Helicopter and VTOL Laboratory


Dr. Abhishek

Associate Professor & Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation Fellow (2018-23)
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
abhish(at), Ph: +91-512-2597515 (O)

Professional Interest

A commitment to education through teaching and research in broad areas of: rotary wing aeromechanics, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) systems, autonomous / intelligent rotary wing micro / unmanned air vehicles (MAV / UAV), and inverse flight dynamics simulation with applications to experimentation, analysis and design.


Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering (Rotorcraft Dynamics), University of Maryland, College Park

M.S., Aerospace Engineering (Rotorcraft Dynamics), University of Maryland, College Park

B.Tech., Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Research Interests

  • Helicopter dynamics and aeroelasticity
  • Helicopter design
  • Inverse flight dynamics simulation for helicopters
  • Design and analysis of autonomous hover capable MAV and UAV
  • Unconventional VTOL/STOL systems
  • Adaptive rotors
  • Wind turbines
  • Finite Element Analysis and Multibody Dynamics

Latest Happenings

DD News did a documentary on the design and development of autonomous helicopter at IIT Kanpur.


NAAVIK auto-pilot has now been tested and proven on a flybarless 700 class helicopter Align T-Rex. Attitude stabilization, height hold mode, translational rate command, GPS based position hold mode and way point navigation capability has been implemented and tested. 

Autonomous Mini Helicopter IIT Kanpur
Payload / package delivery system for aerial logistics has been developed at IIT Kanpur for the Autonomous RUAV platform. A demonstration of the mechanism is shown in the video below.

Below is the demonstration of aggressive attitude tracking for flipping the helicopter and achieving autonomous inverted flight. This work is joint effort between IIT Kanpur (Dr. Mangal Kothari and Dr. Abhishek) and IIT Bombay (Prof. Ravi Banavar).


NAAVIK autopilot has been now enhanced to enable autonomous autorotations for our unmanned helicopter. This work is possibly only third such effort after Stanford University and Georgia Tech, USA to demonstrate this capability. Further, this makes use of a novel and simpler approach to autorotation without the need for deep / reinforced learning methods, which was the basis of all earlier efforts. The most common use of autorotation in helicopters is to safely land the aircraft in the event of an engine / transmission failure or tail-rotor failure. It is a common emergency procedure taught to helicopter pilots as part of their training. See the video below:



Check out the video of flight test of Biplane-tailsitter Quadrotor VTOL UAV. It is one of the various VTOL solutions under development in our lab.

And even better is this, the swiveling biplane tailsitter UAV with zero torsional stiffness:


NAAVIK is the new autopilot being developed for cross-platform operations. It has already been tested on a fixed wing UAV for fully autonomous flight. It has also been tested on coaxial MAV, flapping wing MAV and Quadrotor. Objective is to develop NAAVIK for application on wide range of UAV platforms.