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UFO, No. New class of UAVs, Yes

Picture of New Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
Picture of New Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

UK-based company AESIR has developed a UAV relying on the Coanda effect to generate lift.

The Coanda effect is the tendency of a fluid jet to become ‘attached’ to a nearby curved body instead of following its original path. The effect can be seen by running a stream of water over the underside of a spoon. The water follows the curve instead of dropping straight down – that’s the Coanda effect.

The Design

The  AESIR air velocity is created in the center of the craft using a fan and then directing the air flow through an outlet so it follows over the curved surface. The amount of lift generated is dependent upon the velocity, mass and density of the air.

Since the rotation of the fan causes the body of the UAV to rotate in the opposite direction, AESIR placed a series of vanes in the airflow around the outside of the body to neutralize this effect. Moveable flaps on sections of the lifting surface provide yaw control to allow the UAV to turn left or right. And flaps on the outside of the craft use the lift airflow to provide directional control, causing the craft to tilt and move in the direction of the tilt.

The AESIR family of craft:

Vidar is a portable craft for surveillance inside buildings, and in close confined spaces. It has an electric engine powered by Lithium Polymer batteries to provide up to 15 minutes of flight time. It weighs 400g and is capable of carrying a 100g payload.

Odin is fitted with a Wankel Rotary internal combustion engine fueled by JP-8 jet fuel. It weighs 10kg and can carry a 10kg payload for up to an hour. Fitted with an autonomous flight control system and managed through a simple to operate ground control system, it can be adapted to a range of tasks including Intelligence,

Hoder is a heavy lift craft that weighs 1.5 tonne and is capable of carrying a one tonne payload for up to eight hours.

AESIR was exhibiting at the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition 2009  in London earlier this month.