Conceptual design of an unmanned vertical lift concept as prescribed by the Vertical Flight Society's 35th Annual Student Design Competition Request for Proposal. Vehicle is designed for high-speed, autonomous delivery of up to 50 kg payloads with an emphasis on system safety throughout the design process. Two mission scenarios are considered: an "end-customer" delivery at a range of up to 50 km and a "logistics center" delivery at a range of up to 200 km. Primary applications are in distribution of medical or other basic supplies in the context of a natural disaster or future pandemic with eventual commercial applications.
Our design incorporates a novel payload system integrated with the airframe for improved end-customer experience, easy autonomous release of payload, and improve aerodynamics. The focus on safety is evident in the use of a fan-in-fin design for ground operations safety, fully redundant powerplants, and a rotor design enabling safe autorotational landing. In-flight autonomous hazard avoidance via an active LiDAR vision system and a landing zone obstacle detection and avoidance system meet requirements for autonomous navigation and catastrophic event prevention.