Icon: a transformer drone
ICON joins in a single product two souls, a versatile multicopter style one and a fixed wing performing one. Aerodynamics laws tells us that a standard fixed wing aircraft has a better efficiency compared to rotating wing aircraft. For this reason a standard fixed wing vehicle uses way more energy compared to same class rotating wing one. In other word with the energy quantity, aircraft can fly more than helicopters, although those ones are a lot more flexible, allowing vertical takeoff and landings.
ICON has been conceived with this analysis in mind: a fixed wing drone with additional four lifting motors giving it vertical take-off and landing capabilities.
Switching form one flight mode to another would be a very complicate operation without the aid of a very sophisticated but reliable electronic control board making it very easy. In all assisted manual flight modes, converting form hover to cruise and vice versa is as simple as switching a two position lever; ICON takes care of the rest.
Converting from hover to cruise mode is started by the activation of the pushing motor; once the minimum flight speed has been exceeded; lifting motors are slowly switched off.
In the same way, cruise to hover conversion is started switching the pushing motor off, raising the nose in order to reduce speed, and upon minimum speed approaching activating the lifting motors.
OK, but what are pilot tasks?
During fully automatic flight pilot simply does nothing; safety and regulations compliancy remains under his responsibility. During manual assisted flight pilot starts mission like the one he would operate with a multirotor, triggers the conversion by activating the appropriate switch. At the end of the mission, after taking the vehicle back to the home location, he triggers the cruise to hover conversion by activating the same switch and lands the UAV like a multirotor.