“Transition” Combines VTOL and Cruise Missions

In a mid-June post on Techcentral.co.za, Regardt van der Berg reported on a new South Africa-made drone that is an eye-catcher and that seems to solve multiple problems in an integrated design. Alti, a division of SteadiDrone, has produced the Transition, a multi-rotor, fixed-wing aircraft that takes off vertically using electric power and flies horizontally using a fuel-powered 20cc four stroke engine.

Founder Duran de Villiers notes, “The Alti Transition is a higher-end commercial and industrial aircraft with much longer endurance and great range. We’re not limiting its use to a set industry. It allows up to six hours’ range like that of a fixed wing but has the ability to take off and land vertically, in and out of confined spaces. It offers huge advantages over traditional drone systems.”

The Transition has the versatility of a quadcopter with the altitude, travel distance and flight times associated with a fixed-wing drone, and comes with a fully featured autonomous avionics system. The software is based on the autonomous and open PX4 platform. The PX4 flight stack is an autopilot software technology for multi-copter and fixed-wing aircraft. The Transition also features a proprietary software and hardware avionics system with a ground control system suite. The stealth-looking Transition features a carbon Kevlar fuselage that has been tested in a wind tunnel and designed to keep the weight down. Its wingspan is 2,76m and it’s 2,3m long. Maximum takeoff weight is 12kg.