Voting Result: 3.01202756146
Overview for ORCA - VTOL Glider
The Orca is essentially a glider that has vertical take off capabilities. It has a CNC milled carbon fiber frame covered in an ultralight yet strong polyester fabric used in aircrafts up to 600kg MOTW. The ultralight fabric is waterproof and UV-resistant, and is approved for wing loads of up to 49kg/m2. Civilians will not feel threatened by its presence due to its familiar design.
The “+” quadcopter configuration has been chosen to ensure a streamlined glider arrangement. The propellers on the underside of the V-shaped belly can be aligned and locked during forward flight via the Propeller Alignment System. The PAS has a build in fail-safe in case of malfunctions.
With or without the payload, the CG remains near the “quadcenter” for stable take off and landing. The battery pack is located near the CG and has a modular chassis design. Individual cells can be swapped at any time or the entire battery all at once.
The Orca has a two tier flight termination system: A tricycle landing gear allows the drone to land in its fixed wing mode during vertical thruster failures. The second flight termination system covers catastrophic lift surface and power failures, where a standard parachute is deployed for emergency descent.
Its design makes assembly and disassembly simple and intuitive. During transport, the wing and tail section can be partially disassembled. The main body with partial wings will have a maximum span of 2m, which is legally transportable on the road via a hanger.
Critical Appraisal 1
Underside propellers: Even though the V-shaped underside is definitely more efficient than a normal shaped fuselage, we do not know how much it affects the efficiency.
Analysis: Testing of efficiency of electric motors by varying the angle of a 3D-printed V-shaped object on the intake side.
Critical Appraisal 2
Ducted wings: Since we chose to integrate the fan ducts into the wing, the structural integrity and aerodynamics of the wing is diminished.
Analysis: a.) FEM analysis of wing rib structure and optimisation. b.) CFD analysis of wing with ducts.
Critical Appraisal 3
Quadcopter-tail length paradox: The lengths of the fuselage and tail are dependent on the distance between rotors. The larger the distance, the longer the aircraft, hence the heavier the aircraft will be. The challenge is to find a balance between weight and stability which are influenced by the aforementioned parameters.
Analysis: Explore more efficient thrust systems to increase stability.
For more detailed information, please refer to the illustrations above or the Design Report in the files.