quadcopters with combustion engine built that way. Differential collective pitch is used for yaw control. And ArduCopter does have support in the dev build for “HeliQuad’s”.

Howeiver, the complexity, inefficiency and extra weight of such a system is easily outperformed by a single rotor helicopter. In the world of full-size, the largest and most powerful heavy-lift helicopters on earth are single rotor traditional design. Not multi-rotors. And that applies to RC as well.

If you are building this project as a proof-of-concept that it can be done, that is one thing. Multi-rotors are popular in RC because of their simplicity and few moving parts, clean electric power, and the advent of electronics to stabilize them. But if you are building a combustion engine VTOL aircraft for a practical application you will not beat a helicopter with a multi-rotor.

Im trying to make manned quadcopter that carry 1 person and i want a ready flightcontroller for gasoline engines

As I stated, the ArduPilot system can handle gas engines with no problem. And it can fly collective pitch “QuadHeli” aircraft. With direct drive combustion engines the problem is not the autopilot - it is with limitations in combustion engine power and how fast they can change throttle to stabilize it. Combustion engines simply do not have the throttle response time of electric motors, and the bigger the propellers, the slower they respond.

So basically ArduPilot fully supports what you want to do. The nature of combustion engines makes it impossible. Unless you use a collective pitch system. And ArduPilot supports that too in the 3.6-dev build with what has been dubbed the “QuadHeli” frame type.

1 Like

if i want to use electric motor what motor i should use ?

18 of these might get you off the ground if you are a small man and your frame design is light in weight.

It has been done. The young woman in this video, Mariah Cain, has been flying a big multi-copter for awhile. But she is a quite petite woman, about 100-110lbs, is an expert on jet boots, water skiing, etc and spent several weeks in training learning how to fly this thing. It is human stabilized and maneuvered by a professional with exceptional balance and skill, in combination with electronic gyros to provide self-leveling of the platform. It only has a flight time of about 3 minutes. So it can be done, but I would say it’s not easy.

She is the first that I am aware of that has been able to get a manned electric multirotor aircraft out of ground effect. It is powered by the big T-motors in the link that Dave posted.

That’s very impressive. There is a reason all of these attempts are either over water or at a very low altitude (just off the ground). A failure could be catastrophic. Cool to see the tech advance though!

Some of her training videos are on that same channel. You can see in the training vids the technique she uses to fly it. Several people attempted it, she was the only one that mastered it. It is very squirrely and unstable in ground effect. She perfected a landing method that involves basically cutting the power and landing with her knees bent to absorb the shock. The girls were more adapted to it with better balance than the guys. One of the girls that tried it just about tipped it over. She makes it look easy. It is anything but.

What’s amazing is how difficult this is. I have been in the Williams Intnl facility (customer of the company I work for) where they have the Jetpack hardware from 1969.

Well, if you are referring to the Bell JetPack I think it was mostly experimental and never practical. IIRC it only flew for like 20 seconds or so and was not an actual flying contraption, but more of a rocket-powered leap.

The problem for multi-rotors, I think Tom already figured out, and is why he wanted to use engines instead of electric. It is the batteries. Their energy density is too low, and they are too expensive, to make manned electric flight really practical.

1 Like

Right. Williams took that turbo fan and built a crazy pod like thing. It’s in their lobby in the MI facility.

So the answer is Hybrid power.A generator feeding electric motors with a battery back up.

There’s a good bit in the blog about the latest thang.Scaled up it should work,and any longer than a short walk range manned multicopter will need something like that.

I’d go for a V8.

There is another Hybrid with a gas motor driving a large central prop for the majority of the lift and 4 smaller brush less motors for control. The BL motors have just enough lift to support the weight of the craft in case of main motor failure. Of course I don’t think this would work for manned flight, the BL motors and batteries required to lift a manned vehicle would be too heavy.

I think people get carried away with the love affair with multi-rotors. They are great for hobbiests, simple to build. Marketing has made them very popular. But they have limitations and are unsafe for manned flight.

There has been a divorce between practicality and marketing hype here.

You can buy a Russian-built Micron ultralight in kit form for about the same money than it costs for the batteries, ESC’s and drives for a manned multi that probably won’t get out of ground effect and is extremely unsafe. The Micron is powered by a Rotax 503. Cruises at 75 mph. No electronic stabilization required. Can land safely if the engine fails. No license required to fly it (although you may want to get some flight instruction). I’ve flown the Mosquito ultralight, but this is a better design: I got a chance to look over one of the prototypes two years ago when my wife and I were in Russia.

Compare this to girl flying the drone, as far as safety, flight time, practicality, performance and cost. This design has been proven over better than 70 years and millions of flight hours. It has all the safety factors required for manned flight designed-in - the main one being able to land the aircraft safely in the event of power failure.

1 Like

Im trying to make manned quadcopter that carry 1 person and i want a ready flightcontroller for gasoline engines

Please note that we don’t want people to have their lives depend on the
ArduPilot software. We know there are bugs, we don’t want people to die
because of them!

Please do not put ArduPilot in charge of human lives.

I think I may actually NEED one of those.It’s certainly way past merely want. :grinning:

Oh, I agree. They are very cool. I chatted with the designer of it. The Russian engineers at the Kamov design bureau of Russian Helicopters have been building coaxial helicopters for many years. One of them, the Ka-26, has the best safety record in the history of aviation. It is used primarily in agricultural applications all over the world and is powered by twin radial engines. The designer of the Micron used the concepts of the Ka-series of coaxials to design it. It is inherently very stable and easy to fly. I was quite impressed with the design. Much more robust than the Mosquito ultralights.

The downside is that if you want to get one be prepared to wait at least two years. They debuted at Heli Russia 2016, went into production in 2017 and were almost immediately flooded with orders. :grinning:

It would be really fun to build a RC version of it to experiment with. There is code for coaxial twin-rotor helicopters, I think it was done with AC 3.3. And I’m pretty sure the tandem heli code in 3.6 could probably fly one.