About this project
AS SEEN ON!
A Quadcopter Plus a Flying Wing
Drones seem to be everywhere. The problem is that the vast majority of them are multi-rotors and they excel at one thing: hovering.
Hovering solves one side of the problem, but when shooting a fast subject you need speed. Without compromising precision hovering capabilities we created something fast. We created something that broke the 100 km/h barrier. Enter the X PlusOne.
At its core the X PlusOne is a revolutionary hybrid. It combines multi-rotor capabilities with high speed flight from its fixed wing. The X PlusOne feels right at home hovering with the multi-rotors or skimming the treetops at blistering speeds!
The X PlusOne is a Pro when it comes to precision stabilized hover. We designed the control algorithms so the craft remains rock solid, even in windy conditions.
Speed isn't normally associated with most of the drones out there. We changed that! Ever heard of a multi-rotor taking great aerial shots at 100 km/h? Well, now you have!
A Drone Redefined
The X PlusOne doesn't just fly around looking great (although it does), it's an aerial camera drone too! We offer the X PlusOne with an array of filming apparatus. From a simple mini DV camera to the ever-popular GoPro. Our optional stabilizing gimbal platform renders silky smooth video. The point is, we have demonstrated the engineering on this craft and it works very well.
Easy to Fly
From its inception the X PlusOne was designed with the average operator in mind. If you can fly a multi-rotor or an RC airplane, you can fly the X PlusOne. The craft self-stabilizes in both hover and forward flight modes. Transitioning between the two is a matter of simply flipping one switch. Our onboard computer and sensors manage the details.
Imagine what you could do with the X PlusOne!
How it Works
The X PlusOne takes off, hovers, and lands like a traditional quadcopter, but that's where the similarities with a multi-rotor stop. The key differentiator is this: In place of the quadcopter frame is an upward facing wing. This allows the X PlusOne to pitch over 90 degrees and fly nose-first at over 60 mph (100 km/h), twice as fast as a traditional quadcopter! Flight control is handled by varying motor speed to provide pitch, roll, and yaw control, even in forward flight mode. There are no traditional flight control surfaces on the X PlusOne. Thereby saving weight and complexity and ensuring the overall design remains clean and efficient.
- 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.
- 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
JD Claridge is the visionary and inventor of the x PlusOne design. He started his career at Volant Technica as an aerospace engineer and later served several years as the lead electrical engineer at Quest Aircraft. For the past few years JD has been running his own aerospace design firm.
Charles Manning is the CEO of a leading mobile analytics technology company, Kochava. An aviation enthusiast, Charles was immediately excited about working with JD to help make the X PlusOne a reality.
Why We need Your Help
We have a proven design and we want to do a large-scale production run - working with Kickstarter to gauge how many units will be produced.
We feel confident that we will hit our minimum - we simply wonder how many we will punch out in this first production run. We are excited to hit our stretch goals with your help!
Key Milestones (already done)
- Inception of X PlusOne - December 2013 - DONE
- Conceptualize overall design - February 2014 -DONE
- Begin detailed design - July 2014 - DONE
- Develop 5 prototype iterations and test - August 2014 -DONE
- First flight of conforming prototype - September 2014 - DONE
- Fine tune controller software - October 2014 - DONE
- File patent application - November 2014 - DONE
- Finalize costs, develop supply chain and manufacturing capability- November 2014 -DONE
- KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED - DECEMBER 2014 -DONE!
Key Milestones (after successful funding)
- Ship laser-cut display models - January 2015
- Release final drawings and software - January 2015
- Order molded and custom components - January 2015
- Order for off-the-shelf parts - February 2015
- Secure backup supply chain - March 2015
- Molded and custom parts manufactured - May 2015
- Final assembly and testing at the XplusOne factory - June 2015
- SHIP THE X PlusOne TO ALL OUR GREAT BACKERS! - JULY 2015
Stretch Goal #1: X PlusOne Ai - REACHED!
Through a collaboration with 3D Robotics, we are able to offer the Autonomous Option; the X PlusOne Ai! That's right, all the amazing functionality offered with the X PlusOne using the Pixhawk autopilot can now be yours! These features include, but are not limited to:
- Fully Autonomous Flight Plans: Plan your missions using a Google Maps like interface and let the craft fly the entire mission, takeoff to landing, without any user input.
- Follow-Me: Have the X PlusOne auto-follow your laptop or tablet (requires telemetry radios).
- Return-to-Launch: When the battery is low or the radio signal is lost, the X PlusOne Ai will automatically return to the launch position and land.
- Loiter: Automatically hold GPS position and altitude for excellent shots.
- Auto-Land: Let the X PlusOne Ai handle landings for you.
- Fly By Wire: Great for beginners. Direct the X PlusOne by simply moving one control stick regardless of the craft's orientation.
- Laptop or Tablet Control: In the field, direct the X PlusOne from your laptop or tablet (requires telemetry radios).
- And Much More!
The Pixhawk will be fully integrated into the X PlusOne Ai to allow operation out of the box. Control will be managed through Mission Planner software.
To receive your X PlusOne Ai all you have to do is choose your add-on reward and increase your pledge by the appropriate amount. We have two X PlusOne Ai rewards to choose from.
Stretch Goal #2: First-Person View (FPV) - REACHED!
We made it past $120K! Now the FPV Option is a reality for the X PlusOne! FPV allows a live video view from the X PlusOne to the ground. You can see what the onboard GoPro camera sees!
We have two FPV Add-On options to choose from:
Transmitter Only: $100 Add-On. Choose this option if you already have a 5.8GHz monitor or goggles. This option includes:
- 5.8GHz, 200mW, Video Transmitter
- Cloverleaf Transmitter Antenna
- GoPro video cable
Complete FPV System: $350 Add-On. This option includes:
- 5.8GHz, 200mW, Video Transmitter
- Cloverleaf Transmitter and Receiver Antennas
- GoPro Video Cable 7-inch FPV Monitor -or- Fatshark Teleporter FPV Goggles; your choice
Special Thanks to Patrick Calderon for working very hard for X PlusOne. Patrick has been a great help with PR exposure and crowdfunding expertise!
Risks and challenges
There are a few challenges and risks that are related to the X PlusOne. Fortunately, neither successful design and implementation are on the list. We have spent the last year designing the X PlusOne and prototyping it through various iterations to ensure that our team was confident about what we were going to do with this Kickstarter project.
The X PlusOne is not a concept that we still have to implement. This is proven.
There are some risks about scheduling, but fortunately, we have set timing expectations for mid-summer 2015 to mitigate any risk around scheduling. We feel a little bit like our schedule is too padded - but we're more comfortable doing this than to miss a delivery date.
From a problem solving perspective, our team is made up of Aerospace engineers, electrical engineers and software engineers. We know what happens with there are problems and we work every day to address them. We're confident that we will ship!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Simply increase your pledge by the appropriate amount. No need to change your reward selection. For the Basic X PlusOne Ai, increase your total pledge by $249, for the Datalink X PlusOne Ai, increase your total pledge by $349.
To honor our early backers we offer a special discount to anyone who made their initial pledge before we announced the autonomous option.
If you were a current backer and pledged (any amount) before January 8th at 12:30 pm PST, you can upgrade to the autonomous option as follows: For the Basic X PlusOne Ai, increase your total pledge by $199, for the Datalink X PlusOne Ai, increase your total pledge by $279.
We will be running a survey at the end of the campaign to ensure rewards are appropriately distributed.
The main difference between the X PlusOne and any other drone is the ability to both hover and fly fast efficiently.
The focus on speed and efficiency during forward flight is also the key difference between the X PlusOne and similar hybrid VTOL concepts (Quadshot, Google Project Wing, etc).
The maximum payload capacity is one pound.
We use a full-range 2.4 GHz radio system in the X PlusOne. The range of the system is greater than 1 mile (1.6 km) but we wouldn't recommend flying that far away. Current US rules require that you fly your craft within line of sight and no higher than 400 feet.
Yes. The X PlusOne has been tested in winds up to 30 mph and it performs well. Of course, the operator needs to be aware of the tendency for the craft to float downwind but the self-stabilizing feature holds well in high winds. The wing actually generates some additional lift during hover in the wind.
The airframe is carbon fiber reinforced molded EPO foam. We chose EPO because of it's high resiliency and smooth surface finish.
The X PlusOne uses an Arduino-based control board with custom software.
Yes! An autonomous option is available: the X PlusOne Ai. "Follow-Me" and all autonomous functions are available with this option. To receive the X PlusOne Ai, just choose your add-on reward (there are two) and increase your pledge by the appropriate amount.
The X PlusOne will fly 10-15 minutes on a charge but a lot depends on how you're flying. Flying fast the entire time will drain the battery quicker. Battery packs are simple to swap and we will offer additional packs to all of our backers.
Select the appropriate reward level and multiply the amount (including shipping) by the number of X PlusOne packages you'd like.
Support this project
- (30 days)