Welcome to

Incredible HLQ


Welcome to the Incredible HLQ project! We are a team of senior mechanical engineering students at San Jose State University developing and building the worlds first Heavy Lift Quadcopter (HLQ) with a practical weight capacity of 50 pounds. This site will follow the progress and status of the project as it proceeds from concept to working prototype. Please check back often for updates and thank you for visiting!

What is HLQ?

We are designing and building a Heavy Lift Quadcopter (HLQ) which we are calling Incredible HLQ (sounds like “Hulk”). Like the super hero, HLQ will be able to lift and transport a huge amount of weight for it’s size and cost. HLQ will be capable autonomously retrieving and delivering 50 pounds of payload.

How are we doing it?

In order to accomplish the 50 pound goal, HLQ will utilize a drive train powered by two gasoline two-stroke engines of about 12.5 HP each. Lift will be achieved using four commercial RC helicopter rotor heads spinning four 435mm blades. Selection of these blades were based of actual lift testing in our test rig which is featured in the video. Control is achieved by using the variable pitch control of the rotor-heads to change the lift output and induces torque of each rotor.

Flight control will utilize DIYDrone’s Ardupilot APM2.5+ module. The Ardupilot is a open-source arduino based control board for UAV’s. It has been widely utilized for many fixed wing, helicopter and multi-rotor flight platforms and has a proven track record. Best of all, the programming is already done for us.

In addition, we will be utilizing a computer vision system for payload identification and tracking using the OpenCV library on a Roboard RB-110. The RB-110 is a complete computer on a single board. It has a 486 compatible processor running at 1GHz and is capable of running, Windows, Linux or Dos. We will be using OpenCV through it’s Python extensions to identify payloads and guide HLQ in for retrieval.

As students of San Jose State, we have a lot of resources available to us for designing and building HLQ. The Engineering department has a computer lab which has design tools such as PTC Creo, Solid Works, and Inventor. We have thus far been utilizing mostly Creo to design and analyze HLQ. We also have access to electronics labs, mechatronics labs, and product testing labs to help build and troubleshoot HLQ.

We are also just two blocks away from the San Jose TechShop which gives us access to lathes, mills, laser cutters, a water-jet machine, electronics equipment and more.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, we have made contact with members of the worlds top aerospace and mechanical engineering firms right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are designing HLQ with reliance on their knowledge and experience.


Direct Sponsorships

Special thanks goes out to the TechShop who generously donated classes and machine time as well as office space at their San Jose location.


Kick Starter $1000 Level Contributors



Kick Starter $500 Level Contributors



Kick Starter $250 Level Contributors

Globi srl
SkyAngels International Rescue
Warren M.
Ryan O’Donnell
David Barrett
Darrin D.
Yellow Iron Auction
Mark Chew Academy
Joseph S.
Stephen W.


Kick Starter $60 Level Contributors

Al G.
Michael G.
James W.
Stefan P.
Michael P.
Douglas J.
Erin R.
Mefflin R. B.
Michael G.
Steve B.


Kick Starter $30 Level Contributors

Carl R.
David Judd Dove
Hunter Technology
Tim N
Klaus B
Zeve A.
Fextel, inc.
Nancy H.
Dennis M.


Kick Starter $25 Level Contributors

Geoff Ward
Klaslin L.
James — Fellow Spartan
John Jackson
Al Billings
Sven H.
Little Universe Studios Inc.
R Siggs
Mark B.
Vigilent Inc.
David Tomaschik
Andrea R
Alwyn L.
Full Motion Dynamics
Richard J.
Edison Junior
Richard Corley
Henry K
Mark B.
HYREL LLC / Daniel Hutchison
Velte Publishing, Inc.
Andres Aristizabal
Roger L.
Brian B.


Kick Starter $30 Level Contributors

Mat and Dan @ Brit-Net
Milan Cermak
Taking Autism To The Sky – autism and drones
Austin SEO – Austin Search Marketing
Chad Henderson
Equinox Global Trading – Varshik Motwani
Router Research
Robin W.
Laurina & Chris Muglia
Keyler Consult GmbH
Naval Drones
Stephen B. Eckman
VizzyMotion, Inc.
True Ventures
Justin R.
Dave Willis and Francine Goitz
E&J Design
Ben B.
Jesse Wolfe
Francois Mathieu
Sahan Dissanayake
Warren Herndon
ikusei GmbH
Volt Aerial Robotics
Great Bytes Software
Jesse Card – Zot Lasers
Top Class Actions
SportClips at Riverlakes
David LeVine
Vertex Creative Labs
360 Virtual Tours
Jaylyn Daugherty
Voodoo Lunchbox
Iozeta – Unlimited Online Backup
Radiant PPC
Search Tempo SEO Brisbane
Sven Piper
Wurkit – Dan “Ritz” Ritzenthaler
SNA Power – Software and Technology Division – Karan Checker
Eric Harvey
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Nikko Hitech International, Inc.

The Team

HLQ Images


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Contact Info


San Jose, CA