XQ-1A Experimental Drone
With recent in-house developments of flight test performance techniques and on-board data acquisition hardware specific for small unmanned aerial systems, the challenge was set out to continue to advance the flight test technique’s capabilities and on-board technology. The design objective was to layout an initial design that was “aerodynamically interesting” with non-linear performance characteristics, and adaptable for multiple geometric wing configurations. The design is a baseline experimental platform for future flight test methods and novel aircraft technologies development, and configuration layout design studies. Additional design feature interests included a platform that was scalable for higher-speeds, highly maneuverable at lower-speeds, and a well-established initial wing layout for testing verification purposes. The aircraft design supports current FVDT student research in experimental wing analysis and airframe/engine integration in high maneuvering flight operations.