AERO01: Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL)

The QNET vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) trainer consists of a variable- speed fan with a safety guard mounted on an arm. At the other end of the arm, an adjustable counterweight is attached. This allows the position of the weight to be changed, which in turn affects the dynamics of the system. The arm assembly pivots about a rotary encoder shaft. The VTOL pitch position can be acquired from this setup. Some examples of real-world VTOL devices are helicopters, rockets, balloons, and harrier jets. Aerospace devices are typically more difficult to model. Usually this will involve using software system identification tools to determine parameters or actual dynamics. Due to their inherent complexity, flight systems are usually broken down into different subsystems to make it more manageable. These subsystems can be dealt with individually and then integrated to provide an overall solution. This trainer offers three experiments: current control, modeling, and flight control. The experiments can be performed independently.