Development of a 1/7-scale F/A-18 UAV for supermaneuverability research.
Shelton, Michael S.
Howard, Richard M.
Schmidt, Louis V.
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A 1/7-scale F/A-18 Hornet UAV was constructed for use in generic fighter high-angle-of-attack research. The aircraft, purchased as a kit, has been extensively modified to incorporate rudders and trailing edge flaps. In addition, an emergency parachute recovery system (EPRS) was installed for use in the event of departure from controlled flight, loss of radio signal, structural failure or any other anomally that would preclude a normal landing recovery. Parachute performance data and design considerations are discussed. Aerodynamic and dynamic data have been determined, such as eg, moments of inertia, full and empty weights, surface areas, aspect ratio and wing loading. Preliminary performance estimations have been determined and the aircraft has been flown. Future research to include the employment of non-conventional yaw control methods using forebody strakes and possibly pneumatic blowing is discussed. The need to pursue cooperative thesis research in the investigation of a Digital Flight Control System (DFCS), utilizing fly-by-wire active flight controls, is discussed. This UAV generic fighter program is planned as a multithesis student project, and this thesis documents the research and work of the second student involved with the project.
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