JetQuad: Quad Jet-Engine VTOL Drone

We recently completed a first successful flight test of the JetQuad

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The JetQuad

We recently completed a first successful flight test of the JetQuad: Quad Jet-Engine VTOL Drone. The JetQuad combines the best from the world of VTOL drones and jet-aircraft. The drone utilizes four microturbines and thrust vectoring systems to achieve vertical take-off and landing as well as stable hover. Packs a combined 200hp from all four turbines and carries a 5-gallon diesel tank.

JetQuad: Quad Jet-Engine VTOL Drone First Flight (0 min 25 sec)

For more information about the drone itself please visit http://fusionflight.com/jetquad

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Aug 26, 2019 at 09:21 AM..
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Aug 24, 2019, 01:49 PM
Registered User
v22chap's Avatar
Woooow .. talk about an expensive quad
How do you control jet thrust to get roll, yaw and pitch control ? Just simply moving the jet thrust tubes to different angles in sequences to counter each other ? And up and down must be a handfull with the slow response of a turbine RPM change .
Aug 24, 2019, 02:20 PM
Registered User
Now we have nice Harrier project. 😃
Aug 24, 2019, 02:21 PM
Jet-Engine VTOL Drones
Fusionflight's Avatar
Thread OP
Great questions! This is a very expensive machine so it took us three years to get it to where it is, but it is very capable. You can certain think of it as a scaled down, unmanned version of the harrier.

The Jet thrust tubes are not moving in sequences, rather the flight computer calculates a complete solution at any given moment to counteract all three roll pitch and yaw and outputs simultaneous signals to the thrust tubes.

Turbine lag has always been an issue that is why our software controls all engines and thrust tubes in parallel. For quick response - adjustments to altitude can be made through the collective motion of all thrust tubes (you can see this principle in action during lift-off in the video)
Aug 24, 2019, 02:38 PM
Registered User
v22chap's Avatar
Amazing what computer-generated controls and accelerometers and Gyros can do nowadays!

Congratulations on your success looks very good!
Aug 25, 2019, 09:44 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusionflight

.............................
The JetQuad combines the best from the world of VTOL drones and jet-aircraft.
............................
Isn't that the worst, not the best. ?

Jets, (model turbines), are most efficient at high speed, not in a VTOL application. Plus I would imagine the overall weight must restrict any payload.

Props are the most efficient for VTOL applications at model size.


Unless you expect someone to stand on it

French Flyboard Inventor Hugs Crew Member After Historic Channel Crossing (1 min 16 sec)


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Aug 25, 2019, 10:09 AM
Jet-Engine VTOL Drones
Fusionflight's Avatar
Thread OP
Props greatly limit the top speed of the aircraft. Jet engines is the only type of propulsion that can get the aircraft top speed close to the speed of sound or above if using afterburners. Props are great for endurance, but JetQuad is not about endurance - it’s all about top speed and payload capacity - fast, quick turn around missions. Also the fact that this drone uses diesel as opposed to lithium batteries means it has nearly 40 times the energy density when compared to a similar electrical drone by size.

As for the payload, the AB5 weighs 50 pounds empty. With a 40 pound payload and a 40 pound fuel tank (5 gallon diesel), it’s complete take off weight is 130 pounds. The engines max thrust is 160lb on full throttle - so yes a 40lb payload is easily doable with current configuration. The resulting flight time is 30minutes for sustained hover, or 15minutes if cruising at top velocity.
Aug 25, 2019, 01:24 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
No offence intended, I just tend to say what I see, (it's an age thing )

It could depend on what the 'mission' is, but logic to me still says - quad type props for the vtol, but add a wing to improve duration, plus a fifth motor in tractor or pusher configuration for high speed forward flight.

Or if you think a model jet is a must for speeeeed, use one for forward flight, though I still think a prop for propulsion would be hard to beat even IC powered, taking into account mass and drag of the airframe.

There is already a few models with the separate motor/props for lift and a separate motor for forward propulsion. The 'Sticky' thread at the top of this forum has a range of model designs.

But then the disclaimer - I don''t do vtols, drones, uav's, or jets turbines, so what do I know, (other than years of modeling and that 'gut feeling' ).

.
Aug 26, 2019, 03:57 PM
Pro Hoarder
turbonut's Avatar
And what happens when one of the turbines quits? Can the flight control react fast enough to fly it on 3 turbines running?
Latest blog entry: In flight
Aug 26, 2019, 04:07 PM
Jet-Engine VTOL Drones
Fusionflight's Avatar
Thread OP
In the current version, If a turbine fails the vehicle will crash - no questions there. In theory, the control system could function on three engines alone but we would definitely need more sophisticated software and thrust vectoring systems. Also, Future versions could consist of 6 or 8 engines so that if one fails, the vehicle can still fly.
Last edited by Fusionflight; Aug 26, 2019 at 04:14 PM.
Aug 27, 2019, 01:09 PM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusionflight
Props greatly limit the top speed of the aircraft.
I mean how fast does it really need to go? At what point does it become more efficient to just have an airplane rather than dividing your thrust into both lift and propulsion?

To me it seems like, when you're talking about high speeds, it'd be more efficient to have a wing, or even just a lifting body, as opposed to going about it in a multirotor-fashion of dividing power into lift and thrust.

Which is probably why in every VTOL, the "go fast" stage is an airplane.
Last edited by Rampage; Aug 27, 2019 at 01:19 PM.
Aug 27, 2019, 02:33 PM
Registered User
Selfedit
Last edited by Axefly; Aug 27, 2019 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Changed my mind dont want to post
Aug 27, 2019, 08:37 PM
Jet-Engine VTOL Drones
Fusionflight's Avatar
Thread OP
The vehicle needs to go as fast as possible, in this manner even with high rate of fuel consumption it can still cover a lot of ground. Of course this is not for hobby use, for industrial applications specifically emergency medicine/organ delivery you certainly want to go as fast as possible.

The shape of the body could be designed as a lifting body just like you said greatly increasing the lift without the need for wings.

There is a big reason to get rid of wings, we set out to build a very compact aircraft that can be carried by a single person and launched from very small launching area with minimal footprint. Imagine the size of wings required to lift a 130lb aircraft. It just becomes a very cumbersome aircraft.
Aug 28, 2019, 02:30 AM
Registered User
What a huge waist of money!!
Aug 28, 2019, 05:25 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerogasrc
What a huge waist of money!!
Maybe, but an awful lot of people are putting money in to drone development, hoping they will get a return. Could be an awful lot of people end up disappointed.

Youtube has loads of video on cargo drones.

But as pointed out in some videos, government airspace restrictions on drones, even commercial ones, could create a lot of problems, (unless money is involved ).

Giant delivery drones are coming, but at what cost? (6 min 44 sec)


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