Turning an old Phantom into a VTOL drone

May 30, 2023
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Hello, I have an old Phantom 2 v1.0 that is not getting much use. It cost me next to nothing and is a little beaten up, but it flies and the batteries are good.
Thinking about whether one of these could be turned into a simple and relatively unambitious VTOL winged drone.
The idea would be simply to gain lift assistance from the wings and stay in the air longer.
Mostly I am wondering if anyone's done this before, and if so, how they went about it.
Not looking to fly fast, far away, or pull off aerobatics. The aim would be to gain lift when in level forward flight, presumably requiring less work from the props, but the props would still be running to provide forward motion and other aspects of flight.
A wing would be attached underneath, extending either side, probably with a gap in the middle where the Phantom itself sits. There would be no control surfaces on the wing.
Takeoff would be a normal vertical quadcopter takeoff.
At a desired altitude, the Phantom pitches forward and translates into forward flight as normal. This brings the wing level.
Lift is gained from the wing, and the Phantom can presumably back off its motors so that altitude is maintained.
Varying the speed of the Phantom motors individually, or in combination, controls altitude, pitch, roll, yaw. For example, if we want to climb, we crank up all four motors. Roll and turn right, crank up the left motors, and/or back off on the right. Etc etc.
Different software and programming and controller configuration would be required, I have little doubt.
No need for lectures, thanks, on why I shouldn't waste my time and money, and should just go out and buy this or that off the shelf drone.
As mentioned above, I am mostly curious to know whether anyone has tried it before, and how/where I might find out more.
EDIT: Found this video that explores the concept. No software mods seem to have been made to the drone.

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Well, I only watched half of the video, and without sound (on a weird laptop), but I do understand the concept. I have flown full scale and RC fixed wing aircraft for more than half a century. I can tell you, without some incredible aeronautic phenomena that I'm not aware of, that that wing on the videoed drone is doing nothing but placing drag on the forward movement of the drone. The incidence (angle of attack) of the wing is WAY too positive (angled up) to be any kind of lift assist.

But, I'm sure it can be done. I don't know that the extra weight would be negated by the assist however.

Good luck!
Thanks for the responses. The hinging of the wing looks unnecessary to me and bound to add instability. But the guy seems to know his aeronautics, and I know little more than how to push the sticks around on a remote controller. And this video is the closest I have seen to anything approaching what I've got in mind. Tail-sitters are kind of same same but different.

In my travels I did come across some patent filings
US11427313B2 - Universally attachable hinged wing and VLOS aid for mutirotor drones - Google Patents

Universally attachable hinged wing and VLOS aid for mutirotor drones​

US9623969B2 - Multicopter with detachable wing - Google Patents
Multicopter with detachable wing


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