Reverse thrust on ESC


I have a big flying wing that’s reluctant to land, and like the way an Ebee flops down with reversed thrust. Can anyone tell me of an ESC that can be easily put into reverse? I know theres the pixhowk ESC coming sometime, but I would like something soonish.



The only ESC’s that can do reverse are car ESC’s however they are not ideal for use in aircraft. There are reverse pitch propeller systems too, used in so called 4D acrobatics ( … lying-375/).

An easier option is to use airbrakes or spoilerons (

That sounds very dangerous and could easily cause instability or a stall. Drag devices like large split ailerons would be the most effective and not cause instability. That’s what the B2 and A10 use. Also spoilers like airliners use. Airplanes that do have thrust reversing have that locked out unless you are on the ground (landing struts compressed).


I think it’s an idea worth trying on a test plane. The hard part will be changing the inertia of a big prop.
Get yourself a large overpowered RC car ESC and give it a try. I hope you report back with all your findings, and hopefully video.

I think this sounds interesting as well. I think to make it work well it would need a little programming, but, especially if you plane has wheels, it could be used to stop the plane after landing, or, if you have a very efficient glider that pics up a lot of speed on decent.

Or maybe even a EPP foam flying wing and you can just full reverse throttle to just nose dive the plane right onto the ground. It would reduce the impact with thrust going in reverse and if the plane is durable may be a nice solution for landing area’s that are too restricted for traditional landing.

What you are asking is not impossible, but will require some modifications. Rather than reversing the entire propeller direction, what you need is a system that is capable of changing the pitch of the blades, from positive to negative similar to a collective system in a helicopter.

In addition, the flight controller will need to be programmed, so that the pitch of the blades can be controlled safely without stalling the wing.

You can flash many ESCs with BLHeli to get bidirectional capability.

I just tried blheli reverse thrust on my ESC and it works great on the bench. I need to get a scrapper plane to test it on.

I tested blheli bidirectional and was able to reduce airspeed successfully in the approach. You have to be very careful with landing with existing code. The code needs to be reworked to be able to suppress/disarm throttle properly since min_pwm now outputs max reverse thrust.

Reverse thrust support is being added to ArduPlane. Its not just car ESCs that support reverse thrust. You need to have a look in detail. I know some Turnigy Plush ESCs can be reprogrammed to have an arbitrary amount of reverse thrust. I suspect others do as well. Here is the development effort to add this.
Thanks, Grant.