Development of a 1/7th scale fighter UAV for flight research
Lee, Daniel M.
Howard, Richard M.
Pagenkopf, Eric L.
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A program was initiated to develop a radio-controlled fighter aircraft to be used for supermaneuverability and agility flight research. High angle-of-attack flight testing a high-risk and very expensive endeavor in manned aircraft, and wind tunnel testing to duplicate dynamic maneuvers is extremely difficult. Another means to conduct agility fight research in a low-cost, low- risk environment has been sought. Construction of a scaled generic Navy fighter model, to be powered by ducted-fan engines and controlled by radio command, was begun. Also, it was deemed essential to incorporate an emergency recovery system in the aircraft, should control be lost due to radio component failure, primary flight system malfunction, or departure from controlled flight. A parachute recovery system was designed, constructed, and tested for structural integrity, opening shock dampening, rapid deployment, and desired rate of descent. Work will continue, leading to flight testing of forebody modifications for enhanced control at high angles of attack.
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