AVT seeks partners to bring electrically powered to tiltrotor UAV to production

Advanced VTOL Aerospace (AVT), an Australian helicopter dynamics analysis company, has unveiled an electrically powered canard wing tiltrotor unmanned air vehicle, and is seeking partners to bring the design to production-ready status.

The Hammerhead demonstrator has performed 40 hovering flights since 2004. A full transition from hover to forward flight mode is expected within six months, says the company.

Hammerhead UAV

AVT's remotely piloted demonstrator has a glassfibre airframe just over 2m (6.5ft) long, weighs 9kg (19.8lb) without batteries and has a payload that will total 4kg for a production-standard aircraft.

The Hammerhead's propulsion system comprises two twin brushless electric motors, each driving 0.5m rotors and mounted on a boom arm that rotates through 90e_SDgr to allow the UAV to transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

A third electric motor mounted within the fuselage drives a ducted fan whose efflux is directed through four vectored nozzles at the rear to provide attitude and yaw control.

Air vehicle pitch and roll control is achieved by modifying the speed of the main rotor engines, while a rudder in the tail and ailerons in the rear wing provide flight control during horizontal flight.

Take-off can be achieved using just 20% of available engine power, with each main engine capable of producing 2.4hp (1.8kW). The UAV currently uses lithium polymer batteries, providing 20min endurance in hover mode and a forecast forward flight endurance of up to 2h.

Source: Flight International