Most fixed-wing VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) take off vertically, then transition to horizontal flight. This is a new type of UAV that has unique capability. It can vary its hover position from “nose up” (tailsitter) to “nose forward” (non-tailsitter) incrementally and continuously, and even hold a position at any angle in between.

The aircraft operates by vectoring the thrust of three independent rotors (propellers). In addition, the vehicle can operate with only thrust vectoring and motor speed control to maintain vehicle attitude in hover and forward (wing born) flight. No other means of vehicle attitude control is required (i.e. ailerons, elevators, rudder); however, these additional control surfaces could be added if vehicle control is desired in gliding (non-thrust) conditions.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact The Technology Gateway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 757-864-1178 to initiate licensing discussions. Follow this link for more information.