Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.

Front page

Rockwell Collins reaches new heights in UAV damage tolerance flight testing

Rockwell Collins today unveiled the results of successful flight tests with dramatically increasing levels of damage on an unmanned F/A-18 subscale model air vehicle. The results were discussed during a news briefing at AUVSI's Unmanned Systems North America 2010 exhibition in Denver.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored the flight demonstrations held this summer at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

One of the flight tests involved ejecting 60 percent of the right wing, 30 percent of the right fin rudder and 30 percent of the right stabilizer. Despite the damage, the UAV remained steady in-flight and was able to land.

Another flight test demonstrated the ability for the aircraft to continue to fly a fixed trajectory and land safely after the engine was turned off.

A final flight test involved ejecting 80 percent of the UAV's right wing. In that flight test, the UAV was also able to land safely. Previous testing had involved ejecting up to 60 percent of the wing.

All flight tests included auto take off and landing.

Dave Vos, senior director of Rockwell Collins Control Technologies and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, said the next step is to port this technology onto an operational UAV.

"This latest flight test campaign is an important step toward our ultimate goal of offering our damage tolerance control software to the UAV market," said Vos. "Our solution improves the survivability of UAVs in theater, while simultaneously improving the reliability of UAVs flying in civilian airspace. By detecting and instantly and automatically compensating for failure or damage in flight, UAVs and manned aircraft can soon achieve coexistence."

Damage tolerance is an enabling capability for increasing the mission reliability of UAVs operating in hazardous and high-threat environments. The technology provides for real-time autonomous accommodation of damage, followed by an adaptation process that alters the flight control system to compensate for the effects of the damage. During the flight tests, Rockwell Collins demonstrated a capability that could be applicable to all military aircraft operating in combat environments and to commercial, business and general aviation aircraft for full flight automation and backup.

Other maneuvers demonstrating failure and immediate automatic recovery through damage tolerance controls that were conducted during this summer's flight tests include:

· Locking the right aileron in neutral position in-line with the rest of the airplane, which caused an uncontrolled roll

· Engine idle test - engine command is idle, which means there is no throttle up or down

Press release issued by Rockwell Collins Inc. on August 24, 2010


 Contact details from our directory:
Rockwell Collins Inc. Head-Up Displays, Radio Communications Equipment, Moving Maps, Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS), LCD Displays, Engine Indicator Instruments, Cabin Management Systems, Automatic Flight Control Systems, Inflight Entertainment, Automatic Direction Finders, Cabin Address Systems, Autopilots, Radar/Radio Altimeters, Distance Measuring Equipment, VOR (Omnirange) Receivers, Avionics Management Systems, Air-to-Ground Data Links, Multi-Mode Receivers (MMR), Engine Control Quadrants, Control Panels, Aircraft & Helicopter Controllers, Collision Avoidance Systems/TCAS, Helmet-Mounted Displays (HMD), Weather Mapping Radar, Inertial Components & Systems, Attitude and Heading Reference Systems, Navigation Antennas, Transceivers, Flight Recorders, Cockpit Printers, Flight Directors, Flight Management Systems, Electronic Flight Instrument Systems, Air Data Computers, Onboard Computers, UAV Control Software, GPS, Simulation Systems, Surveillance/Air Defense Radar, Engine Controls, Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems, Horizontal Situation Indicator, Instrument Landing Systems, Command, Control & Intelligence Systems


 Related directory sectors:
Aircraft Operations

Enhanced listings:

Ascent Aerospace
Ascent Aerospace is the leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, assembly automation and factory integration.

Valence Surface Technologies
The leading metal processing company serving the global aerospace industry. Valence’s ten facilities offer full-service capabilities: NDT, shot peen, chemical processing, paint, and other coatings.

General Plastics Manufacturing Co.
General Plastics has been supplying OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies with flame-retardant foam core materials and custom flexible foam molded parts for aircraft flight decks and interior cabins for over 50 years.

United Performance Metals
A global distributor and processor of titanium products for over 40 years, and a leading supplier to the aerospace industry

The leading provider of heat treatment services worldwide. Bodycote offers high quality, reliable and cost-effective services to manufacturers whatever their size or market sector.

See our advertising tariff.


Monthly page limit exceeded. Please buy a subscription.

© Copyright of Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2016. Terms & Conditions of reading.