Navy 1970s SCAT VTOL study

AeroFranz

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Found this in an old AIAA compilation of papers "Evolution of aircraft wing design". The particular paper was by Bob Liebeck (Father of the BWB), and the title was "Design of airfoils for high-lift" (AIAA 80-3034)
therein is briefly described a study called SCAT (Surveillance, Communications, ASMD Warning, and Targeting) for an attractive navy long endurance aircraft. The paper gives no information on the vehicle itself, except for the picture and this reference which i am investigating

"Wind tunnel results of a ten percent scale powered SCAT VTOL aircraft"
by Lee, D.G., and Lacey. D.W. naval ship research and development center, Bethesda, MD 1977

At first sight, I don't see how the depicted vehicle could be VTOL...maybe it has something to do with the curious rectangular markings in the front of the fuselage. It looks like it could be an intake for an auxiliary engine (methinks because of the red triangular decals). Whatever it is, I hope the exhaust does not impinge on the antenna! ;)

...anyone knows more about this? I searched the forum for selected keywords but found nothing.
 

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Matej

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Interesting find and very strange looking airplane. I think that it should have two jet engines for the VTOL operations. You described air intakes and the exhausts are under the wing (where is the center of the gravity), probably some Yak-141 style, or the single purpose ones with the fixed geometry. The picture suggests, that the air intake has some sort of retractable deflector, so during the cruise only the third turboprop (?) engine is in use. If the jet engines can direct the thrust also backwards, they can be used to increase the speed, when the plane is endangered by other subsonic aircrafts or helicopters. Too much dead weight in that case.
 

Triton

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The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) has an abstract of the Wind Tunnel Results of a Ten Percent Scale Powered SCAT VTOL Aircraft report by Lee, D.G., and Lacey. D.W. Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Bethesda, MD Mar 1977, Accession Number : ADA040313:

The low-speed aerodynamic characteristics of a 10-percent scale powered SCAT (Surveillance, Communications, ASMD Warning, and Targeting) configuration were investigated in the 8- by 10-foot subsonic north wind tunnel. Force and moment data were obtained for both powered and unpowered VTOL, fixed-wing aircraft. Analysis of the data indicate that the configuration is statically stable in both pitch and yaw and that control is adequate for both axes. The addition of a large aft-mounted radome did not significantly change longitudinal characteristics, but did increase lateral-directional stability. Two wings of different airfoil sections were evaluated: a NACA design and a Liebeck design. The Liebeck wing section increased lift over that generated by the NACA baseline wing section.

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA040313
 

Triton

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Is it just me, or does this aircraft look like an ancestor of the General Atomics Predator RQ-1 / MQ-1 / MQ-9 Reaper - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)?
 

AeroFranz

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Well, maybe in general layout.
The reason (I think) SCAT was a straight-wing pusher was that the study focused on low-drag, high-lift aerodynamics, which doesn't really work if you have a prop in front of the wing generating turbulent flow.
The tadpole-like fuselage is also a concession to aerodynamics.
 

Triton

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The report Wind Tunnel Results of a 10-percent Scale Powered SCAT VTOL Aircraft described above is available on the Defense Technology Information Center (DTIC) web site:

Handle / proxy Url: http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA040313

According to the report, SCAT was an aircraft created by the Naval Air Development Center (NADC) in Warminster, PA. NADC had been involved with a study effort that addresses the problem of providing real-time surveillance, over-the-horizon (OTH) targeting and similar functions for ship groups not in company with an aircraft carrier. A small, manned, fixed-wing VTOL aircraft was conceived by NADC to fulfill this mission. SCAT employs two lift jet engines for vertical takeoff and landing from destroyer and frigate-class ships but transitions to a turbo-prop engine for conventional flight. The two lift engines were not simulated in the wind tunnel studies.
 

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hesham

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Hi,


please can you ID this VTOL aircraft design ?.


http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a055540.pdf
 

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hesham

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Thank you Grey,


it's it,we can merge those topics.
 
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