The problem with tailsitting vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft was always the pilot. Tailsitting pairs the small takeoff-and-landing spaces of helicopters with the more efficient forward flight of fixed-wing aircraft, but attempts to do it with humans on board required disorienting contortions during takeoff and landing. Unmanned aircraft have no such biological limitations, so it is a design space drones can thrive in, provided they have the right configuration. On Dec. 4, at ...

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