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Abstract

This paper describes a design process of HALE PW-114 sensor-craft, developed for high altitude (20 km) long endurance (40 h) surveillance missions. Designed as a blended wing (BW) configuration, to be made of metal and composite materials. Wing control surfaces provide longitudinal balance. Fin in the rear fuselage section together with wingtips provide directional stability. Airplane is equipped with retractable landing gear with controlled front leg that allows operations from conventional airfields. According to the initial requirements it is twin engine configuration, typical payload consists of electro-optical/infra-red FLIR, big SAR (synthetic aperture radar) and SATCOM antenna required for the longest range. Tailless architecture was based on both Horten and Northrop design experience. Global Hawk was considered as a reference point – it was assumed that BW design has to possess efficiency, relative payload and other characteristics at least the same or even better than that of Global Hawk. FLIR, SAR and SATCOM containers were optimised for best visibility. All payload systems are put into separate modular containers of easy access and quickly to exchange, so this architecture can be consider as a „modular”. An optimisation process started immediately when the so-called “zero configuration”, called PW-111 was ready. It was designed in the canard configuration. A canard was abandoned in HALE PW-113. Instead, new, larger outer wing was designed with smaller taper ratio. New configuration analysis revealed satisfactory longitudinal stability. Calculations suggested better lateral qualities for negative dihedral. These modifications, leading to aerodynamic improvement, gave HALE PW-114 as a result. The design process was an interdisciplinary approach, and included a selection of thick laminar wing section, aerodynamic optimisation of swept wing, stability analysis, weight balance, structural and flutter analysis, many on-board redundant systems, reliability and maintability analysis, safety improvement, cost and performance optimisation. Presented paper focuses mainly on aerodynamics, wing design, longitudinal control and safety issues. This activity is supported by European Union within V FR, in the area Aeronautics and Space.
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