Home Practice & Makers YouTuber 3D prints autonomous FPV shuttle glider

YouTuber 3D prints autonomous FPV shuttle glider

The YouTube channel rctestflight has demonstrated in a new video how 3D printing can be used for model flying. An impressive flying model was developed and tested using additive manufacturing.

According to rctestflight, custom software was developed for automated landing maneuvers. This calculates and controls the angle of attack of the aircraft based on the measured flight altitude. This means that a controlled landing can be carried out after the drop without a pilot having to intervene.

A space glider in the style of a space shuttle was specially designed for the tests. The parts were milled from foam and then reinforced with a polyurethane potting compound. According to the YouTube channel, the geometry of a space shuttle enables almost perfect weight distribution, so that no additional trim weight was required.

In several test flights with drops from a drone, some impressive automated landings were achieved despite initial difficulties. However, it became apparent that the software had limits and exact repeatability during landing could not be guaranteed.

Another flight model was then produced entirely using 3D printing. Normal PLA filament was used here in order to achieve the highest possible flight weight. Contrary to expectations, however, this model turned out to be very difficult to fly and land. Only after switching to a lighter material was it possible to achieve a controlled gliding flight.

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