FanWing UAV gets airborne after ground roll of only 1m

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Vectored-thrust short take-off and vertical landing prototype also under development

The FanWing short take-off unmanned air vehicle has demonstrated it can get airborne after a ground roll of just 1m (3ft). The UAV uses a bladed rotor turning on a horizontal axis, which acts like a thick, high-lift wing. The short take-off version is designed for urban operations where runway space would be limited.

The 2.4m (7.8ft) wing-span UAV, made from composite materials, has a dry weight of 5.5kg (12.1lb), 12kg maximum take-off weight and a 2kg payload capability. Powered by a 1.2kW electric motor, the UAV can fly at 15.5kt (29km/h). The development goal is an 80min endurance.

 The FanWing has been designed for slow-flight urban surveillance

"This prototype was designed for slow-flight urban surveillance. It is also designed for quick assembly and set up, about 5min out of the box," says Italy-based FanWing inventor Patrick Peebles. The company is also developing a vertical take-off prototype, which Peebles prefers to call vectored-thrust STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing). Tethered hover tests have been completed.

The wood and composite construction STOVL UAV has a span of 2.5m, a mass of 8.5kg, and a flight speed approaching 39kt. Peebles is planning to conduct free flight tests, transitioning from hover to forward flight and incrementally slowing the vehicle's airspeed until it achieves a hover.

 The FanWing has been designed for slow-flight urban surveillance