Development of the UIUC aero testbed: A large-scale unmanned electric aerobatic aircraft for aerodynamics research

Or D. Dantsker, Miles J. Johnson, Michael S Selig, Timothy Wolfe Bretl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This paper describes the development of a large 35%-scale unmanned aerobatic platform named the UIUC Aero Testbed, which is primarily intended to perform aerodynamics research in the full flight regime. The giant-scale aircraft with a 105-in (2.7-m) wingspan and weight of 37 lb (17 kg) was constructed from a commercially available radio control model aircraft with extensive modifications and upgrades including a 12-kW electric motor system that provides a thrust-to-weight ratio in excess of 2-to-1. It is equipped with an avionics suite that contains a high-frequency, high-resolution six degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) inertial measurement unit (IMU) that allows the system to collect aircraft state data. This information set can be used to generate high-fidelity aerodynamic data that can be used to validate high angle-of-attack flight-dynamic models. Collaboration in this project also led the Aero Testbed to have the capability to fly fully- and semi-autonomously in order to conduct autonomous flight research. A literature review of aerobatic unmanned aircraft used for research is first presented. Then the background and motivations for developing this platform are discussed. This is followed by a description of the planning and development that was involved. Finally, initial test flight results are presented, which include flight path trajectory plots of several aerobatic maneuvers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013
Event31st AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2013Jun 27 2013

Other

Other31st AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period6/24/136/27/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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