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Atreides

First flight for flapless plane

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Cool stuff.

 

Video

 

Engineers at BAE Systems in Lancashire have developed the world's first ''flapless'' plane, which uses jets of air to control its movements rather than the flaps on its wings.

 

The revolutionary prototype of the new Demon plane has just made its maiden flight on Walney Island, off the Cumbrian Coast.

Edited by Atreides

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The F-117 didn't have flaps, and first flew over three decades ago.

 

yep thats true,wats so special abt this "demon".

 

 

 

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I think they mean no wing control surfaces, no flaps OR ailerons. Many planes have existed without one or the other, but those without either are very few and usually belong to the wing-warping club. If this doesn't use that either but just blown air, that's interesting but hardly practical.

 

After all, what does it do in an engine-out situation?

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I'm curious about the practicality of such a thing myself...I can't see such a thing scaling up well. It MAY be useful for ultra small UAVs...little to no moving parts.

 

FC

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What is the practical use besides what the guy is talking about, "green war machines" Do they manouver better without wing control surfaces?

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The real point of eliminating control surfaces is stealth. No hinged joints with gaps, hinges, etc. While losing the engine would obviously be a major problem with complete loss of control, it presents no more risk than unstable aircraft losing computers or tailless aircraft using vectored thrust (think X-31). It seems like this project is principally for stealth drones as the practical application to commercial aircraft appears to have little value.

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Except for the increased heat signature using hot jets to control the aircraft. You couldn't use cold jets...either you've have to carry a LOT of cold air...or have massive heat exchangers to cool the jets down before using them to control the aircraft. Again, I don't think you could scale this up to a manned aircraft size. But a stealthy UAV might work.

 

FC

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I suppose a high-bypass ratio turbofan would offer plenty of cool bleed air, akin to the Harrier's or F-35B's method for creating air jets in hover mode. Most UAVs are small, though, so an HBR turbofan wouldn't fit well.

 

I think the best application would be dual-mode. A plane that can lock its surfaces into a stealthy position in high-threat areas and use the blown air, but able to revert to the surfaces in the event of engine failure or for increased agility under fire (when stealth is already compromised).

IIRC, the B-2 already does this to some extent. It has "drag rudders" by splitting the outboard ailerons differentially (like the A-10's airbrakes just on one side or the other) that it doesn't use in "full stealth mode", switching to differential engine thrust instead. Less precise, but no RCS increase. This takes that idea already used for yaw and applies it to roll.

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