Controller Development and Validation for Extreme Maneuvering of Agile Fixed-Wing UAVs

Historically, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – also referred to as remotely piloted aircraft or drones – have most commonly been associated with military applications. In recent years, however, there has been a shift in interest towards civilian applications and a corresponding increase in research and development in this area. UAVs typically fall into two categories: fixedwing and rotorcraft. Fixed-wing aircraft – such as airplanes – generate lift by moving forward and creating airflow over their wings. Rotorcraft – such as helicopters – achieve their lift from rotating blades. Rotorcraft are usually used for tasks requiring superior handling and agility, however, they lack the endurance of fixed-wing aircraft. The proposed research aims to help bridge the gap between these two categories of UAVs by increasing the agility of fixed-wing aircraft, and thus broadening their suitability for missions requiring endurance and maneuverability. This will be accomplished by designing and testing onboard computer systems to automate extreme maneuvers with fixed-wing UAVs.

Faculty Supervisor:

Meyer Nahon


Joshua Levin



Engineering - mechanical



McGill University


Globalink Research Award

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