For the first time in aviation history, an aircraft has been manoeuvred in flight using supersonically blown air, removing the need for complex movable flight control surfaces.
In a series of ground-breaking flight trials that took place in the skies above north-west Wales, the MAGMA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrated two innovative flow control technologies which could revolutionise future aircraft design.
MAGMA, designed and developed by researchers at The University of Manchester in collaboration with engineers from BAE Systems, successfully trialled the two ‘flap-free’ technologies earlier this month at the Llanbedr Airfield.
The technologies have been designed to improve the control and performance of aircraft. By replacing moving surfaces with a simpler ‘blown air’ solution, the trials have paved the way for engineers to create better performing aircraft that are lighter, more reliable and cheaper to operate. The technologies could also improve an aircraft’s stealth as they reduce the number of gaps and edges that currently make aircraft more observable on radar.
Developing such technologies helps to ensure the UK has the right technologies and skills in place for the future and could be applied to the development of a Future Combat Air System. It is the latest technological breakthrough to come from a number of BAE Systems collaborations with academia and industry, that will help the UK to deliver more advanced capability, more quickly, and through shared investment.
Julia Sutcliffe, Chief Technologist, BAE Systems Air, said: “MAGMA is a great example of how collaborating with bright minds at British universities can deliver ground-breaking research and innovation. Our partnership with The University of Manchester has identified cutting-edge technology, in this case flap-free flight, and turned what began as a feasibility study into a proven capability in just a number of months. It demonstrates how STEM can be applied in the real-world and I hope the success of these trials inspires the next generation of much-needed engineers and scientists.”
Bill Crowther, senior academic and leader of the MAGMA project at The University of Manchester, added: “We are excited to have been part of a long-standing effort to change the way in which aircraft can be controlled, going all the way back to the invention of wing warping by the Wright brothers. It’s been a great project for students to be part of, highlighting that real innovation in engineering is more about finding practical solutions to many hundreds of small technical challenges than having single moments of inspiration.
“The partnership with BAE Systems has allowed us the freedom as a university to focus on research adventure, with BAE Systems providing the pathway to industrial application. We made our first fluidic thrust vectoring nozzle from glued together bits of plastic and tested it on a hair drier fan nearly 20 years ago. Today BAE Systems is 3D printing our components out of titanium and we are flight testing them on the back of a jet engine in an aircraft designed and built by the project team. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
The technologies demonstrated in the trials were:
- Wing Circulation Control: Taking air from the aircraft engine and blowing it supersonically through narrow slots around a specially shaped wing tailing edge in order to control the aircraft.
- Fluidic Thrust Vectoring: Controlling the aircraft by blowing air jets inside the nozzle to deflect the exhaust jet and generate a control force.
The trials form part of a long-term collaboration between BAE Systems, academia and the UK government to explore and develop flap-free flight technologies, and the data will be used to inform future research programmes. Other technologies to improve the aircraft performance are being explored in collaboration with NATO Science and Technology Organisation.
via BAE Systems
The Latest on: Aircraft design
via Google News
The Latest on: Aircraft design
- Fiat Chrysler Backs Archer's eVTOL Aircrafton January 12, 2021 at 7:33 am
The U.S. automotive group will provide composites and engineering support for the four-seat, all-electric eVTOL aircraft, which is due to fly in 2021.
- Archer Taps FCA's Scale and Expertise to Accelerate Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing Aircraft (eVTOL) Productionon January 12, 2021 at 6:44 am
Archer will benefit from access to FCA's low-cost supply chain, advanced composite material capabilities, and engineering and design experience Archer ...
- JetBlue Introduces Its New Airbus A220-300 with Stunning Design Features and Industry-Leading Onboard Customer Experienceon January 12, 2021 at 6:22 am
JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today introduced the all-new onboard experience which will soon greet customers aboard the airline’s Airbus A220-300, a next-generation aircraft which combines style and ...
- This New Self-Flying Electric Aircraft Is So Nimble It Can Land on Your Office Roofon January 12, 2021 at 6:08 am
Metro Hop’s two-passenger, pilotless aircraft is designed to land and take off in just 82 feet, making rooftop runways an option.
- Air taxi startup Archer is partnering with automaker FCA on production of its electric aircrafton January 12, 2021 at 5:45 am
Archer, a company that’s looking to develop an airline of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for sue in urban transport, will work with automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) ...
- FCA To Collaborate On Cockpit Design Elements Of Archer's First EVTOL Aircraft - Quick Factson January 12, 2021 at 5:22 am
Archer will manufacture high-volume, composite, electric vertical takeoff and landing or eVTOL aircraft, with the intent of starting volume manufacturing in 2023. FCA has collaborated on cockpit ...
- The EcoPulse™ hybrid aircraft demonstrator achieves its first key milestone with successon January 11, 2021 at 7:01 am
The EcoPulse™ distributed propulsion hybrid aircraft demonstrator – which is being developed by Daher, Safran and Airbus with the support of France’s CORAC ...
- 10 Craziest Military Aircraft Known To The Publicon January 10, 2021 at 2:35 pm
From stealth bombers to massive carriers, these military aircraft are at least 20 years ahead of anything that's available to the public today.
- Recycling an airplane: What's scrapped when an aircraft retires?on January 6, 2021 at 5:12 pm
With Covid-19, many aircraft that would have had years of service left are being stripped down and their metals and other materials recycled. Finnair talks with CNN about how it works.
- RoKN unveils revised conceptual design for future light aircraft carrieron January 6, 2021 at 1:18 pm
The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) unveiled on 3 January a revised conceptual design for its future next-generation light aircraft carrier.
via Bing News