IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 13, 2008
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has demonstrated that damage tolerant flight control technology can successfully allow an unmanned aerial vehicle to continue to fly even after losing large portions of its wing.
In April, DARPA’s Damage Tolerant Controls program completed a series of demonstrations culminating in recovery from loss of the majority of the right wing of a sub-scale F/A-18. The aircraft, under fully autonomous control from takeoff to landing, recovered from the catastrophic wing damage within seconds, and over the next few minutes the flight control system reconfigured itself to restore most of the original flight quality, allowing the aircraft to complete a flawless autonomous touchdown.
It will be interesting to see if this technology can be applied to manned aircraft as well. This could just be a “guy” thing, but OMG I soooo WANT one of these! Anyone see one at a hobby shop?
Read the entire release here.