Quad copters have always been known for their stability as an in-flight camera platform, but have lacked aerobatic capabilities because of their fixed pitch rotor system. However, Curtis Youngblood has changed all that with his new Stingray fully aerobatic Quad Copter with collective pitch. I was fortunate to see this fly at the Orlando Heli Blowout last weekend. Although the Stingray does not have a positive tail rotor, or the rotor blade inertia of a regular helicopter, it has several unique advantages of its own. With one small 500W motor, it uses independent belt drives to power four tail rotors at a relatively low 6000rpm. This gives the Stingray the ability to perform continuous flips, fly inverted and perform aerobatics never before thought possible for quad copters. At home in Austin, TX, pylon racing with the Stingray is a growing part of the hobby. In the near future Curtis plans to add GPS navigation for an auto recovery, home mode and first person view flying.
The unique collective pitch capabilities of the Stingray are show here as it maintains a steady inverted hover right above the grass. Note the brightly colored fuselage for orientation and the belt drive going to each of the four rotors.