Design and fabrication of unmanned VTOL aircraft

The project was carried out by a group of B. Tech. (Aerospace) students, Ahmad Faraz, Ahlenoor Khan, Syed Sajjad Abidi and Vivek Kumar Singh. Supervised by Prof. Vinod Saxena and Mr. Sumit Krishnan, this vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft can hover, take off and land vertically.

The traditional fixed wing airplanes are incapable of undergoing vertical take-off or landing. Such airplane rather needs a long runway to take-off or land safely on the ground. Their applications are also limited because of low maneuverability around obstacles in congested or isolated areas.

On the other hand, rotary wing aircrafts such as helicopters or quad-copters may possess VTOL characteristics, but has slow operational speeds. Aircraft designers’ consistent efforts have resulted into production of VTOL airplanes namely CURTIS WRIGHT X19, OSPREY V22, AEROSPATIALE N500 which are capable of lifting up vertically from the ground requiring no ground roll distance. Experts believe that design of these aircrafts is compromised with respect to operational speed, stability and maneuverability characteristics.

In this project, the students’ group has designed a working model of a delta wing aircraft having vertical take-off and landing abilities and at the same time possesses appreciable operational speed, stability and maneuverability. The proposed aircraft is a hybrid radio controlled model based on tilt rotor mechanism having the properties of both fixed wing and rotary wing aircrafts. The wings are designed carefully to achieve sufficient amount of lift for flight during gliding as well. Furthermore, the designed model has also been simulated for the real flight conditions on ANSYS V15. The free-stream velocity of 25 m/s is assumed for modeling the flow. This CFD analysis is done to visualize the flow and to know the aerodynamic performance of proposed model at three different angles of attack (α) 0o, 5o, 10o respectively and finally students compared the results for analysis.