A Novel Mini Jet Engine Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Modeling and Control

Altuğ E., Türkmen A.

UNMANNED SYSTEMS, vol.10, no.01, pp.31-43, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 01
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1142/s2301385022500017
  • Journal Name: UNMANNED SYSTEMS
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-43
  • Keywords: UAV, jet engine, thrust vectoring, LQR, flight stability, STABILIZATION, DESIGN
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Significant progress has been made in recent years on personal air vehicles (PAVs), which offer independent and autonomous urban transportation. On-demand parcel delivery drones and heavy-lift drones are gaining serious attention. Although various designs for these systems have been put forward, they still have not reached sufficient maturity. The current systems provide somehow satisfactory operation, but many of these systems are limited in payload capacity and flight duration, and not suitable for future operations. In this paper, we propose a novel thrust system that uses multiple mini jet engines. Unlike electric motors, the jet engine thrust cannot vary rapidly. This led us to design and develop a thrust vectoring system for each jet engine. This proposed system has the potential to enable drones to carry more payload and achieve longer flight times. This paper discusses the design and modeling of the system as well as the stabilization algorithms that satisfactorily stabilize the proposed system. We presented that due to motor lag, thrust variations cannot stabilize the vehicle. We showed that the use of a thrust vectoring mechanism with LQR-based controller can overcome the effects of motor lag and stabilize the vehicle, successfully.