Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

We're Flying Without Wing Flaps And Without A Pilot

Date:
March 24, 2006
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
A remote-controlled aeroplane packed with scientific know-how has recently had a test flight in the United Kingdom, heralding a new generation of aircraft. The concept of a flapless vehicle, using fluidic thrust vectoring (where direction is changed with a secondary air flow) and air jets, is one important area of investigation. Another is the replacement of the pilot by sophisticated software that can autonomously fly the vehicle without collisions in what might be dangerous or remote environments.

An artist's conception of what flapless, maintenance free, uninhabited air vehicle could be like.
Credit: Image courtesy of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

A remote-controlled aeroplane packed with scientific know-how has recently had a test flight in the United Kingdom, heralding a new generation of aircraft.

Related Articles


The revolutionary model plane has been developed as part of a 6.2-million programme, involving engineers from the University of Leicester, funded jointly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and BAE Systems.

The five-year programme is called FLAVIIR - flapless air vehicle integrated industrial research - and involves teams from Leicester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Southampton, Swansea, Warwick, York and London. Manchester University's Goldstein Aeronautical Research Laboratory developed the model aircraft and the programme is managed by Cranfield University.

"The overall programme is aimed at developing new technologies for future generation uninhabited air vehicles, so called UAVs," said Professor Ian Postlethwaite, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Engineering at Leicester.

"The team involves experts from around the UK in Aerodynamics, Control Systems, Electromagnetics, Manufacturing, Materials and Structures, and Numerical Simulation. The results from the different groups will be brought together in a single flying demonstrator in about 2009. The concept of a flapless vehicle, using fluidic thrust vectoring (where direction is changed with a secondary air flow) and air jets, is one important area of investigation. Another is the replacement of the pilot by sophisticated software that can autonomously fly the vehicle without collisions in what might be dangerous or remote environments." This is the contribution of the Leicester researchers.

Professor Postlethwaite and Dr Da-Wei Gu, working with Research Assistants Sarah Blaney, Kannan Natesan and Yoonsoo Kim and Research Students Ihab Abou Rayan, Jianchi Chen and Samir Hassoun from the Control group at Leicester, are involved in increasing the levels of autonomy and performance in UAVs through research on co-ordinated control, integrated control and condition monitoring.

Over the past year, the Leicester team has developed a software package for the flight path planning task. The package incorporates several planning methods and is able to run in real-time and deal with uncertain situations.

Algorithms for co-ordinated mission task planning involving several UAVs are currently under development. Some initial robust control systems have been designed for the demonstrator model and control schemes, which explore FTV (fluidic thrust vectoring) and CC (circulation control -- which replaces conventional flaps by blowing air from the trailing edge of the wing) actuators will be a major development. A health management/condition monitoring system is also planned.

In addition, the Leicester team will explore the potential of multiple sensors (sensor arrays) distributed across an airframe to provide virtual air data for use in the health monitoring and improved control of future UAVs.

Another key project will be developing fault detection mechanisms for use in a fault tolerant flight control system, which can automatically adapt for failures sustained during a mission thereby maintaining adequate flight performance and stability.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "We're Flying Without Wing Flaps And Without A Pilot." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060322182207.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2006, March 24). We're Flying Without Wing Flaps And Without A Pilot. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060322182207.htm
University of Leicester. "We're Flying Without Wing Flaps And Without A Pilot." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060322182207.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

Buzz60 (Oct. 23, 2014) New York City officials announce a new technology initiative for the NYPD. Tim Minton reports smartphones and tablets will be given to more than 40,000 NYPD officers and detectives in an effort to change the way they perform their duties. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins