Free Plans + Code to Build Your Own F-35 VTOL

by nickrehm | July 12, 2021 | (6) Posted in Projects
VTOL used to be the 'holy grail' of the radio control world just 10 years ago. The lack of cheap and fast enough micrcontrollers to perform the much-need stabilization in hover meant that we had to get creative with little single-axis rate gyros, slow Arduinos, and a mess of wires buried in the fuselage just to pull off the stabilization and transition mixing needed for a VTOL. With the increasing availability of small, high powered microcontrollers and IMU's, flight controllers have become more affordable than ever and as a result, VTOLs have become *relatively* easier to create. I'm sharing the plans and code for this amazing F-35 VTOL parkjet so you can quickly and easily dip your toes in the no-runway-needed world of VTOL, and hopefully be inspired to try out your own design.





Free Plans and Code!

If I could give you my car keys too, I would. But until then, free plans and flight control code (more on that below) will have to do. You can download the plans and other files you need to build this F-35 in this FliteTest forum post.

Flight controller code specific to this vehicle (covered and written in the video) is available here:

https://github.com/nickrehm/dRehmFlight-F-35


The Flight Controller

This project uses the dRehmFlight VTOL flight controller, which is some simple, bare-bones Arduino flight stabilization code running on a cheap Teensy 4.0 microcontroller. This flight controller makes it extremely easy to create custom control mixes for different flight modes that a VTOL requires, even if you have never coded before. Check out this FliteTest article explaining more about dRehmFlight VTOL.

You can check out  the 'clean' version of the code for starting your own projects here: https://github.com/nickrehm/dRehmFlight

Tutorials for building the hardware (minimal soldering between the microcontroller + IMU required) are available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTSCOv-lGtMax-oA4Pnq8OTxd4fTucrjQ


Parts I use and Recommend

5 inch racing drone parts are in abundance nowadays, so I designed this aircraft to be compatible with your favorite miniquad components. Throw in 5 standard 9 gram servos, and you're ready to get flying. These are some parts I use and recommend:

Motors: https://amzn.to/3qXXIU7 

Propellers: https://amzn.to/3dMu52E 

ESC: https://amzn.to/3wmjiD0 

Battery:  https://amzn.to/2TEVEEp 

Servos:  https://amzn.to/3hEwgGH 

Teensy 4.0: https://amzn.to/3i5Zwqn 

IMU: https://amzn.to/3htnU6a 


Closing Thoughts

Bring back the parkjets! Better yet, make them VTOL too! Miniquad drone parts are perfect for your next parkjet build, and the price of microcontrollers is so low, there's no reason not to throw one on your next build to bring its capabilities to the next level.

COMMENTS

prayer3290 on July 22, 2021
Nice f-35 so cool!
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Haznie76 on July 22, 2021
Super cool project.. I love this build😍🎉👍
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Free Plans + Code to Build Your Own F-35 VTOL