MAGMA is a small drone which will use a unique blown-air system to move the aircraft and it will enable stealthier aircraft designs.
The supersonic blown air means moving wing flaps and other mechanical control surfaces are not needed.
The benefits are:
* greater control in flight
* reduce weight and maintenance costs
* allow for lighter, stealthier, faster and more efficient military and civil aircraft in the future.
The two technologies to be trialed first using the jet-powered UAV, MAGMA, are:
* Wing Circulation Control, which takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control for the aircraft
* Fluidic Thrust Vectoring, which uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed.
In 1975, tests showed 50 times less radar cross-section for planes without control surfaces (0.1 square feet instead of 5.0 square feet).
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16 thoughts on “Supersonic blown air will enable super stealthy drones and planes”
They haven’t invented an infrared camera that can cover a huge amount of area at one point in time. You can maybe scan the air sequentially, which is thousand of miles wide…plus there’s a thing called clouds which can blind these infrared cameras…
Seems to me that they should be able to eliminate all vertical surfaces by using vectored thrust.
Yea They will put the p Lana in a computer and China will steal them how many times has us been burn to many find a safer way to store top secret plans dumb asses
Yes, manual for engine loss and not able to restart is to eject.
This has been true since the starfighter.
And as Harrison says no control surfaces is for stealth mode
This is a very wise Aerospace Engineering concept.
In 1975 … and of course radar tech has not improved since then
For those of you who haven’t figured it out: The plane does have moving control surfaces, it just locks them in place when using stealth mode and uses thrust vectoring instead. For takeoff and landings and other high maneuver situations, it still uses flaps. I think f35 fighters have some of this ability today.
There has been interesting commentary on the need for backup control effectors for a fluidic based system, at least for manned aircraft, and why that is problematic from weight perspectives, though should still have stealth benefits if the effectors are locked closed and flush otherwise.
For UAV’s, no engine generally means an inevitable crash, so it may be acceptable to go all fluidic.
Robots don’t need to dead stick a landing.
I’m surprised there isn’t a networked ML filtered radar system that is incredibly effective against stealth. Or even infrared cameras on satellites to just watch everything flying around.
The company brags they spent over £1 billion on R&D. Last I was in the UK they were getting to write off 2x R&D cost presumably to drive innovation.
From the article:
“The two technologies to be trialled first using the jet-powered UAV, MAGMA, are:
Wing Circulation Control, which takes air from the aircraft engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control for the aircraft
Fluidic Thrust Vectoring, which uses blown air to deflect the exhaust, allowing for the direction of the aircraft to be changed.”
Your link does not say that the blown air would be supersonic. I doubt if it is.
It’s very rare for a pilot to land a modern fighter aircraft having lost engines, so there would be few occasions when losing flight controls with the engines would make any difference.
This plane drives all of the flight controls with engine power. No engine means no flight control.
It’s very rare for a pilot to land a modern fighter aircraft having lost engines. And “deadstick” means no engine power, not no flight controls.
So in a sense, it is back to hydraulic, or pneumatic flight controls…
How you gonna dead-stick land such a thing? Guess you just eject from a fighter or try to land at 300 knots with no control surfaces?
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