eVTOL, UAV, Nonlinear Control, Trajectory Tracking, Urban Air Mobility


Current control methods for winged eVTOL UAVs consider the vehicle primarily as a fixed-wing aircraft with the addition of vertical thrust used only during takeoff and landing. These methods provide good long-range flight handling but fail to consider the full dynamics of the vehicle for tracking complex trajectories. We present a trajectory tracking controller for the full dynamics of a winged eVTOL UAV in hover, fixed-wing, and partially transitioned flight scenarios. We show that in low- to moderate-speed flight, trajectory tracking can be achieved using a variety of pitch angles. In these conditions, the pitch of the vehicle is a free variable which we use to minimize the necessary thrust, and therefore energy consumption, of the vehicle. We use a geometric attitude controller and an airspeed-dependent control allocation scheme to operate the vehicle at a wide range of airspeeds, flight path angles, and angles of attack. We provide simulation results and theoretical guarantees for the stability of the proposed control scheme assuming a standard aerodynamic model.

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Conference Paper

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Electrical and Computer Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Graduate Student