By Bob Stinson,
In 1965, the Canadians designed and flew a tilt-wing VTOL airplane, designated the CL-84 Dynavert. Although it was generally successful, it never became operational. It showed promise in Search and Rescue, and could carry ordnance, but advances in jet and helicopter technology eliminated the niche it filled. Vertical, transitional and forward flight were all controlled manually; computer controlled, fly-by-wire flight still being a thing of the future. In 1973, the last one was grounded.
It flies again, albeit in model form, thanks to the advances in our radio control hobby! Unique RC, a company in China, has produced an electric powered version that takes advantage of multirotor and fixed wing stabilization technology. In hover mode, the main wing and motors are tilted vertically, and produce lift. A third motor, mounted in the rear, provides pitch and yaw control by changing rpm, and twisting side to side. In the multirotor world, this is called a “3Y” configuration. Flipping the transmitter’s gear switch rotates the wing to a horizontal position. The balance control board then changes to a fixed wing mode. The rear motor shuts down, ailerons and elevator become active, and the craft becomes a standard airplane. Landing reverses the shift, bringing the plane to a hover for a vertical descent.
The Dynavert runs on a 4S 2200mah battery, using a 6-channel radio system, and can fly around 4 minutes on a pack, more if you want to take a chance on running out of juice during your landing hover! How well does it fly? The fact that it flies at all is a wonder! Hover mode is like a slightly sloppy multirotor, and forward flight is very stable, thanks to the balance board. Transition is very controllable. However, the board won’t allow rolls and loops. This is a fantastic period in our hobby, a real golden age. Ten years ago, you couldn’t have flown a plane like this, for any amount of money. Here’s a link to some video we took recently.
Photos and Video by Vince G.