Samad Aerospace has completed the first CTOL flight of 50% scale e-Starling demonstrator.
Samad Aerospace's Starling programme has achieved the successful conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) flight test of its 50% scale fully electric aircraft. The aircraft took off from a length of 250 metres, demonstrating its potential for short take-off and landing. Take-off and landing were reported to be smooth, and the vehicle maintained a comfortable cruise at a speed of (90 mph) airborne for over five minutes.
The flight tests included evaluations on aircraft flight dynamics, performance as well as handling qualities. As the e-Starling adopts a semi blended wing body design, it requires a low angle for take-off it is important to understand when the aircraft is capable of taking off and at which speed.
Apart from slow and fast taxiing on the runway as well as take-off and landing; the half scale demonstrator also performed banking manoeuvres in addition to tests on yaw, pitch and roll. The results show very stable in terms of handling quality.
Among other tests of subsystems were: brake, telemetry, redundancy links, and confirming the centre of gravity of the aircraft.
The aircraft's performance matched the predicted calculations made during preliminary and detailed design stages.
"The data provided by the flight tests were sufficient and invaluable for us to feed into fine tuning the aircraft for auto pilot to allow us to conduct a subsequent test on auto pilot mode," says one of the engineering crew on-site.
Samad's CEO, Dr Seyed Mohammad Mohseni, praised his team's resilience attributing this latest success to their, "striking and unparalleled dedication during unprecedented times." Samad's Chief Production Officer explains, "We believe passionately in our proven technology, COVID 19 threw a few challenges our way, but this passion fuels our determination, securing this success."
Samad's Chief Technical Officer, Norman Wijker adds, "CTOL trials are an essential step towards VTOL aircraft development. Ticking off the CTOL flight capability is a crucial step towards the validation of all flight modes. With CTOL trials complete, we will begin hovering trials and the flight trials will be concluded by transition between hovering flight and aerodynamic flight in both directions."
Samad's Aircraft Design Adviser, Professor John Fielding explains, "Safety is key. We have investigated various safety challenges via CFD analysis and now through the flight tests using this 50% scaled CTOL prototype."
Preparations for the e-VTOL flight tests are already well underway. 2021 will see the completion of the 50% e-VTOL version of the e-Starling.
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