Hood Tech staff noted record-low capture loads for a fixed-wing aircraft recovery from free-flight. The instrumented aircraft reported peak span-wise acceleration of 2.5 gees as it slowed from 29.5m/s (57.3 knot) closing speed. That’s roughly a 4-fold reduction compared to traditional Skyhook methods.
“Soft-arrest Skyhook recovery with FLARES enables opportunities for fixed-wing aircraft that were not originally designed with Skyhook-recovery in mind” explains Hood Tech engineer and 1999 Skyhook co-inventor, Cory Roeseler. “With FLARES’ gentler launch and recovery loads, airframes and payloads might be built lighter without risk of launch and recovery damage.”
A video of the record low-gee recovery is available upon request. The test flight marks 120 consecutive FLARES 2.0 flights with a perfect safety record.
FLARES 2.0 provides vertical launch and recovery (VTOL) capability to any fixed-wing aircraft up to 100 pounds GTOW. Zero modifications are needed to launch the fixed wing aircraft, as Hood Tech’s wing root gripper releases the aircraft into free-flight. For recovery, a small metal hook is installed at the wingtip.
With FLARES, a long endurance UAV enjoys the benefits of VTOL (small operational footprint, obstacle clearance, etc.) without having to carry its VTOL claptrap for the entire flight.
Read the orginal article HERE.