Monday, January 25, 2010 4:29 PM cstanton

The Fanwing May Be The Next Widely Used UAV

"One of the few truly new aircraft since the Wright Brothers"  Clive Thompson of The New York Times

Pretty neat quote taken off of


The fanwing is an awesome remote controlled aircraft designed for a short take off, high lift, and slow speeds. 

Pat Peebles, the designer of the fanwing brings up a good point in the interview when he says that typically aircraft efficiency is based on how much air an aircraft can take in. To go for maximum efficiency, he just designed the fan to go across the entire wing and to distribute the propulsion as much as possible. It gives the aircraft great stability and allows it to travel at very slow speeds. Like 30km/hour through the air slow. Like floating.

The thing is virtually silent, so unless someone's looking very carefully into the sky, they probably won't even know it's there. The superslow speed, the high lift, and how silent it is make for it to be extremely useful as an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.

It will only take about 15 minutes for one man to set it up once it is in production, making it practical on the battlefield. The whole thing only weighs about 5.5 kg empty and the maximum takeoff weight is 12.5 kg, pretty easy to carry. When you add the 4kg battery, the MTOW allows for hardly anything but a 2kg payload. I guess a camera or scanner or whatever they use probably weighs less. Though it would be pretty cool, you couldn't really drop bombs with a 2 kg payload.

 Check out the website, its really pretty cool. They have a lot of neat pictures of the development. The flow visualization is pretty neat too.


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