On fixed-wing micro-air vehicles with hovering capabilities

Jean Marc Moschetta, Boris Bataillé, Chinnapat Thipyopas, Sergey Shkarayev

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

8 Scopus citations


The present paper investigates the possibility to improve the aerodynamic performance of a fixed-wing micro air vehicle (MAV) concept so as to simultaneously allow high cruise speed for covertness and hovering flight for stable image transmission. Two fixed-wing MAV configurations were tested and compared: a tilt-wing concept powered by two non-coaxial counter-rotating propellers and a tilt-body concept based on a coaxial rotor. The different configurations were separately analyzed based on wind tunnel experiments. The tilt-wing concept, although superior to the tilt-rotor concept, does not provide a significant benefit over an equivalent tilt-body MAV configuration. Finally, two tilt-body coaxial prototypes were designed and successfully flight tested to demonstrate the capability of fixed-wing MAV configurations to lift off, sustain hover flight and perform transition between forward and hover flight. Special attention was paid to the coaxial tail-sitter concept for which the propellers slipstream guarantees aerodynamic efficiency over the whole flight envelope. Side-by-side comparison of a mini- and a micro-sized coaxial tail-sitter model was carried out and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479373
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

Name46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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