DARPA Chose The Developers Of The Aircraft Without Wing Mechanization
The Defense Advanced Development Agency (DARPA) of the US Department of defense selected three participants in the CRANE tender (Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors, control of a fundamentally new aircraft using innovative Executive devices) for the development, assembly and testing of an aircraft completely devoid of wing mechanization. According to defense Talk, at the first stage of the tender, participants will have to identify systems that can be used for flight control instead of traditional mechanization.
In modern aircraft, flight control is performed using movable aerodynamic elements, otherwise called mechanization. There is the mechanization of the wing and tail, driven by electric, mechanical or hydraulic systems. With the help of mechanization, pilots can control not only the direction of flight of the aircraft in space but also the formation of lift on the wing or the speed of the aircraft.
The CRANE project involves the complete replacement of traditional mechanization, which is used for flight control, with active Airflow Control Systems (AFC). The new systems on the aircraft will have to be used throughout the flight: from takeoff and landing to high-altitude flight. It is assumed that the use of active airflow control systems will make promising aircraft easier and cheaper to maintain by reducing the number of mobile elements.
The American Agency allowed Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin, and Georgia Tech Research Corporation to participate in the CRANE tender. These companies will need to identify technologies and technical solutions that will influence the boundary layer on the airframe, thus allowing you to control its flight. The terms of the first stage of the tender are not specified.
In 2017, the British company BAE Systems conducted the first flight tests of the Magma unmanned aerial vehicle, which has a system for flight control that takes part in the air from the jet engine and redirects it through channels to the nozzles on the wing and in the engine nozzle. Air is blown out of the nozzles at supersonic speed; this makes it possible to control the flight of the drone.