The Air Nurse cargo drone is a VTOL aircraft which can be launched from an air vehicle (with an in-air deploy mechanism), or can take off from anywhere in the world.
It has a very modular design with interchangeable wings, and T-shaped fuselage which can be drilled through to fit any required equipment.
In folded position, this design can fit in a fairly small package, which enable it to be carried to any destination in very large quantity.
To see all the design inspirations, all information and characteristics, as well as explanations of the folding mechanisms, please refer to the design brief and to the frame sheet, which can both be found in the file section.
We have been working hard on this project to try to take in account every single aspect of the design, we hope you will like what we ended up with !
The Air Nurse product family aims at boosting established Airbus products' capabilities by adding a seamless one-way intermodal option using in-air deployable small drones.
The base model also works as a highly functional VTOL light cargo delivery UAV as per the challenge requirements.
It comes in a supremely sleek package that almost ships itself in the wind shadow of any rapid emergency response operation, and will improved crew safety in increment conditions as well as a highly resilient survey platform with extremely high up-time and near negligible cost per flight hour. Total cost of ownership and environmental impact are very reasonable particularly if a flexible shared use agreement with firefighters, insurance companies, and health services is an option.
This is trimmed to be thrown out of a H225, H145, H125 or similar. There is a lot of unrealistic folding action going to be in this branch. Ideally it'll fit in a box about 2 m x 0.6 m x 0.4 m. Access to cargo through transport box and then just plop it out at altitude like a torpedo. Alternatively deploy from ground as per requirements.
The tail is only symbolic at the moment. I know it will have to be a good bit larger. Also it'll probably be inverted-V. Ah, I think I have an idea...
[What was I thinking? Was I drunk? I don't remember... It is a off the cuff sketch. initially I wanted to cover all 4 props with the wing. Hopeless. So then I reduced to 2 and tried to find another place for the other 2.]
Start in VTOL configuration, but then buckle down as the wings slide over the ducts. Cause cruising for a bruising is what this bird is made for.
- Forward prop, Nothing special.
- Slender airframe section, probably similar to tail assembly, not yet decided on tail config.
belly, this is where most stuff goes. It is about as wide as the
upright cargo requirement (250 mm), and as long as it needs to be. Of
course it'll have some more fairing then shown here. Landing gear will
likely attach here as well. Most probably this will be a hi-wing config,
so alternatively I could put landing gear on the wing.
- Payload. Accessible from either side. Oversized cargo is possible, particularly if we can do STOVL.
- this is the fun bit! The beam that holds the number 7 props is
"loosely" attached here, meaning there is a (slightly helical!) shaft it
can travel up and down on for a couple of mm. However it does so the
beam rotates by about 30°. This makes sure our main lifting force is
efficiently utilized. The beam may have a lil bit of dihedral to it so
we get more stability in this phase.
- Auxiliary lifting prop
pair. These ideally get covered up fully by the wing when we go into
cruise config. Before that they help with lift - but mainly with
balancing against gusts. I may not be able to do this as well with the
number 7 props as they are less rigidly mounted.
- Big ole
overloaded lifting props. I might be able to grow the diameter some,
depending on how things come out. Probably I'll give the aft one a tad
more cross-section in longitudinal direction, so as to have a bit of
extra momentum that turns the beam in line with the tail section and
front. I'll probably have some fairing sticking out from the fuselage so
that the prop blades can hide behind them. There are a couple of
options to make them stay in that position. Haven't yet decided which
I'll go for.
- The support structure for the hollow wings / aux
lift props. They will also guide the wing as it is slid over the aux
lift props. Not sure yet which method I'll use here. Realistic comments
are welcome! This is of course a very tickly bit of design here, and
reliability is important. Currently I am leaning towards a spring load
that pushes the wings open. This is compressed with some string and
winch system that pulls the wings over the ducts. That would also allow
for some bracing with the relatively deep and heavy belly if one so
- The gloriously efficient wing (compared to vertical
tomfoolery anyway). Inner section needs to have significant camber to
house the stuff - no problem as we also need the lift. Outer section
could balance that with some more aggressive airfoil and angle of
attack. There'll have to be some iterations or CFD to get to an
acceptable cruise behavior, while not skimping on STOL and structural.
And with acceptable cruise behavior I mean 194 km/h. Time is money
folks. And time spent holding batteries in the sky is money lost and fun