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Sensorcraft projects and McDonnell Douglas project Diamond

Orionblamblam

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Matej said:
Does anybody have this AIAA papers ...
The SensorCraft Configurations: A Non-Linear AeroServoElastic Challenge for Aviation AIAA-2005-1943

Yes.
 

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hesham

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Hi,

A Sensor Craft UAV would be an arm of the manned and
unmanned ISR fleet.
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/2002/2002%20-%202730.html?search=boeing%201957
 

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flateric

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Tiny, low-quality pic, but it shows most of the in-house SensorCraft concepts, studied by Lockheed, Boeing and Northrop
 

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flateric

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Cross-posted from the Lockheed Tier3 thread, originally posted by Matej
Ashes to ashes...
 

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flateric

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One more identified as Northrop Grumman's
Better quality Boeing joined wing SC image
 

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flateric

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LM playing with the latest SensorCraft iterations (SC006 is shown) under Ultralight Multifunction Airframe
Concepts (UMAC) program under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The UMAC contractor
team consists of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (LM Aero), Bell Helicopter, Raytheon, and Southwest
Research Institute (SwRI).

Seems, Finally, all UAVs and UCAVs are closing to several, limited number, universal shapes...
 

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Just call me Ray

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flateric said:
Seems, Finally, all UAVs and UCAVs are closing to several, limited number, universal shapes...

It makes a lot of sense. UAVs can do fantastic aerial maneuvers (at least theoretically) which is the type of flight regime that does lend to a variety of aerodynamic shapes, but to start off with the AI just isn't here yet and frankly it's much easier to achieve air-to-air kills "on the ground," so to speak - which is why I think future offensive air doctrine is going to shift more towards small, stealthy, subsonic strike aircraft (possibly with only one engine being the norm) with very simple flying wing shapes designed around munitions like the small diameter bomb - and stealth aircraft lend themselves extremely well to these parameters.
 

flateric

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Early Northrop SensorCraft artist's impression.
 

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AeroFranz

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Just call me Ray said:
UAVs can do fantastic aerial maneuvers (at least theoretically) which is the type of flight regime that does lend to a variety of aerodynamic shapes, but to start off with the AI just isn't here yet and frankly it's much easier to achieve air-to-air kills "on the ground,"

Ray, there are more reasons why we may never see ultra-maneuverable (as opposed to super-maneuverable) UAVs - it may not make sense. The structural weight penalty required to pull the g's ends up penalising other aspects (payload/range). I am not very good with structures, but if you look at conceptual design weight methods, the weight of structural components is proportional to the load factor elevated to a power between .25 and .6. So I think it adds up pretty quickly.
Also, you can probably get more maneuvering energy in a short range missile than in any UAV airframe.
Just my two cents ;)
 

Just call me Ray

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AeroFranz said:
Just call me Ray said:
UAVs can do fantastic aerial maneuvers (at least theoretically) which is the type of flight regime that does lend to a variety of aerodynamic shapes, but to start off with the AI just isn't here yet and frankly it's much easier to achieve air-to-air kills "on the ground,"

Ray, there are more reasons why we may never see ultra-maneuverable (as opposed to super-maneuverable) UAVs - it may not make sense. The structural weight penalty required to pull the g's ends up penalising other aspects (payload/range). I am not very good with structures, but if you look at conceptual design weight methods, the weight of structural components is proportional to the load factor elevated to a power between .25 and .6. So I think it adds up pretty quickly.
Also, you can probably get more maneuvering energy in a short range missile than in any UAV airframe.
Just my two cents ;)

I know, I was just speaking from a doctrinal standpoint why we're unlikely to see a true UAV "dogfighter" as opposed to a proliferation of UAV strike aircraft.
 

AeroFranz

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Ray, I guess between the two of us we've ruled out super-maneuverable UAVs ever seeing the light of day!

Mind you, I'd be curious to know what dogfights between super-maneuverable UCAVs would look like. With crews comfortably watching hundreds (or thousands) of miles away, leaving it up to vehicle capabilty, weapons, and whatever playbook of maneuvers the UCAV has stored in its memory to decide the outcome. Some sort of "Robot wars" on steroids.
And best of all, no human gets hurt.
 

flateric

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Some fresh SensorCraft images - this is Boeing's Model 1076-410E
 

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flateric

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...more. Lockheed/Boeing NGB similarities are obvious.
 

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flateric

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This is Northrop's one. Some photos of the wind tunnel model test.
 

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flateric

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Better quality NG Sensorcraft render and Sensorcraft's Swept Wing Laminar Flow Control (SWLFC) concept test article, being tested using WhiteKnightOne
 

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Matej

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This is probably going to be the most stupid question I have ever asked but what do you see inside the (what is supposed to be) inlet? After enough zooming I see some person with the old style Gatling gun. Rorschach inkblot effect or the artist made a lot of fun?
 

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Clioman

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Looks more like a water-cooled vickers, ca. 1916. :D

BTW, I hope everyone knows that this particular image was generated by the AF Research Laboratory, and is entirely notional, i.e., that it does not represent any real, proposed or anticipated aircraft...
 

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Clioman said:
Looks more like a water-cooled vickers, ca. 1916. :D

BTW, I hope everyone knows that this particular image was generated by the AF Research Laboratory, and is entirely notional, i.e., that it does not represent any real, proposed or anticipated aircraft...

Well, that is an actual aircraft. And you can see the "notagatlinggun", it's part of the engine installation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP6t0gEYZwQ
 

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Wow, thanks for that video! I knew that it was build in some subscale form but never saw any visualization of it! For more reference about MDD (Boeing) take on the sensorcraft see the patent no. 5 899 410. Just to note that the Boeing take on the "sensorcraft" was much bigger with the two engines and originally the two fuselages inside the open diamond. The wingtips of the forward wing were enlarged behind the point of joining. It later evolved into model 1076-410E, already shown here.
 

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The NG "tuned spar" on the previous page is interesting. Was it meant to twist and the aileron meant to work like DC-9:s elevator tab, to rotate the wingtip in the opposite direction?
 

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Whoah! I'm happy to stand corrected. When I was at the Lab (1998-2000), I was led to believe that this design was purely notional. It's both wonderful and amazing to see the model fly so well.
 

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-
 

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Stargazer2006

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This McDonnell Douglas project seems to be exactly the same as the Boeing one. Is this the consequence of McDD being taken over by Boeing? An MDD project completed at Boeing? Same thing happened to the Bird of Prey, which was not a Boeing in the first place as many people assume.
 

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It was flight tested in 1994 when McDonnell Douglas was still McDonnell Douglas. After merging with the Boeing the idea was developed further, with the peak interest in 2001 -2002 timeframe.
 

quellish

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Matej said:
It was flight tested in 1994 when McDonnell Douglas was still McDonnell Douglas. After merging with the Boeing the idea was developed further, with the peak interest in 2001 -2002 timeframe.

The Boeing EX, which has a similar configuration, was completely unrelated. Two similar ideas from two separate groups before the merger. The Diamond demonstrator was one of the few public Phantom Works projects, and was internally funded.
 

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That's an interesting point! I never realized that because I have mostly the top views, where the exact shape of the wing is not so clear. It means that the Boeing's take on the sensorcrafts comes from the EX, while MDD work on the Project Diamond has better connection to the morphing aircraft structures.
 

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Matej said:
That's an interesting point! I never realized that because I have mostly the top views, where the exact shape of the wing is not so clear. It means that the Boeing's take on the sensorcrafts comes from the EX, while MDD work on the Project Diamond has better connection to the morphing aircraft structures.

Correct - the patent makes this pretty clear. There are some interesting details:

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=GTwZAAAAEBAJ
 

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DTIC has a lot of papers online now that deal with the joined wing SensorCraft configurations, which include a lot of historical information on joined wings in general.


This set of briefing slides is a good overview of the challenges involved in the SensorCraft mission (and, in turn, AARS/Tier 3)
Tilmann, Carl P. "Emerging Aerodynamic Technologies for High- Altitude Long-Endurance SensorCraft UAVs"
http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA428754

Bird Of Prey and FATE control surfaces are depicted, interestingly enough.
 

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LM SC006 Sensorcraft configuration render&data
LM SensorCraft MUTT (Multi Utility Technology Testbed)
 

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flateric

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LM's SC006A compared to Boeing's Model 410F4 Sensorcraft
 

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Deino

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Matej said:
Look what was found in the Langley tunnel

But it looks like having a pilot/cockpit ! ???
 

flateric

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Matej, which tunnel it came from? I see guys regularly updating stuff there - that's great!
 

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flateric said:
Matej, which tunnel it came from? I see guys regularly updating stuff there - that's great!

Not a usual place - check their gallery on the main page: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/multimedia/images.html Its mainly about the Orion capsule, but there is also some aviation stuff too. And to answer you directly: NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel

Deino said:
But it looks like having a pilot/cockpit ! ???

Its supposed to loiter for days or at least for dozens of hours in a very lightweight airframe in a high altitude. This is three times no-no-no for the crew on board. Besides - this test is clearly related to the wing, thus we don't see any air intakes and the whole center section of the forward fuselage is simply optimised and simplified for that test.
 

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