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Experimental Demonstration of the Lifting Capability of a Towed Payload Using Multiple Fixed-wing UAVs

Samuel Quenneville, Francis Therien, Jessy Verrette, David Rancourt, University de Sherbrooke
Alex Walsh, Jean-Philippe Lucking Bigue, Exonetik
Philippe Feyel, Safran Electronics and Defense Canada

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0079-2023-17968

Abstract:
This paper presents an experimental demonstration of the Giant Rotor System (GRS), a heavy-lifting aircraft concept based on the Electric Power Reconfigurable Rotor (EPR²) concept and subsequent studies. The GRS is the first system to successfully demonstrate, under real outdoor flight conditions, the lifting of a payload with two off-the-shelf tethered fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The non-optimized system demonstrated hover flight and slow vertical lifting (less than 1 m/s) capabilities while lifting a 20 kg payload with two 3.2 kg UAVs and a total of 2.1 kW. The lifting efficiency achieved by the GRS is approximately 4 times better than that of any conventional rotorcraft or heavy-lift VTOL system. The results of this study are promising and bring us closer to the reality of using available commercial airplanes for vertical lifting applications. The experimental setup, the control scheme, the flight test results, and a comparison of the GRS performance to that of conventional rotorcraft are described in this paper.


Experimental Demonstration of the Lifting Capability of a Towed Payload Using Multiple Fixed-wing UAVs

  • Presented at Forum 79
  • 10 pages
  • SKU # : F-0079-2023-17968
  • Advanced Vertical Flight

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Experimental Demonstration of the Lifting Capability of a Towed Payload Using Multiple Fixed-wing UAVs

Authors / Details:
Samuel Quenneville, Francis Therien, Jessy Verrette, David Rancourt, University de Sherbrooke
Alex Walsh, Jean-Philippe Lucking Bigue, Exonetik
Philippe Feyel, Safran Electronics and Defense Canada