Unmanned plane becomes first jet in the world to fly without 'flaps'
A British unmanned plane that uses jets of air to fly instead of conventional 'flaps' has made aviation history. The experimental UAV, called DEMON, has become the first to control its elevation using jets of air.world Updated: Sep 28, 2010 00:01 IST
A British unmanned plane that uses jets of air to fly instead of conventional 'flaps' has made aviation history.
The experimental unmanned air vehicle (UAV), called DEMON, has become the first to control its elevation using jets of air.
DEMON made its historic flight at Walney Island in Cumbria ten days ago. It was developed by Cranfield University with BAE Systems and nine other UK universities.
DEMON's trial flights were the first 'flapless flights' ever to be authorised by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the Daily Mail reports.
All aeroplane wings have moveable sections called flaps. During takeoff and landing, the flaps are extended backwards and downwards from the trailing edge of the wings.
This alters the shape of the wing, forcing the air to take a longer journey over the top of the wing and pushing the wing up, creating lift.
The jets on the DEMON aircraft work in a different way. The plane works by manipulating the air that flows immediately next to its skin, rather than changing its shape.
The DEMON has an eight-foot wingspan and weighs just 200lbs.
DEMON can fly parts of its mission by itself but is not fully autonomous as it is still just an experimental vehicle.