Is it possible for an aileron to be used to control the roll, pitch and yaw of a vtol drone

  • $\begingroup$ You say "VTOL" drone, I assume you want the ailerons to control y/p/r when in forward flight? I don't see the ailerons having any effect at low speeds during VTOL transition. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 24, 2019 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Should not you confuse the reader with your vtol. You should only say airplane as too many type of drone, from an airplane-like to a helicopter-like. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2019 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Depending on the geometry of the vehicle, up to a degree yes. However, with a classic aileron setup and no rudder, it might be impossible to control roll and yaw independently. A split flap (up and down on same wing) would be required to more effectively control yaw, as that can in theory generate drag on one side without much affecting lift. The B2 bomber sports a similar configuration.

  • $\begingroup$ I once built a model glider with a little dihedral. With coordinated aileron and rudder input it would turn nicely, but when only the ailerons were deflected, the adverse yaw made it yaw without any tendency to roll. Due to the lack of bank it would continue on the same course, but now with considerable sideslip. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2019 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf That’s interesting! The asymmetric lift due sideslip must have cancelled out with asymmetric lift from aileron deflection. Coincidence or design? $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2019 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ Pure coincidence! $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2019 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yes sir, we can see the dihedral stability (to roll) was stronger than than aileron tendency to create roll. My guess it was also a high wing. So much is learned from these little models. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2019 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, and rolling back into low aileron from "dihedral effect" from side slip (as I learned from you). $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2019 at 22:58

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