More on the Heavy Lift Drone Design

Hello Sketchup Folks, here’s some more on the heavy lift drone design. I am presenting it as a series of descriptive lectures on my YouTube channel. I named the series “Heavy Lift Drone Power Modulation Control Panel Part xx”
I’m up to Part 11, I think I can get Part 12 done soon. They have a lot of Sketchup drawings in them, and some renders of Sketchup with KeyShot. I did one part on a design for a “hangar” that could be “hardened” against low level munitions, and that’s the image I attached here (I am discussing the heavy lift drone design in the area of it being a military item). The render seems sort of cool to me. Anyway, enjoy. Dr. Gray Here’s the url for the Part 01:


The render is very nice! Not sure about the potential for winged drones, honestly. In practice, they seem to be a hybrid of the worst features of both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft rather than the best.

Hey Saul, thanks for your compliment. I was surprised that the render looked so cool. It was fun making trusses in Sketchup. The plane choice for a human carrying drone has a safety side and an efficiency side. Drone flying with drones big enough to carry humans is in its infancy, I think safety must be the most important issue. Catastrophic loss of power in a drone, all the people do not survive. Same event in a plane/drone and it does a no-power gliding landing. The plane I chose is legendary for its landings on very rough terrain. Efficiency: As a drone, max airspeed about 30mph, needing 500lbs fuel/hr, range 35miles, 1400hp. As a drone/plane, max airspeed 145 mph, flying at 125mph needs 136lbs fuel/hr, range 400miles, 300hp. On my Part 10 YouTube at the 43 minute mark, I take the drone/plane flying in Colorado, I think plenty of pilots would want to fly that drone/plane. Here’s that url:


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The render definitely worked out.

Still, I remain unconvinced wrt to the usefulness of fixed wing-rotary wing hybrids. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Well…. a discussion of flying in Colorado. I get to fly in Beavers pretty regularly where I live, great plane, tried and true. Not sure the world needs a VTOL Beaver. One of the local services has built an electric Beaver and are making progress toward getting it certified, pretty cool.

Daniel of rctestflight channel doesn’t pretend to be the World’s foremost expert on aeronautics, but he is a clever dude and he learned a thing or three about the challenges of fitting wings to a quadcopter…

Can a Wing Increase Quadcopter Efficiency?

Definitely worth watching.

Thanks for your interest. The issue is a drone with humans on board. The electric people must always discuss efficiency because of the battery problem. If I was medical for evaluating a heavy lift drone to carry people, I would require 1) no one on medical will ever say the word effciency, 2) no one on medical will ever write the word efficiency on a medical report. The focus should be safety, not efficiency. I chose the DHC-2 because it can handle rough unplanned landings, to protect the people on board. It is a plane that already exists so it surely will work. It has a payload of 1600lbs (fuel wt + non-fuel wt). The design is tilt rotor, not tilt wing. The VTOL will get it to 500 ft altitude in 60 seconds, needing 8 lbs fuel. After that, switch to flying. The only benefit (it is a fantastic benefit) of VTOL is the drone/plane does not need a runway. The flying advice will be “Get out of VTOL as soon as you can, then forget VTOL until you need to land, otherwise fly the plane.” I chose Colorado near the Montrose Airport because it has a 10000ft runway. The drone/plane can get itself to flying speed without ever being more than 5 ft off the runway, very safe. Considering the mountains around Montrose, Colorado, the (Gunnison River Valley), by “drone flying” up the canyons, one can rise the drone/plane using just VTOL about 4000-5000ft of vertical flight, but the flying device will never be more than 5 ft off the ground. Like the runway example, any “bad” drone flying events, who cares?, at 5 ft off the ground, the DHC-2 won’t care, simply stop drone flying and land it. The DHC-2 will just say, “So, what was that all about?” Human carrying drone flying is in its infancy, I think the emphasis should be on safety, not efficiency. I discuss what I call the “Law of Electric Motors” in my Part 10 YouTube. It remains weird to me, I thought the military would be very intrigued with a plane with a 1600lb payload and 4 hour flight time at 125mph, and yet it simply does not need a runway at all, and this DHC-2 drone/plane can do this. Pat

Hey Saul, I wanted to explore how to get the topic of a human carrying drone to be created in a manner where it resolutely always remained very safe for the humans on board. See my reply to @endlessfix below, my feeling is we should create a safe and reliable human carrying drone first, then, once it is reliably safe, we can discuss whether there is a mission space for it that is worth using it there (cost vs benefit vs safety vs other technolgies, etc.), but let’s get one first that is safe, predictable, and reliable. And, also, these considerations are why I made it tilt rotor, not tilt wing. In one of the YouTubes, I go over, via Sketchup drawings, how simple it is to make a tilt rotor design. It is the Part 08 YouTube video at about 6 minutes in, here’s the url:

Back in the 90’s in a former life, I was a Brigade S4 (Logistics) for a Light Infantry Brigade. We supplied beans, bullets and water to the lead Companies and scouts in contact with the opposing force with one UH 60 rotary wing aircraft every night. The other companies used their own Hummers to supply by ground. Maybe the drone could do that for a Light Infantry Brigade. Back to the rear Brigade support area, supplies came in with C-130s and a much bigger payload than the drone.

@Royce Hello Royce, thanks for your interest. This is exactly why I created this heavy lift drone design. Aviation intrigues me. If you watch aviation topics, everybody talks about and wants a heavy lift drone, but nobody seems to be able to create one. I thought that was really weird. I do think the military needs to be the initiator because they have the funding, and I really think they have the need. Humans cannot by themselves “fly” a drone. They just cannot calculate what to do with the 4 or 6 propellers fast enough and they can’t adjust the controls fast enough. All drones are “flown” by a CPU system, which makes them autonomous. This means the true heavy lift military drones must have significant autonomy, meaning they will easily be able to “take care of themselves.” This means a small, isolated military outpost could be sent drones and they could use them without the need for rare and “busy elsewhere” pilots. I think the drones would have 4 uses, pick up/deliver: 1)supplies, 2) ammunition, 3) people (including medical evacuation to a higher level of medical care), and 4) fly to combat and deliver airborne weapons fire. I tell a story about this in my Part 07 YouTube. I think the service people in combat would love to have this capability. I decided to create a series of YouTubes to show this as a “story,” sometimes with people in the story, sometimes with just me doing scientific talking. The YouTubes have a bunch of Sketchup drawings in them. The “drone delivering weapon fire” story begins with my Part 07 YouTube, I will tell some more of the story in my Part 12, I think I’ll be able to upload this Part 12 soon. I show how to create a “hardened hangar” at a military isolated small outpost in my Part 04 YouTube,
Here’s the url for the YouTube Part 07:

Autonomous resupply to a company outpost or OP. Encrypted (no spoof/jam) GPS. This would be very useful. Deliver and return, some packages, ammo, laundry, etc.

Contact an SF unit, see if you can get into the military contracting world.

I wish you every success

@WALLMAXX Thanks, Wallmaxx, I can create Sketchup drawings and record YouTube videos, I feel getting into military contracting may be over my head. I appreciate your interest. I wonder if I could send a note to my Senator, I think any State would make income if that State could get the military to evaluate this drone in that State, so it might interest my Senator to get this into his State (and my State). Thanks again, Dr. Gray

I used to be in that line of work. I will contact people I know that work for vendors that provide technology to the military. You never know where your life may take you even if you think you’re in charge of it.

I recommend not contacting anyone in politics because they will look at some kind of angle for themselves. You just need a solid business model to produce workable products and then you can show them off at AUSA or at technology test events. It’s not exactly as easy as I have phrased it, but if your product is amazing, and you can get it in front of the right people, you never know where it might go

@WALLMAXX Thanks Mike, I think this drone could help military folks. I did a story on YouTube (my Part 07 YouTube) where a group of U.S. soldiers get themselves into serious trouble. I just finished rendering the Part 12 YouTube where this drone gets them out of trouble fairly quickly. Its a 500mb mp4, so that takes a while for YouTube to become happy about it, so probably tomorrow before it is really present on YouTube. I’ll update you. Its a fun story, I think. Dr. Gray.
I’ll include the thumbnail that I created for the Part 12 YouTube.