CU-24: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Design for Long Endurance

Andrew Lind, Eric Liu, Roland Florenz, Honghao (Long-Long) Tien, C Avedisian, Ephrahim Garcia
2009 47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including The New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition   unpublished
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly used in a wide variety of applications ranging from military reconnaissance missions to atmospheric data collection, with the majority of these missions requiring long endurance flights. Maximum endurance is achieved for a specific vehicle through the optimal selection of an engine and propeller combination. This study describes the capabilities of a new test stand used to determine the thrust specific fuel consumption of an engine as a function
more » ... gine as a function of engine RPM and propeller dimensions. The stand was used to evaluate the performance of a four stroke engine with several different propeller configurations and allow for the recording of real time data. It is shown that in order to minimize thrust specific fuel consumption (and therefore maximize endurance) a large propeller with a high pitch angle operating at a low RPM is optimal. Nomenclature c = thrust specific fuel consumption (lb/bhp*hr) = fuel consumption rate (lb/hr) P req = power required S = wing area (ft 2 ) t e = endurance (hours) T = thrust (lbf) V = flight velocity (ft/s) W f = aircraft weight at zero fuel (lbm) W i = aircraft weight at full fuel (lbm) σ = ratio of density of air at sea level to density of air at flight altitude η = propeller efficiency
doi:10.2514/6.2009-208 fatcat:k6wow4yn45ay3k2regfekri6qe