Icarus Labs has officially finished their UAV redesign!
Check out Our Solution – Design Specifications page for new pictures of our vehicle.
The taxi test is also posted on our video page. First flight to come soon! (Once the Boston weather decides to cooperate)
After our 1st prototype for the milestone 1 concept videos, we realized that there were a couple of areas that we could improve upon for the competition, the main one being size. Our initial vehicle, while still capable of fitting in a standard pack, had to be dissasembled into multiple pieces. These increase both the complexity and the weight of our vehicle. Our limiting factor was the size of our lift fans. To overcome this we’ve redesigned our propulsion system to use EDF ducted fan units as opposed to propellers for the hovering portion of the mission. These fans provided the same amount of lift for a similar power requirement and effectively reduced our required fan diameter from 12″ to 3.75″. EDF’s provide a high thrust, high rpm system which is very effective for hovering, but for longer flights, this is not a viable solution so we’ve kept a traditional propeller for the forward flight system which allows us to fly further distances on less power (i.e less weight). This extreme reduction has allowed us to reduce the weight and size of our plane.
Another improvement we made was to remove the tail section entirely. The new lift fan sizing in addition to a newly designed airfoil have allowed us to put the rear fan (for pitch/yaw control during hover) in our center wing. This has significantly reduced the footprint of our vehicle and the complexity of assembly in the field. Icarus Labs’ UAV is now officially a flying wing!