pivotwing concept

The pivotwing concept is a new take on a decades old idea, the self driven rotor. Electric motors drive rotary wings while also providing independent pitch control to each wing. The result is a lightweight and efficient rotary wing aircraft that has full collective and cyclic pitch control with an absolute minimum of moving parts.

  • As few as three moving airframe components form an aircraft similar in form to a conventional helicopter.
  • There is no need to compensate for rotor torque, so only a small tail rotor or control surface is required.
  • Propulsion redundancy can be easily achieved by adding motors.
  • Vertically arranged batteries turn with the main rotor hub, eliminating slip rings and maintenance.
  • Each wing contains an IMU, and is independently stabilized while working in coordination with the main body.
  • Some versions may be capable of transitioning into forward flight.

no slip rings.

Slip rings are an option, but not required. The main battery that powers the electric motors can rotate with the hub, either internally or externally. This eliminates the risk, cost and maintenance of using slip rings to transmit power to the hub and the electric motors. The pivoting wings are mechanically limited and are not required to make complete revolutions. This again eliminates the need to use slip rings.

no actuators.

Wings are pivoted through differential thrust. Servos able to handle the rigors of actuating once per cycle would be expensive, bulky, heavy and slow but most of all they would eventually fail. By using differential thrust to pivot each wing individually, all the usual problems associated with actuators can be completely eliminated.


It may be possible to build a version which is able to transition into forward, fixed wing flight. In one embodiment the aircraft would lose altitude until both wings are aligned and pointed downward. The symmetrical airfoils have no pitching tendencies and naturally orient themselves into the relative wind. A passive horizontal stabilizer also orients itself into relative wind during descent.

fixed wing flight.

Once the wings are aligned, the aircraft is ready to enter fixed wing flight. The wings both pull up and recover from the dive. To re-enter vertical flight the process is reversed. The aircraft would again lose altitude until the wings are aligned. The wings would then pull up to recover from the dive, this time in opposite directions causing the aircraft to enter rotary wing flight once again.

concept art.

Drone pivotwing concept.

Drone concept...

Drone transitioning drone concept.

Transitioning concept...