The US Navy is investing in VTOL UAVs, which can operate of small helipads on destroyer class or smaller ships. But will these Helicopter VTOL – Aircraft UAV combinations achieve Supersonic Flight? And will they have the maneuverability needed to also provide stealth. In poor weather conditions and for the absolute need for BLOS information and knowledge of the enemy such UAVs might do more harm then good if they are detected as they will alert the enemy that a ship is nearby, so making it a target and putting the ship And crew at risk of detection and attack. Critics believe that a helicopter will never achieve supersonic flight, they say things like: "No Way! Sorry Airwolf Fans. Not possible!" They say that this is because as the helicopter has to depend on it's main rotor for lift. The problem is that as the helicopter's speed increases the retreating rotor blade (the one moving back from the direction of flight) will stop and stop generating lift. When that hap- pens the helicopter will pitch out of control and crash.
Well the US Navy thanks to some very bright aerospace engineers had figured out how to make it work. Here is the basic concept. The Boeing Canard Rotor / Wing Dragonfly.
In this picture we propose a three bladed symmetrical rotor blade configuration with an extremely thin and sharp leading and trailing edge, much like the F-104. These rotor blades will stop at 350 KTS as the fuselage will fly on it's own at that speed. Computer controls will prevent the flipping over warned by doubters of the innovative ability of those who know 'no-limits'. Since there are three blades the blades will be swept forward and one will be inline with the fuselage, which can guide airflow to a single vertical stabilizer to save weight instead of the dual tail configuration here. This will allow for better maneuverability and airflow. Since the aircraft will have short rotor blades – wings, the stress issues associated with forward swept wings will not be at issue. Here is a picture of the X-29 with forward swept wings.
We propose an anterior configuration for the rotor blades and although unstable in supersonic flight the onboard computer system can readjust controls 200 times a second so the problem of stability will not be an issue. The vertical stabilizer in this case can be little more than a strike on the rear of a cone as the airflow will be forcing the ram air over it. The second possibility could be a dual set of strakes coming off the round of the rear cone which attempt converge towards each other in. The rotor blades will flow into each other at the base with a rounded convex fashion. We also propose a simple but effective thrust vectoring system, which will allow the UAV to dodge SAMs.
With these modifications we believe we can keep the UAV with an extremely tiny radar signature and maintain it's stealth configuration, while allowing it to achieve supersonic flight and still operate at all speeds including a hover. We propose these changes be tested in a wind tunnel and models made to prove concept. Have drawings
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