Incremental Control and Guidance of Hybrid Aircraft Applied to a Tailsitter Unmanned Air Vehicle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid unmanned aircraft can significantly increase the potential of micro air vehicles, because they combine hovering capability with a wing for fast and efficient forward flight. However, these vehicles are very difficult to control, because their aerodynamics are hard to model and they are susceptible to wind gusts. This often leads to composite and complex controllers, with different modes for hover, transition, and forward flight. This paper proposes incremental nonlinear dynamic inversion control for the attitude and position control. The result is a single, continuous controller that is able to track the desired acceleration of the vehicle across the flight envelope. The proposed controller is implemented on the Cyclone hybrid unmanned air vehicle. Multiple outdoor experiments are performed, showing that unmodeled forces and moments are effectively compensated by the incremental control structure. Finally, this paper provides a comprehensive procedure for the implementation of the controller on other types of hybrid unmanned air vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics: devoted to the technology of dynamics and control
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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