Published: 31 December 2011

Design and analysis of a ducted fan UAV

Hongming Cai1
Haisong Ang2
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Abstract

The ducted fan unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can operate in vertical flight and horizontal flight. A new tilt-body ducted fan UAV with wings, which is capable of high-speed forward flight in wing-borne mode, is designed. Two fixed wings can provide sufficient lift of the ducted fan UAV in the high-speed wing-borne flight. The fixed geometry duct design reflects a compromise between low and high speed performance requirements of it. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel testing are used to study its aerodynamic characteristics in various modes. Momentum source items are utilized to replace two counter-rotating propellers in the numerical simulation. The results illustrate that the ducted fan MAV designed can hover, take off and land vertically. Furthermore, it has the ability to fly slowly in helicopter mode and fly rapidly in wing-borne mode and has excellent aerodynamic characteristics throughout the whole flight envelope.

About this article

Received
28 September 2011
Accepted
04 December 2011
Published
31 December 2011
Keywords
ducted fan
UAV
tilt
momentum source
wind tunnel testing
aerodynamic