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New Unmanned Jet Flies Without Flaps

UK researchers have successfully flown an unmanned jet, dubbed “Demon,” developed by ten universities including Cranfield University, BAE Systems, that dispenses with conventional wing flaps and replaces those with jets of air.

The jets shoot varying strengths of air blasts, which stream over the wings to create lift depending on the strength of the blasts, while turning specifically placed jets off helps the plane control pitch and roll. Demon also comes equipped Fluidic Thrust Vectoring, a system which allows a pilot to control the direction of thrust from an engine, providing a craft with enhance maneuverability, via the application of air jets similar to those found in wing flaps’ stead.

Aside from great maneuverability, the removal of the conventional systems in favor of the air jets add more advantages to the craft, such as cheaper cost, less maintenance, less mechanical failure and an increase in stealthiness.

(BAE Systems via Ars Technica)

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