Drone With No Moving Control Surfaces – Maneuver Using Supersonic Blasts of Air

Drone With No Moving Control Surfaces – Maneuver Using Supersonic Blasts of Air

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MAGMA first flight, September 2017

Researchers at BAE Systems and The University of Manchester successfully test-flew an experimental unmanned aerial vehicle with no moving control surfaces

The 12-foot-span, jet-propelled MAGMA drone could help BAE develop stealthier warplanes.

Control surfaces account for a significant portion of an airplane’s radar signature.

Instead of rudders, ailerons and other conventional control surfaces, MAGMA relies on two new technologies for maneuverability.

    • Wing circulation control “takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control for the aircraft,”
    • Fluidic thrust vectoring, meanwhile, “uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed.”

Top 10 Unmanned combat aerial vehicle / military drones List

World’s first flight by “flapless” aircraft

In its first flight, MAGMA featured two small vertical fins for stability. But the fins, themselves a significant source of radar reflectivity, could be temporary. “

Furthermore, MAGMA is not BAE System’s first test of a UAV with no moving control surfaces.

In 2010, the company — along with Cranfield University — tested the smaller Demon drone, which also used blown air for maneuverability.

The demon was the result of a five-year, $8-million research initiative that BAE Systems launched in 2005.

MAGMA represents a continuation of that work.

See how US navy controls X-47B Drone with ‘Cyborg’/ Robotic Arm

Drone With No Moving Control Surfaces - Maneuver Using Supersonic Blasts of Air

 

 

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