The delftAcopter from Delft University of Technology is the newest entry in small unmanned aircraft. In developing the delftAcopter, the researchers have set out to build a drone that can be used to carry medical supplies to tough-to-reach areas requiring larger payloads and more air time.
The delftAcopter drone barrows the form of a biplane with two wings stacked on top of one another. There are some VTOL drones that use tilting propellers to switch from vertical to horizontal movement, but the delftAcopter itself changes orientation as it makes the transition.
Before takeoff, the delftAcopter sits upright with the propeller rotating horizontally like a helicopter. As it reaches the desired height, the drone shifts its position by 90 degrees so that the propeller faces forward to fly like a prop plane. To land, the drone brings its propeller up top and lands precisely. The delftAcopter can travel up to 66 mph and a 10K mAh battery provides 60 minutes of flight time on one charge.
The Delft University of Technology team will be competing with their new drone at the UAV Challenge Medical Express 2016 event next week in Australia.