VTOL Plane Project - Follow our journey!


We’re currently working on converting the X8 frame to a VTOL prototype. I thought we’d share our journey and learning to hopefully help someone who wants to do something similar in the future!

We’re a student team in Sweden with, initially, very limited ardupilot knowledge. Over the past months (Oktober 2019 to February 2020) we’ve been slowly learning and have now achieved flight with two airframes, one bi- and one tri-copter, both based on the X8 airframe.

X8 Bi-copter

This was our initial idea and after our first test flight (January 23 2019) we realized it was very sensitive to crosswind. Thus a choice was made to create a version with tri-copter configuration.

X83C Tri-copter

After a pretty bad testflight (February 7, 2020), where the upon thrusting up - the plane flipped and broke two props, we returned to the drawing board. After reading on the forums we realized our setup was almost identical to the Nimbus 1800. Both planes controlled their yaw in the same way and we were therefore able to look at the parameters from a user in the Nimbus thread. We played with the parameters and achieved a stable flight (February 13, 2020). We’re still fine tuning everything and will upload the parameter list when we feel it is stable enough.

I’ll update this thread as the project goes on.


Good luck with the project!
Feel free to post some logs if you’d like someone to have a look at them


Hey Tridge!

We’re doing a test flight tonight, I’ll upload the logs afterwards :slight_smile:

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Here’s a video of us forgetting to check orientation of the props/motors before flight.

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Hey! We were out testing tonight. Same parameters as last time but a big difference in behavior.

Here are the tlogs but for some reason no .bins have been saved :confused:
Drive of todays flight
I will reply to this post with the video as soon as I have it.


Could you provide some insight into the power system: motors, propellers, escs, batteries, total weight,…




We’re currently flying it in our workshop. We experience a really high and rapid response when we try to roll in QStab. Does anyone know which parameters are the PID’s for the roll/pitch/yaw in Qstab?

Does anyone know if these PID’s used in Q_modes?

They are the forward flight params, you have to find the Q ones in the full list Q_A_ …

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Ah! Thank you Peter!

Is Q_A_ANG_… the angular acceleration?

The best thing to do is follow the copter tunning guide, the end part of the params are all the same as copter, just they start with Q_ …


Thank you, we’ll go through it properly :slight_smile:

Video of the flight from sunday 2020-02-16.

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Last night we managed to tune the roll,pitch and yaw to a point where it was quite pleasant to fly. The throttle response is a little quick and I’d like it to be a little smoother.

Here’s a video of last nights flight(2020-02-17). It behaves way better than the night before. We put 13" props on instead of 11 which let us actually get of the ground and hover outside of the ground effect.

Thank you to Peter Hall for the tips


Another day, another flight. We recorded a slight oscillation in the yawing but other than that it’s pretty sweet now.

Time to dunk it in the water!

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Is there a parameter to limit roll angle? For example Roll_angle_max: ±30 degrees.
For now I’ve put in Q_A_RATE_R_MAX = 360 to limit the angular velocity of the plane in hover mode but I’d like to stop the pilot if he/she tries to go past a certain point.

Q_ANGLE_MAX is for maximum angle in both roll and pitch

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Again, thank you so much Peter :slight_smile:

Yesterdays hover test. Currently we have about 4-5 minutes of flight time in Q_modes. We’re planning on testing the auto tune function this monday or tuesday to see if we’ll get even better behavior.

We’ll keep the thread updated!

The right servo is broken in this video, which was noticed after the flight. It caused an oscillation along the wingspan. We’re repairing the plane now as in this video it was held together by duct tape and hopes.