Washington, Oct 15 (ANI): Engineers at the Cranfield University in the United Kingdom have completed a flapless flight by using bursts of air to control an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) they call Demon.
The research will lead to UAVs that are safer, more manoeuvrable and stealthier.
Most aircraft manipulate their motion and direction with control surfaces found on the tailing edge of the wings and tail. When raised or lowered, air hits those flaps and the aircraft changes direction.
The eight-foot DEMON weights 200 pounds and has a maximum speed of 172 miles per hour. Seen from above, the aircraft has a distinctive diamond shape with an elongated nose, a concept known as a blended wing-body configuration, reports Discovery News.
Instead of the traditional flaps along the tailing edge of the wings, the DEMON uses bursts of air to turn one way or another. A flapless aircraft has fewer moving parts, making it less likely to break and easier to maintain.
"Moving parts make it harder to maintain and repair (an aircraft). A solid state device like a synthetic jet actuator means fewer things that can break," said Mark Costello, a professor at Georgia Tech.
It could also be stealthier, since it would be hidden from radar, unlike a moving flap.
The DEMON won't go into commercial production, said BAE in a tatement, but the technology used in the UAV will be transferred o other aircraft. (ANI)