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Aerodynamic Characteristics and Longitudinal Stability of Tube Launched Tandem-Scheme UAV

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Abstract

Tube launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are often implemented with aerodynamic scheme with forward and rear wings (so-called tandem-scheme). Specificity of such UAV is that immediately after launch, they have a flight path in which wings are turned from position along the fuselage to flight position in which sweep angles are about zero. UAV aerodynamic characteristics for different wing rotation angles were researched by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods (Ansys 16 software). Quantitative results prove that UAV is unstable with wings rotation angles up to 60° because rear wings produce lift ahead of center of gravity. Therefore, low time of wings unfolding is required. For high angles of wings rotation (low sweep angles), UAV model is stable in a wide range of angles of attack. Local aerodynamic defects were found in the area of the rotation units of both wings. Longitudinal vortex along the left side of fuselage was observed, but it does not result in significant roll moment. Further research might include UAV dynamics modelling based on calculated aerodynamics characteristics or flight tests.

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