Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Aerodynamics of a Hand Launched UAV

The business for small hand launched UAVs can be quite lucrative.  Make no mistake, however, theses aircraft are not high-priced model (toy) airplanes that you can just sell to the government.  UAVs that are highly coveted for surveillance work by private and government organizations must be extremely durable (tough), all weather and have the range and endurance to fulfill their mission. They must also be quiet.

3D Analysis using Stallion 3D.  Colors show surface pressure.

The above specifications presents a myriad of conflicting design requirements that must be successfully navigated by the UAV aerodynamics engineer.  The aerodynamics software by Hanley Innovations is the only suite of programs that equips the designer with a set of tools to complete their tasks in a timely manner.  For example, Stallion 3D, a full-fledged aerodynamics software package, requires no user grid generation.  The workflow to setup a simulation takes seconds and the software runs on an ordinary PC or laptop computer under the familiar MS Windows environment.  The following video shows the process.

Video shows how to efficiently analyze a UAV using Stallion 3D

Requirements for a successful UAV design include:
1. Airfoils with good lift/drag ratio and soft stall characteristics
2. A wing/body (fuselage) combination that provides high lift and low induced drag.
3.  Good longitudinal stability characteristics (marginally stable UAVs are difficult to fly and gets damaged during landing and takeoff).
4. Good lateral stability characteristics and damping derivatives.

More information about our suite of software can be found a  You may also call us at (352) 240-3658.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Our airfoil analysis software starts at only $29 (they predict  the angle of attack for maximum lift and separation). More information can be found at:

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