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PTVC-M for Ultra-Agile VTOL and 300+ km·h-1 Cruising

DOI: 10.4236/aast.2016.11005, PP. 48-57

Keywords: Pitch-Axis Thrust Vector Control, VTOL, Tailsitter, Ultra-Maneuverability

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Abstract:

There remains a need to develop improved VTOL techniques that are cost-effective and with minimum compromise on cruising flight performance for fixed-wing aircraft. This work proposes an elegant VTOL control method known as PTVC-M (pitch-axis thrust vector control with moment arms) for tailsitters. The hallmark of the approach is the complete elimination of control surfaces such as elevators and rudder. Computer simulations with a 1580 mm wing span airplane reveal that the proposed technique results in authoritative control and unique maneuverability such as inverted vertical hover and stall-spin with positive climb rate. Zero-surface requirement of the PTVC-M virtually eliminates performance tradeoffs between VTOL and high-speed flight. In this proof-of-concept study, the VTOL-capable aircraft achieves a VH of 360 km·h-1 at near sea-level. The proposed technique will benefit a broad range of applications including high-performance spinsonde that can directly measure 10-m surface wind, tropical cyclone research, and possibly serving as the cornerstone for the next-generation sport aerobatics.

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