Hybrid Drone Design Combines Speed, Hover Ability

While the FAA creeps toward releasing regulations for unmanned aerial systems, plenty of entrepreneurs and designers are moving ahead with new products. One new design, the X PlusOne, aims to combine the usual VTOL multi-rotor design with the ability to fly horizontally at high speeds. xCraft, a start-up company, is just wrapping up a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch the hybrid drone. The X PlusOne takes off and lands vertically, but once aloft, it can tip over 90 degrees and fly forward at speeds up to 60 mph. A camera mount is optional. The drone runs about $200 for a kit up to $1,100 for a fully accessorized ready-to-fly version.

The drone's designer, JD Claridge, is an aerospace engineer who formerly worked at Quest Aircraft. "We actually see this technology as applicable to manned flight as well and we have addressed this in the patent," Claridge told AVweb in an email. "For a manned version, we would see the need for a gimbaled passenger compartment/cockpit that allows the occupants to remain upright no matter the orientation of the craft. It may be many years down the road, but a manned and pilotless transitional VTOL aircraft utilizing this technology is definitely a possibility." The Kickstarter campaign has so far raised nearly three times the team's $50,000 goal. Google has been testing a similar design for its Project Wing delivery-drone project.

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The X PlusOne Aerial Camera Drone Takes Kickstarter By Storm

A new gadget has recently taken Kickstarter by storm. The X PlusOne Aerial Camera Drone, with an ultimate goal of $50,000 to be pledged, has already surpassed the amount with a whopping $42,000 – bringing the total amount of money raised to $92,000 from over 200 supporters.

This isn’t one of your everyday remote controlled helicopter toys. This high-tech “quadcopter” has the unique ability of obtaining fast speeds, without compromising the precision of its hovering capabilities.

Keeping filming in mind, the X PlusOne drone has incredible stability, allowing you to take quality videos of fast moving objects, as well as impeccable still shots – all from above. Reaching speeds up to 60 mph, this drone has no problems keeping up. It is considered the ultimate GoPro accessory – simply attach your GoPro camera and you’re ready for action.

The tech-savvy drone has control algorithms that were specially designed so its stability wouldn’t be affected by harsh winds. This is a huge plus for those who enjoy recording footage with a camera attached to a drone – say goodbye to shaky videos.

Another plus is that this drone is easy to fly. For anyone who knows how to fly and RC airplane or multi-rotor craft would have no trouble with the X PlusOne. The drone has two flying modes: hover and forward flight. To change from one or the other, simply flip a switch. The computer within the drone manages all other details. Flight is controlled by the variation in motor speed. This allows the drone to change its pitch, roll and yaw. In addition, there are no conventional flight control exteriors on the X PlusOne, and this keeps the design clean and efficient.

The dimensions of the X PlusOne are reported to be 32.5 × 19 × 14 inches, with a weight of approximately 2.8 lbs. Though it sounds impractical to transport, the machinery comes apart, making it perfect for traveling. With the easily portable drone, anyone at any location will be able to record awesome footage for work, vacation, or just pure fun.

For more information on details, prices and specifications about the X PlusOne Aerial Camera Drone, visit their Kickstarter.

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X PlusOne: Is This The Next Evolution In Quadcopter Technology?

As an owner of multiple quadcopters, I always get excited when I see new technology coming out. When I saw the promo video for the Xcraft X PlusOne I was instantly intrigued. This quad combines the convenience of vertical takeoff and landing with super fast forward motion traditionally only achieved with fixed wing setups.

Having the ability to travel at higher speeds to capture video footage could be very beneficial, as well as extremely fun. As I stated, there are RC options available already for for flying at faster speeds, but they don't have the ability to hover or takeoff and land vertically. The X PlusOne combines the best of both worlds. I'd love to get my hands on one!

Key Features

  • A speed demon: Need to follow a fast subject or want some super-cool flybys?  The patent pending design of the X PlusOne has you covered with ultra-fast cruise mode with speeds over 60 mph (100 km/h).

  • The hover ship: A stable quadcopter when you need it for tight takeoffs and landings or when shooting stills.

  • Easy to fly: Stabilized in both hover and cruise modes.  Auto recovery switch ensures that if you get in trouble, one flip of a switch will put the craft into auto-level hover.

  • Capable for the pro: If you're already an expert, disable stabilization for amazing aerobatics, unlike anything you've ever experienced with an RC aircraft.

  • Ultimate GoPro accessory:  With multiple options for mounting GoPro action cameras, your inner aerial cinematographer will never be in want with the X PlusOne.

  • Stable camera platform: Optimized control algorithms and an optional 2-axis brushless camera gimbal mean you get rock solid, silky smooth aerial video and stills.

  • Ready to fly - and film: Ready To Fly and Film packages get you everything you need to keep up with the action.  All Ready To Fly packages include the assembled X PlusOne, motors and electronics, 2.4 GHz transmitter, battery, and charger.  The Ready To Film packages also throw in a micro DV or GoPro Hero camera!

  • Safe: The X PlusOne is rich in safety features including Safe-Arm and Auto-Recovery.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 32.5 x 19 x 14 inches

  • Flying weight: 2.8 pounds 

  • Patent-pending hybrid quadcopter flying wing design

  • Speed range: hover - 60 mph (100 kph)

  • Flight time: 10–15 minutes

  • Breaks down for easy transportation

  • Optional 2-axis brushless gimbal for GoPro

  • Optional fixed GoPro mount

  • Optional fixed micro DV camera 

  • Optional GoPro Hero HD action camera

There are only a few more days left of their Kickstarter campaign so be sure to go and check it out while you can still get an early bird deal!

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X PlusOne flies past its funding goal at 287% funded

The X PlusOne is a revolutionary hybrid drone that combines the ability for both stabilized hover and remarkably fast forward flight.

Sandpoint, ID – A team of engineers created a drone called X PlusOne, that combines multi-rotor capabilities with high speed flight from its fixed wing to enable vertical take off and landing, and fast forward efficient flight without compromising precision hovering capabilities. X PlusOne is the first drone to break the 100km/hr. record. Thanks to the overwhelming support the project reached it’s Kickstarter funding goal in less than 2 weeks closing in with a solid 287% over funded.

Key Features

A speed demon: Need to follow a fast subject or want some super-cool flybys?  The patent pending design of the X PlusOne has you covered with ultra-fast cruise mode with speeds over 60 mph (100 kph).

The hover ship: A stable quadcopter when you need it for tight takeoffs and landings or when shooting stills.

Easy to fly: Stabilized in both hover and cruise modes.  Auto recovery switch ensures that if you get in trouble, one flip of a switch will put the craft into auto-level hover.

Expandable for the pro: If you’re already an expert, disable stabilization for amazing aerobatics, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced with an RC aircraft.

Ultimate GoPro accessory:  With multiple options for mounting GoPro action cameras, your inner aerial cinematographer will never be in want with the X PlusOne.

Stable camera platform: Optimized control algorithms and an optional 2-axis brushless camera gimbal mean you get rock solid, silky smooth aerial video and stills.

Ready to fly – and film: Ready To Fly and Film packages get you everything you need to keep up with the action.  All Ready To Fly packages include the assembled X PlusOne, motors and electronics, 2.4 GHz transmitters, battery, and charger.  The Ready To Film packages also throw in a micro DV or GoPro Hero camera!

Safe: The X PlusOne is rich in safety features including Safe-Arm and Auto-Recovery.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 32.5 x 19 x 14 inches
  • Flying weight: 2.8 lbs 
  • Patent-pending hybrid quadcopter flying wing design
  • Speed range: hover – 60 mph (100 kph)
  • Flight time: 10-15 minutes
  • Breaks down for easy transportation
  • Optional 2-axis brushless gimbal for GoPro
  • Optional fixed GoPro mount
    Optional fixed micro DV camera
  • Optional GoPro Hero HD action camera

The X PlusOne feels right at home hovering with the multi-rotors or skimming the treetops at blistering speeds! Currently available on Kickstarter early backers will be able to pre-order a DIY Kit for $199 or ready to fly X-PlusOne for $479.

xCraft, recently out of stealth, has designed an entirely new UAV airframe built to support the variable needs for drone buyers.

Combining both VTOL design aspects and fast, efficient forward flight, the xCraft X PlusOne is a totally unique drone in the market.

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X PlusOne UAV Prototype Stays Stable With Speed to Spare

A new drone kid on the Kickstarter block may resemble Google’s Project Wing, but its inventor says it’s much more than a delivery drone – and much faster.

X PlusOne is a bi-wing hybrid drone prototype that can not only achieve hover stability but also has broken the 100 kmh barrier.

“The patent-pending design incorporates several key elements that lend themselves to speed and efficiency without compromising VTOL performance,” X PlusOne inventor J.D. Claridge told DRONELIFE. He added that the design achieves both by incorporating “a bi-wing lifting body configuration, lack of traditional flight control surfaces and novel refinements to the power plant/propeller configuration.”

While Claridge admits xCraft’s design resembles Google’s much-vaunted Project Wing delivery drone, he points out that it’s really an apples-vs.-oranges analogy.

“My honest first reaction [upon seeing Project Wing]? I was bummed!  Although I was excited about what Google was doing with Project Wing, I thought they had beat us to the punch since their drone design looked similar to what we had been working on,” he said, adding that, when he investigated, he found no need to worry.

For one thing, Project Wing is specifically designed for autonomous delivery. Claridge says that while the X PlusOne could be adapted for delivery, it is a multi-use UAV. For another, the X PlusOne (which Claridge classifies as an intermediate-skill drone) includes a camera and can be used for highly acrobatic image capture.

“We really focused on making the craft stable and easy to fly so the operator can focus on framing their aerial shots rather than flying,” Claridge said, adding that “stability can be disabled to transform the X PlusOne into a mind-blowing aerobatic aircraft that will perform maneuvers that I used to only dream about.”

The X PlusOne uses a traditional 2.4 GHz 6 channel transmitter and Claridge hopes to add an autonomous option if xCraft reaches its Kickstarter goals.

“If we reach it, we’ll be able to make the X PlusOne fully capable of GPS-guided autonomous flight from takeoff to landing,” he said, adding that the “plan is to allow the use of a tablet or laptop computer to direct the [drone].” As currently designed, the X PlusOne is capable of self-stabilized and auto-level flight using onboard accelerometers and gyros.

“We will be adding a more powerful control board, GPS, baro and magnetometer sensors, as well as telemetry to allow fully autonomous flight,” Claridge said.

During initial test flights, the X PlusOne had a few problems with orientation loss. To combat that problem, the xCraft team incorporated a safety switch.

“With a flip of the transmitter switch, the X PlusOne will enter an auto-level hover from any flight attitude,” Claridge said.

“Once the craft is stabilized and hovering in place, the operator can re-orientate themselves and resume flying.  With the autonomous option, we plan to incorporate position and altitude hold into this feature.”

The X PlusOne boasts a four-pound payload capability but recommends one pound. Options include a GoPro mount, Micro DV camera or 2-axis stabilized gimbal.

Support the X PlusOne Kickstarter campaign here.

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The X PlusOne dron can hover and fly 100kmh

Google’s Project Wing has been working on a VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) drone that can deliver parcels that also switches to fixed wing for flight. This allows it to fly much faster than your traditional drone. Up until now there hasn’t been a commercially viable product of such, but you may be able to get your hands on one soon by way of the X PlusOne.

The X PlusOne can be used in hover mode to take off vertically and land. At the same time it can take aerial video from the small camera that comes built into the device or a gimbal stabilized GoPro that can be added on extra. It is very easy to turn the craft onto its side so that it enters cruise mode; the drone can then fly at speeds of up to 100km/h.

The X PlusOne is kept stable by control algorithms in cruise and hover mode and when things get hard to control the user can flip the auto recovery switch, which will put the craft in a hover that is automatically levelled. The downside at the moment is that the flight time per battery charge is just 10 to 15 minutes of use.

The craft is essentially a helicopter and airplane in one that can be controlled remotely while also being able to record footage of fly-by shots and fast moving subjects. At the moment, the X PlusOne is on Kickstarter to raise money and if you want to pledge $479, you can get hold of one along with the transmitter, assuming things go as planned.

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X PlusOne Drone Can Hover Vertically And Fly At 100 kmph

This is one very fast drone and can hover vertically, X PlusOne can take off and land vertically while being in hover mode and is also capable of capturing video from the incorporated camera (user can have a GoPro that is gimbal stabilized added as well). The transformation to convert it into the cruise mode is too easy – it has to be turned to its side. Once in cruise mode, the drone can manage flying at speeds of 100 km/hr.

Control algorithms are used during both modes to keep the drone stable, however, if things get hard and the user fears losing control of the drone; all that needs to be done is flipping the auto recovery mode switch where the drone will enter the hover mode and shall maintain an automatic level. As of now, the only downside is the fact that it can only fly for a total of 10-15 minutes on a single charge.

The X PlusOne is currently raising funds on Kickstarter and for a pledge of $479 you can get one unit when they are ready to go. X PlusOne debuts in the market soon.

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Hybrid fixed wing drone goes at speeds of up to 100 kph (VIDEO)

A Kickstarter campaign has raised $35,000 – with just $15,000 to go – for the development of a fixed-wing drone. The prototype can soar at speeds of 100 kph, as well as being able to conduct the vertical takeoff and landing of a regular drone.

The X PlusOne drone was designed by aerospace engineer JD Claridge. The design has been produced as both Google and Belgium's Katholieke Universiteit Leuven are both rushing to develop similar projects that allow drones to use fixed-wing flight for the sake of achieving greater speeds.

“I love the technology around drones and I’ve been involved with it, and as I’ve done that, I’ve really seen a need that’s not being addressed,” Claridge says on the Kickstarter fundraiser page.

“It’s a quadcopter combined with a flying wing,” he said. “The quadcopter gives you the ability for precision takeoff and landing and hover, and the flying wing gives you the capability for efficient forward flight.”

The design of the craft shows that instead of the normal crossed bars, at the end of which the rotors are normally mounted, the X PlusOne has an upwards facing wing, so that if the UAV rotates 90 degrees. Its speed exceeds nearly double that of drones with only the rotors.

Claridge says the primary difference is that his team uses aerodynamics to support the weight of the craft thereby increasing efficiency. Stabilization algorithms also keep it steady in the air.

Flight time is currently only 10 – 15 minutes per battery charge. As well as increasing the long-debated possibilities for any future delivery drones, it could also be used to take high-speed tracking shots while filming.

The project will only be funded if at least $50,000 is pledged by Wed, Jan 14 2015 – currently just over $15,000 is still required.

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X PlusOne kickstarter project – is it a Drone or a Plane?

Is it a drone? Is it a plane? No, it is the X PlusOne, a kickstarter project from team xcraft looking for backers to support the mass production of what seems to be a combination of multirotor agility together with a fixed wing speed and efficiency. Obviously drawing it’s inspiration of google’s project wing, this ariel machine (DronePlane? PlaneDrone?) can do VTOL, reach claimed speeds of 100 KPH and carry ariel photography cameras such as the GoPro and a gimbal. If proper funding goes right for the developers, they would add autonomous capabilities using the popular Pixhawk flight controller (offered by 3D-Robotics).

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X PlusOne Drone Can Hover Vertically And Fly At 100 km/hr

How many of you have heard about Google’s Project Wing? Yes, it is the same project which is developing a drone that is capable of Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL). This drone shall be able to deliver parcels while also being able to transform into a fixed wing state for flight. As can be expected, this transformation shall allow it to cruise much faster when compared with a conventional drone. So far, there has been no market-available version of such drone, however, this may change as X PlusOne debuts in the market soon.

X PlusOne can take off and land vertically while being in hover mode and is also capable of capturing video from the incorporated camera (user can have a GoPro that is gimbal stabilized added as well). The transformation to convert it into the cruise mode is too easy – it has to be turned to its side. Once in cruise mode, the drone can manage flying at speeds of 100 km/hr.

Control algorithms are used during both modes to keep the drone stable, however, if things get hard and the user fears losing control of the drone; all that needs to be done is flipping the auto recovery mode switch where the drone will enter the hover mode and shall maintain an automatic level. As of now, the only downside is the fact that it can only fly for a total of 10-15 minutes on a single charge.

The X PlusOne is currently raising funds on Kickstarter and for a pledge of $479 you can get one unit when they are ready to go. Got any suggestions on how to improve the battery time? Let us know in the comments section!

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xCraft Unleashes X PlusOne, the World’s Fastest Quadcopter Drone

Drone maker xCraft is launching their fastest quadcopter on Kickstarter. In fact, they claim the X PlusOne is the fastest drone out there, period. The X PlusOne hovers like any other quadcopter, but is also designed to transition to forward flight. This allows the X PlusOne to reach speeds of 60 mph. It’ll also give you 15 minutes of flying time on a single charge. The X PlusOne has an optional 2-axis gimbal for a GoPro camera as well as fixed mounts for the GoPro and Micro DV cameras.

The X PlusOne is $199 for a DYI kit, or $479 for ready-to-fly, on Kickstarter.

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Ingenious winged design lets this hybrid drone fly up to 100 km/h

Drones come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes these days, but generally speaking, most of them still fall within one of two categories. There are those of the multi-rotor variety (quadcopters, hexacopters, octocopters, etc), and those of the winged variety.

Both categories have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Multi-rotor aircraft are typically more stable and easy to fly, but also much slower than wing drones that focus on forward acceleration. Conversely, winged drones can fly faster and further than their hovering counterparts, but are harder to pilot, since they can’t perform vertical takeoffs and landings.

The X PlusOne offers the best of both worlds. Designed by aerospace engineer JD Claridge and freshly launched on Kickstarter, this drone blurs the line between winged and multi-rotor aircraft. Thanks to an ingenious form factor, the X PlusOne is able to take off, hover, and land like a traditional quadcopter, and also accelerate forward like a wing drone.

The key to this ability is the craft’s innovative design. In place of the usual crossbars that hold up a drone’s four rotors, the X PlusOne uses an upward-facing wing. When in hover mode, this wing doesn’t do much of anything, but if the drone tilts upward 90 degrees and kicks up the speed a bit, the wing’s shape can provide enough lift to keep the craft airborne. Once it’s in this position, with all four rotors providing forward thrust, the X PlusOne can achieve speeds of up to 62 miles per hour (100 km) — nearly double what traditional multi-rotor drones are capable of.

It’s also packed to the gills with additional tech that presumably makes the craft easier to fly. Built-in stabilization algorithms keep the drone rock-steady no matter how windy it might get, and there’s even an auto-hover function that’ll take over and level out if you ever get into trouble. To keep your GoPro steady and give you those drool-worthy uber-smooth aerial shots, X PlusOne is also equipped with a 2-axis gimbal stabilizer mount.

There are almost more features than we’ve got room to list in this article, so we’ll let you dig through the rest on the the X PlusOne’s Kickstarter page. Launched just this week, the campaign is seeking $50K to finalize the drone’s design and get it ready for production. Early bird backers can lock one down for about $480, whereas those who are late to the party will need to shell out $600.

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X plus one hybrid drone offers stable hovering and top speeds of 60mph

The ‘X plus one’ hybrid drone from xcraft, combines the ability for both stabilized hovering and fast forward flight where a top speed of 60mph can be achieved. using control algorithms, the 2.8 lbs weighing device offers precision and balanced poise even in windy conditions, making tight takeoffs, landings and video shooting easier for the user. this aerial camera quadcopter sizing 35.5 x 19 x 14 inches, features multiple mounting options for GoPros and an optional gimbal platform which helps render smooth motion pictures.

With its patent pending design that takes its cruise mode to speeds of around 60mph, the ‘X plus one’ solves the problem created when following a fast subject or when a dynamic flyby is needed. even with all this power, the drone is easy to fly thanks to its stabilized safety features, but does include an auto recovery switch that puts the craft into auto-level hover if any troubles occur. offering flight times of 10-15 minutes, the quadcopter is seeking funding to bring the ‘X plus one’ to the market, via its kickstarter campaign.

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X PlusOne drone hovers steady, but also flies nose-first at 60 mph

Both Google and Belgium's Katholieke Universiteit Leuven are working on drone-based delivery projects that utilize UAVs which take off and land vertically, but that can also tip sideways to transition into fast and efficient fixed-wing flight. If you're thinking that it would be neat to purchase a consumer drone that could do the same thing – combining the hovering capability of a quadcopter with the speed of a "flying wing"-type plane –  a new one may soon be available, in the form of the X PlusOne.

When used in "hover" mode, the X PlusOne is able to perform smooth vertical take-offs and landings, plus it can also obtain aerial video from either a built-in miniature camera or an optional gimbal-stabilized GoPro.

Flipping a switch on the radio remote-control unit, however, causes the aircraft to turn onto its side and go into "cruise" mode. It can then fly forward at speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph). By contrast, a DJI Phantom quadcopter has a maximum horizontal speed of about 36 km/h (22 mph).

Control algorithms reportedly keep the X PlusOne stable in both hover and cruise, although if things start getting a little out-of-hand in either mode, flipping the remote's auto recovery switch will put the aircraft into an auto-leveled hover.

Flight time is about 10 to 15 minutes per battery charge, depending on use.

So, why would a hobbyist want their quadcopter to also be able to fly like a fixed-wing plane? Well, partly just for fun – it's like having a radio-controlled helicopter and airplane combined in one device. Additionally, however, the aircraft could be used for shooting tracking footage of fast-moving subjects, or for getting exciting high-speed "fly-by" shots.

Its designers are now raising production funds, on Kickstarter. Various packages are available, although a pledge of US$479 is required to get a fully-assembled model with transmitter – assuming all goes according to plan. Potential buyers might also want to check out the somewhat similar Quadshot.

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X PlusOne hybrid drone can zip around at high speeds

The number of available drones is growing by leaps and bounds, and they all tend to center around the same quadcopter design. They are able to hover over the land and move slowly from place to place, but that does not always meet one's needs, particularly those looking to use the drones for filming purposes. Enter the X PlusOne, a "hybrid" drone that is both a quadcopter and a winged flight machine able to zip around at exceedingly fast speeds.

The X PlusOne has a fierce design and is able to hover thanks to the inclusion of multiple rotors. The winged portion also allows it to fly forward at fast speeds (the maker says it can hit 100 km/h), and a stablization system allows it to remain steady even if the wind is being disagreeable.

As with many other drones, the X PlusOne also features hardware for mounting a camera (a stabilizing gimbal), and is designed to be simple enough for just about anyone to operate. There's an auto recovery mode in case trouble arises, and the ability to disable stabilization.

X PlusOne's creator xCraft is looking to raise $50,000 USD in funding to bring the drone to the market, and so far it has raised about $5,500 with 27 days remaining. A pledge of $199 will get you a basic assembly kit, while $479 will get you a ready-to-go assembled unit. Shipping for both is estimated for July.

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