Investigation of the flight control requirements of a half-scale ducted fan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Brynestad, Mark A.
Howard, Richard M.
Schmidt, Louis V.
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The goal of this investigation was to study the requirements to fly a previously constructed half-scale ducted fan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in horizontal and vertical flight as a proof of concept for a full-scale UAV of similar design. The following items were investigated: (1) methods to increase thrust from the ducted fan propulsion system; (2) the determination of the effectiveness and necessary coupling of the four control vanes in controlling the vehicle in vertical flight (pitch, roll, and yaw) and in countering the engine torque; and (3) the design, construction, and effectiveness of stator vanes. The following items were accomplished: (1) thrust was improved over the original vehicle through the design and construction of an effective bellmouth and nine-bladed fan; (2) control-vane effectiveness was determined, and stator vanes were designed and installed; (3) gyro stabilization was incorporated into the roll axis controls and the ducted fan flew in controlled tethered hover; and (4) gyroscopic cross coupling was demonstrated.
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