UK's Demon UAV Flies on Fluidic Controls
2:03 PM on Oct 04, 2010
Demon, an unmanned research aircraft developed by Cranfield University, BAE Systems and nine other UK universities, has conducted its first "flapless flight".
The trapezoid-wing UAV is equipped to use fluidic flight controls in place of conventional moving control surfaces. During the Sep. 17 flight at Walney Island in Cumbria, the conventional ailerons were turned off and trailing-edge air jets used for roll control.
The fluidic or circulation-control device is mounted between the outboard aileron and inboard elevator. An auxiliary power unit provides pressurized air which is blown out of slots on the trailing edge of the device - the upper slot to roll left, the lower to roll right.
Demon has been developed under the FLAVIIR project, a five-year, $7.8 million research program looking at technologies for future unmanned aircraft and funded jointly by BAE Systems and the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The focus for the research is a "grand challenge" laid down by BAE to develop aerodynamic, control, systems, materials, integration and manufacturing technologies for a maintenance-free, low-cost UAV without conventional control surfaces and without a performance penalty over conventional aircraft.
awt, unmanned, aeronautics