Aerodynamic design of long-range vtol uav

Parisa Footohi, Adrien Bouskela, Sergey Shkarayev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The blended-wing-body vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicle (BWB VTOL UAV) combines the hovering and VTOL capabilities of a helicopter with the efficiency of a fixed-wing aircraft. The BWB utilizes a lift-generating fuselage that improves the lift produced by the craft, and therefore improving the overall efficiency. The body allows for the propulsion system necessary for VTOL to be housed in the fuselage. The purpose of this research is to understand the effects of planform shape on the aerodynamics of the UAV, and the ground effects and jet interactions due to having rotors submerged within the fuselage of the craft. Wind tunnel experimentation was performed on the fore-and aft-body positioned BWB models. The results indicate that having a fore-positioned body with respect to the wing provides better stability and efficiency for long-range flights. Additional tests were conducted on just the wing of the UAV to better understand the lift, drag, and moment contributions from the lift-generating fuselage of the fore-BWB model. The ground effects due to ducted propellers in the body were also studied. Motor thrust values were obtained with the UAV positioned at heights of 1, 2, and 3 duct diameters. Results for when all four motors are running show favorable ground effects. A comparison of these results with the thrust from the individual data indicates positive jet interactions between the four motors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105784
StatePublished - 2019
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2019Jan 11 2019

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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